Colorado’s Independent Promoter


John Wenzel of The Denver Posts writes: “When Mike Barsch founded a Boulder­ based record label called Soda Jerk Records in 1995 with $500 and a notebook, he never imagined it would develop into one of the Rocky Mountain region’s major concert promoters.”

He was right. Soda Jerk Presents (SJP) began producing concerts in 1997 and became the largest independent live music promoter in Colorado. Starting out in a small basement office in Boulder, Colorado, the company saw continued growth over the last 20+ years. The company went from booking and producing concerts in a wide array of non-owned venues, to owning and operating three of Colorado’s most popular live music clubs: The Summit Music Hall and Marquis Theatre in Denver and the Black Sheep in Colorado Springs. In 2011, Soda Jerk Presents added veteran concert promoter Peter Ore to its team, creating a powerful union of two of Colorado’s most independently minded promoters with one goal: to build a full service independent promotions company based on integrity, hard work and passion for live music. Soda Jerk Presents produced over 750 shows a year at its peak.

Barsch says, “It’s been an incredible ride so far. We’ve been fortunate to work with some of the greatest artists in the world over years. We have launched the careers of many new bands and have worked with legends, as well as my heroes. Most importantly, we have provided an outlet and a sound track to the memories of all the fans that have come to our shows over the years. This is the most important thing to me, creating the memories. Every show creates a memory. Music is a powerful thing and I feel blessed to have made a career out of it. Further, none of what Soda Jerk has accomplished could have been down without the incredible staff of people that work here and at all the venues. They are too numerous to list, but I love them like family…. They are my family.”

In February of 2018, Soda Jerk sold its two Denver venues (Summit and Marquis) to Live Nation, effectively retiring from club level booking in Denver. Soda Jerk still continues to book shows at The Black Sheep in Colorado Springs, as well as other venues around the state. Stay tuned, because this story isn’t over. Soda Jerk is still alive and will soon be embarking on its next adventure.