Three students standing in front of a banner for the May Day festival

Author: Billy Hentenaar (May 2014 MBUS graduate)

The University of Georgia’s Music Business program recently hosted the May Day festival on Sunday, April 27th at the Melting Point. The annual festival is entirely managed by students in the program and is as much about the learning process as it is about the music.

View May Day photo album

Program Director, David Barbe adds that, “over the course of the year in MBUS, it is the goal of the faculty that the students move from 'Who Am I?' to 'Who I Am.' May Day shows that transition like nothing else. Every aspect is managed by students - booking, promotion, production, performing...It is truly a collaborative celebration for MBUS and the Athens music community." The festival features many local acts, predominantly bands with students in the Music Business program, alternating between an indoor and outdoor stage.

This year, fifteen acts performed from 1–9 pm, starting with an acoustic set by Mikey Heptinstall. “The crowd at the beginning was mostly MBUS students, so it wasn’t huge, but it was really supportive,” attendee Amber Henderson commented. Things picked up as the day moved along, with free door prizes, tasty food, and a great flow of bands drawing people in. The crowd was full by the time the MBUS staff performed their set at 6pm, and it was packed for Of the Vine’s emotional closing set at 8pm. “It’s crazy to see all of the musical talent we have at UGA,” attendee Matt Eversley said, “It’s great because everyone knows each other and just likes listening to their friends’ music. I’m definitely coming back next year.”

The Music Business program also took a new approach for this year’s festival, teaming up with the University’s Law School to feature a Business Expo in the Melting Point’s ballrooms from 12pm–5pm. During that time, businesses of all sizes- ranging from local to international- set up booths to promote their companies. The benefit of this new addition was mutual; the businesses garnered much attention, and the festival as a whole ended up bringing in more than 450 attendees — the highest total in its five years. Head organizer Ellen Barnes, concluded, “The event went smoothly. The students worked together to get everything done, the law school hosted a great expo, and all of the bands were phenomenal. I think everyone had a good time.”