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Millersville students travel to Texas for music festival

Millersville students attend South By Southwest. (Photo Courtesy of Eastern Afternoon)

Kaylee Rex

Managing Editor

Last week, eight Marauder Music Production students traveled to Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest conference and music festival.

The event celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries throughout a week of performances, exhibits and panels, according to the SXSW website. Over the course of the past several months, the students planned, booked and marketed a showcase named Eastern Afternoon. The team hired musical talent and procured two sponsors: Spooky Nook and Tellus360.

International Education Week

From London to Quebec to Puerto Rico, The Eastern Afternoon crew secured five bands from various countries. Geowulf, John Jacob Magistery and Chasing Nomads all are from outside the country while I’m Glad It’s You and The Yawpers are located on the other side of the US.

According to senior Dakota Baker, communication was one of the most challenging aspects of the process due to the distance between the bands and students.

Baker and fellow team member, Nick Franks, both said they felt excited to be surrounded by the music industry for a weekend and see their hard work come to fruition. As a leader for this showcase, Baker remembers feeling a bit extra nervous, because if anything went wrong, he felt as though he would be responsible.

While at the music festival, the team marketed their showcase by handing out flyers and business cards while also streaming through Facebook Live. They also set everything up for their artists to perform, including audio checks and thorough communication with the talent.

Luckily for Baker, the showcase reeled in a great turnout, ran smoothly and received no negative feedback from the music industry professionals who oversaw the musical showcases.

The students also participated in various networking opportunities, which according to Baker, is one of the most crucial skills he learned through the experience. “It can be nerve wracking,” he said, “but it is so important to put yourself out there.”

Music Business Technology professor Dr. Dain Estes used to attend this musical festival as an artist manager and made connections which allowed him to give his students a similar experience. This is the second annual showcase that Millersville students attended.

Baker’s favorite part of the trip was getting a broader look at the industry that he wants to pursue. In Lancaster, music industry students don’t exactly get a broad range of experience, but through this trip he was able to gain experience that would be a rarity in our area, according to Baker..

The experience was reassuring to Baker, because it reaffirmed that he wants to be surrounded by the music industry and continue to pursue a career in artist management.