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Spotlight: CHBP Festival Staff – INTERVIEW(s)

By: Lauren Royer

Music artists get all the fun and glory. Yeah, I said it. And while you’re busy checking out that bootiful bae, eating righteous food truck grub, and bustin’ a move- there are people at music festivals bustin’ a different kind of move and running the show from behind the scenes. We’re talking stage managers, booth vendors, security/gate keepers, and bar tenders to name a few. They do things on the down low so artists can give you the best experience possible. At Capitol Hill Block Party this year- we interviewed some of these dope people to gain a different perspective on festival life.


~ Stage Manager Caleb – CHBP Main Stage ~

Where do you find a moment of peace or bliss in the chaos that exists behind managing a stage at an event this big?
I don’t really.

What was the 1st concert you ever managed a stage for?
On tour, with a guy named David Bazan

What is a stage managers worst fear?
Either rain, which happened last year at Cap Hill Block Party or something catching on fire, which also happened last year at Cap Hill Block Party. The power to the soundboard exploded in the crowd during The Julie Ruin’s set.

What do you consider a successful set?
One that ends on time

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~ Bar Tender J – The Cloud Room Seattle ~

So this isn’t your first time bar tending on the block during CHBP; how does 2016 compare to other CHBP in the past? Any differences?
The crowd is very civilized; my problem is I don’t recognize any of the bands.

Horror stories?
(laughs) No, nothing that I can mention… Let’s just say it happened the year Spoon played a few years ago. It was the late night Café Vita dinner.

Did your manager give you any warnings/disclaimers to prepare the staff for this event?
Not really, we just have a nice team building meeting, go out for a beer, and then we get ready.

What drink can you recommend to get on the CHBP level?
Considering the generosity of Jameson, I think you should have a Jameson, neat, and a nice local lager back and call it good.

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~ Security Manager Ama and Gatekeeper Chloe – (Main Entry) ~

No one ever thanks the gate keeper, it’s an important job, What are your ultimate goals when the lines are endless?
Ama: Try to move it quickly as possible and at the same time maintain the security of the area, especially for people as they come in. We try to make sure there are no drugs, alcohol, and especially weapons.
Lauren: Has there been anything major this year or has it been pretty low key?
Ama: It’s been pretty much the same as every year that I’ve worked here before and come through it. They still bring stuff even though they been here for so many years
Chloe: Goals? Put a smile on someone’s face ya know like why not have a good conversation, especially over in Customer Service Will Call because it takes a long time. I don’t like it to be stressful when I go in so I try to make it fun.

Any crazy stories?
Ama: Nah I don’t have no crazy stories (laughs)
Chloe: Oh man, Odesza always blows my mind so that was pretty nuts. I can’t think of anything else, it’s actually been a pretty chill year.

How can we help make things easier for you and other front line staff?
Ama: For everyone to know the policies when they come through that they can’t bring no alcohol, weapons, or drugs- stuff like that. Be respectful.
Chloe: People do not read signs, straight up, they’ll be like “where do I buy tickets?” and it’s always in front of them. So I think just be aware and being ready to go and knowing what is expected. Take your shit out of your pants and be nice to security!

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~ Booth Vendor Callen – Gemio Booth ~

How far in advanced do you have to prep for these kind of events?
We started getting ready for the festival probably about two months ago. I hopped on in June. We were going full force, talking every day, especially with The Stranger, working in advertisements and stuff like that and bouncing ideas off each other.

What is your favorite event to vend at (Besides CHPB obviously)?
This is my first event I’ve done so far, personally.

What do you think so far?
It’s been awesome I mean, people come up to the booth and are so into it and you feel so good about it and especially since we just launched on kickstarter like 3 days ago, us getting that reassurance that people think this is dope. They like it and it’s really cool and the best part is taking the product out at night, like last night when we showed them during Washed Out and Crystal Castles and people thought they were so cool and asked lots of questions. Cap Hill Block Party has been great so far.

Will you be doing any other events?
I can’t speak on that right now, I’d maybe say stay tuned but right now we’re kind of seeing what’s going on.

Do you find the events bring your business in increased revenue?
I’d say since we’re on kickstarter right now, I can’t say exactly what is happening but a lot of people are taking down our information and they say they’re into it and will check it out. We’ve already been fully funded on kickstarter now after only 3 days so I think it is going well.

Check out Gemio’s site and see what all the hype is about!

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So the next time you’re rocking the stage, thank the players behind the scenes for helping you keep your stage and audience totally lit.

Interviews by Lauren Royer
Images by Lauren Royer and Zach Fajardo

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