“I started off at a very young age in the entertainment industry,” says the Downtown Project’s event planner, Laurie Dorough. “My sister worked for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and my parents would force her to take me to work with her.” And it was through arena connections Dorough made at those Penguins games that she began touring with some country performers—minor ones, but, hey, it was a start.
“Things really began to take off when I started working with larger bands.” And by “larger” Dorough means the largest band there is: “I worked for the Rolling Stones for a while … doing myriad things. I can’t tell you any stories about the Stones,” she laughs. After the Stones, Dorough worked with Australia’s Savage Garden as their production and personal assistant. “[Touring] was just a great experience, and from that I went to work with … Barney.” Naturally.
“It was totally different, [going] from the rock ’n’ roll side to the children’s entertainment side, but I learned a lot.” It was Barney’s camp that then connected Dorough to the Wiggles, the Australian phenomenon that commanded the attention of children everywhere about a decade ago.
“When I first started touring with them I took them to Sea World. We did a show behind Shamu’s area, and it was in front of six people, three of whom were my sister and her two kids,” Dorough says, reflecting on the Wiggles’ early days. “It went from that to selling out 13 straight shows at Madison Square Garden—it just blew up incredibly. I was really proud.”
Inevitably, Dorough grew tired of living out of a suitcase and moved to Las Vegas 15 years ago to be with her husband and two stepdaughters, Last year, she accepted a position as the Downtown Project’s official “events guru,” booking and organizing events at the company’s 14 locations, including the Gold Spike, Place on Seventh, the Llama Parking Lot and Container Park. “The idea for Downtown Project is to bring a lot more awareness to Downtown and bring all these people here to experience the different venues,” she says.
Her past experiences taught her “just to be myself. And if I think of something that may sound crazy in my head, if I express it, it’s not.”
After working with Barney and the Stones, we can only imagine what those thoughts could be.