At Belmont, there’s nothing better than when students work together. But who doesn’t like a little friendly competition? Taking place at Music Marathon Works on December 9, the recurring Red Bull Soundclash event, a multi-round musical showdown where artists compete for the biggest crowd reaction, featured Belmont alumni Jake Wesley Rogers and Bren Joy. Both artists went song for song showcasing their unique musical styles. While Belmont alumni may have competed on stage, behind the scenes Belmont students worked together to help promote the event.
In order to create buzz around the Soundclash, the team at Red Bull knew they needed help from Belmont students themselves. This realization led them to contact Belmont’s GRAMMY U Rep and VP of Public Relations for Music Row Promo Nicole Lewis. Lewis, a senior music business major, quickly jumped on the opportunity and became named the Red Bull Soundclash Collegiate Marketing Consultant.
“From there, I put together a promotion task force of tastemaker students who have a wide reach on campus to promote the event. These Belmont students were JC Robbins, Jeena Turner, Ayva Redler, Madison Moll, Katy Gaspar, Alex Markey and Melina Bertsekas. Katy Gaspar became my partner throughout the project, and we were able to bounce ideas off each other and assist one another with our own personal contacts,” Lewis said.
Lewis’s first promotional strategy came in the form of a pre-show event and discussion held on December 8, available exclusively to Belmont students. This pre-show “hang,” advertised on social media and through word-of-mouth, garnered a massive response from Belmont students. Lewis originally only allotted 50 students to attend but had to increase capacity after receiving an overwhelming amount of interest.
“The pre-show hangout with Jake Wesley Rodgers and Bren Joy was super intimate and special. With both incredibly talented artists being Belmont alumni, it was definitely inspiring to see how far they have come post graduation,” said task force member and Belmont junior music business major Ayva Redler. “Most of the students in the crowd were also artists or pursuing a career in the music industry like myself. Each question was carefully thought out and helped us all get a feel for what ‘a day in the life’ is like for each of them.”
The pre-show event got coverage on both Red Bull’s Instagram as well as Rolling Stones’s Instagram Story. Following the successful event, Lewis and her team continued to promote the main Soundclash event on their social media as well as enlisting the help of @belmont_affirmations and @overheard_bu, two accounts popular among Belmont students.
“The most challenging part was deciding how to go about promotion since this was not a Belmont-affiliated event. My task force absolutely crushed it and proved that with hard work anything is possible,” Lewis said.
The event itself featured the hard work of the promotional taskforce, student photographers Wade Evans and JC Robbins, as well as Belmont Service Corps member volunteers Grace Krohse, Maggie Spadaro, Haiden Hill and Libby Trbovic.
“The Belmont community truly does show up to support each other and it was incredibly rewarding to play a part in the planning and execution of it all,” said Gasper. The overwhelming representation of the Belmont community at the Red Bull Soundclash event accurately reflected the hard work and dedication put in by all Belmont students involved in the promotion and production of the event. The event proved that students working together can be just as successful as alumni competing against each other.