Issue 97 | February 2013

thetreeshiphop.jpg* Director's Notes
* "Farewell" Message from Mia
* Pencil Me In:


  • ***Harvardwood Presents: Harvard ROCKS 2013! Wed., Feb. 20th
  • ***Harvardwood Presents: How to be (_______): A Multi-cultural Identity Primer, feat. Baratunde Thurston '99! Sat., Feb. 9th
  • Harvardwood Heads To...Director Paul Thomas Anderson presents BREAKFAST WITH CURTIS, Thurs., Feb. 21
  • Ivy Entertainment invites Harvardwood to its 7th annual Academy Awards Viewing Party! Sun., Feb. 24
  • Ameriprise invites Harvardwood to..."CUT! Costume & the Cinema" at the Bowers Museum, Tues., Feb. 26
  • C.L.A. invites Harvardwood to...Legal Aspects of Internet Production, Wed., Feb. 27


  • OFA invites Harvardwood to...A Master Class with RENEE FLEMING, Sat., Feb. 2


  • Harvardwood Presents Film & TV Legend MARGE CHAMPION, Wed., Feb. 6
  • Harvardwood Heads To...Orphan Songs, Wed., Feb. 20
  • Harvardwood Presents: Berenika & Friends Play Mendelssohn, Wed., Feb. 27


  • C.L.A. invites Harvardwood to...Worker Cooperatives for the Creative Arts, Wed., Feb. 20

dan-masterson-headshot-1024x.jpg* Seeking opportunities for the 2013 Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP)!
* Seeking leaders for the NYC Harvardwood Writers Program
* "Harvard Eateries" e-Book available FREE on Feb. 7th only
* Submit your materials to Harvardwood Publishing
* Submit to the Harvardwood Visual Arts Gallery!
* And the 2013 Harvard ROCKS performers are...
* Seeking volunteers for Harvard ROCKS
* Industry Successes
* Harvardwood Artist Showcase - feat. Harvard ROCKS 2013 contestants!
* Harvardwood 101 Testimonials!
* Featured Member Posting: Freelance AE needed for Documentary Feature - NY
* Member Profile: Ben Weeden '98

Director's Notes

Congrats to the Harvardwood team for pulling off another successful year of Harvardwood 101! Special thanks go to the Directors of Harvardwood 101, Amit Samuel & Ansley Rubinstein, a dynamic duo to say the least. We thank all of the alums & friends that participated this year, including: Zadoc Angell, Jeff Book, John Bowman, Jennifer Long Brancato, John D. Brancato, Gerry Daley, Dan Donahue, Jonathan Eirich, Helen Estabrook, Mark Gill, Lisa Henson, Rand Hoffman, Jean Huang, Niel Jacobson, Chip Johannessen, Virginia Johannessen, James Kearney, Noah Oppenheim, Christine Otal Crow, Adam Perlman, Max Pross, Mia Riverton, Liz Ryan, Couper Samuelson, Rob Schwartz, Ryan Shrime, Adam Shulman, Rob Ulin, Patric Verrone, Larry Wasserman, Maiya Williams Verrone, & Ike Youssef. Read on for testimonials from a few of the participants!

And this month I’m bursting with excitement over what promise to be two GREAT Harvardwood events in Los Angeles! Join us on Feb. 9 to help celebrate the anniversary of the release of the hilarious, critically-acclaimed book HOW TO BE BLACK, by Baratunde Thurston ’99 at "How to be (________): A Multi-cultural Identity Primer." And one cannot forget about the post-Grammy shin-dig, celebrated Harvard-style, on Feb. 20 – Harvard ROCKS 2013!! Read on for more info about the competing artists and get your vote on here!

