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New Scholarship at Blair School of Music Honors Music Promoter Leon Jackson

A new scholarship fund has been established at the Blair School of Music in honor of Leon Jackson, the late music and event promoter who introduced a generation of Nashvillians to electronic dance music.

DDP Worldwide Inc., better known as Disco Donnie Presents, has made a $100,000 charitable contribution to Vanderbilt to endow the Leon Jackson Scholarship. This need-based scholarship will go to deserving undergraduate students at Vanderbilt Blair, with preference given to students from groups that are underrepresented at the school.

Jackson, who died of colorectal cancer in 2016 at age 47, was a beloved figure in Nashville’s nightclub community for more than 20 years, promoting dance and electronica events at venues throughout the city, starting as a “street team” promoter at Nashville’s Hillwood High School and Belmont University, then through his own production company, Ultimo Presents, and later in partnership with large-scale event promoters Insomniac Events and Disco Donnie Presents.

Jackson worked all his life to erase prejudice and pigeonholing in the music industry by giving a voice and platform to talented artists from a wide range of communities and musical genres. This scholarship continues that legacy, by helping increase diversity of viewpoint and experience at Vanderbilt Blair.

“In the five years since Leon left us, we’ve reflected on the positive mark he left in this world,” said Donnie Estopinal, CEO of Disco Donnie Presents. “He was a mentor to many, and helped provide opportunities to upcoming talent in the Nashville music scene. DDP couldn’t think of a more fitting way to continue his legacy than through an endowed scholarship in the field he loved most.

“Leon knew the power of higher education and its ability to change lives, and he viewed the Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music as aspirational. But above all, he was an observer and listener. And he understood the importance of understanding diversity in life and its potential in business.”

“We are proud to honor the memory of Leon Jackson with this new scholarship,” said Lorenzo F. Candelaria, Dean of the Vanderbilt Blair School of Music. “In addition to foregrounding in perpetuity an important and dazzling entrepreneur in the music industry, the Leon Jackson Scholarship firmly underscores our commitment to inclusive excellence at Vanderbilt Blair.” Disco Donnie Presents is an award-winning and recognized leader in electronic dance music event production, founded by veteran promoter James “Disco” Donnie Estopinal. Since the company’s inception in 1994, DDP has sold more than 17 million tickets, producing more than 17,000 live events, arena shows and outdoor festivals in more than 100 markets around the world, including the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Panama. Annually, DDP is responsible for organizing and promoting nearly 1,000 club events across the U.S. ranging from Portland, Columbus, Houston, Tampa, New Orleans, Dallas, and St. Louis to name only a few. DDP is also known for producing such major festivals such as The Day After, Ultimate Music Experience, Sun City Music Festival and, most recently, Ubbi Dubbi, Sunset Music Festival, Ember Shores and Freaky Deaky.

For more information, contact Vanderbilt Blair Director of External Relations Kristin Whittlesey at kristin.whittlesey@vanderbilt.edu or 615-491-7460.

Women of The Disco: Part 8

While it’s no secret that women are underrepresented in the Music Industry; Female leadership has proven to be an imperative factor for the success of the Electronic Dance scene. Women of The Disco is an initiative to highlight some of those powerhouses who are trailblazing the path and shaping the future of EDM.

Women of the Disco: Top 10

Maria Southgate

Maria Southgate

Marketing & Product Manager | Bensley / The Industry Standard

Maria got her start in the music industry working in PR and marketing, spearheading press campaigns for artists across the full spectrum of dance music. Initially, Maria worked as a Press Assistant for Drum & Bass record label Viper Recordings, before joining music PR agency Infectious PR. She then moved on to a Marketing Manager position at Never Say Die Records.

