From the moment I landed in Mobile Airport Alabama, my goal was to make the most out of my internship by learning all the aspects involved in creating a music festival and having a fun experience with the other interns. Josh, a returning intern to Hangout Music Festival, picked me up from the airport and explained to me the logistics of the internship–from the awesome bonding experiences among the interns to the blood sweat and tears to set up and work at the festival. Clearly, he had a fun experience because he decided to come back this year for more!
May 9th, the evening that we arrived, was a great evening to settle in and meet the other interns while getting a taste of the internship. Lily, the founder of the festival, gave us an informal tour around the beach property that is going to transform into Hangout Music Festival on May 19th. She told us about the festival and her expectations for us. It was really cool to see everything 10 days before the festival because not much was set up so we could really get a full sense of how much work goes into making the festival happen. We’ll have the opportunity to not only assist in the festival preparations, but also see its tremendous growth throughout the process. My goal is to get to know the process behind making music festivals happen because I’m interested in going into the industry.
On May 10th, our first official day, we first got the opportunity to hear the festival director describe his job to us and then we began our work in the field. Sean, the director, is a fantastic down to earth guy who basically does all the booking for the festival. In fact, he is already doing the booking for 2018! It’s crazy how far in advance you need to prepare for the festival. I’m surprised that the festival director is working on the bookings for next year when this year’s festival hasn’t even happened yet! This is useful information that I can use to improve the festival that I put on with MUSIC Matters in Michigan because we usually wait until second semester to organize the venue and book the artist for our headliner. Perhaps we can start sooner. After our morning meeting with Sean, we began our blood sweat and tears work for the festival. We unpacked boxes, assembled tables and screwed in light bulbs. The thing is, this work is necessary to set up VIP and prepare the green rooms for the artists. In fact, the founder of the festival was unpacking boxes with us. It goes to show that no job is beneath anyone, and every job is necessary to build the festival. I truly learned a lot on my first day about the behind the scenes work and felt that I was aimed in the right direction towards achieving my goal.
The evening dinner was icing on the cake to finish my first day. We went out to dinner at a burger joint right on the water. The group picture below is with all the interns. This is the only time we actually looked nice and dressed up because during the day we were drenched with sweat and full of grease in our hair, usually wearing our neon orange work vests. However, at 3:00pm, a few interns and I dressed up in costumes and drove around in our decorative golf cart, giving popsicles to all the other interns and workers so that they could have a little break and morale boost. It might seem silly, but the popsicle is life saving when it’s 86 degrees and humid. The other pictures include the Hangout sign shaka symbol and the ongoing construction of the main stage on the beach where the headliners will perform. Overall, it was a fantastic beginning to my internship because I was able to do everything towards achieving my goal—I was able to get to know the interns better and also learn a lot about the festival creation process! Looking forward to more!