Festival Fridays: Industry Leader Spotlight

Industry Leader Spotlight: An inside look at the minds behind the most extraordinary festivals around the world.

  1. How did you get your start in the music festival industry?

Being hired on to help with operational guidance and then being put in charge of vendors on site, a new initiative.

  1. What advice would you give to someone trying to get their start in the industry? 

Do not have an ego, be energetic, willing to help, and most of all…persistent

  1. Who’s your favorite artist you’ve worked with?


  1. Favorite performance you’ve watched?

 Simfonik EDC 2019

  1. Who is on repeat for you right now?

Lo-Fi beats

  1. Festival or concert accessory you can’t live without? 1. As a crew member 2. As an attendee 

1. Redbull

2. Water

  1. Besides the music, what is the most interesting offering you’ve seen at festivals (i.e. yoga, talks, DJ lessons)?

Art (Pixel Forest)

Photo credit: www.dancemusicnw.com
  1. Biggest failure/lesson you’ve learned?

 Submit advances on time or early

  1. What are you most excited about when it comes to the future of this industry? 

 Reopening and culture cross-pollination

9 Black Musicians Who Changed The World

American music is black music. In a recent interview with Latina, Bruno Mars breaks it down further. “When you say ‘black music,’” he begins, “understand that you are talking about rock, jazz, R&B, reggae, funk, doo-wop, hip-hop, and Motown.” According to Mars, “black music means everything” and we agree.

June happens to be African American Music Appreciation Month — a celebration created by Jimmy Carter in 1979. With nationwide protesting and our foot on the gas pedal to fight for equality, it only seems natural that we celebrate a few stars who paved the way for the last century.

Photo credit: © Yousuf Karsh | http://karsh.org
  1. Marian Anderson (1897 – 1993)

After facing consistent racial adversity through her early career, Marian Anderson performed at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 to a crowd of 75,000 and a radio audience in the millions, which has been named a watershed moment in civil rights history. She then went on to become the first black person to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in 1955. Listen Here.

(Sheet Music Direct)

  1. Sister Rosetta Tharpe (1915 – 1973)

Sister Rosetta Tharp is widely known as “The Godmother of Rock & Roll”. She rose to popularity as the first recording artist to use heavy distortion on her electric guitar, coupled with gospel lyrics. She is cited as an influence to many early rock-and-roll musicians, including Little Richard, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, and Chuck Berry. Listen Here.

(Sheet Music Direct)

Photo credit: Norman Seeff | raycharles.com
  1. Ray Charles (1930-2004)

Ray Charles is widely regarded as the musician who combined soul and country to create a new sound of blues and R&B. Charles became one of the first black musicians to be granted full artistic control by a mainstream record company while he was with ABC. Charles is a 17-time Grammy Award winner among many other accomplishments. Listen Here.


  1. Aretha Franklin (1942 – 2018)

Aretha Franklin, “The Queen of Soul”, will go down in history as a remarkable musician, as well as a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Her hit song “Respect” served as an anthem for both the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Rights Movement. In 1987, she was the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. Listen Here.

(Sheet Music Direct)

Photo credit: washingtonpost.com
  1. Jimi Hendrix (1942 – 1970)

Jimi Hendrix pioneered new music technologies and redefined the role of guitar in popular music. His unique sound, extraordinary technique, and staggering stage presence influenced many guitarists that came after including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Prince, and Joe Satriani. Listen Here.

(Sheet Music Direct)

  1. James Brown (1944-2006) 

James Brown is the most sampled artist of all time. Without him, there would be no hip-hop as we know it today. Brown is known as the creator of funk, and his rhythmic tracks have directly inspired rap artists from the 80’s to the present. Listen Here.


Photo credit: themighty.com
  1. Stevie Wonder (1950 – )

Stevie Wonder was a child prodigy – he signed with Motown records at 11 years old where he mastered the piano, harmonica, drums and bass. He was an early pioneer of electronic sound, which influenced pop, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, and rock. Since then, he’s had an abundance of influence in the civil rights movement in the United States and the abolishment of the Apartheid regime in South Africa. Listen Here.

(Sheet Music Direct)

  1. Pharrell Williams (1973-)

An influencer with an eclectic wardrobe, Pharrell is a multi-faceted musician, producer, philanthropist and civil rights activist. He is known as a long-time supporter and advocate of all human issues including women’s rights, youth education, climate change, and racial equality and has invested millions of dollars in non-profits. His song “Happy” which says that all people have a right to the pursuit of happiness, became a “protest anthem” in countries like Ukraine, Tunisia, Moscow, and the Philippines. Listen Here.

(Global Citizen)

Photo credit: essence.com
  1. Beyonce (1981-)

When Beyonce dropped her sixth studio album Lemonade which featured songs like ‘Freedom’, it was hard not to feel the momentous shift in her career. If you want to know how she has spoken out about civil rights, look no further than her Super Bowl 50 performance. Bey released ‘Formation’ ahead of game day which featured powerful video clips then proceeded to make a statement during her halftime performance with references to the Black Lives Matter movement, Malcolm X and the Black Panthers. She continues to speak out publicly on all platforms as an advocate for equality and justice. Listen Here.