Maria’s current day to day responsibilities include overseeing the marketing strategy for Never Say Die Records, as well as Product Management for all releases. It’s her job to keep the promo ball rolling and to plan all roll outs and marketing activities. Maria makes sure that releases are pitched and assets are delivered on time, as well as liaising directly with artists, managers, press, curators, marketing partners and more. Additionally, she manages electronic act Bensley and works day-to-day on the roster of Industry Standard management acts including Zomboy, MUST DIE! and Space Laces.

Some attributes that have helped Maria find success within this profession are being extremely driven and focused in her work and holding herself to high standards. She always has the artist’s best interests at heart and invests a lot of time into making sure the artist’s vision is executed fully and effectively.

Advice for others: “Never entertain the thought that you’re not enough. The music industry is very male dominated and can be intimidating, but women are the glue holding this scene together and our work is so important. Keep on moving forward always!”

Bri Guarnere

Bri Guarnere

Booking Coordinator | Live Nation

Throwing it back to her middle school days, Bri used to have her parents take her to all the alternative/pop-punk shows to ever exist on South Street in Philly. Bri quickly realized from basically living at these venues as a teen, that she could find a way to turn her love for music into a lifelong career. A few years later, Bri went to Temple University in Philly to study the media & music business and saw a marketing internship posting at Live Nation one day. She took a risk and applied thinking she just would never hear back. Luckily, they gave Bri a chance and she began interning there her junior year of college (shout out to the one who believed in her from the start, Dave Niedbalski). After she graduated, Bri was offered a full-time job processing all artist contracts and venue agreements, really learning the ins & outs of the deals behind the scenes. From there, Bri took an interest in the booking world and is currently a booking coordinator supporting multiple talent buyers across their 10+ venues in the Philly area / surrounding regions around PA and NJ.

Aside from managing show bookings at all Live Nation venues, she also assists in producing a couple festivals in the region such as Camp Bisco and HiJinx. Having the opportunity to work closely on festival bookings and operations, it really opened Bri up to the EDM world. She actually spends a lot of her free time traveling to other festivals, not even produced by LN, to just experience the way other promoters run their events and understand more about the scene. Bri has met some of the best people at these events and has gained more love for the scene with each experience. One of her coolest achievements was being a part of the team that launched, named, and branded their annual end of the year HiJinx festival that takes place in the convention center right on Broad Street. Bri’s passion and love for any kind of music has helped her find success in her career this far. This is definitely a passion based industry and finding like-minded and supportive colleagues, both at LN and from the connections Bri has made with others at shows and festivals around the country, has kept her going.

Some advice for other women in this field is actually from one of Philly’s very own queen, P!NK – “you can’t move mountains by whispering at them.” “This is something that has stuck with me for a while, and something I am constantly reminding myself with. I definitely found some confidence in working in this industry, but at the same time have definitely felt the fear of speaking up and standing up for myself at times when I needed to most. You all have a voice, don’t be afraid to use it!”

Amaya Bankowski

Amaya Bankowski

Social Media Coordinator | Philadelphia, PA

A music lover through and through, Amaya began playing multiple instruments at a very young age which is where her passion for creativity first took off. At 19, she was hired as a music blogger at a local radio station in Philadelphia, while attending college at Temple University. Quickly, she knew the music industry was her home. Amaya has always been drawn to electronic music because of the way it connects, inspires, and influences people to find their personal happiness without boundaries. Amaya began working at Universal Music Group in 2021 as a digital marketing assistant and discovered how much she enjoys the content / social side of marketing, communicating with fans and focusing on branding is where she thrives. In the summer of 2021, Amaya was hired as the Social Media Coordinator for Disco Donnie Presents, becoming one of the members of their first in house marketing team as she entered her final year of college. She is graduating from Temple University with a Bachelors in Advertising this May. Amaya wants to continue to follow where her passion leads, and inspire others to do the same for themselves. In her free time, she still enjoys playing instruments and creating art across all mediums.

