It seems as if every day there is another virtual initiative or hybrid event popping up to help keep the live events industry alive in these days of darkness. Shedding new light on the subject is the Live Events Lift Up Festival—LEVL UP, which is intended to show gratitude for every person who works to make events “go live” and honor the industry that we all care so deeply about. LEVL UP Fest seeks to raise awareness for the general public about the amazing event pros who work behind the scenes and just how many people it takes to produce a single event. Their goals are very ambitious, including the search for a $250,000 title sponsor who will retain branding rights to festival events. Other sponsorships range from $100 to $100,000.
The average concert employs over 500 people, which is something that is virtually unknown outside of this industry. LEVL UP Fest will also raise awareness about what it means to be part of this community and highlight many of the roles involved in live events. The event will share stories of “Road Families,” hear directly from artists about how much their crew means to them, and stories of event pros finding resilience and fortitude in this time of crisis. It will also feature stories of their beneficiaries and great work and positive impact they make for our industry.
“In times of crisis, the music and entertainment industry have always been the ones to step up with a clear call to action and the production of so many now infamous events. Now it’s time for the entertainment industry to take care of our own—all of the faces who work behind every live event,” says Eileen Valois, co-founder of the festival.
LEVL UP Fest has three beneficiaries as of today, chosen to tackle three primary goals, which all ultimately support the future resiliency and stability of our industry:
- FINANCIAL SUPPORT: MusiCares – to provide critical assistance to event professionals who are in crisis as a result of the pandemic.
- MENTAL HEALTH: The Roadie Clinic – an incredible facility and program to provide mental health and wellness support for our community
- DIVERSITY: EVEN (Event Vocational Education Network): We’ve established an endowment for education to support the mission of EVEN which is to create a more diverse and inclusive live events industry through outreach, training and job placement.
LEVL UP Fest will be a virtual festival that will include music and stories from across North America, along with performances hosted on PRG's concert-ready Nashville stage. More information will be announced on our social channels, the website, and via upcoming press releases about the artist line up, sponsors, how to join the festival, how to purchase merchandise, and support the beneficiaries. At this time, there are nearly 20 artists committed for either performances or “shout outs,” with many more in ongoing negotiations. The organizers are also actively negotiating sponsorships and have multiple opportunities available on the website for interested brands.
LEVL UP Fest is being planned and produced by a team of seven co-founders who work in entertainment and events, including: Eileen Valois, SVP Sports & Fan Entertainment, PRG; Lawrence “Filet” Mignogna, audio engineer, PRG; Stu Berk, tour & production manager; Sooner Routhier, creative director & lighting designer; Seth Robinson, production designer & inventor; Shannon Cook, COO, TOURTech, Alexandra Rembac, principal/creative director, Sterling Engagements. Executive producer is David Fischette, President/CEO & Chief Creative for Go West Creative.
There is also broad support from across the entertainment and events industry, including but not limited to Touring Career Workshop (TCW), Roadies of Color United (ROCU), multiple tour/production managers, creative directors, agencies and other trade associations and groups who are all part of our “Industry Council.” LEVL Up Fest is partnered with Show Makers Symposium (a 501C3 non-profit), and we are following the guidance of the Event Safety Alliance (ESA) and implementing safety protocols under the direction of Entertainment Industry Response (EIR).
“Show Makers is all of us," says Jim Digby of Show Makers and Event Safety Alliance. "The LEVL Up Festival is for us by us, highlighting the live event professionals' plight across the industry and an opportunity to lift up the collective consciousness. Show Makers proudly supports LEVL UP and are partnering to raise critical awareness and resources supporting our community in this time of need and the future.”
To learn more or discuss opportunities to participate or align with us, contact: Eileen Valois, senior vice president, PRG, and co-founder of LEVL UP Fest. Email: [email protected] / Cell: +1-267-474-0720
LEVL UP Fest can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LEVLUPFest.
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