This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few of our favorites. While this list shines a positive light on our progress as a society, there is still more work to be done. We will be taking the next several weeks to look inward to see where we can do more as individuals and as an agency with a voice. If you have suggestions for us, we are here to listen. Feel free to shoot us a note.

Want to join the conversation but not sure where to start? Here are a few resources where you can learn more: 




Festival Fridays: Industry Leader Spotlight

Industry Leader Spotlight: An inside look at the minds behind the most extraordinary festivals around the world.

  1. How did you get your start in the music festival industry?

Justin Moss!  We had know each other for years (I tutored his wife in college), and he knew that I was looking to switch things up in my career.  I was working in Logistics but really was interested in festivals and events. He recommended me for a job at a local production company and completely changed my life!

  1. What advice would you give to someone trying to get their start in the industry? 

Make sure you’re developing relevant skills and keeping an eye open for new opportunities – navigating this industry can be tough, and you need to be as prepared as possible.  There’s a huge range of things to learn, but OSHA or FEMA certifications (available online!), CPR or other first aid, CAD, Adobe Creative Suite, database management, forklift/aerial lift certs are all helpful. The rest you have to learn the hard way – find people who are willing to teach you and listen, show up on time and have a good attitude. 

  1. Who’s your favorite artist you’ve worked with?

Foo Fighters – Dave Grohl is as great as everyone says he is.  He has left served lunch in the catering tent before.

  1. Favorite performance you’ve watched?

Probably Planes Mistaken for Stars in a little dive bar in Denver – it was a reunion show and every single person knew every single word and it was just a perfect night.
Second place is maybe Beyonce at Coachella. 

  1. Who is on repeat for you right now?

Dermot Kennedy, the Mountain Goats and Abrams 

  1. Festival or concert accessory you can’t live without? 1. As a crew member 2. As an attendee 

1. Good boots – if your feet are uncomfortable everything else will just suck.  Buy a good pair – Red Wing is probably my favorite brand.

2. Tie between hand sanitizer and sunscreen. 

  1. Besides the music, what is the most interesting offering you’ve seen at festivals (i.e. yoga, talks, DJ lessons)?

Helicopter rides are always a fun one.  Or backstage tattoos?  Everyone is doing goat yoga now which is super cute and a lot less permanent than a tattoo. 

  1. Biggest failure/lesson you’ve learned?

Trust, but verify.  And when I saw verify, I mean double check every last detail.  Just because you watch your fence company start to pound poles to secure the fence line it doesn’t mean they finished – and trust me, this becomes relevant when it gets windy.

  1. What is something that you think attendees might not know about planning a music festival?

I think most people are under the impression that music festivals are huge moneymakers. . . and wow do I wish that was the case.  I definitely see why people would think that, with ticket prices being as high as they are, but straight off the top about half that money is going to the artists.  Which makes sense, as that’s why we’re all there.  Then comes all the unsexy but extremely important things like insurance, keeping police and medics on call, traffic control, bathrooms, fencing, power. . . and that’s all before you get to do anything fun like build a stage.  It can take years for a festival to start making money, which is why there can be so much turnover.

  1. What are you most excited about when it comes to the future of this industry? 

This is an industry of incredibly creative, crafty people.  They are endlessly adaptable so when it’s safe, I know we’re going to see some incredibly cool things that people have been busy working on. 

maintaining brand authenticity ebook cover page

Festival Fridays: Live Streams This Weekend 5.22

Which Music Festival Should You Go To?

No matter what type of music you like, there is something special about gathering and enjoying it with other people – sometimes thousands of them. Festivals bond people together like no other. Whether you’re running from one set to another, testing out the delicious food vendors, or trying to find Jessica who you lost in the beer garden, there’s nothing like music festival atmosphere. Take this quiz to find out where to find your people:

Festival Friday: The Value of Experiences

Across industries, the refrain echoes: Millennials value experiences more than goods. The numbers support this claim—JP Morgan reports that “they pay more for travel, entertainment, and dining than their parents and grandparents do.” Far from the worn-out tropes about avocado toast, the Millennial cohort is quickly becoming the predominant generation for buying power. And festivals remain a hot ticket item for experience-collecting Millennials, even as their average age and budgets increase.

Experiences make all people happy, and Millennials represent the first generation in modern times that is not projected to have a material increase in economic prosperity relative to their predecessors. That has led the generation to embrace and redefine the idea of what makes a life rich, leading to a wholesale shift in spending habits. This change in values is closely correlated with the rise of apps and services that allow users to share rides, apartments, and many other commodities that used to require ownership. Ownership is less popular than ever, while shareable experiences are valued at all-time highs. Forbes recently wrote, “Why do millennials value experiences over things? Because it makes them happy. And they aren’t wrong—studies have found that spending money on experiences brings more lasting joy than spending money on things. Experiences are also more shareable, which is important to younger generations.”