Advice for others: “Finding your identity and sense of self is a never ending journey (I mean that in a positive way!). Do what brings you closest to your most authentic self. Make it a priority to find mentors, be a mentor, and follow your passions. Remember that mistakes are not the end of the world and everyone makes them. Be intentional and have confidence.”

Brianna Irvin

Brianna Irvin

Artist Management Assistant – Optimystic Group

A music enthusiast to her core, Brianna first got her start in the industry through joining her local street team, later going on to explore her freelance writing career as the editor-in-chief of popular music publication Electric Hawk. Brianna quickly found her interest and strength in long-term artist development, leading to her current position as an artist management assistant at Optimystic Group.

Working alongside reputable acts such as Liquid Stranger, Champagne Drip, TVBOO, Luzcid, MIZE, Tripp St., VEIL, Canabliss, and more, Brianna assists with day-to-day duties, including curating diverse and inclusive lineups, advancing shows and festivals, and coordinating marketing plans for releases. A role that wears many hats, she plans to continue pursuing her goal of full time management and helping cultivate a healthier, more empowering environment for artists, industry professionals, and fans alike.“

Advice for others: “Go for it, and don’t hold back when you do! Put in work that you’re proud to stand by, be grateful for the opportunity to learn something new every day, lift others up when you can, and don’t forget to celebrate your own successes along the way.”

Emma Hoser

Emma Hoser

Agent – Liaison Artists

Emma Hoser is a New York-based electronic agent at Liaison Artists, representing a diverse roster of electronic DJs and producers with a heavy focus on the underground house and techno sound. Emma’s roster includes clients Adam Beyer, Cirez D, Ben Böhmer, Nicole Moudaber, Jamie Jones, Patrick Topping and many more.

Emma volunteers as a mentor for young adults at local organizations including the Lower East Side Girls Club and The LGBTQI+ Center in NY and recently joined LVR Management for their amazing Mentoring Artist program online.

She began her journey in music as a club promoter in Florida during college. She later moved to San Francisco to finish her degree, and continued pursuing her love for music by selling mixtapes to stores all over the USA. Through these endeavors she met many DJs, promoters, and agents. Upon finishing college she moved to New York to start working in the agency business. After stints at several different agencies, she found her home in 2008 working for Paul Morris at AM Only. AM Only partnered with Paradigm in 2012 and fully merged into Paradigm in 2017. In 2020, she left Paradigm to work at Liaison Artists, an independent agency in the US and who specialize in cutting edge international talent with a laser focused personalized touch.

Junamae Rice

Junamae Rice

Festival Freelancer | Various

Junamae got her start around 2018 doing promotions for Disco Donnie Presents club shows in Nashville and slowly transitioned into the festival scene. Eventually she ended up with the DDP team again, working on our festivals! Junamae has carried the credentials role for the longest but recently switched over to the AR world. Junamae considers herself a pretty open person when it comes to work. She’s had all kinds of jobs. Coming from different fields has given her the skills and opportunities to get her where she is now.
Advice for others: Be humble.

Amanda Chapman

Amanda Chapman

Paid Media Specialist | San Diego, CA

Amanda’s inspiration to work in music started at her first festival, EDC 2017. Her dad bought her for her 21st birthday and from that weekend forward she knew she was built to help bring music to life. She started out by taking photos for a magazine and helping smaller artists with social media and PR. Right after college, she moved to LA and gave up a teaching job in hopes to make music a full time gig. She started with an entry position at a digital marketing agency working in all avenues of music marketing. She discovered her passion for events and later took over her current role at DDP. Day to day, Amanda handles all paid marketing for Disco Donnie Presents. Disco has 1000+ club shows and festivals per year and she handles all of the digital advertising that comes along with it.

Essentially her job is to work with partners, artists and the internal marketing teams to make sure the shows sell out! Amanda wouldn’t be where she is without the help of many other music industry professionals. She also attributes her success to high self motivation and work ethic. Her advice to other women is to “Know your ‘why’ and stay close to it. Your ‘why’ should be such a piece of who you are, that failure to fulfill that ‘why’ is not an option no matter how difficult the path to getting there might be.”

