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Dash does SXSW Austin - Mozart’s Coffee Partnership


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Dash does SXSW - Mozart’s Coffee Partnership

Richard Warren (LinkedIn) here. My partner, Samuel Leonard (LinkedIn), and I have a proposal for the Dash community. We have always been interested in the crypto space, but never ventured outside of bitcoin until recently. Sam brought to my attention the benefits of the game-changing distributed governance system in Dash. While we believe the benefits of such a system are obvious, Dash is in need of some hard working folks to get the word out - that is where we come in!

Our intent is for Dash to exclusively sponsor a South by Southwest (“SXSW”) showcase and SXSW interactive booth at the festival in Austin TX. The festival, in its entirety, spans 3/9/18-3/18/18. The festival is split into two portions, SXSW Interactive (3/9 through 3/13) and SXSW Music, Film, Comedy the remaining days. The link to the full festival can be found here.

For background, SXSW has been an Austin mainstay for 30-years. Originally built as an Indie music festival, the festival grew to include art, film, and technology (interactive). Today, interactive draws significantly more foot traffic and spending, with attendees coming from all over the globe. There have been many firsts at SXSW across many different genres of influence over 30 years. Here is a list of major moments.

The confluence of technology interest and overlapping target demographics typical of SXSW attendees (age, income, relationship status, etc.) makes the event perfect for Dash sponsorship. Additionally, Austin is a trend setting city and ranks as a top ten city in the following polls - many rankings being # 1 respectively. The list covers every spectrum of possible tech, finance, living and social influencing that would be beneficial for any brand.

  • Austin ranks 5th overall and 1st for talent according to Innovation that Matters study examining the health of startup communities in 25 leading innovation centers across the U.S. (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 10/13/17)

  • Austin ranks 3rd among the 100 largest metros for the Share of Jobs that Require High Digital Skills. (Brookings Institution, 11/15/17)

  • Austin has the No. 2 best performing metro economy according to the annual ACBJ Economic Index. (American City Business Journals, 10/20/17)

  • Austin is one of the Top 10 Foodie Cities in America. (WalletHub, 10/10/17)

Proposal Scope

  • Interactive Booth: Located in the main conference center, the booth will be manned at all times. Employees will distribute information about Dash, wallet download instructions and and giveaways for the duration of SXSW interactive (March 9-13). We will be next to Google, Facebook and Amazon.

  • Post-SXSW Meetup / Party: Hosted by Mozart’s overlooking Lake Austin, we will host an exclusively sponsored Dash party for the conclusion of SXSW Interactive (3/13). The event will be include a community chosen headliner, full light-show, decorations, marketing and promotions.

  • Marketing and Promotions: Mozart’s will exclusively market Dash for the duration of SXSW Interactive. The promoting will be fully available every morning and afternoon (March 9-13)
    • P.S. This part of the proposal is not to be understated, we will be giving away dash branded bandanas, tumblers, spinners, shirts, and coffee - FOR FREE. Dash will become the Supreme of SXSW.

    • P.S.S. Mozart’s has a history of promotions. In 2009 Google paid Mozarts $25,000 cash to give away free Google branded tumblers on the premise.

Venue Overview

Mozart’s (Website), is located on Lake Austin. A world-class coffee roaster, Mozart’s has prime real-estate and business for SXSW attendees. Below, is a photo of the lake-front view at Mozart’s, showing the large outdoor deck, perfect for our event.


High-level venue statistics are listed below:

  • Venue square footage: 16,000

  • Deck capacity: 1,800

  • Additional standing room (overlooking hill and parking lot):3,200

  • Average customer count per week = 12,500

  • Event customer buyer/transaction count (Light Show) = 30,000 customers.

Mozart’s has a history of garnering significant social media influence with celebrities visiting on a weekly basis. Last week, Silicon Valley star Josh Brener visited the shop. A few months earlier, Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello paid a visit to the deck.


Finally, the venue owners have a pedigree for high event quality and are loved, trusted members of the community. All events put on by Mozart’s to date have been free admission events. This partnership would mark the first paid event hosted @ Mozart’s due the the necessity that showcase attendees have a valid SXSW badge. The venue made the second spot on Austin360’s (a local news outlet) list of things to do the 2017 holiday season as well as garnering mention from other news outlets. (Link 1, Link 2). Here is a link to the final Holiday Light Show, Mozart’s Light Show.







The above demographics, when compared with those most likely to adopt holdings in a cryptocurrency display close alignment. We believe therefore that the SXSW Audience audience is an ideal one for the marketing efforts of Dash.

