Beauty and the Beatz is cooler than you

A rising sophomore at Woodrow Wilson High School, Beauty and the Beatz does teenage stuff. Her favorite subject is Art. She does homework. Eats family dinners. Enjoys basketball and watching magic tutorials on YouTube. Oh, and you can also hire her to DJ your corporate Christmas party, a job for which she has almost 10 years of experience.

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We all know the first big thing people want to talk about is how young you are – [15!] – but what is one other thing people should know about you right away?

I think the other biggest thing would be my creativity when it comes my music selection. I like to be diverse when it comes to music. Hip hop, electronic, reggae, all different types of music. I like to be a diverse DJ.

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Which genre is your favorite to play?

If it was totally my call I think I would still go through the genres, but I like hip-hop and electronic trap music. I like to mix them together. It brings a whole different life to the music when you mash it up.

What can people expect from you at any one of your gigs?

They can definitely expect to hear music they’ve never heard before.

How old were you when you started?

6. My parents are into music; my dad was a radio personality, mom was an interior designer. I went to events in Vegas, and plenty of rappers, poets, and DJs would come on stage and perform, and for some reason the DJ always caught my attention. I would stand behind them and pay attention to what they were doing. Then I started asking for equipment.

When did you first realize “Oh wow, I’m pretty good. I can make a career out of this”? 

When I played my first couple of gigs – my first gig was at my elementary school when I was 8. At that event people were coming up to me telling me I was doing a great job. I was DJing for two years by then; it was a great feeling having so many people coming up congratulating me, the feeling of making people dance. I wanted to keep [DJing.]

What is your favorite thing to see looking out over the crowd?

People having fun, getting along. Celebrating whatever we’re here for. If it’s a party, I want people to celebrate whatever is going on. Listening to great music, having a great time, never thinking about the negative things.

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When you aren’t DJing, what are you doing?

I love to play basketball. I love to do challenging things – I taught myself to solve a Rubik’s cube. [Her current record is 2 minutes.] I like to solve brain games, do certain things that other people can’t do. I taught myself to juggle, spin a basketball on my fingers. I do things just to figure them out.

[Speaking of the Rubik’s cube,] the reason I solved it was because my sister was able to do one side of the cube, and she was gloating about it. So, I said “I’m done,” and then I had to do the whole thing.

What is your biggest guilty pleasure music?

I like all different types of genres. When I play music in the shower I go on Pandora. Every once in a while – I don’t really listen to country that much – but there’s one song that I like to play, when I’m by myself and no one else is around, “Boys ‘Round Here” [by Blake Shelton.]

Top songs on your playlist right now?

“Desiigner” – Panda

“Higher Ground” – TNGHT

“Gage” – Throat

“Children’s Story” – Slick Rick

 

Who have you worked with before?

There are plenty of DJs I like to link up with. Trayze, I also work with producer DJs, Martin Garrix, Skrillex, Coldplay. I’m young so I like to work with younger DJs.I’m a big fan of a lot of people that I’m close to – I see their work ethic is strong. The people who are super dedicated to what they do, I look up to them.

I DJ’d the Annie movie premiere, I met Will Smith, Jamie Foxx, plenty of people at that event. I DJ’d at the White House. I met a lot of artists there for the Easter egg roll [in 2014,] including Big Sean.

If you weren’t a DJ, what would you want to be?

Before I was DJing I was into all different kinds of instruments. I started with acoustic guitar, then I got into drums – African drums – then electric guitar. I always wanted to be a musician.

Fun fact: I also wanted to be a magician! I think it’s so amazing. The magic happens right in front of my eyes, and I never notice it. Plenty of times I’ve looked up YouTube videos on how to do it, and now it’s not as magical.

What was one of your favorite gigs?

My favorite gig was when I DJ’d at the White House. [The Obamas] are pretty awesome. Michelle Obama told me she was proud of me, and President Obama told me ‘Good job.’

Any funny stories?

Before I play at any event we ask [the organizer] what type of music they want me to play. For this one event the lady who emailed my mom said it was a 90s party, so I got some 90s songs ready to go. I get to the show, and once everyone comes in the building I realize she meant the guests were in their 90s. They were asking for songs and singers I had never heard of. I had to do lots of research on the fly.