Emma Nuttall

Emma Nuttall

Day to Day Manager | Gryffam Group

Emma is currently a day to day manager / assistant for a global electronic dance music artist (TheDarkroom/Interscope) at Gryffam Group. Emma grew up on house and techno music, so the electronic music scene has always been one for her. She got started in music as a marketing and press rep at °1824 under Universal Music Group for the last three years. During her time here, Emma landed UMG a partnership with Music Minds Matter, where individuals can become Mental Health First Aid certified and learn more about mental health in the music industry.

She also started as a brand ambassador for Live Nation and started the first ever EDM radio station at Temple University in Philadelphia. Over the last year, Emma has been doing freelance marketing and PR for independent artists and businesses as well as artist management for seven developing producers, DJs, and vocalists to build up her experience and skill set. Emma started as the advertising and social media coordinator in July of 2021 at Unlocked Presents where she assisted in all live shows at the venue, The Ave Live, in Philadelphia. Lastly, she is doing all of this while completing her final year of a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. Emma aspires to use her skills and passion to grow and make a positive effect on the music industry and have her own global festival one day!

Advice for others: “My advice for other women in this field is to have women mentors! At least one older than you, at least one younger than you. Be reliable and be available.”

Megan Braley

Megan Braley

Coordinator, Electronic Music | United Talent Agency

Megan started in 2012 at The Agency Group in LA. Working her way from unpaid intern, reception, to an assistant on multiple desks and a wide variety of rosters including rock/metal, jazz, folk, electronic and more. After 4 years of learning the core agency ropes, she decided to fully submerge herself in electronic music where her true passion was. Adam Chaves (Shalizi Grp) connected the dots between Megan, and the Circle founders/owners/operators, Steve Gordon, and Kevin Gimble, which solidified her career path at Circle Talent. After a groundbreaking move, UTA later acquired Circle in 2018, ultimately forming their incredible Electronic Music Dept.

Megan’s current day to day work is tour routing & strategy, A&R, project coordination alongside various agents within UTA Electronic. The UTA roster includes respected names such as Excision, Swedish House Mafia, Marshmello, Illenium, Alesso, Boris Brejcha, ZHU, Netsky, and countless others.

Working alongside some of the monumental artists Megan grew up with: Kaskade, Deadmau5, Infected Mushroom, Paul van Dyk, and so many more. Megan is the first coordinator AND female to be promoted within UTA Electronic, paving a new path for other great colleagues to shine.

Some attributes that Megan feels helped her find success in this field: “Trust your gut. Don’t be a jerk. Kindness isn’t weakness. Teamwork is essential. Be a mentor. Ask infinite questions. Make mistakes. I would like to give an extra special shout out to my lifelong mentors, Steve Gordon & Kevin Gimble, who took a chance on me, believed in me, and haven’t looked back since. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their support and dedication toward what we do. So much love to everyone on our team. I have also been extremely blessed to have the immense support of my family from day one in this wild industry.”

Advice for others: “No matter how much you are tested, do not conform to “normalcy”, and stick to your true north. With hard work and solid commitment, there is a place for all of us in music.”

Lauren Wright

Lauren Wright

Vendor Operations Manager | Disco Donnie Presents

Lauren started by helping out friends bands with merch, album cover photos, etc. When she moved back to Texas in 2016, Lauren started working DDP Aqua shows every Sunday at SISU, working box office for Third String Productions, and hospitality for Bomb Factory, Canton Hall, and Trees.

As the Vendor Operations Manager for Disco Donnie Presents, Lauren advances all the food and retail vendors for DDP festivals. From the moment vendors are selected until they leave the festival site, she manages operations.
As an independent contractor Lauren assists tours, shows, or festivals with Artist relations, hospitality, merch management, box office management, VIP experiences, etc.

