Summit 2015, Austin TX
Monday & Tuesday, March 23-24, 2015

Session 8: Tuesday 10:15 IPO Room
Moderator: Jennifer Fowler

Jim Halsey
President, Jim Halsey Company
Founder, Jim Halsey Institute of Music and Entertainment Business

Finding success in the music business: “Get a Job!”

Success in the music business starts with a job. Almost any job that gets you behind the receptionist desk and into the building or organization, whether it's a record company, booking agency, ballet troupe or a performance hall.

Here's where you have to understand the compatibility of academia and the practicality of life. Somehow the advantages of academia and the practicality of finding that first niche in the business have not yet fully materialized. It takes some understanding and our own adjustments to make it work to our best advantage. In producing our Jim Halsey Institute online music business classes, we visited with forty of the top, most successful individuals in the music business, seeking advice that would help our students build their career and avoid mistakes. One common question asked, "What college courses would you recommend to help those seeking a career in this business?" Was I surprised at the variety of answers. Not one college path was suggested by these acknowledged leaders in the industry. The common thread… ‘Get a job, any job within the business. Learn the business’. Most all of my interviewees had started this way, even those with academic background and college degrees…working in the mailroom, internships, assistants, part time employee, errand runners, research, answering telephones, trash and janitorial positions, limo derivers, etc. Even working for free.

One interviewee, now head of a record company in Nashville, and college grad, mowed the lawn of a record company owner before he was hired on and started in the back room. But, all of these beginners had one thing in common, determination, focus and desire. They were now in show business! Even those in academia, upon earning a degree, need to be realistic with their first job expectations. Nobody starts at the top.

Certainly I believe in higher education. Someday you may need your degree. My advice to the interested, there are very practical courses that will help you succeed in any profession. Any marketing course, after all this is what this world is about, selling and marketing. It has been forever. Besides your required courses, may I also suggest public speaking. Accounting, business law, theatre courses can help give another perspective on your chosen field of study. I think there is a necessary involvement of both the academic world and to learn by the practicality of working in the business. It all boils down to "Get a Job!"

Jonas Bjälesjö
Head of Music & Event Management
Linnaeus School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University, Sweden

After Hultsfred: Cultural Entrepreneurship in the Aftermath of the Hultsfred Festival

This paper will present a 2-year research project (starting in January 2015) about cultural entrepreneurship in relation and as a result of a popular music festival that took place in the southeast part of Sweden from 1986 to 2009. The project is funded by the Kamprad Family Foundation.

In the autumn of 1981, a group of music-loving young people met in Hultsfred, a small municipal community of about 5,000 inhabitants, situated in the northeastern part of the county of Småland, Sweden. Fed up with the fact that nothing seemed to happen, they put up posters and on December 16, 1981, a large group met at the local community youth center and founded the rock association, Rockparty. In 1986 Rockparty launched the Hultsfred festival that would become the largest and most important popular music festival in Sweden during the late 1980’s and the 1990’s. The association developed from being a small voluntary-based rock association to becoming Sweden’s largest festival promoter creating a lot of cultural activities and creativity, businesses, concerts, festivals, education, research etc., especially in the project Rockcity, launched in the year 2000. My doctoral thesis Rock’n’roll i Hultsfred – ungdomar, festival och lokal gemenskap examined how this development was possible.

This research project is to some degree an extension of my doctoral thesis. The main purpose is to investigate how people became cultural entrepreneurs? What kind of skills they learned and developed through their festival practice? What kind of social networks and social capital did they create? We want to know what the “festival entrepreneurs” are doing today, where are they? Who do they cooperate with? We want to reconstruct the birth, journey and meaning of their activities and learning processes. The festival is no more, but how and where are these activities and this knowledge alive, embodied, used and spread?

How do these entrepreneurs today understand and use those driving forces of meaning, learning processes, knowledge and experience, their sense for practice and “doing”, their social networks and relations which their active contribution in the development and creation of the Hultsfred festival gave rise to?