Shop to the Beat

Shop to the Beat supports the economic recovery of small businesses, local musicians and neighborhoods throughout Seattle. This program matches small retail businesses with local musicians to host free in-store performances during peak shopping hours. The aim of the program is to help increase foot traffic and sales for retailers as well as provide competitive pay for musicians who were significantly impacted by the pandemic.

Are you a small retail business interested in having a FREE performance at your location?

To participate in this program, please submit the Shop to the Beat Application to share your contact information and select your preferred days, times and style of music.

Are you a local musician interested in performing at a small business this holiday season?

We are partnering with Gigs4U — a local organization that curates artists and produces live music performances in traditional and non-traditional settings — to pair up interested musicians and small retail businesses. Please visit the Gigs4U website to register as a musician. Enter the following referral code: S2B.

Apply for Shop to the Beat by December 1, 2022!  

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for Shop to the Beat, small businesses need to:

  • Be a small retail business such as a retail storefront, café or restaurant.
  • Be located in Seattle city limits.
  • Have an active City of Seattle Business License. (You can check your status at the City of Seattle Business License Database.)
  • Have no more than 50 full-time equivalent employees.
  • Have a minimum of 8’ x 8’ in store space to accommodate musicians and COVID protocols.
  • Be an independently owned, non-franchise and non-chain business.

Is there a cost to participate?

  • Participation in Shop to the Beat is free for small businesses!

How do I sign up?

  • Please submit a Shop to the Beat Application to share your contact information and select your preferred days, times and style of music by December 1, 2022.

After I submit my application, when will I hear back about hosting a performance at my store?  

  • A representative from the Office of Economic Development will contact you to confirm your responses within three business days.
  • You will then be contacted by a representative from Gigs4U to finalize performance logistics and match a musician to meet your needs.

Note: OED staff will contact you via phone with an area code of 206 or email ending in @seattle.gov. Businesses can verify the identity of the staff by calling our office at (206) 684-8090 or visiting our staff directory page on our website.

What are the eligibility requirements?

To be eligible for Shop to the Beat, musicians must:

  • Have enough material to perform two 45-minute sets.
  • Have personal instruments and backline, not including a PA (public address system).
  • Be subject to Gigs4U review of quality and professionalism in their body of work.

How will I be compensated?

  • Gigs4U will handle all contracting and compensation to musicians.

How do I sign up?

  • Please visit the Gigs4U website to register as a musician by December 1, 2022. Enter the following referral code: S2B.

When will I know if I am selected to perform?

  • After you register with Gigs4U, you will receive an automated response acknowledging receipt of your information. Gigs4U will contact you within five business days to verify your work, set up the contract and get you ready to be matched with a small business. Performances are dependent on matching you with a business.

Gigs4U will review the application information of interested musicians, select and match them with small retail businesses who signed up to participate in Shop to the Beat. The matching process will depend on the interests and application responses aligning for both musicians and small businesses. 

The Office Economic Development, Gigs4U and other partners will conduct outreach to small businesses and musicians for enrollment and placement — particularly small business owners and musicians who identify as Black, Indigenous or people of color and businesses located in underserved neighborhoods.

If you have questions about Shop to the Beat, please contact Scott Plusquellec, Nightlife Business Services Advocate, at scott.plusquellec@seattle.gov or (206) 247-4789.

Performances will begin this fall and continue through the holiday season. Please follow us on social media for updates and schedule of performances (@SeattleEconomy on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook).

The Seattle Office of Economic Development is committed to building an equitable and inclusive economy that benefits the whole city by promoting access to economic opportunities for all of Seattle’s diverse communities.

The City of Seattle encourages everyone to participate in its programs and activities. For additional questions, translation or interpretation, technical assistance, disability accommodations, materials in alternate formats or accessibility information, please contact the Office of Economic Development at (206) 684-8090 or oed@seattle.gov.