The venue, and it’s owners, have a track record of high production quality events, a lasting impact on the local community, and the attraction of Austin visitors. This proposal is broken into funding over three stages of equal funding amounts. The stages are as follows:

  1. Secure Venue, SXSW affiliation and booth, and cover liabilities

  2. Secure Showcase lineup and merchandise orders
    1. After phase one of the proposal is in action, we will move immediately on drawing up entertainment contracts and securing the best possible entertainment for the Dash community. The community itself will be able to decide on the the final choice of headline entertainment from the contracts we are able to generate. Contracts will contain stipulation about photos with DASH branding as well as dash merchandise and a fully branded stage

    2. Where does everyone go the morning after a late night of Music and tech conferences? That's right.. Austin's most iconic coffee house. We will be ordering thousands of pieces of clothing and accessory merchandise. Think Bandanas, shirts, tumblers, etc. This will be given away for free at Mozarts by promoters in dash attire. We will get SXSW goers of every walk wearing dash merchandise. It is our goal, through this guerilla marketing campaign and the traditional campaign of a booth and party venue, to get a person sporting dash into every venue at SXSW.
  3. Venue branding, and agreement to accept dash as payment for venue goods. Dash will provide a free drink for all venue attendees at the party. A QR code located on the beverage holder will be able to be scanned in order to create a wallet preloaded with enough dash to purchase a second beverage. We believe the getting users to create and wallet and actually transact with Dash will greatly increase the probability that venue attendees become longtime users and community members of Dash. You don’t always remember a sponsor, but it is certainly memorable transacting in a new way for the first time.

A full, detailed cost log can be found attached to this proposal, as for this text post, only a high level overview is included:

We welcome any questions from the Dash community and will be answering them here on the pre-proposal board. Additionally, we feel it would help you guys get to know us better by hosting a live Q&A session for the proposal and event details. We are think it would be ideal to host this Q&A this Wednesday evening at 8 CST. We will be posting the video itself here after it has concluded.

  1. Month 1 - January 1st superblock
    1. Venue retainer and partnership exclusivity - $100,000
      1. This is a multiday retainer for a large 16,000 sq foot venue on lakefront property. This is being provided at significant discount due to affiliation with the owners.
    2. Event insurance

    3. Salaries for myself and a team of 2 others assisting with the event planning and mgmt - $30,000
      1. I forsee the work required to pull this off far exceeding a that of a conventional 40 hour work week from myself and my staff members
    4. SXSW affiliation and venue registration - $100,000
      1. To become an official SXSW venue there is significant upfront investment cost.
  2. Month 2 - Secure Showcase lineup and pay booth expenses
    1. Contractually secure a showcase lineup.

    2. Hire part time event staff - extra security will be need to be positioned at the venue entrance and along the venue lakefront railing. The exposed railing is a serious liability at a venue / event of this scale.
  3. Month 3 - Booth, branding and personnel costs.
    1. Pay for a professional conference booth. While we will personally be manning the booth at all time, we think it would be in our best interest to hire additional personnel as booth promoters to help us get the word out and hand out as much merchandise, and get as many wallets installed as possible!
As a final note, we are willin and able to handle disbursment of funds through escrow as well.

EDIT: Excel is not an allowed extension, so you may download and view our budget sheet here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l22drhMb1-OEb4r34VBGvKKy5YWKqK-F/view?usp=sharing
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There is no mention of this other currently active proposal also covering SXSW, however in a different way.

That proposal owner was looking into doing a booth as well i believe. Perhaps you could combine efforts in some way. You are both doing offsite events however.

I'm not clear on how your coffee house is located and the expected traffic etc. Obviously having the opportunity to spend time with people is more valuable than just a booth, I think people will see the 100k costs and want a breakdown. It should be abundantly clear the number of days, the cost per day, the people count. You are competing against alternative advertising methods here. Anytime you have a secondary location or event that comes under more scrutiny as it adds significant cost over a booth (is it a good deal/ friend deal etc/ what is the normal rates in the town. proof of normal rates etc). Booths people can understand easily and have been funded many times, secondary traffic is a bit harder.
Hey ampp,

Thanks for the feedback. First I want to address the main difference between proposals. As we actually own a venue in Austin and we would be members of the actual SXSW festival. It looks like the other proposal states it would host a music festival during SXSW, which is a different thing entirely (and would mean they would be competing against one of the biggest music festivals in the world, rather than being a part of it). This would essentially mean they would not be promoted by SXSW or be an affiliate.

