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A community coming together


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A community coming together

Lauren Blackwell


By: Alex Ybarra



My favorite music producer, Axwell, once said, “music is one of the most beautiful things in the world because it brings people together.”  This statement resonates with me as my dream job is to be a strategic communicator within the music industry.  I have attended several music festivals in the past few years but most recently I was fortunate to attend Ultra Music Festival in Miami.  It was when Axwell was closing the Ultra main stage last year when he made his statement.  As I attended this year, I took what he said into consideration as I analyzed every aspect of the festival.  


Now, you may be wondering, what does this have to do with Wolf Pack Relations?  I became an account executive last semester and my first client was Off Beat Arts and Music Festival.  It was an inaugural charity event hosted throughout downtown Reno.  I was ecstatic when I was assigned to this client because I was given the opportunity to work with professionals from various associations including the Glenn Group and Dotted & Crossed.  It’s amazing to think about how my skills in time management, client relations, and overall communication improved from this opportunity.  The professionals served as colleagues but also as mentors.  I learned so much from this experience in the context of strategic communications but also that a lot goes into running a festival.  Needless to say, I was anxious to take my experience and view major festivals with a new perspective.  


Ultra Miami attracts 100,000 attendees from over 100 different countries around the world.  It was three days of good music, good food, and good people that provided an unforgettable experience.  After it concluded, I took a minute to really look at the festival in depth.  My question was simply, how did this become what it is today?  Typically, music festivals don’t start with 100,000 attendees (except Woodstock, but that was different).  I looked into it and found that Ultra Miami started in 1999 with one small stage.  Pretty much every other festival started the exact same way.  Therefore, I thought back to Off Beat and viewed it in an entirely new way.

Everything has to start somewhere but that’s not even the main point that I want to make.  Thinking back to when Axwell said, “music is one of the most beautiful things in the world because it brings people together.”  This statement goes beyond who shows up.  Off Beat was small but I had the privilege of working with professionals from several different firms in the Reno area.  The festival was hosted among local bars and clubs, we had almost every media outlet in the area covering the event, and the community was thrilled that a concept like this was establishing in Reno.  Whether or not Off Beat grows to attract several thousand people doesn’t necessarily matter.  The inspiring thing about it is that it brings people from all areas of the community together to share ideas and culture.