-- Kelley

"Farewell" Message from Mia

It has been quite a ride these past 13 or so years since Harvardwood's inception! I've had the privilege of working with inspiring and dedicated alums, students, faculty, and staff to launch the organization and create the plethora of programs, events, and resources that are now available to over 5,000 members worldwide. I've had the satisfaction of watching the organization grow to such a point that we were able to bolster our all-volunteer ranks with our first official staff member -- the amazing Kelley Johnson Purcell. I've had the joy of welcoming new cohorts of Harvardwood 101 students to LA every January since 2003 and seeing many of them achieve rapid post-graduation career success (including award nominations, box office hits, and starring roles). Most gratifying of all, perhaps, is knowing that the organization will continue to grow and thrive as new generations of Harvardians venture beyond the Yard to join our ranks, and as our members enjoy even more professional and personal accomplishments in the years to come.

While this is not really a farewell on my end ("Founder", like "Mother", is a role that follows you to your grave), it is time for me to pass the torch on the day-to-day front. So...I am delighted to announce that Allison Kiessling will now officially step into her first term as President (we have been co-Presidents for the past 2 years). Allison has been a dedicated Harvardwood volunteer for the better part of a decade -- among other things, she redesigned the Harvardwood website and online systems, and she deserves much of the credit for reinvigorating the now robust Harvardwood Writers Program (which has seen many participants staffed on TV series, sell screenplays, and achieve other successes). A talented writer herself, Allison exemplifies the Harvardwood mission of strengthening ties between the arts, media, entertainment and education.

On behalf of myself and my Harvardwood co-Founders, Stacy Cohen and Adam Fratto, please join me in welcoming Allison to the head of the class -- I'm sure she'd love to hear from you about your hopes for Harvardwood!

-- Mia

Pencil Me In...

***LA - Harvardwood Presents: Harvard ROCKS 2013! Wed., Feb. 20

Started in 2009, Harvard ROCKS brings out the best of the best in Harvard's undiscovered musical talent. This year's acts were chosen by a group of top tier industry judges (see full list of judges at link below). The performing artists for Harvard ROCKS 2013 will be: Moniker, The Trees, and Dan Masterson. Now, come celebrate at our own post-Grammy party, Harvard-style. Catch the performing artists LIVE on February 20th and help select the 2013 Harvard ROCKS winner...

***LA - Harvardwood Presents: How to be (______): A Multi-cultural Identity Primer, Sat., Feb. 9

Join Harvardwood for a tongue-in-cheek tutelage on all kinds of people, feat. NY Times best-selling author, Baratunde Thurston '99! Help us celebrate the anniversary of the release of his critically-acclaimed book, HOW TO BE BLACK…Other featured performers include Kiran Deol, Liz Femi, Matthew Francis, John Paul Kirliak, Joy Nash, and Renee Santos. Hosted by Jeremy Rabb (HER, WEEDS, SOUTHLAND, GREY'S ANATOMY) …To view full posting and get tickets, please visit:

LA - Harvardwood Heads To...Director Paul Thomas Anderson presents BREAKFAST WITH CURTIS, Thurs., Feb. 21

Paul Thomas Anderson presents a special screening of BREAKFAST WITH CURTIS from writer/director Laura Colella '91. This amiably quirky indie shot in the filmmaker's own Rhode Island neighborhood, with a cast made up of its residents, is an Independent Spirit Award nominee for the John Cassavetes Award. A discussion with Colella will follow, moderated by Anderson…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Ivy Entertainment invites Harvardwood to its 7th annual Academy Awards Viewing Party! Sun., Feb. 24

Get ready for the big awards show of the year: it's our seventh annual Oscars Viewing Party and we're rolling out the red carpet for you! We had so much fun dressing up and watching the show together last year, we're looking forward to more of the fun this year at a new venue. We're heading to SmithHouse in Century City. Play our winner prediction game for your chance to win free prizes. Arrive at 3:30 to fill out your ballot (or download by clicking here) and turn it in by 4pm when the show starts. We'll also cheer on IVY nominations at the Oscars…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - Ameriprise invites Harvardwood to..."CUT! Costume & the Cinema" at the Bowers Museum, Tues., Feb. 26