Some attributes Lauren attributes to her success: “Always be on time and willing to help in areas outside your roll to make the magic happen. Growing up working at my family’s business, I learned that sometimes you need to wear more than one hat and be knowledgeable in all fields to be most useful.”

Advice for others: “DON’T BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP FOR YOURSELF.”

Introducing Our New Talent Discovery Program!

talent discovery program by disco donnie presents

For the last 28 years, Disco Donnie Presents has brought up new talent in the electronic music space. Our new program Disco Spotlight aims to give new talent an opportunity to have their music heard!

By submitting to the Disco Spotlight program, your music will be reviewed by a team of talent buyers and DDP executives. Outstanding entrants will be considered to receive opening slots at festival & club shows, reviews of their music, and mentorship by the DDP team.

Submit your application to the Disco Spotlight program today!

Disco Donnie Presents Honors First Responders, Veterans, and Gold-Star Families with $1,000,000 Ticket Donation

Veterans Day

Disco Donnie Presents, one of the country’s leading live music promoters, has pledged to donate $1,000,000 worth of tickets to its 2022 festivals and club events, including Ubbi Dubbi, Sunset Music Festival, Freaky Deaky, and over 1,000 club shows around the US.

The donation was made to non-profit organizations Vet Tix and 1st Tix. Vet Tix and 1st Tix (which is powered by Vet Tix) are national 501(c)(3) non-profit foundations supporting our military and first responder communities. These services provide free event tickets to first responders, currently serving military, veterans, and gold-star families to sporting events, concerts, performing arts, and family activities.

The donation is dedicated in memory of PFC Jason Hill Estopinal, Donnie’s younger cousin, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010 during his service in Operation Enduring Freedom.

“Our first responders and veterans are the ones who keep us safe and they’ve had a rough year. We wanted to show them some love, honor their work, and spark a little joy, by welcoming our heroes to our best festivals and club shows. We invite other promoters from all types of music to join us in this effort,” Disco Donnie said.

The $1,000,000 worth of tickets donation follows up on a $150,000 donation of 2021 Freaky Deaky Texas tickets, which just took place this past Halloween. In addition to ticket donations, Freaky Deaky has also made donations to local groups, including $10,000 to the Houston Food Bank and $10,000 to the Texas Association of First Responders. DDP also donated $25,000 to Americares for Hurricane Ida relief. In total, DDP has donated over $500,000 to local charities where the festivals are operated. DDP’s combined ticket and cash donations over the past eight years total over $1.5 million, reinforcing their commitment to giving back and supporting the communities that support them.

For media inquiries contact: siouxz@magnumpr.net

Women of The Disco: Part 7

While it’s no secret that women are underrepresented in the Music Industry; Female leadership has proven to be an imperative factor for the success of the Electronic Dance scene. Women of The Disco is an initiative to highlight some of those powerhouses who are trailblazing the path and shaping the future of EDM.

Women of The Disco: Top10

Liz Miller

Liz Miller

Facebook & Instagram | New York City, NY

Liz got her start in the music industry in 1996 by passing out flyers for raves in Boulder and Denver in exchange for free entry, which eventually led to being paid to pass them out. After doing that throughout college, the role turned into a full-time job in 1999 working with the promoter Together Productions putting on legendary events like the Skylab series.

Then in 2003 Liz was the second employee to join the not-yet-launched platform called Beatport where she helped conceptualize and implement account management strategies for labels and distributors selling their music on the platform.

In 2006, Liz moved to Berlin to help expand the Beatport label account management team, to then later be headhunted to move to NYC in 2010 to act as General Manager and oversee the re-launch of the legendary Big Beat Records imprint under Atlantic Records.

After some time at two other electronic music-focused companies (SFX and Dubset), Liz has now been in a role at Facebook and Instagram since 2018, where she is a Strategic Partnerships manager for music artists in all genres working with anyone from Metallica to Coldplay to Willow Smith. The role consists of talking with artists and their teams about new products across platforms and ensuring they are effectively using these features to reach fans and find new ones.

