A Portland company that sells VIP concert experiences to die-hard music fans has rocked its way onto the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing private companies published by Inc. magazine.

Sound Rink debuted at No. 232 on Inc.’s 2016 list, published Wednesday. The company, launched in 2012, reported revenue growth of 1,714 percent from 2013 to 2015. Its total revenue in 2015 was about $3.3 million.

“Never in a million years would (I) have thought we would be where we are today,” said Cody DeLong, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “It’s been a ride, for sure.”

Sound Rink is one of just a handful of Maine companies to make the Inc. 500 list in recent years. Others include Auburn-based Provider Power, which was ranked No. 6 on the list in 2014, and Portland-based Vets First Choice, which was ranked No. 30 in 2012.

Sound Rink organizes and sells concert packages that include tickets to the show, meet-and-greets with the performers and limited-edition souvenirs such as posters, T-shirts and other items. DeLong said the company strives to come up with unusual mementos for its superfan customers.

“We’ve done yo-yos, we’ve done lighters, we’ve done incense (holders),” he said.


In 2014, Sound Rink attracted a major investment from Steve Reddy, owner of a well-known record label in the metal-punk scene called Equal Vision Records and a merchandising company. That investment, the amount of which remains undisclosed, has helped Sound Rink scale up more quickly, DeLong said.

The company came into existence at a time in the music industry’s history when album sales are no longer the cash cow they used to be. As a result, musicians have been looking for ways to boost their revenue from live performances, and hosting VIP events is one way to accomplish that.

Whereas a typical concert ticket might cost $30 or $40, some fans are willing to pay twice that amount for the chance to exchange pleasantries with their favorite artists and obtain an autographed poster or T-shirt.

Current and past clients include soul singer CeeLo Green, Israeli DJ and producer Borgore and a variety of punk, pop, metal and hardcore bands including Candlebox, The Wonder Years, Vanna, Escape the Fate and For Today. Sound Rink also handled VIP packages for the recent Art of Rap tour, which featured headliners Public Enemy and Ice-T.

DeLong said the company usually limits the number of available VIP tickets to 50 or 100 per show, depending on the size of the venue, to ensure that its preshow events constitute more than simply a conga line of handshakes and autograph signings. Sound Rink’s performer clients “want to be able to actually interact” with their fans, he said.

Another one of the company’s strengths is its software platform, which not only sells VIP packages but also builds fan communities around its artist clients through the use of social media. Sound Rink also hosts live chat sessions on its website to address customer questions and concerns.

DeLong said the company’s growth has come from diligent outreach efforts and industry connections. Many artists have gone on to become repeat clients. He credits Sound Rink’s staff of seven employees for the company’s rapid rise.

“A massive part of our growth is the team behind it,” DeLong said.

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