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Bill and Cheryl Bunce met seven years ago over a love for good music.
Today, they’re sharing that love with Loudoun County through their music promotion company Buncearoo.
Buncearoo, which launched in July 2010 as one big fifth wedding anniversary bash in the couple’s backyard in Round Hill, now brings artists to the Franklin Park Performing and Visual Arts Center in Purcellville.
Their show last month, featuring three musicians, was a success and the company has upcoming shows planned for May and June.
The backyard show simply was the couple’s present to themselves, featuring six artists playing on a 20 by 20 foot stage complete with professional sound and lighting.
At least 150 people attended the event and the entire show was streamed live on http://www.ustream.com.
The couple, information technology professionals by day, spent close to $10,000 on the event – described as a well worth it investment.
Following the concert, attendees only had one question for the couple:
“Are you doing this again next year?”
So the couple followed that five-year anniversary concert with a second backyard show that featured three artists.
“That was really the catalyst to where we are today,” Cheryl Bunce said.
Buncearoo’s first official show was held at the Franklin Park Performing and Visual Arts Center in October with three acts.
Last month, they held their second show at the venue.
The show booked for May 17 will feature four artists – Tim Snider, Dave Eggar, Amber Rubarth and Gold Heart.
There’s also a June 9 show scheduled, which so far will feature The Alternate Routes and the Bronze Radio Return.
The Bunces consider themselves music connoisseurs.
“Some people buy motorcycles for hobbies, this is what our hobby is,” Bill Bunce said.
Prior to launching Buncearoo, they would travel long distances just to hear good, but perhaps not yet so well-known artists perform.
“We’ll go overnight to New York City just to hear people play. We go into Northern Virginia, D.C., Charlottesville, wherever the music is we follow it,” Cheryl Bunce said. “… We’re talking about small clubs, really good artists, and really the fun thing for us is to get introduced to whoever is opening for them as well.”
It’s this vibe that drives the couples’ selections for the artists that perform for Buncearoo.
“We feel that music is very community-oriented …. It’s really about the people you meet at the event and the experience from the minute you walk in the door to one of our events to the minute you walk out,” Cheryl Bunce said. “It makes you feel like the concert is for you.”
“We’re the Austin City Limits of Northern Virginia, or at least Purcellville,” Bill Bunce added.
The Franklin Park Performing and Visual Arts Center provides the perfect intimate setting for artists that the Bunces book to connect with their audience, said Manager Jeffrey Stern.
“The main focus of the performing arts center is to both assist and grow the arts in Loudoun County. We do that by not really producing our own art but by finding existing groups in the community. Of course, Loudoun is an exceptionally talented community. We were pleased to have Goose Creek Live here for a certain number of years and we feel the same way really about Buncearoo,” Stern said.
In the beginning, the couple only booked artists they knew or had followed. Now, they say they’ve become familiar enough with the artists’ agents to go through that avenue.
“For us we have to find them entertaining, they have to have a good story and a good relationship or a good rapport with their audience,” Cheryl Bunce said.
“We only book music we like,” Bill Bunce added.
The couple also have a background in the culinary arts – Cheryl Bunce owned her own bakery for 10 years and Bill Bunce is a certified chef who once worked in top restaurants.
Their cooking skills come in handy in working to lure starving artists to Purcellville.
“When the artists are on the road, they tend to eat really crappy food. After we get to know a lot of these artists, we’ll offer that they come and stay at our house and we’ll feed them after the show,” Bill Bunce said. “… It’s not uncommon for a tour bus to come park in our driveway.”
Many artists also have special dietary needs that the couple are able to cater to, such as raw food only.
The ultimate goal for the couple is to promote shows at least once a month, Bill Bunce said.
“What we would like to grow it to is each show would sell out,” he said.
For more information on Buncearoo, or to buy tickets to shows visit http://www.buncearoo.com.