Who runs the world?: A Conversation With Women in the Music Industry

Esme Patterson at Levitt Pavilion Denver. Photo by Joel Rekiel

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating the impact of female leaders in our music industry in Colorado. This candid dialogue will explore the unique challenges of navigating the industry and how women continue to break ground with resiliency and collaboration.


  • Rikki Aston, Talent Buyer, Live Nation Colorado
  • Dani Grant, Owner & General Manager, Mishawaka Amphitheatre
  • Emily Sarpa, Talent Buyer, The Bohemian Foundation

Moderator: Demi Harvey, Social & Digital Editor, Indie 102.3

This event is part of a monthly series co-presented by the Colorado Independent Venue Association (CIVA), Levitt Pavilion Denver and Colorado Business Committee for the Arts (CBCA). CBCA participation supported by Ent Credit Union and Kenneth King Foundation. 


Rikki Aston

Talent Buyer, Live Nation Colorado

For over a decade, Rikki Aston has been dedicated to building the careers of artists in the live performance space across the Front Range. During her six years working as an independent promoter at Soda Jerk Presents, she was responsible for marketing, ticketing, and aided in venue management and show settlements. In 2014, Rikki advanced to her current role as Talent Buyer for Live Nation Colorado where she promotes hundreds of shows across more than half a dozen venues in Denver. In 2018, Live Nation announced their acquisition of Denver’s Summit Music Hall and Marquis Theater and granted Rikki the responsibility of leading booking and promoting efforts for both venues. She currently also helps to oversee Live Nation’s club business across the western mountain states. Outside of live music, Rikki’s passions include indulging in Denver’s food scene, exploring Colorado’s outdoors, and long walks listening to true crime podcasts.

Dani Grant

Owner & General Manager, Mishawaka Amphitheatre

Dani Grant is one of those tenaciously hard-working, creative entrepreneurs who has transformed a deep passion for music into her life’s work. Dani owns and manages a legendary and historic music venue located in Northern Colorado, Mishawaka Amphitheatre.

Dani understands that music and the arts are powerful economic drivers, so she founded SpokesBUZZ Fort Collins (2009-2016), a grassroots nonprofit that developed emerging artists and promoted local music scenes to grow the local economies on the Front Range of CO and cities across the US with national programs including BandSwap and the Colorado Music Party at SXSW.

To complement her roles as venue owner and local arts and culture champion, Dani also has served on many boards including Colorado State University’s Rocky Mountain Student Media Corp, Community Radio of Northern CO - KUNC & The Colorado Sound - KJAC, and WESTAF’s Denver Music Task Force. She currently advises Austin based non-profit, Black Fret and sits on the board of directors for the international non-profit Music Policy Forum where she provides leadership for it’s national Reopen Every Venue Safely (REVS) cohort.

Emily Sarpa

Talent Buyer, The Bohemian Foundation

Emily is the Talent Buyer for The Bohemian Foundation in Fort Collins, Colorado where she’s responsible for buying talent for two club venues (Washington’s and The Armory), an outdoor summer concert series and Bohemian Nights, an annual three-day music festival. Previously, Emily booked talent for Belly Up Aspen in Aspen, Colorado and was a local and national tour buyer for Live Nation New York. She was also the Executive Director of Alternative Programming Touring for Live Nation, which focused on advancing the careers of LGBTQ+ identified artists. Outside of work Emily loves roller skating, queening out over RuPaul’s Drag Race, and chiweenies in small sweaters.

Demi Harvey

Social & Digital Editor, Indie 102.3

Demi is a social media maven that has been in the digital marketing game for nearly 9 years. She has worked in media from The Colorado Springs Independent to Ultra5280 and now Colorado Public Radio. Passionate about creativity, Demi has dabbled in photography, video editing, creative direction, podcasting, and journalistic writing. You can catch her with her phone in hand at all times, ready to catch a perfect moment for the many social channels she runs. Currently, Demi is the Digital and Social Media Editor at Colorado Public Radio where she manages and creates content for Indie 102.3 and CPR Classical's digital platforms. She also joined nonprofit organization Colorful Colorado Collaborations as their Marketing Director, where she manages digital campaigns and handles PR. Demi has always been passionate about the Colorado music and arts community and has dedicated her skills to serve organizations like The Underground Music Showcase, Meow Wolf, Youth on Record, and Westword Music Showcase."