Picayune People: Damon Beierle brings Highland Lakes hills alive with music

Damon Beirle

Damon Beierle, owner of Double Eagle Entertainment, has a passion for discovering new talent, which he showcases in local live music events put on by his company. He got his start making eclectic mix tapes and working as a part-time DJ on KBEY 103.9 FM. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Damon Beierle is the go-to man for live music festivals in the Highland Lakes, the result of cultivating an ear for the right artists and a love of music throughout his life. Combining these two assets, Beierle, who is also the Precinct 2 commissioner for Burnet County, co-founded Double Eagle Entertainment, which books up-and-coming acts for live music events in Burnet, Marble Falls, Llano, and everywhere in between.

In the past two decades, Double Eagle Entertainment has worked with more than 150 artists in different genres to produce events in indoor and outdoor facilities. The company has put on shows from Dallas to San Antonio in big arenas and helped the Highland Lakes economy by bringing in top artists for smaller, local events.

A 1996 Burnet High School graduate, Beierle became known for his eclectic mix-tape playlists filled with country, metal, pop, and other genres.

“They were different than everyone else’s,” he said. “I enjoyed all the different types of music.”

At 18, Beierle became a DJ’s assistant, learning to set up and tear down equipment. His goal at the time was to attend Texas A&M University after a stint at Blinn College. Instead, he and girlfriend Monica got married and settled in Burnet, where he bought Litco Services, a tarp repair company he has owned for 18 years.

However, music remained a passion. On the side, he worked for KBEY 103.9 FM and began purchasing sound equipment.

He co-founded Double Eagle with former partner Zack Reed, who had a barbecue pit and could provide catering. They called their new endeavor Double Eagle because the two are both Eagle Scouts and they each shot eagles while playing a round of golf together.

In 2004, as the two were just getting started, Beierle decided to see a then-unknown country singer named Aaron Watson. He really liked the music and introduced himself. They quickly became friends, and Watson headlined Beierle and Reed’s first big music event, Hot Rods and Hot Musical Festival at Rodeo Town in Marble Falls.

The event also featured Marble Falls High School graduate Stacy Barnhill and Ben Watson of the Hired Guns. Double Eagle donated part of the proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club.

Beierle realized that being a DJ and organizing a concert were not the same thing, but both were right in his wheelhouse.

“The whole process from beginning to the end, the amount of things involved in putting it together, came together without a hitch,” he said. “There are twenty things going on at the same time, and somebody is orchestrating all of that.”

The next big step came when they organized a concert for the annual barbecue cook-off in Burnet. Musical entertainment was provided by Barnhill, Watson, and Kevin Fowler.

“That was the biggest concert Burnet had ever seen,” Beierle said. “That was the seed for the Burnet Chamber to ask: ‘Who are you and how did you put on a concert? Can you help us with the Bluebonnet Festival?’”

The following year, Double Eagle staged the Bluebonnet Festival’s Saturday night street dance, which drew more than 1,000 people.

Around the same time, a new genre of country music was capturing the state’s attention. Today, Texas country music has its own charts, artists, and unique sounds. Beierle spent hours in venues at different festivals across the state and witnessed firsthand which artists were drawing crowds. He also developed a contact list of insiders who could tell him the artists on the verge of hitting the big time.

He recalled having a conversation with the agent of Turnpike Troubadours, who kept telling Beierle to book his clients. Beierle was still contemplating. After a highly successful concert, the agent emailed Beierle to tell him not to wait much longer because the musician fee was about to go up. Beierle decided to take a chance and bring them to the Highland Lakes.

Three months later, Turnpike Troubadours were charging four times more than what Beierle paid.

“They went on to become a national touring act,” he said. “That was one of the quickest rises I’d seen.”

Along the way, Reed decided to fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, so he and Beierle dissolved their business partnership while still remaining great friends. Reed now works for the Austin Police Department. Elected to the Burnet County Commissioners Court in 2018, Beierle has been training Double Eagle staff to take over many of his duties.

Music will remain a way of life for Beierle, and Double Eagle will continue to help boost the Highland Lakes economy by drawing new musical talent and their fans, Beierle promised.

“If I decided to stop doing Double Eagle Entertainment, a lot of things would go away,” Beierle said. “Each event we do is unique. It’s like its own mini-business. It’s very hard to get a business going that’s only open once a year.”

Of course, Double Eagle no longer works just a festival or two a year as the fans of the Burnet Concert Series and  now UtopiaFest and much more already know.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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