How's my lipstick?
Phone fully charged.
"Haley Walker, I'm on the list for….."
The best thing that's happened to me since joining Odyssey? It's easily been not paying for a single concert in over a year, sugar coated with the fact I get to meet amazing artists and publicists. All while pursuing my greatest passion. Odyssey gives me an outlet to write to my heart's content every single week, and concerts, well they give me pretty much everything else. Love, freedom, passion, liveliness, a sense of home and belonging, every emotion humanly possible, and an overall good time to say the least.
It's one thing to relate to a song while listening to it through your headphones, it's another thing to shout the lyrics at the top of your lungs while your favorite artist is doing the same thing right back in person, and it is on a completely different level to get to sit down with that artist and talk to them about what inspired them to write that song in the first place. It's what music is all about.
But how do I get to do all of this? Let me share with you!!!! If you have a passion, FOLLOW IT! I am as introverted as it gets and I was SO nervous the first time I covered a concert from claiming my free tickets, going into the photo pit, and interviewing one of the band members afterwards (shoutout to Night Riots, you will always have a special place in my heart because of this). BUT IT'S WORTH IT! Nothing makes me feel more alive, understood, and like I belong and are loved than going to a concert. The music industry feels like home and I never would've known this had I not stepped out of my comfort zone and gone to a concert as press. Don't let your dreams just be a cotton candy texture that seems intangible. Claim! It!
Step One: Join Odyssey! Duh! Or any legitimate writing outlet of your choosing! You need a place to share all your writings and photos, and a platform to publish your pieces! Publicists want to know you write for real, recognizable audience.
Step Two: Figure out where and what concert you want to go to. While I have gone to concerts that have seating and assigned tickets, it is far more easier to get into a concert that is general admission simply because there's no ticket priority. In my personal opinion, general admission concerts are superior anyway because you can be as close to the artist as you want all squished together with people who adore them as much as you do!
Step Two cont: Choose the artist!!!! Yeah!!!!! When I was just beginning I sought out openers, just because they weren't as famous so I knew I would have a better chance of getting the opportunity.
Step Two cont again: Look up their tour to figure out when and where they are coming near to you. Being in College Station allows me to have the best location. I can go to Dallas, Houston, Austin, Waco, or San Antonio for a concert without having to drive more than three hours. Score.
Step Three: Find the artist's press contact or publicist. I usually do this through their facebook page, their spotify, or their personal website. NOT THEIR MANAGER!!! The manager will just get annoyed and forward your email to who it actually concerns because they have bigger and better things to do like manage famous people.
Step Four: craft the best email in all of eternity. Professionalism, eagerness, and a dash of "I've definitely done this before," even if you haven't. Include the location, artist, date, goal, and what you will publish. If it's a more famous artist I include a portfolio of other articles I've written about other musicians just to let them know I have experience. After I get the confirmation from the press contact, then I go in for the interview and photo pit pass. I have only been rejected to cover a concert twice because they were sold out, I always get a photo pit pass, and I've gotten to interview three artists. So exciting!
Step Five: Go to the concert! Make a day out of it! Sight see and fan girl (or boy) and embrace the city/artist! If you are covering an opener, definitely be at the venue an hour before the show so you know you have enough time to get your tickets, photo pit pass, and line up by the pit. If you're covering the main act, 30 minutes prior is enough time, but if you're there for it, you can go in the photo pit for all of the artists, not just the headliner. If the show is general admission, I like to be there super early so I can be at the front, but that's just personal preference. Enjoy the concert! If something sticks out to me I write it down in the notes of my phone so I don't forget how everything felt in that exact moment. Be present. Let the music soak through your skin and change you.
Step Six: After you finish the article, email them back the published piece and any extra photos you want to send them. Seriously BLOW UP social media with it and tag them in everything, sometimes the artist responds or reposts! Exciting!
Step seven is obviously repeat! It's seriously SO much fun you guys and I cannot recommend this enough! It's beyond rewarding! Music is the BEST thing to me and I want to spend my life typing its praises.
Xoxo, a hopeful music journalist.