Liz’s piece of advice for women in the industry; “Whatever opportunity you’re given, even if it’s a menial task, do it the best you can and make sure the people around you feel like you’ve added real value. You never know who is watching or who you will impress that can lead to your next career move.

Alex Simpson

Alex Simpson

Live Nation | Toronto, CA

Alex Simpson is a festival manager for Live Nation currently based out of Toronto, Canada. As a festival manager, her job is to create immersive fan experiences reminiscent of those that inspired her to join the music industry and create these large-scale events. Like many in the events industry, her talents don’t fit in just one box! She’s a jack queen of all trades, with her hands on everything from socials and branding to ticketing and VIP programs to production and lineup curation. She fell in love with the magic of festivals in 2012, and joined Live Nation as an intern in 2014. There, she got her first taste of working in the electronic festival space and never turned back.

In just 6 months, she had a full-time role on that same team, and she’s been forging her own path at Live Nation for the last 6 years to her current role as festival manager, where she will oversee multiple properties nationally. She’s worked on many festival properties, most notably Dreams Music Festival, as well as VELD, CBC Music Festival, Field Trip, Escapade, and Matty Fest. She is also joining the JUNOS Dance Recording committee for 2022 to help shine a light on emerging electronic talent in Canada. Over the years she has worked with many initiatives that highlight musical talent from marginalized groups like women, LGBTQ+, and POC. In her climb to the top, she attributes her success to authenticity and staying grounded in her ultimate goal to create memories that last a lifetime.

Courtney Durler

Courtney Durler

Sleeveless Records | Healdsburg, CA

Courtney’s journey in music began in 2015 when she was living in San Francisco. She took on merch design and fulfillment responsibilities part-time for Sleeveless Records and even bought a sewing machine to get her feet wet in merch production. As time went on, Courtney took more on and then decided to quit her job in tech and move to LA in 2016 to be closer to the electronic music scene and to manage Sleeveless Records full time.

Courtney’s job responsibilities include all kinds of administrational work, setting up an LLC and keeping up with business taxes, sourcing merch in LA’s fashion district and working with various printers and vendors on production, order fulfillment, receiving demos and filtering promising submissions, running various social media accounts and campaigns, working with artists on release strategy and timelines, creating engaging content via Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and After Effects, and building the Sleeveless community online and at events through merch vending and group meetups.

In 2018, Courtney stepped into the role of day-to-day manager for Stylust, label boss of Sleeveless Records. This gave her the chance to be more involved in tour planning, intensive brand building, and artist strategy.

Courtney has found success in her role as label and artist manager through routine work ethic and a burning passion for underground bass music. Being able to help young and upcoming artists get their music out into the universe has helped drive her purpose, and she is looking toward the future with hope and excitement after an unprecedented 2020.

Inbal Lankry

Inbal Lankry

Prisma Artists | Miami, FL

Inbal Lankry is the founder of Prisma Artists, an independent talent agency established in 2017, representing electronic musicians and brands worldwide with a focus on North & South America. For over a period of 15 years, Inbal has developed a solid foundation in various aspects of the music industry ranging from promotions, event production and marketing to bookings and management.

Lankry’s beginnings can be traced back to age 15 when she was promoting for legendary New York Clubs, Limelight, Tunnel and Palladium, while simultaneously helping out older brother DJ Baby Sean with his residencies at various hot spots all over the city. She later migrated to South Florida in 2003, where Inbal & her siblings opened Sonar nightclub in Hollywood, voted Best Club of 2004 and 2005 by Miami New Times. A natural progression into DJing followed, making her one of the only female DJ/promoters in Miami’s local underground house music scene at the time. With her return to Miami in 2020 from a long interlude in Los Angeles, she has come back to Djing and has gained a reputation over the years for super tasteful cross-genre sets and has performed at some of the best parties & venues in both cities.