Anything else event pros should know about you and experience?

They can follow me on IG and Twitter: @theflyestlildj. I do a mini series on IG “Things DJs Hate.” [We’ve watched, and it’s funny!]

I also [speak to students] at schools, I do master classes anytime people book me for certain events where they want me to teach the kids how to DJ. We have all the equipment for that. I do it all.

She really does.

Book her for your next event!

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techsytalk LIVE 2016

NYC & back in less than 24 hours – we’d only do it for the best event ever.

techsytalk LIVE, folks! Last year Nicole & Ciera headed up north for the all-day conference and loved it so much they decided Pelonkey had to play a bigger part. This year Pelonkey was techsytalk’s official Entertainment Sponsor, Nicole gave a kickass 10-minute Pelonkey presentation, and we had a swag-filled table at which we chatted up the event prof attendees. We may not have slept, but… when in New York, right?

5:45 Wakeup call

6:45 Uber to Midtown from Harlem

7:30 Arrive & Begin table setup – We brought the swag, yo! Temporary tattoos, bumper stickers, sunglasses, cell phone adhesive pockets, info cards, and more fun stuff for a giveaway!

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We held a social media raffle – tag us in a post online & you would be entered to win – and the prize was a bag of goodies including a Pelonkey tee, notebook, varied of stickers and aforementioned swag, and an Amazon gift card! (Congrats to Regina for winning!)

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8:30 Breakfast – You guys, food was bomb. Just…so bomb. We have no photographic proof because we were too busy eating the evidence.

9:00 Attendees start arriving

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9:30 Speakers begin speaking – It was a full house! Liz King Events (lovely techsytalk host) goes all out, and this 8th year was no different. Attendees were there ready for speakers, presentations, fireside chats, case studies, and more.

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11:00 Entertainment break! – We invited our friends from Fun E Folk to take the stage and wow us with their laughtastic energy. OK, that sounds really cheesy, but they seriously did knock us out of our seats with their hilarity. [Eagle Eye here – I am very picky when it comes to comedy, and it’s very difficult to make me genuinely belly-laugh out loud, but these guys delivered.] They brought some volunteers to the stage, played a few games, and the crowd really enjoyed their energy and wit.

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12:00 Lunch – Again, no pix, but we promise we were well fed.

1:00 Speakers resume

3:00 Entertainment break! – Our second entertainment surprise of the day came in the form of BAILEN, a sibling group of folk harmony magic. I’ll let the music speak for itself. But really, if you are in the NYC area, hire these guys.

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3:30 Pelonkey Case-Study – Our fabulous CEO Nicole took the stage for a 10-minute presentation all about the ins and outs of Pelonkey. Or at least as much inning and outing she could squeeze into 600 seconds. We’re always so proud to see her up there speaking her truth and representing the company she has poured all her blood, sweat, and tears into.

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5:30 Cocktail Hour – Over hors d’oeuvres and the final wave of visitors to our table, we closed out the event in 8th place of the top RTs/Replies on Twitter, the only real goal of attending anyway… 😉

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6:30 Depart for DC – New York saw us off in style (you know how we love a good sunset/sky scape), and we left buzzed from the day instead of drained (OK, we were drained when we finally hit the pillow that night). A huge thank you to everyone involved in techsytalk (looking at you Liz King Events), and a giant Congrats to another successful event (you again, Liz). Can’t wait til 2017!

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AJ Smith to bring some “Brooklyn Nights” to DC

Please excuse my poor wordplay. It was uninspired, and I’m better than that. But, Monday…

AJ Smith. Musician. Vocalist. Songwriter. DC native. New York studied. Releasing new music, “Brooklyn Nights,” this Friday, January 15, that is going to blow you away. I’d try to describe it, but you’d probably end up with more bad puns than a real review. (#sorrynotsorry)

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1. What genre of music do you play?

Pop/Rock with a little Indie/folk influence as well.

2. How did you get into music?

I ran away from home when I was three. My parents freaked out, called 911, and I was found two doors down, sitting with my ear pressed against the window of my godmother’s basement studio, listening in on piano lessons.

I was hungry to learn, and not only piano. After watching a Yanni concert in awe when I was five, I begged my parents to let me start playing violin. Knowing the lengths I would go in order to listen to the instrument again, they obliged.