As for our own budgeting, the dates for the venue and booth with exclusive Dash branding would be the duration of the interactive part of the festival. March 9-13. We mentioned the venue does 30,000 in transactions with over double that in foot traffic per day, with a total capacity of near 5,000 and a size of 16000 square feet.

The venue itself is 1.6 miles from the capital building. And within a development that hosts other SXSW parties called Oyster Landing.

We will do our best to make sure all expense line items can be easily seen and accounted for. We are hoping that we can also do a sort of q&a with ourselves and a community representitive so that we might address this concerns appropriately.

In short though - exclusive marketing and a party at a venue of this size is expensive. As we mentioned above, google paid 25,000 for us to hand out their own tumblers at the establishment for just one morning.

In our case, we are paying for the venue, staff to have on hand to act as the promoters, and we are also designing and fabricating all of the marketing items to be handed out. We arrived on some of our numbers by estimating an average total cost of $5 per item, with 1.25$ going to design, 3$ to fabrication and .75$ for the actual manpower to promote and distribute the merchandise effectively.

Our line item cost for the SXSW affiliation is the actual cost it takes to be a parternered venue, with a booth, at the festival.

Please let us know if you have further questions or requests for clarity!
To further the above, people pay hundreds and in some case thousands for SXSW passes, why would anyone do that and pay for flights to Austin only to not go to the festival and instead go to an independently hosted music festival at the same time- which would surely have worse venues and worse musical talent?
Thanks for providing some insight. I wish i understood more about the daily flow of SXSW, if i had to trade your proposal over the other i would probably think yours would be it. I'm not saying both can't exist. The scale of SXSW is big enough for both and Dash masternodes seem to have the perspective if you are going to do something you are going to do it big. I hope to make it this year. I'd even be up for assisting if i can. We would want to get many people out to support the booth.
No problem! It is our intention to be as transparent as possible.

We would also love as much support on the ground as possible so if the proposal goes through we are hoping to meet as many community faces as we can.
Happy to chime in here. Yes, we have a currently active proposal for a SXSW event. To say that we would be competing against SXSW is entirely inaccurate. It is a simple fact that we benefit greatly by putting on our event at the same time.

In terms of the flow of SXSW, the event spans the entire city. There are literally a hundred thousand people in the streets. This is the draw that the event brings to the city of Austin. There are no entry and exit points for SXSW as there are at other festivals. Instead, SXSW events are spread across the entire city, creating massive amounts of foot traffic everywhere. So there is no competing with SXSW, everyone in Austin simply wins.

Also, we are currently in talks with SXSW to make our event official. It is a very long process since we are bringing out 15 to 20 of our top artists. SXSW needs to approve each one on an individual basis by their review board. We would have liked to guarantee an official status for the event prior to submitting the proposal, but in order to make the event happen, a lot of moving pieces need to start moving now. For example, the permitting deadline from the city is mid January. Were we to wait until next month, we already would be past the permitting deadline.

Also, to put on an official showcase, SXSW the organization charges nothing. In fact, they will even supply you with venue and sound, free of charge. However, they get to determine the venue.

What makes our proposal unique is that instead of an indoor location, we are erecting a massive outdoor stage next to one of the most popular music venues which will reach out across the city and draw people in to our event. We will also have some of the best musical groups anywhere at Southby, and having really great artists to play the showcase goes a really long way, especially when they are being pumped through an incredible soundsystem in the heart of it all.

That said, I think Dash should have as much presence at SXSW as possible and I am in full support of this proposal, though I am curious about the numbers.

Item four in your budget, SXSW affiliation and venue registration - $100,000, in our talks with Southby, this actually does not cost anything. Did they quote you this number officially?
To further the above, people pay hundreds and in some case thousands for SXSW passes, why would anyone do that and pay for flights to Austin only to not go to the festival and instead go to an independently hosted music festival at the same time- which would surely have worse venues and worse musical talent?

You are misrepresenting how SXSW works. "Going to the festival" means walking around the streets from event to event, popping into the ones you want, learning about the ones you want to go to, stopping in at interesting places. The entire city IS the festival. Yes, some events you need badges to get in. But how many people also go to SXSW and don't pay the $1000 for a badge and just barhop to see all the music? Thousands, maybe tens of thousands? To suggest that there is some ultimatum, that people would have to "either" go to SXSW "or" ours feels disingenuous and does not demonstrate an understanding of the flow of the event. The only main difference between being official vs unofficial is having an entry in their official guidebook to all the events.

