KC Ford

What made you want to intern at Live Nation?  

When I realized around the age of 13 that you could work in the live music field without being a musician or doing any of the technical work, I knew I wanted to be a part of that. And since Live Nation is the world’s largest concert promoter and I live in New York City, I really wanted to be involved with the some of the country’s largest concerts, even if it was just as an intern in the marketing department. It’s really interesting to see just how many people go into making one date of one tour possible, on all levels!  

Do you feel management is something you always wanted to go into?  

I haven’t started at Red Light Management just yet, but I’ve always been intrigued by the management side of the industry. At my current position at The Bowery Presents, I am looped into emails from managers all the time, who work to help promote their artist’s tours and send us any press that could be relevant to us pushing the show dates.  It’s just another side of the music world that I haven’t yet experienced that I am stoked on getting to know more about!  

What do you feel sets you apart as an intern?  

Going the extra step and being engaged is really important! I’ve only have one position where I’d have a good amount of down time, and I’d always ask for more work and try to find things that needed editing or organization. At my current position, I am working consistently all day, but still try to take on more tasks in order to make my supervisor’s day go a little smoother. Ask to be taught skills they don’t necessarily always ask interns to learn, just so you’re more of an asset to the team and show you can be trusted with extra responsibilities! These are all things that I do on a day-to-day and it seems to be working.  

Is there a previous internship you felt launched you into this one?  

My first internship was actually at a music advertising agency called Hear & There that runs music-related digital ads on many music blogs and websites. We worked directly with both Live Nation and The Bowery Presents while advertising their shows, so my boss was easily able to set me up with an interview at Live Nation. I have worked for The Bowery Presents since 2014 doing ticketing at their summer venues, and I already had some connections there as well, so when I applied to Bowery it was a pretty easy transition! And more recently, I made friends at previous internships who have worked for Red Light Management, so when I applied for this most recent position, having those contacts definitely helped as well.  

What is the benefit of interning somewhere like Live Nation, Bowery Presents, and Red Light MGMT?  

It’s been said a thousand times, but you need to get the hands on experience at internships in order to make yourself marketable to an employer, gain relevant skills and to make connections within the industry. Having recognizable companies on your resume is always a step in the right direction, but you also need to make meaningful connections and apply yourself while you’re there!  As for the more tangible benefits… free shows and festivals are definitely a plus 😉  

Tell us about a time when being a woman in your field has been difficult for you? What effects of sexism have you dealt with and how did you learn to handle it?  

I’ve been fairly lucky to not have had experienced much upfront sexism actually within the workplace or from anyone I have directly worked with. All of the offices I’ve worked in had an equal amount of female employees as male, and 2/3 of the offices I’ve worked in had female VPs. Any sexism I’ve really encountered in terms of music has more to do with the way I’ve been treated at concerts from fellow fans (shout out to all the guys who have groped me at shows), or from security letting men without passes get into VIP-type areas but then stopping me to double check mine, as though it’s ~impossible~ for a woman to have access to these same parts of the venue that men do.  

What is your advice to other young women wanting to get internships like yours?  

Start small and don’t be ashamed of it! I was street teaming for record labels in high school and early college, joined a music club at school and helped with their marketing, volunteered at any and all booths I could at Bamboozle (RIP), Skate & Surf (also RIP) and Warped Tour. Just showing that you’re willing and ready to work in any capacity is key. This lead to my part time gig at Bowery doing ticketing, and my first internship! From there you should have more options since you have at least one relevant position on your resume and a few connections.  

Are there any particular artists you’re working on that has you jazzed?  

We can have up to 150-200 concerts a month at Bowery, and I assist with the marketing of them all so it’s hard to pick just one artist that has me jazzed! I’m more jazzed about Bowery opening a brand new venue, Brooklyn Steel, which is the first new venue NYC has seen in years and it has been super exciting to be a small part of.  

What are your career goals?  

As of right now, I am open to most areas of the music industry whether it be in management, agencies, or promotions. Realistically I can see myself joining a concert promotion company like ones I’ve worked with, as a marketing assistant or coordinator and then working my way up from there. I plan on moving to LA in the next couple years, and would ideally love to work for Goldenvoice in their marketing department, or learning more about agencies and management!

Be sure to follow KC @likeariot on Instagram and @like_a_riot on Twitter for more!