Ameriprise Financial cordially invites Harvardwood members to join them at the Bowers Museum. You and your guests will enjoy cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a dessert reception in an incredible setting. Your evening includes private tours of Bowers Museum and its breathtaking special exhibit "CUT! Costume and the Cinema." You'll also hear nationally acclaimed speaker Doug Lennick as he presents FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE…Doug is a renowned international keynote speaker, consultant to organizations around the world, and coach to Fortune 500 CEOs. In the keynote presentation "Financial Intelligence" he will discuss key principles from his two latest books, FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE and MORAL INTELLIGENCE 2.0…To view full posting, please visit:

LA - C.L.A. invites Harvardwood to...Legal Aspects of Internet Production, Wed., Feb. 27

This workshop will review the basic rights and agreements required for the production and exploitation of live-action, recorded content for the web, including commercials and web series. Presenting will be Carol T. Contes, Esq. Carol has provided business and legal affairs services for the development, production and distribution of films and television programs as well as the merchandising and licensing of ancillary rights…To view full posting, please visit:

BOSTON - OFA invites Harvardwood to...A Master Class with RENEE FLEMING, Sat., Feb. 2

Grammy Award-winning soprano Renée Fleming will conduct a master class with cast members of the Dunster House Opera Society production of Jules Massenet’s Cinderella, and answer questions from the audience. One of the most beloved and celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, Renée Fleming captivates audiences with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence. Known as "the people’s diva” and named 2012 Singer of the Year by the German Echo awards, she continues to grace the world’s greatest opera stages and concert halls, now extending her reach to include other musical forms and media. Over the past few seasons, Fleming has hosted a wide variety of television and radio broadcasts, including the Metropolitan Opera’s "Live in HD” series for movie theaters and television, and "Live From Lincoln Center” on PBS…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Presents Film & TV Legend MARGE CHAMPION, Wed., Feb. 6

The legendary dance team of Marge and Gower Champion is probably best known for their countless film and television appearances in the 1950s. But Marge Champion's career didn't begin or end there. In addition to her work as half of the Marge and Gower Champion team, she modeled extensively as a teenager and acted on her own in such films as THE PARTY (1968) and THE SWIMMER (1968)…She has worked extensively as a choreographer, and she performed in the 2001 Broadway revival of Sondheim’s FOLLIES. Today at 93 she remains active and articulate. She will be interviewed by Foster Hirsch, Professor of Film at Brooklyn College and the distinguished author of 16 books on film and theater, including the classic study of film noir THE DARK SIDE OF THE SCREEN, and, most recently, OTTO PREMINGER…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Heads To...Orphan Songs, Wed., Feb. 20

February 20, 8pm at the Bitter End, the songs of Zoe Sarnak '09 will be featured in a folk/rock concert... Orphan Songs (noun). 1. Songs written for no particular reason… so we’re making a reason. 2. Songs you forgot existed… 3. Songs from Annie (Not featured in this concert) ...A night of friends, drinks and good music…To view full posting, please visit:

NY - Harvardwood Presents: BERENIKA & FRIENDS Play Mendelssohn, Wed., Feb. 27

Since graduating from Harvard, Berenika has been widely recognized as one of the most gifted pianists of her generation. She's performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Toronto Symphony, and under such maestros as Jukka Pekka Saraste and Erich Kunzel. She has toured Europe, Asia, and South America to rave reviews and has played in Lincoln Center, Tanglewood, London's Wigmore Hall, and at a gala concert for Queen Elizabeth II. When she performed in Poland, the Warsaw Voice called her a "Gentle genius . . . Berenika played like a woman possessed!" The Calcutta Statesman hailed her as "An inspiration!" Berenkia and Friends (violinist Rebecca Racusin and cellist Jessica Sammis) will be performing Felix Mendelssohn's two passionate Piano Trios--two of greatest and most beloved pieces in the entire chamber music repertory…To view full posting, please visit:

SF - C.L.A. invites Harvardwood to...Worker Cooperatives for the Creative Arts, Wed., Feb. 20

