In partnership with AC Entertainment, this summer the School of Media Arts launched the exclusive Ohio University Music Industry Masterclass. This internship-based course provided Scripps College of Communication students the opportunity to work with festival production teams to assist in the operation of events at two major east coast music festivals: Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN in June and Forecastle Festival in Louisville, KY in July. Created by MDIA Associate Professor of Instruction Josh Antonuccio and AC Entertainment Vice President of Festival Operations James Shinault, Ohio University students were able to work on-site and backstage, both before and during each festival, assisting various operations teams, and learning first-hand about the staff responsibilities that enable a large-scale music event.
Additionally, students participated in backstage Q&A sessions with senior staff leadership and attended panel discussions with performing artists from each festival, including Haley Williams of Paramore, Hozier, members of Walk The Moon and My Morning Jacket, Caamp, and the Mattson 2.
“This course represented a significant opportunity for Ohio University students to learn in the environment of their industry, working with production teams, all the while building their professional portfolio and developing invaluable networking connections,” said Antonuccio. “Bonnaroo sold out at 85,000 people this year, and our students were an integral part of helping to make the festival programming a success. Their classroom was in the epicenter of some of the best music festivals of the summer.”
Outside of their work responsibilities, Ohio University students were granted VIP and side-stage access to watch performances from some of their favorite artists, including Childish Gambino, The Killers, Kasey Musgraves, Odesza, Cardi B, Anderson. Paak, and The Lumineers, to name a few.
“This trip was better than anything I could have imagined and I grew so much as a person, said MDIA Music Production/Recording Industry major Mikayal Shuyler, who worked with the artist relations team at Bonnaroo. Through that role, she was able to connect with leaders in artist management and festival promotion. “I will forever be grateful for this opportunity to immerse myself in doing what I love at such a young age and gain all of these amazing connections that will aid me in my future,” she shared.
OU MDIA student Caity Steigmeir, who is also a performing DJ, found her experience at Hayley Williams’ Plaza stage to be memorable. By the end of the week, she was invited to DJ a live set to a packed audience, closing out Bonnaroo on the final night. “This trip showed me that there is a lot more that goes into festivals than I would’ve ever thought. It made me realize that I want to put my all into this industry and hopefully make it big some day and without this trip, I would not have made connections all over the US that could potentially lead to my full-time job,” she said.
Other students agreed that the course was significant for them as they enter the music industry. Lindsey Lemen shared that “throughout this internship I was given so many opportunities to connect with people in the industry I will be working in. This internship has been my favorite life experience so far. It was a big confirmation to me that I am on the right track, and that I have what it takes to work in this industry.” OU MDIA student Leigh Plucinsky agreed, saying that “this internship experience was exactly what I had hoped for, and more. Between my experience at Bonnaroo and at Forecastle, I feel like I was able to see a great variety of the music festival industry and truly see it for what it is.”
For information about the 2020 Summer Music Industry Masterclass, visit the Office for Global Opportunities at https://www.ohio.edu/global/goglobal/.
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