Longtime Portland, Ore., Promoter Mike Thrasher Has Died At 48

Mike Thrasher
– Mike Thrasher
Mike Thrasher (R) and White Stripes

Mike Thrasher, whose company Mike Thrasher Presents helped put Portland, Ore., on the map for rock, punk and rap shows starting in 1994, has died at age 48, Pollstar has confirmed. No cause of death has been released.

He made the city a booking destination for bands in the Northwest, first booking long-defunct nightclub EJ’s, and was the first to bring artists including The Killers and The White Stripes to Portland, according to the Willamette Week

He expanded into Seattle, and in 2005 acquired Portland’s Hawthorne Theatre, which became a prominent all-ages club, featuring the same indie bands, hip hop artists and comedians he’d made a name for supporting.

For a time he partnered with a young Dan Steinberg to create Steinberg/Thrasher Presents, which helped expand business for both of them in Seattle and Eugene, Ore., where Steinberg was still a college student.

In time, the two parted ways and Thrasher continued promoting in Portland and Seattle, including as talent buyer at Portland’s Hawthorne Theatre as well as its smaller Lounge; and booking shows at other venues including Roseland Theater and Holocene. In Seattle, Thrasher was talent buyer for El Corazon, and booked shows at legendary rock clubs The Crocodile and Showbox as well.

A full calendar of concerts was on Mike Thrasher Presents website at the time of his death, including bookings with Pepper, Keane, G. Love & Special Sauce, We Came As Romans, The Devil Wears Prada, Tiger Army, and Anti-Flag, among others.

A spokesman for Mike Thrasher Presents tells Pollstar that the company is “carrying on as before” despite the loss of its founder.

“The world is a less colorful place today after the passing of Mike Thrasher,” the statement from Mike Thrasher Presents adds.  “His legacy lives on with the continued operation of Mike Thrasher Presents.  The team, including talent buyer Sean Major, will be moving ahead promoting shows in Portland and throughout the NW into the future.”