The International Band and Business Camp (IBBC) takes place each February in Hammelburg, Germany. This camp included students and faculty from 12 European university partners collectively known as the MuZone Partnership. Columbia College’s Business students began attending last year. The camp is a week long accelerated format that includes music production and a music business industry simulation that runs 24-hours a day for 3 days. Every 2 hours is a month’s time in the game world and students are challenged on their knowledge of the music industry, business savvy, ability to work with others, management of time and ability to cope with stress.
Alex Katsaropoulos and Tiffany Reiner, music business students, were sponsored to attend IBBC this year. Students stayed in Hammelburg at a monastery, and soon after getting settled in things moved pretty past.
“We’re put into these groups and begin a 3 day long non-stop business simulation. The only way I can describe it to people is to think of it as if the Hunger Games were in music business form. There was a band camp there as well and we based a lot of decisions that were made off of those musicians. Everything was high stress, but it was definitely designed that way,” Alex recounted.
The great thing about the music industry, is that is a global community, and at this camp, students are able to expand their network on the international level. That aspect alone set this experience apart from others. “My favorite part was meeting so many people from different places and sharing our experiences with the music industry and life in general,” said Alex.
Tiffany added, “There are a lot of good memories. One in particular that sticks out is when, after a long day of looking at numbers and contracts, my brain was in that half-delirious mode. I just went on a twenty minute rant about balance, how we needed the balance of creativity and logic to run this company, that’s essentially how the entire universe functions, we’re all just one big equation that needs to balance out to zero, we’re all just zeros. It was a lot and after I finished, my group member who couldn’t follow my jagged English tangent looked at me like I was on drugs and we both started laughing.”
When asked about advice he’d give to future attendees, Alex replied, “Try to go into it with a really open mind. You’ll have an incredible time and remember it for the rest of your life.” However, Tiffany replied from another perspective, “Just try. I was second guessing even applying. The idea sounded too grand for me, but I decided to try and deal with whatever risks came with that.”