As someone who has attended SXSW officially for many years, the experience goes something like this. You show up, you get your ticket, and you get a guidebook that details 5,000 events happening over the next week. You can only make it to maybe 20 or 30 of them, so you have to choose wisely. Of the ones in the book you pick, you only make it to half or a third of them because traffic is so monstruous so you just end up walking everywhere and stopping in at all the cool stuff happening everywhere and some of it is official but much of it is not.

Further, to insult our music as "worse music" is not only unprofessional but it also does not take into consideration the fact that we have been building a platform for five years that crowdsources talent scouting and that our artists are the top artists from five years of operating this platform and have been voted on by tens of thousands of listeners and paying members and these artists collectively have half a million fans on facebook who are also contractually obligated to promote Dash on facebook and on stage at the event.

I have provided youtube videos in my proposal of many of the confirmed artists that would be performing. They are incredible.

I'm curious which artists would play at your showcase?
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Dear Feedbands

You raise a good point and you are accurate to a specific point on the way the SX music portion (and venues) of the broader SXSW event work.

It is correct that to solely be a SXSW venue for musical acts it is a participation arrangement. That is, if you have a "suitable" club venue, you may register as one and SXSW will appoint you bands and a schedule. Bands from Japan, Texas, NY or anywhere will then be assigned to your bill for the festival where then your venue is promoted. This formula that you can fit into is not about promoting the club, a product, or the business - it specifically about promoting the SXSW brand. These bands register with SXSW and the venue benefits by monetizing through drinks, food, etc. There are no covers allowed of course because SXSW wristband revenue goes directly to SXSW. So to be clear, a venue opting into the free avenue at SXSW has the purpose of promoting the SXSW brand, as such SXSW will promote that venue. This strategy, in our humble opinion, is not ideal.

Our proposal and our promotional interests are more focused on a broader approach to tapping tech at SXSW - specifically, the Interactive Festival which is the most and influential (in dollars spent) of all the SX elements. We are negotiating directly with SXSW as a sponsor that straddles both Interactive and Music. With Interactive, it is our intent that we will have a substantial booth, a sponsored crypto speaker of noted import, and then a promotional tie-in that we arrange with the overall festival that will then distribute specialty items through the venue we are partnering with. This is not something provisioned for in the free, participatory avenue that SXSW allows. To reiterate, SXSW is not about promoting outside brands at participatory venues for free, it is about extending their own brands reach by including more venues, and rewarding them with talent and sales for the evening.The music element of what we are doing is simply having a keynote event that is noteworthy during the festival while leveraging a well-known venue for other arranged promotional tie-ins (giveaways, merchandise, Dash memorabilia) etc. The arrangers - as it is related to your questions- of ACL (Austin City Limits Festival) are school friends and we will arrange for the right talent that will be a draw.

So, without getting too far into it - you have pointed out that yes if this was just about music - then the proposal isn't accurate or complete. As music is ancillary, to the promotion of dash specifically - you can see how this is a completely different proposal then what might be in line with the questioning. Our chosen venue was selected by Google 7 years ago to launch a product successfully. They also straddled both Music and Interactive, as is our plan. Their sponsorship focus - and booth, speakers, etc. - was decidedly Interactive focused, as will ours.

Thanks for reading.

P.S. We cannot speak to whether you are allowed to promote a third party brand in a free participatory venue, we have a suspicion that you cannot display an independent brand name next to the SXSW name. Of the 3 Charlies of C3 presents (the founders of the parent company for SXSW) two are lawyers, we assume that there are stipulations against using the SXSW brand name in that manner.

Additionally, you can see here that there is an associated cost of using SXSW for brand promotion. Promotion rights and eligability are a separate matter from simple participation at the festival.
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The Venue, Mozart’s coffee, will be accepting dash for purchases throughout the festival duration. We would also imagine if it goes well, this could easily become a regular partnership where the biggest coffee house in Austin becomes an early adopter if dash.

Our plan was to set up wallets with a preloaded amount of dash, rather than a way for attendees to purchase dash and then use it to buy items from the venue. Their are already many ways to purchase dash and I don’t think this specific marketing campaign needs to create another one.

Lastly, the merchandise and promotional items with dash branding are all going to be given away for free.

Hope this helps
Did this ever pick up to the 2018 SXSW year? Is it going to be present in 2019? Just curious. Feedbands is absolutely correct on the whole city being the festival.