The workshop will present workers' cooperatives as a choice of entity and alternate way of conducting business. Although the emphasis will be on workers' cooperatives there will be a general discussion about all types of cooperatives, how the various types of cooperatives may serve the needs of artists, and the historical development of cooperative businesses. Controlling federal and state cooperative statutory law will be identified and explained. The focus on workers cooperatives will begin with the operational requirements defined by Pugent Sound Plywood, Inc. 44 T.C. 309 (1965). Each of these requirements will be examined to show how workers' cooperatives differ from other types of business, how they affect the operation of business, as well as their advantages and disadvantages…To view full posting, please visit:

Seeking opportunities for the 2013 Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP)!

Harvardwood is pleased to announce the 2013 Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP), and is now seeking internship opportunities worldwide! HSIP provides a list of internship opportunities in the arts, media and entertainment to Harvard undergraduates and also coordinates career-related events over the summer for program participants in LA, NYC and other cities. If your company is interested in listing an internship via HSIP, please fill out our brief participant form. While your company can list your internship at any time, we recommend submitting by March 7th in order to be included in the first round of HSIP offerings and reach the largest number of potential candidates…To view full posting, please visit:

Seeking leaders for the NYC Harvardwood Writers' Program

The NYC Harvardwood Writers Program (HWP) is looking for a few esteemed leaders to join its ranks! You can volunteer to lead a group in whatever area of writing--screenwriting, fiction, comedy, etc.--that most interests you. Please contact [email protected] with the subject line "NYC HWP Leader" if you are interested to lead one of these dynamic groups. We are seeking writers that have had some professional experience, are able to offer critical and thoughtful feedback, and can foster a supportive group experience where fellow writers can share with one another in a safe space as they grow and mature in their craft.

"Harvard Eateries" e-Book available FREE on Feb. 7th only

The e-Book edition of A BRIEF HISTORY OF HARVARD EATERIES AND WATERING HOLES by Sean O’Rourke ’49 will be available from Amazon for free for one day only on February 7. It not only rekindles warm memories of college days, but also reveals little known "back stories” about many of Harvard’s favorite student hangouts. The Kindle edition runs not only on the Kindle itself, but also on Kindle-for-iPad, Mac, PC and a variety of smartphones:

Submit your materials to Harvardwood Publishing

Harvardwood members can submit their own material for e-publication in 2013 under Harvardwood Publishing's new expanded guidelines, with possible print publication to follow in 2014. New submissions are now welcome in a wider variety of genres, including fiction, nonfiction, memoir, literary criticism, essays, humor, fantasy and sci-fi, how-to, and text-based material for young audiences. New releases will be e-published jointly by Harvardwood Publishing and Unlimited Publishing LLC. Submissions of any length, long or short, can now be considered for e-Book publication — including essays and stories typically shorter than those published in print…To view full posting, please visit:

Submit to the Harvardwood Visual Arts Gallery!

Calling all visual artists! Don't forget that you can display your work online in Harvardwood's Visual Arts Gallery. All dues-current Full Members can submit their work at the link below at anytime (Affiliates can pay a one time posting fee) and a notice about your submission will appear in the upcoming Weekly newsletter, which reaches close to 5,000 Harvard alumni and students worldwide! Submit here:

And the 2013 Harvard ROCKS performers are...

It was a tough race, but we are now pleased to announce the judges' picks for Harvard ROCKS 2013!! Started in 2009, Harvard ROCKS brings out the best of the best in Harvard's undiscovered musical talent. This year's acts were chosen by a group of top tier industry judges (see full list of judges at link below). The performing artists for Harvard ROCKS 2013 will be: Moniker, The Trees, and Dan Masterson. The runner-ups for this year's showcase are Onward Chariots and The Roads NYC. Now, get your tickets for the musical showcase with both brains and brawn! Catch the performing artists LIVE on February 20th and help select the 2013 Harvard ROCKS winner...

