Summer 2016 & What We Learned

15025500_10158594741235206_7080829492729949073_oWow! It feels like we were just planning for the 2016 summer and here we are, back to planning for 2017!

We started the summer off with a bang in Lloydminster with Pop Evil, The Kentucky Head Hunters & The Swon Brothers and wow was that ever a great week! The crowds were pumped and so were the bands.

After that, we moved on to Dawson Creek where hometown boys, High Valley came back to rock the crowds. I must say, these guys are fantastic to work with. They are so professional and thoughtful. The show didn’t come with just laughs; there were a lot of tears too. Without hesitation these pro’s made one 18 year old girls dreams come true with a private backstage acoustic performance and one on one hang. It was truly such a special moment. She descried that it was the first time she had smiled in months, since finding out her cancer was terminal. I have to say, that was a moment I’ll never forget. In the music business, we are all moving so quickly that sometimes we forget to just slow down, feel the sunshine and take a deep breath. We also forget that we have the ability to help lift someone’s world up and make certain dreams come true – and that is something truly special.

After Dawson Creek the #542crew headed out to Newfoundland for our 3rd annual Eastbound Hoedown where Rascal Flatts, Dean Brody, Lee Brice, Burton Cummings, Big Smo and more rocked the crowd! A HUGE thanks to Lee Brice and Tebey as they both agreed, without hesitation, to get screeched in on stage! For those of you who have not done this, it’s a must as part of the traditional Newfoundlander experience. Just ask Lee about it… he actually licked the fish! (Yes, there is a real fish involved in this process). After 3 days of screetch-ins, our team was on a red-eye flight into Bonnyville Alberta to host our 2nd annual Extreme Mudfest.

Now, if you want a completely unique festival to attend, Extreme is the one for you! With 3-days of Tuff Trucks, Lawnmower racing, Rock Crawlers, Demolition Derby’s, a 10-team baseball tournament, World-class concerts and more – you definitely get a bang for your buck with the entire weekend being less than $100!! What a weekend this was. We opened our gates early and the line-ups began – and I mean line-ups. I have never seen walk up like we had on this show, which made me very proud. But what made me the proudest was the level of professionalism and just all over hard work put in by every member of our team, from our paid staff to our volunteers. There were many moments when anyone of our team members could have thrown their hands up in the air (honestly, sometimes there wasn’t enough time for bathroom breaks!) but no one did. Everyone smiled from beginning to end. Without such a strong team, I don’t know what would have happened. But what I do know is this: your team is the backbone of your organization, your brand, and your fan experience. This show proved this to me more than ever before and for that I am forever thankful. You can be as great as anyone at building your show but if you don’t have the right team in place, all the prep can quickly be tossed.

To recap: We learned many valuable lessons this summer, but these stand out by far:

  • Never take what you feel is the ‘norm’ for granted – the norm to you could make someone else’s dreams come true – and when given the opportunity, you need to do so.
  • Treat your team with the utmost respect. They work with you for a reason and will have your back if they feel you have theirs.


As always, I’ll end with a quote:

Love what you do and who you do it with. You can inspire and help those around you just by sharing that love with them’.

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