Have you ever wondered who thinks of and hosts those amazing music festivals? About who brings you your favourite artists with festivals like Rock The Shores, Phillips Backyard Weekender and Rifflandia? Well last year in 2014, I certainly did as I enjoyed the amazing shows by various talented artists at Rifflandia and so I found Atomique Productions! This production company came to life in 2000, a brain child of Nick Blasko and Dimitri Demers and has since been “Victoria B.C’s leading independent concerts company” (Atomique Productions, 2015). The office is located downtown on Yates and Douglas Street. I walk about 25 minutes to work every day and have sampled some of the finest food Victoria has to offer – Tacofino, Meat and Bread as well as Foo, they are all must try! Depending on my mood, I begin my day by taking a walk at 5am (yay for early risers) and I get to see beautiful sunrises such as this at Ogden Point.
I usually start work at 10am and I check in with Deb or Ellian to see if they have any tasks for me. After I complete the set tasks I then ask people around the office to see if they would like me to assist them. I am just going to dive right in and tell you my favourite part about working for this amazing company, the organizational culture!! It normally takes me weeks to feel like I fit within an organisation but by Day 2, I felt like I belonged. Genuine warm smiles are always on the ready as well as a helping hand. It is never “It’s not my job” but “Let me find out for you.”
If you are wondering about the connection between music festivals and tourism the answer is a resounding tourism drivers!!!! Whether its finding accommodation for artists, transporting them to and from venues, the fans that the artists attract as well as the exposure local tourism businesses get during music festivals. Think about the multiplier effect…
Now this is only what I have learned from observation but I am looking forward to conducting information interviews with the team to understand more about the role of music festivals in the local economy. My biggest challenge so far is understanding the music festival industry lingo which is quite different from that I was used to having worked in mostly hotels and restaurants but I only had to ask about a terminology I was unfamiliar with and they would explain it, other times, they just saw the look of utter confusion on my face and they would explain the terminology to me. I do believe I am catching up. I can almost hear you say, “but what about you!? What is your role in all of this!?” My official title is BreakOut West Assistant Artist Administration Intern. BreakOut West is a “four-day event comprised of a three-day music conference, a three-night multi-genre music festival, the Western Canadian Music Industry Awards Brunch and the Western Canadian Music Awards Gala” (Western Canadian Music Alliance, Inc., 2015). I believe that this is the first time BreakOut West will be hosted in Victoria in conjunction with Rifflandia no less!! My duties will include putting artists’ packages together from accommodation to accreditation. Above is a picture of a press conference that was held earlier this month to announce the festival line up.
It is fortunate that I was here to experience Rock the Shores where I was involved in similar duties which I am now referring to as my “orientation.” Speaking of Rock the Shores, I had an amazing time and definitely learned a lot. The food for Crew and Artists was catered by The Ruby – yes, the very same one that opened at Hotel Zed in 2014. I will give you a few minutes to envision how delicious it tastes, perhaps this picture will help (pssst, it’s okay to lick the screen).
I had a hard time choosing my favourite artist at Rock The Shores but I think I finally settled on Kim Churchill. I was part of artist check in where I got to meet a lot of artists and help out with Hospitality, which included working with the Hospitality Coordinator to ready their trailers and tents. For those who have worked in hotels, think of it as getting an amenity ready for a very important guest and accommodating their requests. For artist check in, I worked with an incredible team of five extremely talented individuals led by the incredible Deb whom I’m almost convinced has super powers and I am not just saying that because she is going to read it. I look forward to working BreakOut West with my team!!
Until my next blog!