Seeking volunteers for Harvard ROCKS

We are seeking a few volunteers to help at the Harvard ROCKS showcase on Wed., Feb. 20th in LA. Volunteers will help check people in at the door, tally audience votes for the artists, document the event with photos and videos, and other duties as needed. Email [email protected] if you'd like to help make this night a smashing success! …To view full posting, please visit:

Industry Successes...

On February 13, Kaneisha Grayson HBS/KSG '10 will be launching her first book, a self-help book for college-aged women titled BE YOUR OWN BOYFRIEND. Last December, Kaneisha raised over $11,000 in pre-orders for her book via a month-long Kickstarter campaign. She will be hosting a book launch party in her city of Austin, Texas on Valentine's Day, and sending free copies of the book to 100 college women's centers around the U.S. Visit to learn more about the book.

Family Channel's WHAT'S UP, WARTHOGS created by Alex Diaz '96 and Julie Sagalowsky Diaz (Dartmouth '00) has been nominated for the Canadian Screen Award's Best Youth Fiction Series. The CSA is Canada's equivalent to the Emmy. Please cross your fingers for Alex and Julie, as well as staff writer Teresa Hsiao (Family Guy)!

Harvardwood Artist Showcase - feat. Harvard ROCKS 2013 contestants!

Each month the Highlights features a few artists from some of our various programs in the Harvardwood Artist Showcase. This month we are excited to feature the last two contestants for Harvard ROCKS! Click each artist's name to learn more about what they do and then come and support them all at the showcase on Wednesday, February 20th!

thetreeshiphop.jpgThe Trees' diverse composition is a direct testament to the organic yet pure passion-driven talent rooted deeply within the bedrock of the LA, DC and Philly music scenes. The Trees' debut full-length release, "Man Can Change," cultivates ethereal sonic wizardry through the use of sophisticated lyricism, addictive hooks, and effectively dynamic electronic production by producer/remixer Adamatic. The band consists of lead singer Eli, Elle, and Da Ultimate Band.

To learn more about this group visit or check out the Man Can Change music video, and of course, catch them LIVE at Harvard ROCKS 2013 on Feb. 20th!!

dan-masterson-headshot-1024x.jpgDan Masterson is a 22-year-old performing songwriter with dynamic vocal presence, unusual songwriting intuition, and captivating performance energy. While drawing on his country and singer-songwriter roots, Dan naturally appeals to fans of Billy Joel and Sara Bareilles, and seeks to push the boundaries of piano-centric pop and rock. His debut studio effort, THE FATHER TIME EP, was released in April 2011 featuring catchy piano licks, and easy-on-the-ears pop sensibility. Shortly after, Dan completed a 10-week summer tour in the United Kingdom, honing his solo performance in front of over 40 fresh audiences. Dan is now in the process of recording LEARN TO LIVE, a new EP that reaches into a deeper -- and often darker -- emotional space. Despite the increased weight of his new material, Dan maintains the melodic sensibility that has always made his songs memorable. LEARN TO LIVE is expected in early 2013.

Check out more on Dan at his website - - then experience him LIVE on Feb. 20th at Harvard ROCKS 2013!!

Harvardwood 101 Testimonials!

Read just a few of the testimonials this year’s Harvardwood 101 participants provided:

"I have always wanted to work in the entertainment industry. The glamour, mistique, and allure of film and TV attract my attention. This program has stripped away all of the mystery of Hollywood so that I now have a clear picture of the entertainment business. From visiting agencies, and studios to speaking with powerful executives to even (accidentally) meeting Steven Spielberg, I understand how this industry works and where I would potentially fit in. This is a "people" driven industry in which one's success depends on his or her networking ability and contacts. There is no better way to start building those connections than with the Harvardwood 101 program.”

-Selina Wang ‘15

"[Harvardwood 101] has literally been a dream come true. I received the opportunity to go to Los Angeles for the first time, visited different studios and agencies, formed relationships that would last a lifetime, bumped into Steven Spielberg, and the list goes on and on. I also received confirmation that I love the entertainment industry, I belong in it, and I'm going to make it as a film and television actress. Thank you Harvardwood 101 for changing my life.”

