Advice From The Music Festival Experts
Music festivals are hugely popular, but have immensely complicated challenges. Hear from a collection of specialists in different areas of festival management who will get into the nuts and bolts of running a festival with discussions ranging from budgeting and ticketing to booking and marketing. We will evaluate and identify best practices for music festivals as set forth by the best in the business.
Gary Richards is an American music executive, concert promoter, and DJ. He is the founder and CEO of HARD Events, a concert brand that has put on popular music festivals since 2007, and which was acquired in 2012 by Live Nation Entertainment. He has performed professionally as a DJ under the name DESTRUCTO for more than 20 years, having toured around the world. He is credited with being a leader in the Electronic music business in North America, and through his events, has helped bring artists like Deadmau5, God Lives Underwater, Basement Jaxx, and Justice into the spotlight. In 2013, Richards was included on inthemix's list of the "50 Most Powerful People in EDM."
Creator, Vans Warped Tour
Kevin Lyman began his career booking bands for his university and as a roadie for then unknown acts such as the Untouchables, The Bangles and Bad Religion. After college, Lyman began working with Goldenvoice, as a promoter rep for seminal punk rock and metal bands such as The Germs, Circle Jerks, Anthrax and Jane's Addiction, working in legendary LA clubs like The Whisky, The Roxy, The Palladium and many long since forgotten.
Kevin is best known as the producer and creator of the hugely successful Vans Warped Tour, the longest running traveling music and extreme sports festival in the world today. Preparing to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2014, the tour reaches nearly 600,000 kids each summer. The “punk rock summer camp” has introduced audiences to artists such as No Doubt, Sublime, Blink-182, My Chemical Romance, Eminem, 3OH!3 and Fall Out Boy among hundreds of others. With the Vans Warped Tour, Lyman pioneered the successful integration of corporate sponsors with the extreme lifestyle, creating a blueprint for sponsorship integration widely duplicated in the marketplace today.
In 2007, Lyman partnered with John Reese to present the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival (just finishing its 6th year), a summer hard rock festival featuring 15 metal bands including acts such as Slipknot, Disturbed and Slayer. A success by all standards, Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival perhaps most notably integrated the camaraderie Lyman had created on The Vans Warped Tour into a metal festival.
Kevin and 4 Fini, Inc. have also produced numerous other successful tour events including the Country Throwdown Tour, Rockstar Energy Drink Taste of Chaos Tour, The Watcha Tour, Down From the Mountain Tour, Sprite Liquid Mix Tour and Great High Mountain Tour, as well as custom events for popular brands such as Jose Cuervo and SEGA Dreamcast.
In addition to production, Kevin is part owner of Side One Dummy Record Company, which has an impressive yet diverse roster including Flogging Molly, punk icons Suicidal Tendencies, Bedouin Soundclash, Gogol Bordello and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. He has also acted as writer and executive producer on several films, including Endless Bummer (2008) and the Vans Warped Tour 15th Anniversary Documentary (2009). In 2012/13 Kevin and The Vans Warped Tour was featured in a reality TV show on the FUSE Network, called Warped Roadies. Kevin acts as a consultant on multiple corporate branding projects, helping companies maintain the valuable street level credibility that endears their products to the youth market.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, Kevin established the Unite The United Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization set up to encourage fans, artists and industry leaders from the music, touring and lifestyle worlds to come together through charitable contributions, events and volunteer efforts in order to work toward a positive change in our national community. Since its inception, Unite The United has raised over $1,000,000 for a variety of charitable efforts and grass roots organizations such as MusiCares, Skate For Cancer, Hollywood Heart and Keep-A-Breast. Also, on each of Lyman’s tours, a portion of every ticket sold goes to specified charities.
Another organization that Kevin works closely with is Music Saves Lives, which has hosted blood drives on the Vans Warped Tour. This has lead to the tour being named the Best Independent Blood Drive by the American Red Cross for the past four years, raising over 70,000 pints of blood each summer.
His commitment extends to encouraging activism in the kids that attend his shows, whether it’s designating an area for non-profit organizations at all of his shows so they can educate themselves or organizing volunteer days for the bands and crew on days off. In 2008 he teamed up with Declare Yourself on all tours registering young voters.
Kevin also teamed up with Phillipe Costeau’s Earth Eco
Foundation to develop the Warped Eco Initiative which staffs individuals that oversee recycling programs on his tours and organize bio-diesel drops for all production trucks and tour buses.
For his philanthropic efforts, Lyman was recognized as the Billboard Touring Awards Humanitarian of the Year, in 2009, as well as the honoree at the Grammy/MusiCares MAP Fund gala in 2011. Also, for his touring expertise, Lyman was inducted into the Top Dog Touring Hall of Fame at the Tour Link Conference (2012).
TomorrowWorld Project Dir
Project Director for flagship US festival, TomorrowWorld, Shawn Kent was previously adviser to the board of ID&T in Amsterdam and contributed to marketing and operations initiatives. During his 10 years in the European division of Cirque du Soliel Shawn was head of Marketing and General Manager and was one of the first to establish Cirque in Europe. He has worked for ad agencies BBDO and Y&R as well as provided brand and management consulting services for entertainment and ticketing brands. Shawn brings over 20 years experience in the entertainment industry.
As the CEO of Flavorus, Todd Sims is a pioneer in the online ticketing industry and has developed one of the most reliable and robust ticketing platforms in the world. After starting his own web design firm while in high school, he quickly catapulted his career to Internet guru status when he launched Flavours in 1999.
For the past fifteen years he has been passionate about creating a company and culture where his team is inspired to lead the way in technology, service, and marketing innovation. His organization has successfully supported over 5000 event producers and venues including Electric Daisy Carnival, Pacha, Hard, Beta Nightclub, Exchange LA, and many others.
With a serious passion for adventure, Todd likes to go hiking, skiing, sailing, biking, canyoning, scuba diving, and motor-cross. He can also solve a Rubik’s Cube in under five minutes.