“I like throwin’ a good show,” Matt Boyle says.
Boyle, 33, has not only forged a career out of doing just that, he’s also leveraged that skill into an admirable list of community service accomplishments.
Boyle’s career as a music impresario started in 2011 when he and a partner, Curtis Reid, decided to put on an electronica show in Butte’s Knights of Columbus Hall.
In addition to creating an interesting cultural contrast — the usual K of C patrons, on hand to watch the Notre Dame-USC football game, found themselves sharing the space with a crowd of kids in rave attire — the event was an enormous success. Boyle said they expected maybe 100 people and got close to 500, and he kept getting asked, “When’s the next one?”
And so began what has evolved into the Original Festival, a still-growing component of Butte’s summer festival season.
Also, he and Reid began a music-booking business, booking gigs for a number of Montana bands. Since Reid moved away, Boyle has grown the business, now called Montana Booking Agency. He has 13 bands under contract, ranging from electronica to bluegrass, rock and reggae. He also works directly with venues to bring them talent.
When the Butte America Foundation was established as a nonprofit to launch KBMF, a community radio station, Boyle was involved from the start.
The organization took a huge leap in January when it took over the planning and organizational duties for Butte’s legendary parades — the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Fourth of July Parade. The nonprofit previously running them, Butte Community Celebrations, was having trouble attracting volunteers.
“I read the Standard’s story about the parades needing help,” Boyle said. “I talked to Linda Redfern (who was running Butte Community Celebrations), and she said there was nothing the matter with the events themselves, but their group was just tired,” he added. “I thought to myself, ‘I’m not tired at all.''
Also, Boyle knew that Butte America Foundation had a ready source of volunteers. “We have 70 active DJs at the station,” he said.
So in short order, Boyle found himself being a parade director.
Both events went off without a hitch this year, and Boyle is already excitedly planning the 2018 events.
Boyle is also active as a member of the Mother Lode board of directors.
While he’s had a chance to follow his music-booking career to the big city, it didn’t take Boyle long to decide to stay in the town that he loves and has always called home.
“As my dad told me a long time ago, ‘The grass ain’t much greener anywhere than Butte, Montana,” he says with a smile.