The Artist Management Practicum provides students with the hands-on opportunity to learn how to be a talent manager. At the end of each semester, the class organizes a showcase where the artists the class has been working with all semester perform at a concert. This semester the class had to think on their feet, and they came up with the Comfy Couch Concert, a live virtual entertainment event! We interviewed Mason Stahl, a Live and Performing Arts Management minor, about his experience working on the concert.
Tell us about the Comfy Couch Concert and how it came to be!
The Comfy Couch Concert is a virtual event, and it is being developed and hosted by the Artist Management Practicum class. Prior to the mandatory shelter in place, we were planning to host this event in a local bar outside the South Loop. Together, we have been diligently working to make sure that the show will go on. The event will be broadcast through Facebook live, and will feature recording artists, songwriters, and multimedia organized by the managers of the class. Overall, we aim to use music and media to bring our artists and students closer together while we work through these uncertain times.
As a manager, what is it like to prepare your artists for a virtual showcase?
Planning for a virtual event has its own set of stresses compared to a normal concert at a venue. With online broadcasting, one of the biggest challenges comes from the technical side. Obstacles like audio latency, balance and mix, and overpowering microphones are all things to consider when planning to play music without the proper audio equipment. We all are trying to make sure our clients sound the best they can, but right now, it is taking a lot of trial and error to figure what’s going to show them in the best light
Pictured above is Mason’s band, Disaster Kid (@disasterkidband)
It’s so amazing that the class decided to donate the money they raise during the concert to the Chicago Artist Relief Fund. What made the class decide to donate the money?
Because of how the world is right now, artists and musicians that depend on their works for compensation are being hit the hardest. Since large crowds at concerts are prohibited at this time, they do not have that extra source of income. We figured that any money that we can generate through donations would go towards helping artists that need it the most.
How is it different putting on a virtual showcase compared to a live concert?
Fundamentally, it is the same process if the medium were replaced. Mainly, the stage would turn into a screen, but all of the details are still there when it comes to the preparations. Things like marketing the event, gathering sponsors, and scheduling rehearsals are still prevalent.
Where can people find more information on the Comfy Couch Concert?
The concert is on Saturday, May 9th. Doors open at 7PM, and the concert starts at 7:30PM. All you have to do is go to Comfy Couch Concert on Facebook.