Years sped by and by the time I was 10, I was writing my own songs, recording back and forth between two tape recorders in my own primitive form of multi-tracking. I started fiddling in a bluegrass band, taught myself guitar by watching the banjo player (which is why I have such weird finger picking styles), picked up mandolin along the way, and headed off to NYU to study film scoring and concert composition. Two years into the program, I changed my tune in the professional pursuit of songwriting, studying under songwriting greats like Glenn Frey, Roseanne Cash, Phil Galdston, and more.

3. What has your music career looked like so far?

My big break came when a song I performed and co-wrote with one of my teachers at NYU went #3 in Australia. Around the same time, I had been asked to open for The Eagles (which is how I came to study under Glenn Frey) and released an Indie EP called “Dragons in the Sky” that helped me start going down the path of identifying my voice more as an artist and as a writer.

I was fortunate enough to receive scholarships from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Carole Bayer Sager based on my songwriting, so I made the non-standard music industry decision to stay in school to pursue a Songwriting/Music Theory Master’s degree at NYU. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of writing, collaborating, and touring: opening for Lindsey Stirling, Emily Kinney, and more while also headlining my own shows and performing at SummerFest, MusikFest, and other music festivals.

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4. Who are your favorite musicians to listen to?

Right now, Meg Myers and Maroon 5, though I listen to everyone and everything. I’m hugely influenced by Coldplay, One Republic, John Mayer, Mumford & Sons, and Fun.

5. Top 2 songs on your playlist right now

“Motel” by Meg Myers
“Red Eye” by Andy Grammar

6. Tell us about the new music you are releasing on January 15 and how it’s evolved from your previous work

In my last EP, I was still finding my voice as both a writer and an artist. In this upcoming release, I feel I’ve found it. Each song in the EP, which starts with “Brooklyn Nights,” centers around that journey of finding myself in the last year. It’s very emotional: falling desperately in love, hitting the road to escape the following heartbreak, and rekindling feelings with an old flame. Even apart from being recorded and mixed by a team that includes GRAMMY-winners and nominees, everything is on another level musically & lyrically and I’m counting down the days until the world can hear it.

I’ve linked up to co-produce the record with GRAMMY-winner Scott Jacoby (John Legend, Vampire Weekend) and my bassist Lloyd Kikoler. The record is mastered by GRAMMY-nominee Emily Lazar (Sia, Coldplay).

7. Where can people see you perform?

I currently split time between NYC and the DC area. My parents live in Northern VA, and since I grew up there, the show where I debut the finished music from the new EP will be in Vienna, VA at Jammin’ Java on January 27th.

Get at me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or anywhere! I’m a talkative guy and have special perks just for my followers 🙂

 

Neeks in Cancun con la Marriott!

I bet I know where you wish you were right now…

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Cancun. Am I right? Knew it.

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Pelonkey CEO, DJ Neekola was there recently as part of the Marriott’s Fearless conference… because Pelonkey’s supporters are always awesome sauce clients who host conferences on tropical islands. (Thanks to Entertainment Exchange for hooking up Neekola with the Marriott!) And cue the jealousy. Well, you can pretend you were also there by listening to the playlist of all the jams Neekola played throughout the duration of the convention. And then look at the sunshine outside and pretend it’s not going to drop to 40 degrees tonight.

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Alright, alright, DC. Just throw on your bikini and this playlist & dance around your apartment. No one will ever know.

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To JAM:

