“No one person, producer, or promoter can do this alone. This is an opportunity to centre community over competition, and rebuild a stronger festival industry for all.”
As live music returns, an industry-wide group of event leaders have united to launch Coalition of Festivals. Through high-level diversity training, members of the Coalition will support efforts to create a more equitable, diverse, and sustainable festival industry. As part of its mission, Coalition of Festivals will establish communication channels between producers to share best practices as well as nurture partnerships with social impact groups across numerous initiatives.
Coalition of Festivals was founded by a group of industry leaders with vast expertise and experience in live events. This group, who serve as the steering committee, includes Jonathan Azu (Culture Collective, Diversity in Music), Kyle Casey (Gravity Productions), Kierrah Matthews, Veline Mojarro (SHIFT Consulting), Katelyn Scott (Winter Circle Productions), Jen Stiles (Founders Entertainment), and Evan Tzeng (StayAltered).
“My career was built within the festival industry and I truly believe that Coalition of Festivals is what we need now more than ever,” says Azu. “Festivals have the power to impact and unite millions of people of all backgrounds. The time is now for producers to unite, build community, and initiate change!”
Coalition of Festivals asks that all festival stakeholders join the conversation. It eventually will look to include artists, partners, communities, and fans. At launch, festivals aligned with and committed to the objectives of the Coalition include: Broccoli City, The Governors Ball Music Festival, Hulaween, Lightning in a Bottle, Outside Lands, and multiple AEG Presents festivals. Participating production companies include: Do LaB, Founders Entertainment, Fox Pocket, Gravity Productions, Hula Holdings / Good Form, Old Soul Production Services, and Superfly. Additionally, Coalition of Festivals is supported by social impact partners including: A Greener Festival, Diversify The Stage, Diversity in Music, shesaid.so, SHIFT Consulting, and Well Dunn.
At launch, the Coalition is featuring two program initiatives:
Program 1, “Be The Change”: A series of educational webinars and facilitated dialogues for current festival producers, department heads and promoters. Topics range from allyship, building a culture of consent, and undoing toxic traditional workplace habits. Closed-door discussions allow festival producers to strategize on best practices and how to apply them to back-of-house and on the ground.
Program 2, “Create Change”: Is co-founded with our partners Diversify the Stage and Well Dunn. Our goal is to amplify their existing educational programs and mentorship initiatives for future music industry leaders. Together we are working to eliminate barriers to entry within the industry by creating access to job opportunities for underrepresented communities, including women, people with disabilities, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ individuals.
“The steering committee itself is a great example of the community we hope to build,” says Stiles. “We have all circled around each other professionally for years, and after spending these past months developing the Coalition, I can honestly say that we see ourselves as a united community of leaders with a common goal.”
“The follow through starts now,” the steering committee adds. “This is our call to action. We have an opportunity of a lifetime to centre community over competition and radically re-imagine our industry.”
For more information, please visit https://coalitionof.org/
# # #