By Edward Ma
Last month, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) in New York with my classmate Kim Barbosa as Heavy Rotation Records (BPMI) representatives for our artist Glow Team. Heavy Rotations Records is an on-campus record label that signs a select group of Berklee artists each year and helps the signed artists build a solid fanbase until festival season. I learned so much about the live concert industry from working as the point person for Glow Team at EDC, and I’ll be giving the insider scoop on how logistics run in an event as such!
I remember heading towards the Hyatt Hotel in New York, which was our designated meeting/registration spot, early in the morning not knowing what to expect. We were given black bracelets with “artists” labeled in light green and gold thread. We were told that the passes for the whole team were equal and all of us had the same credentials as the other performers, agents, managers, and other important people running the festival. This was super exciting yet daunting at the same time. We joked about pushing the boundaries to test how much power we actually had, but to be honest, it ended up not being a joke. We abused these bad boys for the sake of networking and we ended up opening many doors for Glow Team and Heavy Rotations.
After settling in and sneaking as many snacks into our backpacks, we were notified that the golf carts were waiting near the entrance to take us to the Cosmic Meadow stage. We all got in and as soon as the driver started the cart, we whipped out the GoPro and Snapchat and started documenting our EDC experience.
The Cosmic Meadow stage was the second biggest stage at the festival. As Glow Team sound checked, Kim and I were a bit anxious, yet excited to see the endless line of people waiting to rush in the gates when the festival officially opened. Things moved very quickly from that point on. As we were rushing back towards the front of the stage, people poured in filling the lot next to the entrance. Glow Team’s stage was the first stage near the entrance, so naturally the people came to see them immediately. Glow Team had energy and was very good at commanding their audience. Harold and David were jumping up and down and out of the DJ booth to put on a real show for their audience. It was amazing to see electric music lovers jam and appreciate the music even when they didn’t know the artist! The famous mantra for EDM festivals is “Love, Peace, and Unity.” There was a real genuine sense of community, and I got to witness that immersive experience firsthand.
During the performance, Kim and I did not waste time. We decided this was the best opportunity to interview and create content for Glow Team’s recap video. We walked through the crowds to capture the sweet moments and the audience’s reaction. After the set, the real fun began. We were stationed at the artist meet and greet tent, where we got to meet Glow Team fans, and we even met a super fan that wanted Harold and David to sign his shirt. After the meet and greet, we planned a schedule to see some of the performances, hang in the VIP section with a swimming pool-sized ball pit, and network with people of the industry.
Some of the highlights of this experience were meeting other prominent figures in the music industry and getting the chance to network and talk to them. It was cool to see how they got to where they were and to see how much they enjoyed what they were doing as well. Some of the people we met were Afrojack, Dada Life, Adventure Club, Excision, Giraffe, Marshmello, Zedd, Kids Like Techno, Alex, a journalist from EDM Chicago, and Dillon Francis’s manager.
Coming into Berklee, I was dead set on working in a label or publishing company, but after this experience, I developed a love and passion for the live concert industry. Labels and publishing companies are important, but there is no thrill. Working at EDC and constantly running around, networking, taking photos with people, and being part of the whole festival/concert experience was a thrill no other jobs could provide.
I am still experimenting with what I want to do in the long run, but I am slowly trying to focus on the live concert industry. I look forward to attending more live events through these opportunities and also look forward trying to participate in many behind the scenes activities that can ultimately impact an artist’s career positively.
Edward Ma is a recent Berklee graduate who studied Music Business & Management. At Berklee he was one of the co-presidents of the Student Entrepreneurship Association, and he was also a student ambassador and peer advisor. Currently, Edward is freelancing at a start up called Trill and is interning at Songtrust and Live Nation TV Studios in New York.