BY JENNY FRIEDMAN, CHIEF OF STAFF
A couple months ago, MPowered approached us, MUSIC Matters, to help them plan an event called Spotlight -- a 48-hour music and film-making competition capstoned with a concert. Since this was a new event for MPowered, members of their organization had little experience in putting on a concert, so they reached out to us to help with the planning, marketing, and overall production of the concert. We were glad to help. MUSIC Matters and MPowered are two of the largest student organizations at Michigan and share a passion for entrepreneurship and large-scale, campus-wide events. We quickly organized a diverse team of MUSIC Matters leadership members -- an executive team member as well as a member from the fundraising, communications, and talent & concert teams -- to work with MPowered’s Spotlight team.
The concert was headlined by performers Quinn XCII and ayokay, a rap and DJ duo. The two grew up just a few blocks away from each other in Grosse Pointe, Michigan and starting making music together in high school. Although they attended rival colleges -- Quinn XCII attended Michigan State University, while ayokay attended the University of Michigan -- they continued to make music together. Since Spotlight was about highlighting the importance of the arts, creativity, and collaboration to college students, having these entrepreneurial artists perform for the event ensured that the purpose of Spotlight was encapsulated in the concert.
About a day before the concert, the show completely sold out. There were posts all over the University of Michigan Class of X pages with students searching for tickets. Texts messages between friends trying to hunt down more tickets were typed out urgently. Everyone was getting excited for the show. The night of the Spotlight concert, the line outside of Necto, the Ann Arbor concert venue, was all the way down the block with young people eagerly waiting to get in. Once inside, the energy was palpable. Michigan graduate Aash Mehta performed the opening of the show, after which Quinn XCII and ayokay came on. Necto was packed with dancing, energetic students, eager for endless music. The artists performed many of their hits and incorporated some verses of song covers into their music as well. The crowd went wild and everyone sang along when they sang Vance Joy’s Riptide. To close the show, Quinn XCII and ayokay ended with their popular song Kings of Summer, which everyone seemed to know. The concert and collaborative work with MPowered was a clear success in our eyes and has created huge momentum within our organization as we move closer to SpringFest and our 2017 capstone concert.