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History

The Nicodemus Agency was founded in 2005 after years of lifting drums and sleeping on floors became too much.

It is a multi-faceted company:

The agency books tours specifically for indie rock artists in North America.

The festival presents an event the last weekend of September featuring music, literature, handmade, and tech.

The promoters buy talent for Mike ‘N Molly’s primarily, but also at Highdive, Canopy, and other venues.

The magazine publishes content about the culture of Champaign-Urbana, five days a week.

The photography studio takes and processes images at weddings, events, homes, and parties.

The design firm develops branding, marketing, and websites for companies and organizations.

The Nicodemus Agency works from arguably the most musically relevant college town, historically, in the Midwest: Champaign-Urbana, Ill. It may seem like an odd place to have an agency that books artists of national and international renown, but if you dig a little deeper, you will see why we stick around.

We subscribe to no particular standards or set of rules. We pride ourselves on being able to work freely and creatively, with no borders or expectations of what we might develop each and every year.

It’s true; we are a booking agency that represents multiple artists and is responsible for handling their tour routings, contracts, and settlements. We will likely not be able to book tours for your band, but feel free to drop us a line anyhow. We always listen in and are simply flattered by the attention.

In addition, we’ve been putting on live shows in town for over ten years, beginning in 2002, and we maintain that role to the day.

A great deal of our year is devoted to festival development. We have been curating and producing the Pygmalion Festival since 2005. Over the past ten years, we’ve brought hundreds and hundreds of artists to perform on different stages in Champaign and Urbana and on the campus of the University of Illinois. You can view those artists here. In 2014, we started a new festival with our friends at The Canopy Club called ILLIAC Spring Festival. In 2015, we won’t do it again. Instead, we are focused on developing the Pygmalion Tech Conference. It should be a neat trick.

We’re also a publishing company, devoted to community journalism and (relatively) free expression through our hyper-local online magazine called Smile Politely. Since 2007, we’ve been publishing five days a week, multiple articles a day, specifically about the people, places, events, and community that comprise Champaign-Urbana. There’s a lot to cover. Sporadically, and when we have the budget, we also publish a print magazine called Bonfire, too. We like it and think it’s fun. We haven’t published it since 2013, because it’s so fucking expensive to actually print anything. Maybe it will happen again one day? Who knows.

Seeing as how we’ve been able to effectively build strong events ourselves, we’re always open to consulting and production work as well, and work with more than a few different organizations and companies to help them realize their ideas into events that are successful and well executed. In 2015, we will be again producing and booking Audiotree Festival in Kalamazoo, MI, as well as assisting our pals at the Urbana Business Association to further develop The Sweetcorn Festival.

After getting her B.A. in Art History and then her M.Ed. in Art Education, along with her teacher’s certification, Justine Bursoni promptly decided to scrap the idea of being a public school teacher and opened her own photography studio with her namesake and likeness. She works full-time in that capacity, along with curating and producing The Made Fest, which runs concurrently with The Pygmalion Festival each year.

On the design front, we’ve been working with our lead designer, Matt Flowers, to develop branding and marketing for many different businesses through our creative firm, Wax Era Design. Currently, we are working on Chime Tea Company, Ted Sanders, and more.

But of course, there’s also the city of Champaign-Urbana itself. It’s actually two cities, but let’s just get real: we’re one community with a diversity of neighborhoods and people to explore.

And here is some of the best that relates to our jobs, and inspire us to work harder all the time:

Polyvinyl Records is here, for starters. Bob Andrews runs his venerable Undertow Music from here as well. Our great friends at Goldberg Events have its offices here, and put on a buncha shows throughout the year, but most notably, the Summer Camp Music Festival. Parasol Records Umbrella makes its home in Urbana, and has a long history of putting out unbelievable albums, (even some of our own!) can be credited with being one of the first online retailers for new music, worldwide.

And what about bands? Well, Good Lord — we’ve produced our fair share: HUM, Braid, Poster Children who can be credited with having one of the first band “blogs” and Podcasts in the world, Menthol, The Moon Seven Times, Headlights, The Elvis Brothers, Jay Bennett, The Didjits, Dan Fogelberg, Head East, the Queen of modern Bluegrass Allison Krauss, and yes yes, it’s actually true — REO Speedwagon — which is simultaneously awesome and hysterical. For real. Main St. in downtown Champaign is even named REO Speedwagon Way.

There’s more too. The University of Illinois has always provided the community with a fertile breeding ground for really impressive artists and musicians, and as such, we’re here, and we’re staying. It’s easy to live here. And easy is what it’s all about.

We seriously love Champaign-Urbana.

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