Rise of the experience economy. 

The experience economy has radically redefined the relative value of experiences in relationship to long standing economic indicators. Millennials buy homes later and less often than their parents and are far more willing to spend money on experiences. As a result, experiences speak more to the Millennial consumer than traditional aspirational advertising or milestones. 

The Pineapple Agency knows the value of a shareable experience, which is why we have created unforgettable moments like the Under Armour Drone Drop in San Francisco and Hansen’s Fresh Coat Mural Festival in downtown LA. It’s easy to assign a price to a banner ad or television commercial, but the value of people choosing to spend their time and share their experiences on social media is truly priceless. By delivering limited-edition Steph Curry sneakers from drones in San Francisco, The Pineapple Agency helped Under Armour generate 16 million social media impressions and 119 million media impressions by giving away 30 pairs of sneakers. Those metrics are unheard of in a pre-experience economy marketing landscape.

Under Armour Drone Drop

Festivals are the epitome of experience. 

In the experience economy, festivals rank at the top of the ladder. Starting with music festivals like EDC, Coachella and Bonnaroo which quickly ignited a global boom in music festivals, we have now seen a boom in immersive multiformat festivals that include everything from yoga classes to cooking workshops to fire performances. Music festivals combine the huge reach of beloved musicians with all-day or weekend-long attendance, which creates a need for everything from food to places to rest, relax, and engage in between the concerts. The HP Antarctic Dome at Coachella is an immersive theater that combines radical infotainment with a much-needed air conditioned respite from the desert sun. In a setting where a place to sit and cool off is worth its weight in gold, suddenly a branded experience feels more like a gift than an interrupt advertisement.

Music festivals matter to Millennials, and instead of ridiculing the shift in values across demographics, we should spend time understanding the sea of change in how a vibrant life is defined. Business Insider reports,  “nearly one-third (32%) of millennials who attended a music festival in the past year took on debt to do so, a new report from CompareCards by Lending Tree found.” Viewing experiences as valuable as home or automobile ownership is a way of life for many Millennials, which means that brands can create high engagement levels by adding value to festivals they are already attending or providing their own immersive experiences.

Music festivals are cultural currency. 

Music festivals are ingrained in modern culture. Coachella is a household name, and many of its competitors are, too. Not only does this mean that a branded experience at Coachella is the new “Super Bowl ad,” it also means that an entire cohort is primed to highly value unique experiences. Whether your brand is looking to pull off an unforgettable installation at EDC Las Vegas or wants to create its own experience to support a new campaign, The Pineapple Agency knows that you can’t put a price on a memorable experience. Thankfully, we know how to deliver high value experiences.

Festival Fridays: How fans can help artists right now

We’re all experiencing this time of uncertainty and hardship together, and we’re particularly aware of the effects COVID-19 has had on artists and music industry professionals. Concerts we’ve been looking forward to have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely and  the financial burden is hitting everyone, from musicians to producers to venue employees. We’ve seen an enormous amount of support and understanding within the music community, but many of us are wondering how to support our favorite artists.

Here are some ideas for fans that are seeking ways to help:

  •  Buy music and merch – If you bought a ticket to a performance that has since been cancelled, consider offering the amount that you would have paid to buy records or merchandise. Not only do you get to support the artist, but you also get to spin a new record or have a new shirt or coozie to add to your quarantine outfit rotation.
  •  Attend virtual performances – Stay connected with the artists that you love. We are in the midst of what some people say is a “music streaming renaissance,” with many artists taking requests live on the air as they play for virtual tips.  Some artists are even doing tutorials on how they make music or sharing unprecedented looks into their creative processes. 
  • Keep listening – Musicians rely on touring for the majority of their income. Stream and buy their music and play it often; every stream or song purchased adds up! 
  • Share the music you love – The visibility helps artists a lot. Word of mouth goes a long way. From forwarding playlists to your friends to sharing that one meme of Bill Clinton with four records around him, now is the most important time ever to turn all your friends on to your favorite band. 
  • Donate – Many communities have set up fundraisers for this industry. If you can, throw a few extra bucks towards a venue or artist that had to cancel shows. Lots of our favorite musicians, bartenders, and producers  are completely without their normal source of income right now.

Support the musicians who support you

For so many of us, music is what accompanies us on our commutes, provides soundtracks to our dance parties, and makes us feel understood. While musicians occupy a larger-than-life place in our hearts, they work incredibly hard to make a living and create the art that we treasure so much. Find your favorite artists on social media and keep an eye out—they’re more than likely playing live shows from their homes!

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Festival Fridays: Live Streams This Weekend 4.10

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Festival Fridays: Live Streams This Weekend 4.3