Episode 1 | Music Festivals Before Covid
Updated: Jul 16
EP 1 | Behind the Scenes of Music Festival Production from The Set Up Podcast | Behind the Scenes in Music
00:00:00 Sydney: Hey everyone, and welcome to my very first episode! Each episode.,I invite you to tune in while I host a new guest to share their experience working behind the scenes in the music industry today, we will be discussing experiential production and content creation. My name is Sydney and this is The Set Up.
00:00:25 Sydney: Let me start by introducing you to my very first guests Ace Antonio, Ace is an event producer and creator of the beat stop. So excited for you to be here, and by here. I mean Across the Nation in California.
00:01:24 Ace: I Attended the X live conference and that is a conference for event professional. So it's pretty broad. You got everyone from live music to the Olympics to film festivals to spiritual marketers and Beyond. So I actually went as a content creator. It was a really awesome experience because I got to sit down with quite frankly people. I look up to so I sat down with the president of elrow, founder of Festival Squad Stephanie Rosa.
00:02:24 Sydney: Just so great to see things take off like that and especially in such a tight-knit industry is just knowing that it's a huge conference. I've heard such great things. What was your favorite part?
Ace: They were able to create an incredible list of speakers. I mean, they have people from all corners of the event and experiential marketing industry that I honestly believe that regardless of whether you are an assistant event coordinator or you are an executive producer, you found some amount of value at this conference. They had a lot of forward-thinking sessions and what I mean by that are they had a lot of sessions on things like Festival sustainability inclusion and diversity in the event industry.
00:03:24 Ace: They had a director from GoldenVoice talk about some inclusivity and diversity initiatives that they implemented. You know, I'm sitting like 40 feet from them just watching them on stage talking about how they set goals for this kind of thing. And what they went through to execute these goals. It's a very open environment at this conference that really Fosters connection and that's what I thought was the best part about it.
00:04:24 Ace: Elrow is a club party brand and their whole thing is centered on a very immersive production and theme and release back stories online leading up to the events to explain what this environment is.
00:05:24 Sydney: I would love to hear more about your background and how you got started.
Ace: I've had a musical background since I was a teenager. I have not done any other kind of work. I'm very fortunate in high school and college. I was in bands. I was the musician. So I was playing guitar singing all that stuff at this point. I still love music but I had dropped my dreams of being a musician it just yet. I just was not good enough. I don't think I can make a career off of music but I still love going to advance and then EDC 2011 was basically they've been that kind of changed everything for me. So I just it was a cathartic experience over again, but it was a different this time. It was it was it was immersive. It was more of a holistic 360 experience and something that I felt and that I could see rather than just something
00:06:24 Ace: I was booking venues tickets. This is where I kind of learned the ropes of a lot of like in the trenches things going around putting up posters like dming people on social media after college. I started working with a record label called Pacific records. I've been working on for the past 5 years and then at some point I did a few odd jobs on all these things kind of just jumbled up together until I landed a full-time event roll with UC San Diego and that's the position that I hold today.
00:07:24 Ace: Focusing on the most prominent things that we do at that school is we host the Sun God Festival, which is one of the biggest college festivals in the US. We had thirteen thousand attendees in the past. We've had Kendrick Lamar Khalid Snoop Dogg. We work with real agencies Security Consultants, like the whole nine yards. Yeah. So I'm I really enjoy it here and working at a school has its perks one of its being there are times of the year where it's slow. So I have the flexibility to freelance on top of that.
00:08:24 Sydney:That's the reason why I got into it and what's keeping me and thanks for giving us the rundown and I need to ask and I'm sure you probably get this all the time have you came into contact or have any funny stories regarding any artist.
00:09:24 Ace: An artist cancelled on the Friday morning before the event. It's just you know the last day before the event everyone's in early and everyone just went into like fight or flight mode pretty much sell. We eventually got a new headliner in like the next 24 hours. Just had to identify who was the best fit person to take on. And in this case, it was my partner as far as functionality go. So me and this person we're supposed to load in a ton of vendors that day. I had to do that on my own so that that person could just get on the phones with agencies and pretty much put out this fire and find us a headliner in the next 24 hours. So, you know, it was a it was a quick response. It definitely was not ideal.
00:10:24 Sydney: How did you make it happen in one of those scenarios?
Ace: My partner is doing a job that he didn't think he had to do and we just need to we just need to make the most of the day. I work on about 30 to 40 events in the year. Most of those are rotating and they're changing, you know, and I really enjoy that because it keeps on your toes.
00:11:24 Sydney: What are the main responsibilities that you take on?
Ace: I manage teams. My current boss told me something when I first took on this role. "You still got to zoom in tweak things like box office, marketing, sponsorship and then zoom back out to see how does that affect everything else?" Because as you know, that everything affects everything else.
00:12:24 Ace: So I have coordinated road closures, Security, box office, marketing, even the talent buying. I'd say I'm pretty much kind of done my rounds on every area of the festival.
00:13:24Sydney: I love it and actually a video series you have your own YouTube channel and you talk about Festival news and reviews. I actually recently have seen that you had a major upgrade to your studio.
00:14:24 Ace: So I'll talk about anything from Festival sponsorship, lineup, reactions. It is not always super education or super informative. For example, we did a video where we followed along a festival influencer's Halloween makeup video. There is vice and there's BuzzFeed and there's Huffington Post. There's no real brand that's doing this for music festivals.
00:15: Ace: So I'll talk about anything from Festival sponsorship, lineup, reactions. It is not always super education or super informative. For example, we did a video where we followed along a festival influencer's Halloween makeup video. There is vice and there's BuzzFeed and there's Huffington Post. There's no real brand that's doing this for music festivals.
00:16:24 Sydney: What would you say was the most difficult part about starting at your YouTube channel? And do you have any advice?
00:17:24 Ace: The biggest challenge was getting on camera. So believe it or not. I did not like being on camera at first and I think most people don't, especially talking to themselves. I knew it was a volume game, right? So I knew like we would need to put out 50 videos before the next 50. Most people are not okay with putting out 50 pieces of really of like bad content. And it's like you're not going to get better until you just start doing and putting it out. I live by this Mantra "finished is better than perfect" because as much as you plan, I guarantee something will go wrong and you could be okay with moving forward after that. I think that's also something that as an event producer that you have to overcome it and continue going through because it's inevitable.
00:19:24 Sydney:Thank you so much man. I appreciate you taking your time joining me on my very first episode of The Set Up. if you like what you hear. Please give me a follow or subscribe to stay up-to-date on all the new episodes that I will be rolling out on www.thesetupseries.com.