Chico State’s Wild Oak Music Group continues to grow
Remember the stress of being a student? How busy you were with classes, papers and work? Now consider adding to that schedule the organization and implementation of an 18-band music festival taking place a week before finals.
This is the task at hand for the music industry majors of Chico State’s Wild Oak Music Group as they plan for Chico Music Fest 2009, an ambitious one-day festival Saturday, May 9, at venues all around Chico.
“CMF has been, yeah, a lot more work than I expected. We have sunk a ton of time into it, with everyone working on a separate project,” said Danny Glazier, a senior majoring in music industry who does media relations for Wild Oak. “We mainly discuss our game plan in class and then leave class knowing it’s up to us to take care of stuff outside of class time.”
Glazer said that, at the start of the year, Wild Oak assigned four coordinators and assembled an outreach team to brainstorm, coming up with the idea of spreading out to four venues—The Graduate, 1078 Gallery, Café Coda and Lost on Main—showcasing four genres, with four to five acts on each stage, all in one night. After that, the students contacted the venues and established contracts for the performances. They then scouted for artists, and contacted a variety of local and out-of-town prospects.
There will be a national act headlining each show, with local groups performing as well.
Paying attention to every foreseeable detail—from artist communication to promotion—has the students hoping they’ve set themselves up for success. Glazier, for one, is excited.
“There’s not a lot of events put out into the community that the school does—other than these huge concerts and music festival—that show the positive side of what students do,” said Glazier. “This is a good chance to show that we’re out there doing something positive. It’s one of the biggest things Wild Oak has done.”
Wild Oak Music Group is an on-campus learning experience for Chico State music industry students that prepares them to work in the music industry after graduation. Now in its 12th year, WOMG has gone from a small operation to a legitimate music production company that has released 14 CDs over the past nine years.
Paul Friedlander, the director of the Music Industry Program at Chico State, has been with Wild Oak from the start.
“We started out as many school programs do—with no budget and a bake-sale mentality,” Friedlander said. “What we’ve done is we’ve proven ourselves as an important educational experience, that we are successful in our entrepreneurial efforts.”
And that success has been demonstrated in many ways during the current school year through Wild Oak’s many offshoot groups: The Songwriter’s Guild has recorded and released the Only the Fearless compilation CD—featuring a few local singer-songwriters—and has promoted and produced an open-mic competition and two concerts; Concert Promotions promoted several local events, drawing especially large crowds of high school students to its High School Battle of the Bands; and this year Wild Oak students also created the new Hip-hop Collective.
A new area of emphasis for Wild Oak was their development of the Business Soundtracks program. As part of their mission to build bridges with the community and local businesses, Wild Oak Records provided custom CDs with compilations featuring all-local music to local businesses. Two business compilations have been created so far, one for Chico Bike & Board and one for Massage by Santy. Each business chose the songs to make its own unique soundtrack.
But all of this extra hard work is worthwhile to the students.
“Balancing school and Wild Oak is fun,” said Glazier, who also works as an event coordinator/talent buyer for AS Presents on campus. “All of it added up has been pretty hectic, but it’s all something I absolutely love to do. I wake up every day excited to work.”