A University Student’s Quick Guide to Jobs in the Music Industry

 

6944852583_b23bbd037c_b
Photo by: Victoria Walenga

 

You’re fresh out of college, or in your senior year and you have to start worrying about finding a job post-graduation. You know you want to work within the music industry, but you’re torn between what capacity. This guide is here to quickly inform you on some of the jobs that are present within the music industry in hopes of guiding you to your dream job.

  • Tour manager: 
    • Tour managers are in charge of scheduling, managing transportation for the band and crew, and some financial aspects of the artist’s time while out on the road. The main purpose of a tour manager is to ensure everything runs together seamlessly — along with communicating with promoters and those who work at the venues.
  • A&R coordinator:
    • There are many different job variations within the A&R field, but basic duties include: finding talent for the label, overseeing the completion of the signed artists’ albums, all while maintaining budgets for artists, etc.
  • Promoter: 
    • A promoter typically works for a venue or an independent agency that focuses on organizing and booking talent for shows. A promoter typically focuses on getting bodies into the door, securing the venue, and marketing the event to the public. This is usually done through social media, flyers, videos, and other tactics.
  • Booking agent & Talent Buyer:
    • Similar to a promoter, a booking agent focuses on setting and negotiating deals and planning tours for bands on their roster — or negotiating deals to get a tour to come to a certain venue.
  • Publicist: 
    • A publicist focuses on certain bands and carefully filters the information that is released to the public. Along with handling press conferences, press releases, and typical tour information. This job is more focused on PR and the impression of the band that is perceived by the fans.
  • Event Photographer:
    • An event photographer can be freelance, work for an independent agency or a label. The purpose of an event photographer is to capture every moment of the tour in order to engage the fans and provide documentation that can later be used as tactics.

These are some of the most popular jobs in the music industry today. Sadly there isn’t a step-by-step guide to assist you in landing one of these jobs. Hard work, determination, and knowledge of the industry can position you in front of your peers who are seeking the same position.

 

Music Industry Internship: My Experience as an Amateur

 

photo-jun-23-2-31-15-pm
Photo by: Victoria Walenga

Yes, I know it sounds cheesy, but from the time I was born my parents engulfed me in the valuable lessons, music had to offer. From classical to jazz, alternative, rock, pop, metal and so much more I have been able to curate my own values and perceptions of life through these genres. Music swiftly guided me through my painful teenage years and inspired me throughout my long duration in college. I can truly say I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the continued inspiration I receive from music and the industry.

To clear up some confusion, I was never considered talented when it came to playing instruments or writing poetry. I’ve had numerous attempts — all ending in frustration and disappointment. But after some careful consideration, my love for music doesn’t have to be put to a halt because I’m not “musically” talented.

I’ve always been the one who will get the job done no matter what it takes. I take genuine pride in my organizational skills, communication skills, and my perseverance. Through this moment of discovery, I soon realized working within the music industry was what I truly longed for.

 

photo-jun-25-9-31-37-am
Photo by: Victoria Walenga

Summer of 2016 I was finally given one of the biggest opportunities of my college career and was offered an Advertising and Marketing Assistant Internship at The Intersection in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Intersection was a venue I praised when I was younger, they are well known for booking the best shows in the West Michigan area. At first, I was very timid and reserved in the office — but once I was put on tasks I was set to go. Many of these tasks included: Spreadsheets, running errands, decorating, ticket pick-up and drop-off, making calls, organizing, making small improvements to green rooms, assisting artists at load-in etc.

After a few weeks in the office, my supervisor then gave me the opportunity to get in contact with a woman who was recruiting students to be involved in an internship at Electric Forest Music Festival.

After a few weeks in the office, my supervisor then gave me the opportunity to get in contact with a woman who was recruiting students to be involved in an internship at Electric Forest Music Festival. A few weeks later, I was planning the details of my ten-day internship as a Forest Production Intern.

 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Photo by: Victoria Walenga

Before Electric Forest I was very skeptical of the EDM festival industry, and what it would entail. Some of my tasks included: Making documents, checking in volunteer workers, cleaning the forest before the gates opened, assisting artists with their art installations, handing out flyers, walking the forest and checking on installations, assisting stage managers during the day, and much more.

For the duration of both internships, I learned more about myself and this industry than I would have ever learned in a college course. I learned valuable tips and information from my supervisors that I will carry with me. After both internships I can now say I appreciate every person, process, and capacity of the industry — and without them, none of this would be possible. I hope to keep striving for a career in this industry — and continue to hold myself to the highest standards possible because anything is possible.