HTM students gain hands-on experience in festival management at Electric Forest
HTM323 & Electric Forest
One of the most renowned music festivals in the country is held just an hour from GVSU in Rothbury, MI. Electric Forest, brings in thousands of visitors from all 50 states and Canada to camp on grounds larger-than-life art installations and interactive exhibits. A wide variety of artists play through the festival, which in 2017 expanded to two weekends.
Gail Zemmol teaches HTM323: Festival and Special Event Management each semester, with students working at ArtPrize in the fall and LaughFest in the winter. In the spring and summer, 20 students both live and work at the Electric Forest, getting firsthand experience into just what goes into putting together an event of this magnitude- and how much work that entails.
While students may have been surprised by the extent to which they were pushed beyond their own set limits, they were also happy to learn just how much they were capable of. Students spoke of the “magical opportunity” and about “getting to meet the most amazing people in an awesome atmosphere.”
Memorable experience also came beyond the work involved. One student had been hoping to take time off to watch a favorite artist, Waka Flocka Flame. Instead, he found himself preparing the rapper’s green room and getting the chance to meet him in person- a far more close-up experience than simply watching a stage in a crowd of hundreds!