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!

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MES: Most Extraordinary Stars? Or…

MES: Many Excellent Successes. MES: Master Entrepreneur Supporters. (<– Hey, that was actually a pretty good one.)

MES: Metro Event Specialists, aka our homedawgs. Our peeps. A real swell group of hardworking event tycoons.

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We have introduced you to lots of heavy hitters in the events world (shoutout to our ab-FAB Pelonkey Launch sponsors!), but there’s one group we want to throw in the spotlight for a hot minute. MES holds a special place in our hearts as our good friends Max Major & Troy Francis are the ones that run it, and our CEO Nicole is on the board. Max & Troy and the rest of the MES gang have a finger on many crucial events that take place in DC, and they have been nice enough to toss us countless tips, tricks, and advice on our path to entertainment marketplace stardom (that’s a thing, right?).

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You’ve already heard a little about them through our MES Mixer coverage (we sponsored all the entertainment at their August mixer at the National Archives), but we want to urge all of you in the events industry to take a closer look. Get involved with them. They are a network of event professionals in the DMV area. They are 100% free (um, yes, really), AND they host super fun events with food and drink and talking and laughing and mixing and photo booths and fun and, well, now I’m just rambling.

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They were well-represented at our launch party, and we wanna throw ’em some love. Some mushy, mushy event lurrvvve. They are such a force in the area, and we are glad to call them partners. Get on their list, and don’t miss their next event! No, don’t miss it. Don’t do it. Don’t make us come over there…

Stone Driver steers into our hearts… and the National Archives

Let me break it down for ya: One live band + Roaming performers + Open bar + Close vicinity to some seriously important historical documents = A chance to party all night long with the Declaration of Independence. ROCK ON

The August MES Mixer will be held at The National Archives this coming Wednesday. The Archives is a pretty sweet place, no? Well, we’re about to spice it up. With music. Rock music. Echoing through the halls and reverberating off The Constitution. Enter Stone Driver.

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The band is made up of members Chad Lesch, Tim Boyer, John Gossart, and Dan Epley, and in their own words, their music is “meaningful, relevant, and real.” It has taken them to venues across the area and featured them in media outlets around the world. Next in line to hear the crooners is the National Archives. Talk about a prominent US stage.

Besides knowing them personally (whaddup, 1776!), we also know their music. In fact, it was the soundtrack to Nicole & Danielle’s SXSW road trip. And it is good. It makes you wanna just, get down and jam, man. I mean, they categorize it as Space Grunge. That’s definitely something you want to listen to, right?

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They’ve been supporters of Pelonkey from the beginning, and we are oh-so-proud to feature them as our hard-working, hard-rocking live band entertainer of the week. (And after Wednesday, we promise they’ll become the entertainer of your hearts.)

Have you RSVP’d to the MES Mixer yet? Why would you want to miss the chance to party with Stone Driver & all our other awesome performers? Huh?? Why?! Why would you do that?!

See ya there 😉

Pelonkey Board, BAM, & Partners celebratory happy hour!

On Tuesday, our wonderful Pelonkey team celebrated our amazing new tech partnership with a fun come and go happy hour! BAMtech members were able to meet and interact with our amazing Advisory Board, partners, and lawyers.

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The whole team had a blast making friends! Pelonkey’s partners the Beat Refinery DJ school and Heist were there to sip in the celebrations!

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Our amazing CEO DJ Neekola made a toast to a glorious future where Pelonkey will disrupt the beans out of the events and entertainment industry!

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We are beyond thrilled to welcome BAM on to the Pelonkey team, and we can’t wait to make this app a success together!

We spy a Pelonkey ninja at the 5th Anniversary MES Masquerade mixer!

Modified from Ciera Gallub‘s post on DJ Neekola’s blog on November 6th, 2014.

Being keen as ever, Pelonkey CEO DJ Neekola hopped around the Metro Events Specialists 5th Anniversary Masquerade party without anyone knowing who she was until her reveal!

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The MES event did not disappoint! Taking place at the beautiful Carnegie Library at Mt Vernon Square, the venue was completely decked out for the occasion.

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Beautiful lights and draping landscaped the rooms and halls, and strange but brilliant masked creatures turned up around every corner, making the night take on a mythical vibe!

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Neekola had an incredible time munching on tasty little treats and morsels, dancing to the band, enjoying a libation or two from the open bar, getting her picture snapped left and right from the Umbrella Syndicate, socializing with friends, and networking Pelonkey with the best professionals the DMV events industry has to offer.

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Here’s to the next amazing MES mixer and five more spectacular years!

Digital DC teams up with Pelonkey for the Summer Kickoff Reception at Capitale!

Last month, Pelonkey provided two of our awesome DC DJs, DJ Costi and DJ Hi Def, to mix and mash up some super dope beats for Digital DC‘s Summer Kickoff Reception!

Hosted by Carlos Gray, Mayor Vincent Gray‘s son, the event brought together awesome people from the DC government, including 1776 mentor Erin Horne McKinney!

