Come Celebrate Our First Festival of the Arts!

By on April 24, 2019

Music, fashion, art and food will all be featured at Bay State College’s first-ever Festival of the Arts at Brighton Music Hall on May 2. Seven months of preparation and planning went into this not-to-be-missed mega event, which is being produced by the school’s Fashion and Entertainment Management departments.

“Vintage Lee, a local rap and hip hop artist, will headline the show, and we’ll have five additional performers from different music genres,” says Jess White, chair of the Entertainment Management and Audio Production department. “There will also be fashion installations and pop-up fashion shows, as well as a merchandise area and food trucks, so for a $20 ticket price you can come in and be entertained for a six- or seven-hour period.”

The idea for the event came about after the two departments teamed up on the annual fashion show last year. Students in the music entertainment program handled the audio and playlist for the show, as well as logistics, such as checking in audience members. “It freed us up to focus on getting the models set and making sure the designs looked great,” says Andrea York, chair of the Fashion Merchandising department. “It enabled each of our departments to play to its strength.”

The collaboration was such a hit that White and York decided to explore the idea of working together on a bigger production—one that would give the Entertainment Management students the opportunity to plan a full-scale festival and the Fashion students a chance to show their designs to a larger audience in a bigger venue. Planning began in the fall semester, with students choosing a venue, lining up artists and putting together a marketing plan. Everything from negotiating contracts with artists and determining a ticket price to designing a flyer and putting together radio and video promos was handled by students with an instructor’s guidance.

“Part of our curriculum is teaching students not only how to produce events like this, but how to make sure they cover their costs,” explains White, who notes that while the event is not a profit-making venture, students designed a budget to cover costs as part of the learning experience. “So they established a ticket price and a breakeven point of how many tickets they need to sell to cover what they need to pay out to artists. Next, we rolled that into the next semester’s concert production course, which focuses on logistics, getting everything organized in terms of what goes where and how the crowd will flow, by using schematics of the venue.”

Meanwhile, on the fashion side, design students worked on creating live events, such as pop-up fashion shows, as well as stationary presentations. “There will be multiple fashion shows, as well as installations fashioned by our students—I think people will find that throughout the event there will be things going on around every corner,” says York. “This is our first combined arts festival, which is pretty exciting.”

For a list of musical performers or to buy tickets to the Festival for the Arts, visit Ticketmaster.