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What's the gig idea? GigMasters in South Norwalk

An event-booking, new-media company lands in SoNo.

A recent move to SoNo from Redding is part of a long evolution for GigMasters.com, a 20-employee company that helps performers find gigs and gigs find performers.

The business recently relocated to new offices at 33 South Main St., part of the SoNo Design District. The area is home to dozens of new media companies that feed off of each other's creative energy in a mixed neighborhood of residences, offices, restaurants and retail shops.

The company bills itself as "the life of the party." If you’ve ever wondered how you were going to find that Scottish bagpipe player you need for your brother’s surprise birthday bash, then GigMasters.com just might be your lifeline.

The 14-year-old Web site features a directory of performers that range from hula dancers to bands that recreate music from the '50s—or '80s—and so on. 

GigMasters is more than just a place to find performers, though. As an event entertainment booking service, it streamlines the process of finding quality acts for just about any type of event, whether it's a large venue or an intimate gathering.

For an indie performer, the site cuts to the chase of matching venues and acts; for the event planner, a one-stop look-and-listen to what an act has to offer. Where MySpace was the music Wild West, appealing to fans, GigMasters.com is all about the business end of bringing together performing artists with paying gigs.

Co-founder Michael Caldwell said the company's new location near transportation lines should help GigMasters grow: "Being along this corridor the train line and I-95 will also help with recruiting. It was difficult finding employees up in Redding, we're really hoping this opens us to the market include folks coming up from New Haven or Stamford."

When GigMasters barely moved into the new digs, a juggler whose act is listed on the site dropped by to welcome the company to the neighborhood—and demonstrate his talents live for the employees.

"Being in SoNo—this energy is what we are all about," Latshaw said. An impromptu visit from a client was a rare occurrence back in Redding, she said.

Proximity to the train station and New York City also enables the company to stay connected to entertainment and media companies that network, throw parties, stage events and, as Latshaw put it, "celebrate life."

"The SoNo Design District offered GigMasters the perfect hip urban environment to offer their employees—not only a great place to work but also their clients a great place to which to identify the company," said Stephanie Pelletier, marketing director for the district.

GigMasters is still moving in and doesn't even have a sign on the door, Latshaw said, but they're already becoming familiar with the nearby restaurants.

"I just had an amazing salad at Chocopologie," she said after rattling off the names of many of the restaurants on Washington Street they’ve explored. SoNo restaurants have long been an attraction for GigMasters' founders, Kevin Kinyon and Michael Caldwell, so when the growing company needed more space, the idea of moving to SoNo was a natural.

The attraction appears to be mutual. "Isn’t it cool that a cool company like this would find its home in Connecticut’s coolest city!" said Tad Diesel, Norwalk's business development director.

See if you're attracted as well: For your next event, check out GigMasters.com, and find out if you can snag a performer that will pleasantly surprise your audience.

Correction: Due to an editor's error, "she" was changed to "he" a couple of times in the article as originally published. Norwalk Patch regrets the error.

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