BOZEMAN- As Bozeman grows the need to have more entertainment is presenting itself.
For Jason Wickens, a fourth-generation rancher a cold storage building presented him the opportunity to leave the ranch and pursue his dream of becoming a recording artist.
The old cold storage building in Bozeman is now known as “Live from the Divide,” and its Bozeman’s home for music and podcasts.
“Why not start a recording studio in the middle of a recession,” Wickens said.
Starting a new business amid a recession may not seem like a great plan but that's just what he did when he took his guitar and left ranching in 2009.
Wickens admits there were times during the adventure where he returned to working on the ranch out of the need for a financial way to provide for his family.
He hung on to his dream and worked tirelessly to make Live from the Divide something big.
What he learned in the process is that Bozeman wanted entertainment.
Shifting from just recording to recording events and broadcasting them so that people all over the world could hear the sounds coming from the old building out of Bozeman.
“I started booking to play in the front room here and a handful of people would show up maybe probably not,” Wickens said.
On average 52% of Americans attend live music shows and they Americans spend close to $152 on tickets with the increase of people in Bozeman people needed something to do.
So the small 50 seat venue slowly started to fill up as more people started to call Bozeman home.
“The growth of Bozeman and what we are doing is a direct correlation,” Wickens said.
Local musicians and festivals in Bozeman are helping to drive the economy The Sweet Pea Festival generates close to $1.7 million in three days for Bozeman and attracts thousands of people to the area.
With the growth, there’s a regular need for entertainment from musicians large and small.
“Last year was the first season that every show is sold out which was a total blessing,” Wickens said.
But for Wickens, this opportunity is letting him live out his dream and provide for his family.
“It’s not just necessarily luck because we’ve been working our butts off,” Wickens said, “but Bozeman allowed us to grow, we grew with the town [and] with the valley and that’s been a huge part about why we’ve been able to stay here.”
Right now the shows that are recorded from Live from the Divide are broadcast in seven states on public radio stations, you can listen to all of the previously recorded shows by following this link.
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