After gaining some notoriety in the South Florida scene through her club and satellite parties, she took on the role of Marketing & Booking Director for the legendary Electric Pickle in Miami 2009-2012. Inbal was instrumental in the success of making the venue one of the most sought-after gigs in the United States for artists across the globe. During her time there, the Electric Pickle was voted one of the Best US club by Rolling Stone. Simultaneously, she also produced several events throughout Miami yearly including Get Lost, Paradise, Crew Love, etc.

In 2012 she became one of the agents on Damian Lazarus’ formed Rebel Agency that was later to join CAA. After joining CAA and working in the corporate agency world as an agent at CAA, Winidsh/Paradigm where she developed several acts including Hercules & Love Affair, Purple Disco Machine, Soul Clap, Amtrac, Kindness, Fur Coat, etc. she finally branched out and founded Prisma Artists in 2017 where she continues to develop her roster with a passion for innovative artists.

With a far-reaching contact base and years of experience in the industry she provides a high level of service and a unique approach of touring to the following clients on the Prisma roster including (but not limited to): &ME, Francesca Lombardo, Max Cooper, Rampa, Jennifer Cardini, Keinemusik, Telefon Tel Aviv, Patrick Holland, Satori, Adam Port, Moscoman, Tiger & Woods, etc.

Valerie Lee

Valerie Lee

Twitch Music | Los Angeles, CA

Valerie Lee is the Premium Music Content Manager for Twitch. At Twitch, she oversees content strategy for Premium Music Partners, working with industry leaders like Rolling Stone, Bowery Presents, Relix, Rolling Loud, Shawn Gee’s BlackStream Live, Beatport, Paxahau, and more. Valerie has worked in the world of music, tech, and media for over seven years. Previously, she worked on content partnerships with virtual concert start-up Wave XR, working on The Weeknd’s groundbreaking show on TikTok; as the Global Culture Editor at Mixmag, where she oversaw editorial, live events, and live streams; and as the Content Manager at International Music Summit, where she helped to launch the debut IMS China in 2015.

In addition to her work behind-the-scenes, she has also cultivated a voice and presence in music media, contributing as a writer to Billboard Dance, launching an award-nominated podcast for Mixmag, hosting her own news and interview show called The Newsfloor, and hosting the record-breaking Coachella live stream. Valerie lives in Los Angeles and besides music, she is a big fan of the library, dogs, cats, and cooking.

Paige Turner

Paige Turner

Tour Coordinator / Assistant Tour Manager | Knoxville, TN

Paige began her journey in the music industry by studying film lighting, at that time she was also working as a local stagehand to make money while in school. Her first touring job was in 2002 as a lighting tech, then in 2005 she became a Production Assistant and Merchandise Manager. In these roles, Paige couldn’t help but notice that she was one of only a few women on the entire touring staff, but did not let that deter her. Paige continued to flip between these two roles until about 2012 when she made the leap to Production Coordinator, shortly thereafter moving on to Tour Coordinator / Assistant Tour Manager, and hasn’t looked back since.

Her current role involves much more than meets the eye, including weeks of prep before the tour begins and weeks of work wrapping things up after it’s ended. Paige’s day-to-day workflow varies drastically while touring. Some of her responsibilities include taking care of band/artist’s needs/wants, coordinating with local promoters, maintaining daily float, and being an overall badass. Paige attributes her professional success to being organized, being a great multi-tasker, having an amazing tribe of women to lean on, and just a bit of magic.

Amanda Medina

Amanda Medina

iHeartRaves & EmazingLights The Emazing Group | Phoenix, AZ

Amanda’s first taste of the industry came when she was in college and interned for Infected Mushroom’s tour management. At that time, Amanda found herself enamored with the EDM community as a whole, both professionally and personally. She fell in love with the culture and fashion of festivals so much so that she decided to dedicate her career to spreading that sense of wonder and community with as many people as possible. Fate handed her the opportunity to do just that when she found a Craigslist listing to work with a new start-up, building e-commerce brands in the EDM space; this once start-up is what today stands as iHeartRaves.

