BACKSTAGE AT MUSIKFEST Liberty students learn the ropes of event production
Twenty students of Liberty HS’s arts program participated in PNC Backstage Experience featuring a Q&A with closing night’s headliner Jason Mraz’s tour manager and a view of of the performers for the evening’s concert sound check.
The program is a coordination of ArtsQuest and sponsor PNC Bank in its fourth year. This tour is in addition to ArtsQuest’s year-round arts program with the school district.
The tour gives students an opportunity to see what jobs are available in the life of a touring band as they learn about live event production through the lens of Musikfest.
Meeting at Steel Stage at PNC Plaza the students heard talks Q&A style from Chief Programming Officer Patrick Brogan who explained the jobs associated with festival style stages.
Jason Mraz’s tour manager Matt Swanson spoke of life on the road and described the touring process, from traveling to performance time and then breakdown of the show.
PNC Director of Client and Community Relations for Northeastern Pennsylvania Lauren Allen spoke about their involvement in arts education with ArtsQuest.
The event concluded with a backstage tour with ArtsQuest’s stage production manager John Jagielski. This portion included discussion about the process from setting up the stages from ground up, bringing in sound and equipment to management of performers from bus to stage, their green room and wardrobe spaces. Since Musikfest is an outdoor venue, this is particularly challenging due to the dependence on tents and weather concerns.
All of the students participating have an interest in different areas of the job sector. Dr. Jack Silva, assistant superintendent for education/chief academic officer, Bethlehem Area School District, joined the tour alongside the students.
As the students were wrapping up their day, they were given show tickets to come back and watch the performance.