717 Entertainment Elevating the Music Scene

Nick Meyers and 717 Entertainment Booking have been steadily elevating the local central PA music scene. With the introduction of Lovedrafts Brewing Co. in Mechanicsburg, a couple of years ago, it seemed to have put 717 on a collision course with success.  With a seemingly endless amount of new shows and the recent upgrades to Lovedrafts stage, has shown both of their commitment to the local scene.

Nick started 717 Entertainment a little over 17 years ago with the first of its kind, a Central PA Music Awards show. Initially referred to as The Doctors Office Awards, the event lasted 8 years and was soon renamed the 717 Entertainment Awards. A local staple at the time, it always produced a one-of-a-kind show with performances from heavy hitters like Julian Fist, A Utopian Skyline, The Drama Club and Ashes To New along with many more. The awards peaked in 2014 with almost 550 people in attendance at Gullifty’s now “Underground Live”.  After that Nick continued on his journey booking local and national acts in our area.  To say Nick has done a lot for the local music scene would be an understatement. With new show announcements dropping regularly and his recent CPMA “SPOT” award for “Promoter of the Year”, Nick and 717 Entertainment are taking a hold on the central PA music scene. We took some time to sit down and talk to the man himself and see what 717 Entertainment is up to in 2024 and beyond.

PAM. When did you start 717 Entertainment and how many years have you been doing it? 

Nick: It was in 2006 that the idea was first sort of, I wouldn’t say born, but impregnated in my head so to speak. The following year in March was the first show at Gullifty’s. It was a 13-band clusterfuck of an awards show. So, for 17 years, I’ve really been actively putting shows together.

PAM. Tell me about your musical background, what music did you grow up listening to? Do you play any instruments? Were you in any bands before starting 717 Entertainment? 

Nick: I started listening to music pretty early, finding my mom’s cassette tapes of Prince, Billy Ocean, and U2. Stuff like that, I progressed like many, with Radio and MTV, from grunge to hard rock, hip hop, metal. I played guitar in middle school/high school and was in my first band senior year. I don’t play much anymore, but I am a member of Green Jelly and join them live when they play around the area.

PAM. What was the drive behind starting 717 and what makes you keep doing it after all these years? 

Nick: Initially, I just loved the scene and was writing for a website doing show reviews and such. The idea of an awards show came about, and in fact, originally, it was going to be an online type of deal on MySpace. Eventually, that manifested into a full show at Gullifty’s thanks to friends like Kyle of Julien Fist & Leo who played in a million bands. They introduced me to Matt at Gullifty’s, and after the success of that show, I just kind of kept going like Forrest Gump. Haha. Honestly, I’m addicted to it at this point. The whole process of putting shows together, the announcement, the promotion, the day of the show—it’s a drug.

PAM. Do you have anyone else helping you with 717, or is it a one-man show? Anyone else you would like to mention? 

Nick: I’m 717 Entertainment and have been since day 1. I do have a crew of two guys right now, Sean & Reese. They are top-notch guys who everyone that comes through praises.

PAM. Is there a certain genre of bands that you book, and how do you pick which bands to bring into our area? Nick: It seems 80% is hard rock & metal, but I have had everything from Ska to hip hop to acoustic, and I just announced my first comedy show. A guy named Joe Bartnick who has been friends w/ Bill Burr and is on his podcast a lot. I’ve been doing this a long time so I’ll get offers for bands on tour. I reach out to agents a lot with ideas to bring their bands to town. It’s hard for me to say no to bands. Haha

PAM. Are you “Lovedraft’s exclusive” or will we see 717 entertainment shows at other venues throughout the year? 

Nick: I’m not “exclusive,” but Lovedraft’s is definitely home. They are doing an absolutely incredible job of growing the room & just doing so much to make it the best concert club in the area. I have other venues available such as Tourist Inn, Racehorse Tavern, Gullifty’s,(Underground Live) and I do have a show in May at The Bunkhouse in Carlisle, so there are many options.

PAM. What are some upcoming shows you are excited about bringing into the area? Any BIG news you want to share? 

Nick: The 2 biggest shows coming up are on May 2nd: Crown The Empire is at Lovedrafts & June 1st we are doing the Irockradio.me 10-year birthday Bash with an insane lineup. 10 Years, who I’ve wanted to book forever w/ Eva Under Fire, Another Day Dawns and a slew of local and regional acts. There’s a bunch of stuff coming up just to name a few bands coming to Lovedraft’s: Eyes Set To Kill, Secrets, Can’t Swim, Belmont, A Skylit Drive, Downset, Green Jelly, Smile Empty Soul plus a 2 day Woodstock Tribute. You’d have to go to www.717entertainment.com to see them all.

PAM. What advice would you give to local bands looking to get noticed or make it on your ’list of bands’ for bookings? 

Nick: Don’t be a dick. That’s the easiest advice, and it’s not a joke. Don’t oversaturate yourself, meaning don’t play 15 shows in the central PA area within 2 months of each other. Honestly though just be humble. I’d book a band who is easy to work with before most. I know there are some promoters all about $ so I’d say for them, make sure you can bring them that. Ha.

PAM. I’m sure you have some crazy stories; what are some of your most memorable shows throughout the years? Milestones? Dream bands? Etc.? 

Nick: Stabbing Westward, Ugly Kid Joe, Save Ferris and Psychotica are probably the 4 highest bucket list bands I’ve been lucky enough to work with. I surpassed the 300 show mark last year. I think Limp Bizkit and doing 500 shows are the ultimate goal. Not that those are the end but I think my full satisfaction will be met at that point. I think I’m most proud of being the first Central PA Awards Show back in 2007. The 717 Music Awards ran 8 years and the final band to play was From Ashes To New.

PAM. I know you go to a lot of festivals, Any chance we might have a 717 Entertainment multi-day super music festival in our area? Is that something you would take on? 

Nick: Actually, this is the other thing I’ve always dreamt of, an outdoor festival. I hope it happens; I really do. I’ve been talking to multiple people about it for the last year or so. I’m annoyingly picky about it, though, and that’s probably part of the setback so far. It’ll take a special team, the right location, and a lot of hours to make it happen. So, the short answer is maybe. Haha

PAM. Are you in any bands now?

Nick: Green Jelly. I’ve played with them since like 2019, I think. The first time I played with them (which was the first time I’ve been on a stage in 20+ years) was in New York, opening for Insane Clown Posse. So that was a real fun time.

PAM. Do you have a favorite band and or album? 

Nick: I’m a sucker for Limp Bizkit. Haha

PAM. Anything else you would like to talk about coming up in the future? 

Nick: Just pay attention to www.717entertainment.com. so many shows coming up plus a merch release soon as well as our VIP Concert club that should be launching this month…

PAM. Who would you like to thank? 

Nick: Thank you guys for the interview, my crew, Lovedraft’s and everyone employed by them. All-star team there. Everyone who’s ever been involved with or attended one of my shows. I like to say anyone who’s ever walked through the doors at one of my shows!! Most importantly my lovely wife.