Amanda currently manages the acquisition, retention, and brand marketing teams for all 3 of the Emazing Group brands’ websites as well as the on-site promotions, partnerships, and sponsorship at festivals. Amanda owes the success of her career and iHeartRaves as a brand to the deep connection they both have with the EDM fan community.

Quote from Amanda: “The most rewarding aspect has been seeing the path I’ve paved for the women on my team to follow their own dreams and work in a career that ties their passions to their strengths.”

Lauren Kenner

Lauren Kenner

Mercy Agency | Jacksonville, FL

From EDM to hip-hop to pop to television, Lauren has made waves across many areas of the entertainment industry. She is the co-founder of Mercy Agency, an expansive marketing collective focused on developing major artist brands, organic content, and social media strategy. Lauren attributes her success in the industry to networking, a strong work ethic, and strong moral values.

Quote from Lauren: “I’m so lucky to work closely with some of the most hard-working and resilient women out there. Being a woman in the music industry can really suck sometimes, but banding together with other strong women has really helped me grow and thrive. Look for your community of good, professional humans and keep them close!”

Sam Kern

Sam Kern

Grim Photos | Shanghai, China

Sam found her interest in photography all the way back in middle school when her mom gave her her first camera. In high school, she was fond of taking pictures of her friends and local bands. Sam was always the person with the camera taking everyone’s picture. This continued through college, however, it wasn’t until after college when she moved to Shanghai to start a career as a teacher that she first dipped her toes into the EDM scene. After seeing advertisements for artists she liked coming to Asia, she began sending emails to photograph shows. Following countless emails, Sam’s first gig was with Zed’s Dead at Creamfields Hong Kong 2017. She was so shocked to even have the opportunity, she almost didn’t believe it was real. From there Sam’s career began spiraling! She continued to work local events in Shanghai and all over Asia, doing videography and portrait photography and being a tour manager.

During the pandemic, there was really no opportunity to be working with foreign artists so Sam shifted her focus on local talent and added MUA to her skill set along the way, all while still maintaining her teaching job. Sam prides herself on it being rare for her to work with an artist then never work with them again, stating one of her most notable tours were two she did with Rezz in 2018. Sam says passion is what makes her so successful in her career. Currently, she has moved back to the states and looks forward to all her upcoming festival bookings both with reoccurring artists and new ones!

Quote: “I love capturing the energy of shows, I love traveling and experiencing new cultures, and most importantly, gotta love the music. <3"

Susan Zimmerman aka SiouxZ

Susan Zimmerman aka SiouxZ

Publicist Magnum Publicity | New York City, NY

SiouxZ attributes her start in the industry to a moment of ‘right place, right time’. She started her professional career out as a receptionist for a late-night cult TV music show called “Night Flight”, where she learned about music promotion, combining music and visuals, and continued her passion for creative writing. Following this role, SiouxZ became assistant to Head Writing and Director of Music Video Acquisitions, then moved on to TVT Records where she began her career in publicity. Nowadays SiouxZ is straight hustlin’. Being a publicist means constantly dealing with deadlines, sifting through emails daily, industry research, and lots of time management. SiouxZ has worked with an impressive list of clients including Disco Donnie Presents.

As far as achievements go, SiouxZ’s are endless. From working with Nine Inch Nails for 10 years to Avicii to Daft Punk, just to name a few. Previous to Magnum PR, SiouxZ was the proprietor of Formula PR which was one of the first independent U.S. electronic /dance music-oriented PR firms. She attributes her success to running her business on passion, noting that every client she has ever worked with she wholeheartedly believes in, and dancing like nobody’s watching.

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