A Week In The Life Of… Jacob Howard

Jacob Howard - Kiwi Fest
Welcome all to the first Week In The Life Of interview of 2020.  Jacob Howard is both the Founder and Creative Director of Kiwi Fest – a celebration of New Zealand’s culture. The festival is focussed on bringing together the Maori communities of Melbourne, to put on a vast and diverse display of Aotearoa with musical performances from acts such as Che FuIsrael StarrIva LamkumDJ SPELLThe Refugees, and Amin Payne + Stacey, cultural performances from Ngā Mātai PūruaCollateral Culture and Nga Uri Whaioranga and traditional food and beverages from/inspired by New Zealand’s world renowned industry. 

A lot of work goes into these festivals and Jacob is right in the thick of it, which is why we are so grateful that he was able to provide his insights and experience in this interview. Read on below…
Job description: 
Kiwi Fest – Festival founder and creative director; socials and media manager and brand new dad! (Saturday 15 February at Footscray Community Arts Centre https://www.kiwifest.net/
Follow up correspondence to the mon-fri relationships we have; council, contractors, suppliers etc, if you’re not a weekend emailer then expect met to chase you up Monday morning! Ensure the media and socials plan for the week is locked in and good to go. 
Site visit with our production contractor. Getting on the physical location is important; it helps you visualise the event itself and how it’ll flow, as well as give you a chance to iron out any kinks. Today we learnt our planned toilet location blocks the emergency drive-in access; back to the site-plan drawing board we go! 
Check the weather. Pretend we didn’t check the weather. Simultaneously plan for the weather while hoping for a sunny day with blind optimism. Very successful call with our cultural programming manager who is just totally winning everything at the moment, confirm full program. 

Festivals can get messy with the vast amount of people in attendance. Learn about what you can do to reduce the effects on the surrounding environment with our article 3 Solutions To Reduce Plastic Pollution… In The Music Industry.
Monitor our launch of some vital event details across social media. Ticket scamming is an unfortunate reality of events at the moment so an almost constant vigilance is needed! 
As a rather complex event with a quite diverse demographic, there is a lot of community management, customer service and social media interaction with our community. Would love to say this is a one-day-a-week job but this is probably what takes up most of my time, our event community is everything to us and is at the core of what we do. 
Circulate Satellite Webinar: Music Marketing delves into the delicate art of music/event marketing, click the link to learn more.
Finally, a day for meet-ups over beers with my Kiwi Fest co-directors Joe and Chris. After busy week of phone and messaging back-and-forth it’s nice to get to the nitty-gritty on a few key issues, tick boxes on our general event progress and make sure we’re all reading for the same song-book. Unwind, relax, take it all in a bit and enjoy some of the moments you’ll share in putting these things together, as this is what it is all about! 

Are you an artist/act looking to perform in festivals like Kiwi Fest? Our course How To Apply For Festivals is worth checking out.
Highlights of the week:
The freedom to exercise creative freedom; to dream up an idea, test its viability then chuck all your eggs in one basket and try hiff it over the roof, or something like that. It’s terrifying, fun, and satisfying all at once and is 100% why anyone who is in this industry does it! 
Lowlights of the week:
No-one who works in events will say they haven’t felt the pressure of watching ticketing sales, watching your event launch and hoping it at least breaks even. That’s not even going into the creative fears of putting out something into the world that is your own creation, dealing with opinions on the internet and the anxiety that can bring. 
Words of Wisdom: 
Take a chance, put it out there. Planning, dreaming, creating ideas is the easy part; taking the leap and putting yourself, your creation and all the  risk that goes with it out into the world is the hardest part. There’s only one way you’ll ever test yourself and that’s by doing it! 

Interested in the festival/event industry? Perhaps you’d like to start your own? Check out out course on Producing and Promoting Your Own Events/Festivals.

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