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Students set the stage at Musikfest, learn the industry

By Jamie Stover, Reporter, JStover@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 30 2014 05:19:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 30 2014 06:40:39 PM CDT

Some Lehigh Valley high school students have helped set the stage for Musikfest this year.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

Some Lehigh Valley high school students have helped set the stage for Musikfest this year.

"To sit there and be like, 'Oh yeah, you're booking a band for Musikfest,'" said Sierra Stralo, a junior at Liberty High School.

Thirty five students from Freedom and Liberty High Schools are participating in a Marketing Musikfest course in partnership with ArtsQuest.

It's the second year the program's been offered.

"To engage the students in real life businesses practices, in booking concerts, and marketing concerts, and concert promotion," said Patrick Brogan, senior vice president of programming for ArtsQuest.

The course is offered in the spring.

Students work hand-in-hand with ArtsQuest.

"ArtsQuest staff go into the classroom and tell them what we do and then engage them in the process." Brogan said.

Students are split into groups and given a $250 budget to book an act and $100 for marketing.

Students looked through hundreds of acts and said deciding on one was easier said than done.

"A challenging experience, we had a lot of bands to look through," Stralo said.

It wasn't just about meeting budget guidelines and finding an act they enjoyed.

"It was very important to look at the demographic before we book a show. What genre of music they were playing, and what time, to make sure you're going to draw a crowd," Stralo said.

Both schools were responsible for booking four shows at Plaza Tropical.

Brogan said he's pleased with the lineup.

"I'm impressed. They brought people in from New Jersey, Illinois, Tennessee," Brogan said.

Students are now focusing on how to market and promote their acts.

"Now it's a lot of marketing, both schools have a Twitter, so getting all of our bands Twitter, tweeting about it, having ArtsQuest and Musikfest retweet it," Stralo said.

Stralo said the experience has will help her in her future career.

"It was a great chance to build connections and learning experience for something I want to do," Stralo said.

It's also a learning experience for ArtsQuest.

"Getting to dialogue in this way opens our eyes on how to engage them, their friends, and social networks," Brogan said.

Freedom High School booked the following acts for August 2:
The Blue Wave Theory-2:30 p.m.
Briar Rabbit-3:30 p.m.
Lines in the Sky-4:30 p.m.
Arc and Stones-5:30 p.m.

Liberty High School booked the following acts for August 9:
Grandpa Rage-2:30 p.m.
The Romantic Era-3:30 p.m.
Cedar Green-4:30 p.m.
Bushmaster-5:30 p.m.