So, I’m always being asked how I scored the job I have now which is production office manager for a music festival promoter. This job can make my life amazing and hell at the same time but I wouldn’t trade one second of it for anything else. So I figured I would share with you how I scored my, for now, dream job.
I volunteered. Yeah, that’s right. My volunteering at music festivals started off as me just trying to say thank you to the promoter for giving my college radio station 10 pairs of tickets to giveaway but it turned into so much more. So, I was free labor for 3 festivals before I broke the barrier into getting paid. The first festival I carried water to vendors, scanned tickets and strung lanyards, in the heat, in Florida. The second festival I helped with catering and the team started to notice that I was a hard worker. When they saw me come back the following year I was put with hospitality and I worked my butt off. My original shift was only 4 hours long… I stayed for 14. It was worth every minute because I got a call in the early summer asking if I was available for a week and a half in September to fly out and work a festival out in California. Since September 2013 I’ve worked up from hospitality assistant to head of hospitality to now production office manager. Which is pretty awesome considering I was only doing 3 festivals a year at the time. Now that number has increased to 7 festivals for 2015 with the possibility of 2 more being added last minute.
I hear the same thing over and over at these shows. “You are no joke the nicest person we’ve dealt with on this run” or “wow you’re so sweet, thank you so much.” Here’s the thing in my position, or any industry really you need to be personable. I smile, I make people feel welcome. When these bands are on the road for months at a time sometimes all they want is someone to show a tiny bit of extra love towards them. Small gestures can make your day amazing. As can going the extra mile and taking the extra step. At the end I’ll share a couple of my favorite stories.
Don’t be afraid to volunteer, or put in extra hours. Show commitment and the willingness to help where it’s needed. Carry that attitude with you. Once you get the job, don’t drop it at the door. Keep it up and work hard.
My 2015 Festival Motto is “have courage and be kind.”
My two favorite stories: The first, we had a smaller band playing and on their rider it had asked for a pack of black socks. When I had emailed their tour manager letting him know that was beyond the scope of what we provided he replied very sweetly and said it was no problem that they were just always loosing theirs or they were always dirty so it never hurt to ask. Well when they got to their dressing rooms I had 2 pairs of socks in little bags for each of their bandmates and crew. While it was only 7 people total their reaction was priceless. I must have been thanked about 20 times and since they’ve been on 4 other shows with us every time they tell me how grateful they were that I did that small gesture for them.
The second, I had a really angry tour manager storm into my office. Upset their room hadn’t been iced down and that hospitality wasn’t waiting on their hand and foot. Not like we didn’t have 22 other bands to take care of as well. So I killed him with kindness. I put a big smile on my face and ensured him a big part of my job is to make sure his day goes smoothly. By the end of the night he was bragging about our festival being easily the best one he’d ever been to. Best staff, nicest and most helpful.