Front Row: All Access Fest 2021

Youth participants representing over 100 cities from around the world registered for and attended this year’s All Access Fest, and it would not have been possible without the support of our volunteers, over 100 music industry experts, and our event sponsors: CD Baby, Concord, Faegre Drinker, House of Blues, Neumann, Spotify, The Orchard, Thompson Hine LLP, Union Bank, and United Talent Agency.  

Enjoy this post-event write-up from one of our youth attendees, Rosmary Alarco Villalva, a recent graduate of the University of Central Florida who also provided social media support via our partner RUTH PLUS.

At the age of five, I wanted to be a pop star.  At the age of fourteen, I ran a Twitter fan account for my favorite boy band with over 7,000 followers.

Regardless of how different both of my past dreams may have been, they had one thing in common– music.

Fast-forward to the present day…

“How do I find the career that’s right for me within the music industry?”

That was a question constantly on my mind until I attended All Access Fest. Now I can confidently say, at the age of twenty-three, I know what my future career will be.

In early July, my manager at RUTH PLUS gave me the role of Project Manager for the partnership between Music Forward and our company. When I read all about the purpose behind the event, I knew this was the project for me. The main focus of what we would be providing for the event was creating content and doing outreach alongside Music Forward’s wonderful marketing team. In spite of standard event challenges, seeing it come to life was worth every second spent designing, editing, and typing up email templates for my team to use.

On the day of the event, not only was I continuing to assist with their social marketing by posting reminders, engaging with the audience via Instagram, and perfecting feed posts, but I also was able to attend the event and learn about my future.

There was a panel for everything!

Whether you were an artist, producer, aspiring artist manager, future venue owner, a creative who wants to go into marketing, or any other career within the music industry, Music Forward opened doors into the industry by providing panels, workshops, and even resume reviews, and real time A&R feedback.

The one experience that really resonated with me was “A Day in the Life: Agent Edition with United Talent Agency (UTA).”

My manager would always tell me that I’d do great at an agency, so I was thankful All Access Fest gave me the chance to get more insight on what the job entails aside from my own general research.

Inspirational was the word I would use to describe the conversation between Tessie Lammle and Ruth-Ann Wynter. There’s nothing that I appreciate more than honesty and that is exactly what was given to participants in this conversation. Along with sharing the greatness of being a booking agent, we were also told the real struggles one goes through in this role. Overall what was most important to me, as a woman, was feeling like I was represented by these two amazing women.

The best advice that I heard was that “it doesn’t matter your age or where you’re from, you have the power to gain experience wherever you are. Don’t be afraid to ask local bands if they need help with marketing. Reach out to venues around you and see if they need volunteers for the next concert or event. Even without an internship, opportunities are all around you. Don’t let anything bring you down from following your dreams.”

I can definitely say, All Access Fest was inclusive and diverse, from speakers to participants.  We all have one common goal, to shape the future of the music industry. It was amazing to be a participant and hopefully one day, I’ll be able to attend as a speaker and inspire others.

Thank you Music Forward for providing these opportunities to teens and young adults to create their pathway of success in the industry.

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