Welcome to Magnetic's Industry Focus, a series where we highlight the major players working behind the scenes of the EDM biz. These are the folks running the record labels, representing the artists, promoting the shows and just getting it done.
They may not get the shine of the DJs on stage, but they work just as hard making sure the parties are packed, the music is perfect, and that the artists are where they need to be. We’ve decided to shine the light on the behind the scenes movers and shakers that are helping you making you move and shake.
Today, we highlight Haley Hoogland, Artist & Touring Supervisor for Wantickets. She's gone from working in college radio promotions to putting together touring packages for some of the biggest artists in electronic dance music. Take a read...
How did you start your career in the electronic music business?
I received a Bachelor's degree in Music Industry Management from Ferris State University (MI) in 2010 and moved to LA one month after graduation. I landed an internship doing college radio promotion, and had the opportunity to listen to lots of new records before they hit radio. While the gig only lasted about 6 months, being able to get my hands on so many different records opened my eyes to more amazing electronic artists and genres that were out there, in addition to the ones I already knew and loved. I wanted to work more directly with the artists, helping them to emerge and continuously grow in any way I could. A little less than one year later, I found myself at Wantickets as the coordinator of the Artist & Touring department. This past June marked my 3 year anniversary here (now managing the department), and I've had the opportunity to work with 100+ artists helping them to set up strategic & effective touring, marketing, and presale ticketing solutions.
What is the best part of the business?
One of the best parts about this business is having the opportunity to work with such a dedicated team of people. Barak started this company 15 years ago and despite having been with the company just 3 years, being able to witness such growth and success from something that started out as a one-man operation has been seriously inspiring.
I’m extremely grateful to be able to work alongside people who have been in the business far longer than I have. I’m learning every single day. A wise meme once told me, “If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.”
What are the biggest challenges?
Being able to keep up with the constant evolution of the business. The minute something becomes popular, it’s already starting to decay… as all things do. However, in knowing that, we are constantly kept on our toes and that’s when innovation really comes alive.
What career advice would you recommend to someone just starting off?
Networking is essential… creating a strong relationship is important but maintaining it is key. Always ask questions (but check Google first), and remember everyone’s favorite topic is themselves. Every person in this business had to start somewhere, just like you! This industry is constantly evolving so you have to be one step ahead of the game at all times. Resisting change can be more stressful than change itself. Be proactive. Dress for success. Envision what you want and where you want to be in 1 or 5 years. Set your intent early on and the universe will deliver.
What does electronic music mean to you?
Liberation. Freeing your inhibitions. Also, this genre has always been about staying true to yourself and what you believe in. I love that the fans and industry folk alike are willing to call bullshit where they see it.
It's a community of people that are insanely passionate ...and it's a movement that I'm very proud to be able to have a hand in promoting.
What cities/regions do you think electronic dance music is best thriving?
LA’s underground scene is very legit. Plus, it's home to so many major industry players so it has the best of both worlds. And then there are the obvious locations like Ibiza, Amsterdam, NYC, Detroit, etc. Economically, I think it's hard to compete with Vegas.
If you weren’t in the music biz, what would you be doing?
This is a tough one for me because music has surrounded me in my life since the day I was born. Growing up, I was a theatre kid. I have some pretty serious home video footage of improv sessions and high school plays. I love making people laugh. I considered going to school to pursue an acting career. But as I got older I realized that I preferred to be behind the scenes. Anything in the entertainment industry was always in the cards for me… or owning a Cat-fe.