SLEDGE – Croatia Squad, Me & My Toothbrush and Peter Gabriel
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Groove Conductor’s Remix) – Daft Punk
Bright Lights (Extended Clean) – VICE Ft. Estelle
Can’t Feel My Face (Joe Maz and Adam Foster Remix) – The Weekend
We Found Love (Toy Armada Diamond Remix) – Rihanna
September (Taylor Wise Remix) – Earth Wind and Fire
Geronimo (Sunstars Remix) – Sheppard
Barbara Streisand – Duck Sauce
Thunderstruck (Shameless Bootleg) – ACDC
Uptown Funk (Neekola Disco Remix) Bruno Mars
Don’t Stop the Party – Pitbull
Bamboleo (Neekola Remix) Gypsy Kings
Malosax – Afro Mix – Stan Courtois
Fun – Mixshow Intro – Pitbull
Should’ve Been Us (Noodles Remix) – Tori Kelly
Sweet Dreams Vs. Just Dance, Lady Gaga Vs. Eurythmics
Call on Me – Eric Prydz (Neekola Remix)
I Love It – Icona Pop (Neekola Remix)
Sexyback – Scooter Remix – Justin Timberlake
Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop tip you Get Enough – Gigamesh Vs. Neekola
Dance – Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez, Party Starter Neekola Remix
What’s My Name Moombahton Remix – Rihanna
Latch Vs. What Do you Mean – Sam Smith Vs. Justin Bieber
Levels Die Young – Avicii Vs. Ke$ha
Let Me Clear My Throat – Party Favor Remix – DJ Kool
Temperature Vs. Americano – Sean Paul Vs. Yolanda Be Cool
Five Hours – Chris Brown

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To CHILLAX:

Adore – Jasmine Thompson
Dreams – Gigamesh Remix – Fleetwood Mac
Promise – Kaskade
Bondye – Never Too Much
Cream – Flyosphy – Claptone Remix
Aint Nobody Loves Me Better – Felix Jaehn Remix
One Thing (Nora en Pure Remix) – Me and My Toothbrush
Clocks – Coldplay Vs. Rythims Del Mundo, Cuba Salsa Remix
Hello (Paul Damixie Remix) Clean AXB Cut – Adele
Say My Name (Kids Want Techno Remix) Odezsa
Colors – Leo Perez
Oxas – Gamper Dadoni De Hofnar
Summer Sippin – Boehm & DVNNI
Sugar – Robin Schulz
Cold As Ice – Louie Fresco Remix
Shades of Grey (Nora En Pure Remix) – Oliver Heldens and Shaun Frank
Night – Janet Jackson
Groove is in the Heart – Gigamesh Remix – Deee Lite
Hotline Bling – Kue Remix – Clean AXB Cut – Sam Smith / Drake
Show Me Love – EDX Remix – Sam Feldt

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A good joke is priceless, so luckily Free DC Comedy Week is here!

The first time we met Wayne Manigo (co-founder of the Washington DC Comedy Writers Group with Mandy Dalton) was at the WeDC pre-SXSW party back in February. Our table was all kinds of flashy (duh), Wayne walked over, stuck out his hand, and said, “Alright then, tell me about Pelonkey!” And the rest is comedic history. Wayne is a high-energy, joke-cracking, people-meeting PelonKing. We’ve always been impressed with his enthusiasm, and now we are be impressed with his community involvement. Enter the Free DC Comedy Festival (#FDCCF)!

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The concept for #FDCCF is based on a number of Wayne’s previously successful designs and projects with the primary goal of informing the public of free comedy shows in the area. Most people know about the Improv, and the Arlington Draft House. And that’s where their knowledge ends. But there are more awesome venues and shows out there! You gotta catch ’em all…

#FDCCF’s secondary goal is to help comedians gain more exposure. Hilarious but unknown comedians are no good to us as we cannot laugh at their jokes if we do not hear them. Hosting a festival such as this one will provide those superstars with the opportunity to display their talent to a variety of audiences.

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The Festival is taking place all this week, November 16-21. All the details can be found on their Facebook page.

The schedule of events looks a little something like this:

Monday 11/16, 8pm – Jackpot Comedy Show
Monday, 11/16, 8:30pm – WDCCWG Comedy Writing Session @ Judy’s Bar and Restaurant
Monday, 11/16, 8:30pm – Pretty Funny Entertainment @ Recessions

Tuesday, 11/17, 8:30pm – Bottom Shelf Comedy Show @ Black Whiskey

Wednesday, 11/18, 6pm – WALA Trademark Workshop @ FHFG&D
Wednesday, 11/18, 8:30pm – The DC Writers Group Semi-Pro Show @ Duffy’s Irish Pub (Pelonkey will be there!)

Thursday, 11/19, 8:30pm – The Looking Glass Comedy Showcase (Pelonkey will be there!)

