Recently, my class and I went on a field trip to Cleveland. We went and toured the House Of Blues, Gotta Groove Records and Eighth Day Sounds. We were exposed to the jobs in booking and running a venue, to being the people renting and preforming at the venue, setting up for the tours and also running a business in the music industry that also incorporated manufacturing.
All of these experiences were interesting and I especially learned a lot more about the live sound aspect of the music industry. Much of what the tour at Eighth Day Sounds consisted of in terms of technical content was over my head but it was intriguing. One technical thing that I would love to do more research on is RF (Radio Frequency) and the tech positions, including what the job demands and the required skill set. Although, I would not want to do that as a career myself. At Eighth Day Sounds they also talked about the job and the lifestyle of a stage hand, rigger, and tech. These are the peopIe that build and create the stages and setups for concerts that we love going to. It is obviously a lot of hard work and I am amazed at their dedication to a show. I love that other people are able to live in a bus and work “sun-up to sun-up” for these tours but I realize that is not for me!
At Gotta Groove Records we took a tour of their manufacturing operations and creation process. Never had I ever wondered how vinyl was made but after that tour I had a new respect for the manufacturing part of the music industry. So much of this industry is streaming and intangible musical creations and what they were making was physical and I think that’s what made it so special. On the tour they told us that they customers could ask for things to be pressed inside of the vinyl, like paper, or ashes. They could also create different color patterns on the vinyl by mixing colors before it was pressed. There was a creative side to this assembly line that I have not seen in other manufacturing operations. I applaude those who can mix mathematics and logic with creativity and customization to create something beautiful and unique. However, I could not see myself being a vinyl manufacturer.
At the House Of Blues we walked through multiple rooms in which they book artists to preform. The guide explained that they choose the room based on the type of event or the status of the performer. They try to work small artists up through their different venues until they are big enough to start playing at the arenas. We also got to walk backstage and see where monitor beach was and where the HOB crew loads equipment in and out of the venue. There were a few Green Rooms for the artists and we got to walk through one. Overall, it was the shortest tour but we learned a lot of valuable information about the venue and booking aspect of the music industry.
This field trip was an eye opener to all the different routes you could take concerning the music industry. It helped me rule out some of the options and create new ones. The owner of Gotta Groove Records shed some light on how he decided to create his business and he said, “I had a degree in manufacturing and then I thought about what I liked and vinyl was one of them. Then it was easy to combine my passions.” This statement made me understand that you can create a job with whatever you are passionate about. All you have to do is realize your passion.
Abby K Davis