Throughout this semester, students in Ray Sylvester’s music marketing class have been planning an event featuring a “surprise set list” that would put their marketing knowledge to the test. This Friday, Nov. 17, the semester’s work will finally come together in the Fair Commons lobby with the event called “Give Fest.”
Krista Baker, a junior marketing major, is part of the class. “We’ve learned a lot through the planning process,” she said.
The larger purpose of the event—which includes local performers such as John Tuttle of Dream Chief as well as Jacob Cupps and Stephen Orban—is to “unite the campus in thanksgiving,” said Baker.
In order to enter the event, students must bring a donation such as toiletries, school supplies, trash bags or nonperishable food items. The donations will be shared between Anderson’s Christian Center and Dove Harbor.
As part of the event, Baker explains that the class wanted to “build a relationship between AU and local charities and shelters.”
The class hopes that the event will break barriers on campus.
“Our campus is more cliquey than people realize,” Baker said. “There aren’t many events on campus that draw many different kinds of people. With most music events, the people who come out and support are music or music business majors. Our goal for this event was to be able to break that barrier and draw in a diverse crowd.”
Planning the show has not been easy, according to Baker.
“We started planning a concert at the State Theatre in downtown Anderson,” she said. “We soon realized they wouldn’t be done renovating in time for our event, so we had to completely replan.”
From there, the show was moved to the lobby of Fair Commons so that it would be more accessible to students. Additionally, they shifted from planning a concert to a DJ event.
“We also wanted to incorporate a giving theme since Thanksgiving is right around the corner,” said Baker. That’s when they decided to partner with the Christian Center and Dove harbor with donation entries.
Since the class is focused on learning the process of marketing music, they have been learning more than just how to plan or host an event. They’ve primarily been working to market the show.
They have posted flyers around campus, started a Facebook event page and have prepared a chapel announcement to run this week. Additionally, a few social clubs have agreed to attend and spread the word.
“The most effective way to market this event has been word of mouth,” she said.
Gift card raffles will occur during the event. AU alumnus Ben Orcutt, who owns Jackrabbit Coffee, will be selling coffee as well.
“This is right before the opening of his shop in Anderson,” Baker said. “So this is a cool opportunity for him, too, to advertise and engage with AU students.”
Give Fest will take place Friday, Nov. 17 from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. in the Fair Commons Lobby. The entry fee is a donation of a toiletry, school supplies, new children’s and women’s socks or underwear, toilet paper, paper towels, Kleenexes, 13-gallon trash bags or nonperishable food items.