Friday, 11/20, 8pm – Jokes @ Judy’s Bar and Restaurant
Friday, 11/20, 8pm – Smokin’ Hot Comedy & Smoke BBQ

All of these events are – as the title suggests – FREE, so you should all go and check out some funny people saying funny things! And find our man Wayne and tell him nice things, laugh at his jokes, etc.; unless you find him at his roast, then feel free to roast him. But before you do, you should probably know some of Wayne’s background.

Wayne (with Mandy) is currently celebrating the Washington DC Comedy Writers Group fifth anniversary. “We started with five members at Duffy’s Irish Pub, and now we’re past 1,700 people” Wayne said. “We found it odd how there wasn’t a group in the DC area with a dedicated focus to comedy writing. So….we decided to create one!”

Developing a comedy community has always been important to Wayne. Prior to the DC Comedy Writers Group, he held two comedy conferences focused on helping comedians develop a career in the entertainment industry. He also created the annual “Comic Sunday Funday,” a networking event where people can learn more about the comedy resources available in the D.C. area. He attributes a huge part of his comedy education to the years he was employed at the (now-defunct) Riot Act Comedy Theater. “I received comedy advice and coaching from some of the best comedians on earth!” he said.

Wayne continues to provide suggestions to comedians with his “Addicted To Comedy” column for Stage Time Magazine.
He’s been on an Ellen Degeneres segment during Mardi Gras this year.
He is a former writer for On Tap Magazine.
As a chef he organized a cooking club that ran for three years.
An event he organized, “Quiet Party,”  was featured in the Style section of the Washington Post.

And now he brings you the Free DC Comedy Festival. Enjoy, folks!

How Not to Use Social Media to Promote Your Gigs

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Step 1: Get only one unpopular, outdated social media account, and disregard the rest of them. Instagram, YouTube, Twitter? Forget those. You want Myspace. And Xanga.

Step 2: Design your username around something vague and unprofessional, not at all memorable or catchy. And definitely include numbers. Like “hunnybunny12” or “soccerstud478,” or anything else that would’ve sold big on AIM.

Step 3: Post on said platform vigorously for two days after signing up; share everything from your breakfast toast to your pedicure to the 12 bluejays on your birdfeeder: anything that isn’t remotely related to your profession.

Step 4: Go completely silent, and stop posting for the two weeks following your marathon.

Step 5: Get a gig! Forget to post about it.

Step 6: Decide on a random Sunday two months after creating your account to rebrand yourself, and then stop halfway because you get caught up watching cat videos, leaving your Myspace only partially completed (the part that says nothing about what you do, but rather focuses on your favorite mini cupcake flavor).

Step 7: Finally, finally, remember to snap pictures during your event to post later. Get home, and realize your camera was front facing the whole time and all you ended up with was a collection of double chins.

Step 8: When clients express interest in hiring you, scramble furiously to put together some sort of EPK in lieu of sharing your social media account that could’ve served its purpose if only you had remembered to use it. Mumble unintelligibly when they ask you what your Instagram profile is.

Step 9: Live this way for five years while wondering why you’ve never received a review besides those from your mom. Who wrote hers on Facebook, by the way.

Step 10: Realize your mom has more social media clout than you. Hang your head in shame.

Don’t let your mom win Facebook. Jump on the social media train already. Your wallet will thank you. And your mom will be proud.

Pelonkey Grand Launch Video

That’s right, it’s business video time! Our grand launch video is finally here, and we would shout the YouTube link from the rooftops if we could! Since we cannot do that (roof access is blocked from our floor), you can help us metaphorically scream the web address by sharing the link with everyone you know and their mothers! (Feel free to share it across all social media networks, we’re on ’em all.)

If you didn’t make it to the launch party, you can read a full recap here. And if after reading you’re still dying to attend such a party, fear not! We plan to take this shindig to cities up and down the East Coast before moving west. Sign up for free on www.pelonkey.com to get involved & invited. And to help you manage and plan ALL your entertainment events. (OK, sales pitch over.)

Now go watch, ya silly!