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Starting off the night was Pelonkey’s DJ Costi, feeling out the crowd with some upbeat lounge and house music. Halfway through, DJ Hi Def kicked into club mode, mixing in some hip hop and a little modern house. What a great vibe from the two of them!

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Capitale proved to be an excellent space for the networking party, which consisted of NFL Pro Sports, startups (mostly from WeWork, another event sponsor), and real estate members.

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St. Louis Rams Safety, Rodney McLeod, was in attendance with a few of his football buddies, attracting quite a crowd!

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With Lulu’s ice cream also in attendance sharing the delicious love, it was quite a successful event all around!

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Pelonkey was happy to be a part of the Summer Kickoff Reception!

Pelonkey Board Member Spotlight: Victoria Michael

Our lovely Pelonkey Advisory Board member, Victoria Michael, is one busy lady! Not only does she serve as our fabulous public relations member for Pelonkey, Victoria also owns her own boutique PR company, VM Public Relations, that caters to all sorts of fun companies! Every client is a new adventure for her.

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On top of owning her own company, Victoria is also currently on the board and various committees for multiple organizations, including the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Association, Washington Humane Society, the Make a Wish Foundation, Save the Children, the Gio Gonzalez Foundation, Second Chance, the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, Becky’s Fund, Knock Out Abuse, the list goes on! Victoria has been on over 100 board/committees over the past few years.

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All of this expertise makes her an astounding Pelonkey Board member! Victoria thinks Pelonkey will help small businesses and artists attain some of the common support that all big businesses have at their fingertips, all in one easy-to-use format. Pelonkey will expand to many industries, beyond our current focus on the DC DJ scene. Victoria’s best skills are her ability to network, build brands, and create exposure for those brands. This is why her main role is to get the word out about Pelonkey and garner as much awareness for the brand as possible.

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Outside of work, Victoria loves to travel, try new foods, and indulge in sports! Growing up, she was a big football fan, but now she really enjoys all sporting events – her new favorite being baseball. Our hometown Washington Nationals is her favorite team, and Vicotira is a PR consultant for them! She has worked with all of our favorite home sports teams in some capacity, including the Washington Capitals, Redskins, Wizards, Kastles, and DC United. She loves them all! Secretly, Victoria roots for the Buffalo Bills when our home team isn’t playing!

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A very patriotic lady, Victoria Michael’s favorite bird is the eagle, and if she could only sit in one type of chair for the rest of her life, it would be a lounge chair. She loves the tropical beach life! And we love her! Pelonkey is proud to have Victoria Michael on our Board for all of our PR support.

CEO, DJ Neekola, Represents Pelonkey for the June #MESmixer at Malmaison in Georgetown

Last month, DJ Neekola went to the Metro Event Specialists‘ June mixer at the beautiful Malmaison in Georgetown!

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Representing her startup, Pelonkey, Neekola was able to network with some of the best in the event and entertainment industry.

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Partnering up with the Meant 2 Live Foundation, Metro Events has started #MEScares by raising donated clothing and accessories for inner city youth as they join the city’s workforce, benefiting House DC.

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It was a wonderful mixer, as always, and this time around was hosted by JBC Events. Neekola walked away with multiple new contacts from her great networking!

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Look for updates on #MESworks as well, which are workshops to help companies boost their events business evening more by taking classes taught by experienced industry professionals. Hope to see you at the next #MESmixer!

DJ Neekola Represents Pelonkey for Tech Cocktail Week in Vegas!

Yes, our lovely, wonderful DJ Neekola will be showcasing her tech startup, Pelonkey, in Vegas this week for Tech Cocktail Week, hosted by Tech Cocktail! After sending in an application against other startup companies across the nation, Pelonkey – based out of the 1776 DC startup incubator – was chosen to come to Vegas to network with the most promising companies around. Not only will she meet other like-minded entrepreneurs as passionate as she is about her company, Neekola (aka: Nicole Gallub) will also be able to network with investors, angels, venture capitalists, successful senior entrepreneurs, speakers, mentors, and other great techies at this conference!

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Frank Gruber with Tech Cocktail will be doing book signings for his newly released book, Startup Mixology. Also speaking throughout the week will be Jen Consalvo with Tech Cocktail, Saul Colt with Kinetic Cafe, Brad Wisler with SproutBox, Eric Olson with Origin Ventures, Andy White with VegasTechFund, and Amy Jo Martin with Digital Royalty. As if that weren’t enough, Neekola also applied to pitch for the Startup Showcase on Friday and was accepted! Pelonkey will be seen and heard by hundred of the right kind of people, for a one minute pitch time to fire out how awesome this events and entertainment app is! Go Neekola!

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We have big plans for Pelonkey, and Tech Cocktail Week is a great opportunity to continue to spread awareness and keep the good press going! Neekola is excited to network with other potential partners and mentors, as well as meet other awesome entrepreneurs throughout all the seminars, expos, tours, and classes that Tech Cocktail offers throughout the week while Pelonkey explores the playground that is Vegas. Bon Voyage, Neekola! We know you will do great things with Pelonkey and make the most out of your Tech Cocktail Week experience!