Interning with the 2012 Festival

The Ojai Festival’s internship program was by far the highlight of my summer.  It’s three weeks of learning, making friends and gaining experience that feels more like a few days at the end of it.

My euphonium teacher at UC Berkeley recommended the program to me – I told him I was looking for an arts management internship in Southern California and this immediately came to his mind.  I had known about the success of the Festival in years past, and I was sold once I found out about the internship program.  I actually applied late, having found out about the program in early May.  Luckily for me they had an open spot, and after e-mailing an application and a couple of short essays I interviewed on the phone with Jillian, the intern coordinator.

Three days later Jillian informed me that I had been accepted into the program as a Marketing/Public Relations intern, something I was very excited about.  Then, after a little more than a month, I arrived at the Ojai Festival.  I actually arrived a week later than all of the other interns did, because I was to stay a week later to work on marketing-related projects.  Because of this, I arrived on Festival week – after three short days of introduction, it was time to dive into the exciting and fast four days of the Festival.

I live near Ojai, but had never before attended the Festival, so it was amazing to me to see how well the event flowed and how smooth the planning was – and of course, how wonderful the music was.  During the Festival I did a variety tasks including handling incoming 2013 subscriptions, handing out and recording audience surveys, and taking photos during the Festival for social media purposes.

The retail interns handled the large books both with CDs, the box office interns attended to the influx of ticket orders and will call, and every other intern had something specific to attend to.  Some handled special events, some backstage, some the front desk, and so on.  After a little over 72 hours, all of the events were done and Libbey Park no longer glowed with green lanterns.

The next week, the final week for most interns, involved finalizing and approving what had happened during the Festival and getting ready to say goodbye.  We had become a little family over the Festival – the intern program had students from a wide variety of schools, from Washington to Texas, from the Bay Area to Southern California.

Many interns come back year after year, but many do not because of scheduling issues.  It was such a great experience to meet people that have the same passions as I did and connect with fellow music lovers.

I am very, very happy my euphonium teacher mentioned this program to me – I believe it has helped me greatly with my understanding of a successful non-profit and of the ways in which music events work.  I know I will be using this experience in my future internships and jobs with arts management.

– Lauren Eales

To apply to the program or for more information, click here.