Big thanks to Skipper Films for putting together this masterpiece! We think they captured the high energy perfectly, but you’ll have to watch and see for yourself…

Landmark Festival Shenanigans

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The line to get in. When doors opened at noon, the crowds flooded to the stages! Head to Instagram for that video…

Didn’t you hear us yelling from the rooftops? (Or see our snapchats on @neekola?) Pelonkey was at Landmark Music Festival with Events DC on Saturday and Sunday. We invaded their Recharge & Chill Out tent and brought DJs to spin all weekend long. Props to this fantastic partnership, by the way, as the Events DC tent was the only one to have live house DJs bringing the party to the non-stages of the festival. *Pats self on the back*

Many things happened this weekend:

The Pelonkey team ate a bunch of shaved ice and turned their tongues every color of the rainbow.

We started a massive dance party in the rain.

Nicole pushed her way to the front row of the Chromeo concert, aka her future husband’s band.

We got into then kicked out of the VIP area.

Lauren Mayberry from Chvrches made Danielle’s heart melt.

All in all, it was a DC weekend for the books. We had superstar DJs Chris Styles, Rex Riot, DJ Alkimist, DJ Neekola, DJ Dirty Hands, DJ Trayze, and DJ CYD on the decks, and they rocked the house, each and every one of them. The other artists were ya know, also great and stuff. Drake, Miguel, Wale, Lord Huron, Chromeo (obvs), Chvrches, and more. How could that lineup not bring all the DC kids to the yard?

Take a looksie at our photo diary below. And then come with us next year, ‘kay??

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Grand Launch Eats by Eco Caters

Since you follow our social media (Wait, you don’t?? We might have to suspend our friendship…) you know that our grand launch party is two days away. TWO DAYS AWAY. TWO. As in the minimum number of scoops that should be on any ice cream cone. Half the number of Oreos it’s acceptable to eat in a single sitting. You know, standard stuff.

Anyway, we’re, like, kind of excited and stuff…

And part of that excitement stems from the night’s menu that is alredy making our mouths water. Have you heard of Eco Caters? Guys. Get ready to drool all over your computer screens.

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Smoked Sous-VIde Beef Carpaccio with Pickled Summer Vegetables. Described by Chef Robert Wood as “the cleanest and lightest barbecue anyone can eat…”

Eco Caters is a full-service, organic catering company that is aimed at both crazy flavorful cuisine and eco-consciousness. Their food is made 100% from scratch, is nutrient-dense, and brought directly from local organic farms in Virginia and Maryland. They’re yummy and “green”: they minimize their impact on Mama Earth and make their client’s event an eco-friendly affair while providing a customized spread of high-end dishes. For all you sports fans, they are also the official chefs and caterers for the Washington Capitals, Wizards, and Mystics.

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Black Bean Slider with Lemon Garlic Aioli

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Safe to say, Eco Caters are the super talented chefs at the cool kids table that we all wanna hang out with. This Wednesday night, you’ll get to! We don’t wanna reveal their specially-curated menu, but if you like savory meats, exotic flavors, and marinated veggies that will make you never want another Oreo again, you’ll be satisfied, to say the least.

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A big shout out to EC and our other awesome sponsors for helping us make this a night you absolutely do not want to miss and might cause you to sulk for weeks after if you do.

See you in TWO!

Pelonkey is LIVE

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This is it, Ladies & Gentlemen, the time has comeRun, don’t walk, to your nearest Internet-compatible device, and log in to your Pelonkey profile STAT. Haven’t made one yet? No problem. Signup is easy, just like our platform.

If someone can book your talents for any kind of performance, we want you on the site. You and your band cover The Backstreet Boys in a retro three-piece jazz style? Sign up. You can make an entire jungle of balloon animals? We want you. You are a star Elvis impersonator? Yup. Get on here.

If you are planning any kind of event in need of talent, we want you, too. Your child’s birthday party, a large corporate Christmas party, a high school dance. Search our database of amazeballs entertainers and find the right fit.

Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up free, and create a user account
  • Customize your profile with high quality pictures, social media links, and a bio so you look super profesh
  • Upload your W9 (if you’re an Entertainer) & add a payment method
  • Check out the rest of the Pelonkey digs that all work to help you manage your business

We are scheduling individual calls with our users to walk them through the site, and if you would like that to be you, sign up and hit us up! Email info@pelonkey.com with any questions and be sure to read through the FAQs on the site.

This is where the fun really begins…

Happy Eventing!