- Angelique Henderson ‘14

Featured Member Posting: Freelance AE needed for Documentary Feature - NY

NY-based Freelance AE Needed for Documentary Feature. Dates: Starts Immediately, work in parallel with shooting schedule through July. Pay $250/day. AE position requires ace technical skills and meticulous approach to prepping, processing and organizing footage for 5D ints and b-roll footage. Time management and clear communication skills key. The feature-length documentary tells the stories of six nurses from widely diverse territories and backgrounds across America: Jason, formerly a troubled teen and small town mechanic, who found purpose as a back-country traveling nurse after the death of his father (Appalachia, KY), Tonya Faust Director of a volunteer hospice program at Angola Maximum Security Prison, training inmates to care for dying, fellow inmates (Angola, LA), Brian MacMillian, a former army field veteran who now works with soldiers fresh from combat theater and in an amputee rehabilitation center, (San Diego,CA), Naomi Watts, a sparkling Labor and Delivery Nurse, Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore, MD), Sister Stephen, Director of a working farm that doubles as an end of life care nursing facility and day program for orphaned foster children (Wisconsin), Elisa Frazier, who entered hospice home care after a painful loss of her father (Florida). All stories inevitably invite exploration of larger issues i.e., the human costs of war, American attitudes towards death, prison rehabilitation programs and the potential for personal transformation via the act of healing others…To view full posting, please visit:

Member Profile: Ben Weeden '98

by Sara Melson

Weeden.jpgBen Weeden '98 seems to have been born under a lucky star. His story is one of being in the right place at the right time, combined with the talent and skills to deliver on the opportunity.

After graduating Harvard in 1998 as an economics major, Ben was working in finance at Bear Stearns in New York. One of their clients was SFX Entertainment, which was rolling up many of the regional concert promoters, amphitheaters, theaters, and clubs in the US and was starting to do the same in Europe. "What SFX was doing seemed so much more fun.” Weeden went to work for SFX in Business Development, and after two months in the New York office, he was transferred to the London office, which at the time was a very small operation, consisting of only a couple promoters.

Weeden was given what most recent college graduates would call a dream assignment: travel around Europe and acquire the major promoters in each European territory. Most of these had festivals, not venues. Weeden headed up the deals to acquire promoters in Scandinavia, Belgium, Holland, Italy, and Spain; since then, the company has grown to every country in Europe. When the bubble burst and capital dried up in 2001/2002, SFX stopped doing a lot of their acquisitions. "Coincidentally, at the time, a gentleman from the US came over to run marketing for Europe, Michael Rapino, who ended up becoming the CEO of Live Nation/Ticketmaster, " explains Weeden. It was a fortuitous arrangement for the recent graduate. "We got to know each other, and he started taking on more and more roles with the operations of the music division. He took me under his wing, and we started working together as a team; ten different countries, all these different festivals."

Michael Rapino moved further up the chain in Europe, and took Weeden with him. "I definitely look at Michael as a mentor, and you know, just right place and right time, hard work and luck.” When Rapino became CEO of the European division, Weeden helped him run the music business in Europe, and put together large arena tours throughout Europe with Britney Spears, Prince, and the like. "I would go out on the road on tour for a couple of years, based in London. Very fun.” Around 2005, when Rapino became CEO of Clear Channel Entertainment (which had acquired SFX in 2000), he moved to LA, bringing Weeden with him. "I’d spent the last couple of years learning the industry and working in the touring division. Our job was to help run the North American business and do a lot of the same stuff we’d done in Europe, which was run it as one cohesive team.” At first this consisted of 45 amphitheaters and 40 theaters and clubs in the US alone. Weeden’s job was to structure the deals of the tours and operate the concert venues more efficiently, bringing the business side to the equation. "Looking at the bottom line: what are you spending on costs, and what are you making back.”

