In April 2014, I got a chance to work at the Florida Music Festival as a volunteer. I had been looking forward to meeting the bands as well as the industry professionals who were going to be present. For the most part, I was at the sign-in table where they all came to pick up their credentials. This was a great opportunity because I met a lot of credible professionals in the music industry as well as upcoming musicians who are well on their way to becoming great household names. On the first day, I shadowed a stage manager at The Social, to learn what it takes to stage manage. In addition to this serving as a learning opportunity, I really enjoyed interacting with the different people.
I have been able to evaluate my experience and believe that this was a great networking opportunity, which I took advantage of and created lasting contacts in the business. My ultimate dream is to run concerts and festivals and as much as I was at the bottom of the food chain in this instance, I realized it takes confidence and desire to reach this dream. I met some of the people who were in charge of the event and working closely with them, on what some would consider mundane tasks, gave me the opportunity to observe and ask questions about their actual positions and how they would handle different things.
I also realize that staging the festival in the downtown Orlando area brought a lot of attention to the businesses that partnered with the event organizers. It was interesting to see how all the stakeholders are brought together by an elaborate event to achieve some business goals.
Although this was unpaid gig, I believe it was well worth it because I was able to watch over fifty bands in the span of three days. I got to meet other students with similar dreams who I believe will be exceptional assets in the industry's future. I also met the lead singer of a great band from Cape Coral. By talking to the artist, I was able to see his desire and commitment to his art. I have been following Supros and watching their music and believe they have a lot of great potential in the industry.
Through this experience and the connections I made with the organizers, I was rewarded with Universal Orlando passes. Being a newbie in Orlando, this was a dream come true. From this I realized that there are other ways of going around appreciating those who you work with in the industry. By working on the connections you have, you can make your other connections want to keep working with you. It all takes a bit of creativity.