While still in high school, Third String Productions founder Mike Ziemer got his start interviewing national touring bands at various venues around Deep Ellum. As he went to more and more shows, Ziemer quickly became friends with a bunch of other high schoolers that performed in “emo” and “punk” bands all around the DFW metroplex. After a couple years of getting to know these kids very well, he was asked to manage a band at his high school. The first thing they asked him to do was to book them a show at a community center in Plano, and just like that, Third String Productions was born. In the early days of Third String Productions (2004 – 2009), the company was best known for it’s monthly concerts and mini-festivals that took place at The Plano Centre, Richardson Civic Center, and other venues around the suburbs of Dallas. As Third String Productions began to outgrow the commaunity centers and suburb venues, Ziemer took on the responsibility of booking shows at The Max and later partnered with The Door, both in Dallas, to book national touring bands on a regular basis. In 2010, Ziemer brought on another local promoter, Orlando Mendoza, to help him expand into new territories around Texas. The two began with Wichita Falls and Arlington / Fort Worth and then expanded into Austin, Houston, SanAntonio, and Lubbock. Shortly after, they decided to move So What?! Music Festival from indoor venues with limited capacity to an outdoor baseball stadium. After hitting over 6000 attendees in 2013, by 2014, the festival was a multi-day event selling as many as 18,000 tickets over the course of a weekend. In 2015, Ziemer moved to Los Angeles to further expand Third String Productions. The company now partners with other promoters in California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas to produce over 300 concerts a year. Ziemer and Mendoza also run a management company called Evolve Music Management and a record label called ThirdString Records.