The company was buying and promoting 30-40 amphitheater tours a year. Weeden became the interim CFO of the concert division in North America in 2007, making sure that all the teams under the company’s auspices started to work together, coordinating budgets with promoters in the field. Weeden laughs, "We have the best promoters in the business. Meanwhile I’m just this little punk… It was like, I know you’ve been doing this for forty years, but… Here’s how we’d like to do it now. Do you mind? It was a new thing for everyone, because we were such a young company. I didn’t go to business school or have a ton of experience promoting concerts. So there were growing pains, and it took a while.”

In 2008, Weeden was made COO of Live Nation’s North American concert division. A year later, the company acquired Ticketmaster, and divided up their US business into different units: Ticketmaster, sponsorship, and the concert division. Concerts were further divided amongst amphitheater/ arena shows and theatre/ club shows.

Weeden became CEO of House Of Blues Entertainment, which encompasses the theater and club division of the company, overseeing 6,000 shows a year in over 40 venues, including 3 comedy clubs. "We had spent so much time dealing with the amphitheater and arenas, that the theatres and clubs never got the attention they deserved. It’s a high volume business." Weeden observes that he prefers dealing with the smaller shows. "I find that a lot of the content nowadays is more in the small and middle-sized venues, where all the artists are developing, rather than selling out Staples Center.”

Weeden oversees a team comprised of 25 senior promoters for the 40 venues, in addition to show marketers, venue teams, and a "farm team,” comprised of kids right out of college. "We bring them up and teach them the ropes of the business,” says Weeden. These junior promoters help market, strike contracts, take calls, and create special event nights and recurring programs at the various venues to fill up potentially slower nights. "In terms of the day to day: Are we booking shows, are those shows selling tickets? Is the beer cold and are the tacos hot?”

In LA, Weeden also oversees the national touring team, whose job is to buy national tours ––"artists that we want to get behind and add additional marketing power to, and fill the void that the labels used to serve on the marketing side,” explains Weeden. "I’m going to use all the assets we have at Ticketmaster, Live Nation, and House of Blues, and help sell more tickets. We believe that we can add more value and get them more exposure… We have this marketing machine, with a database of over a hundred million people.” By demographically targeting fans of similar artists, Weeden believes that Live Nation offers a unique service. If you’re a developing touring artist, says Weeden, "We can help you start your career.” In terms of where the company is headed in the future, Weeden muses, "There are only so many Friday nights of the year that I can book shows. And it’s a tough business, because there’s so much competition for artists to play… So artist promotion is a natural next step for us.”

Weeden’s first concert as a kid was U2 at RFK stadium in DC. "I had no idea at that point that there was somebody behind the scenes selling the tickets. I didn’t even know that this part of the music industry even existed. It’s a very cool business that’s very unusual to get into. I was just lucky to get into it.”

I ask Weeden if anything at Harvard had prepared him for this life as a significant player in the music industry. "I majored in economics,” he replies, "but completely fell into this.” However, Harvard came through four years ago, when Weeden went to meet his Harvard roommate at Nick’s Martini Bar, and ended up meeting his wife there. "It worked out very well,” laughs Weeden. Indeed, the couple has a 22-month old daughter, and another girl on the way in May.
Ben Weeden may indeed have a knack for being in the right place at the right time.

Ben Weeden is one of the online judges for Harvard ROCKS 2013. Check out the finalists at the show and vote on Wed., Feb. 20th in LA!

smelson_headshot_2012.jpgSara Melson is a singer/songwriter (Nettwerk Records) based in Los Angeles, and a former Harvard ROCKS finalist.



Harvardwood does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the information, content or advertisements (collectively "Materials") contained on, distributed through, or linked, downloaded or accessed from any of the services contained in this e-mail. You hereby acknowledge that any reliance upon any Materials shall be at your sole risk. The materials are provided by Harvardwood on an "AS IS" basis, and Harvardwood expressly disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied.

Calendar Programs Jobs & Career Development