We are a coalition of festival directors, producers, and department heads committed to integrating social equity, safety, and sustainability into our festivals – throughout our grounds, behind our stages, in our offices, and in our lives.
In 2022 – with support for and from our founding impact partners Diversify The Stage, Well Dunn Foundation, and shesaid.so, as well as Roc Nation School of Music, Sports and Entertainment at LIU Brooklyn – Coalition of Festivals launched the Future Festival Leaders Mentorship Program to address two inequities in our industry:
1. Diversify festival leadership to include underrepresented individuals within our industry. 2. Close the career readiness gap with festival-specific training to demystify our industry.
The first edition of the mentorship program took place in 2022-2023 with 14 future festival leaders joining 28 current festival leaders for a series of #RealTalk sessions and 1-on-1 mentorship conversations.
2022-2023 Future Festival Leaders
Aaron Raus Anita Obasi (shesaid.so) Brenda Ceja (Well Dunn) Chinaecherem Nwaubani (Well Dunn) Christlie Jean-Baptiste (Roc Nation @ LIU) Erin Furton LaTisha Stephens (Diversify The Stage) Marissa Solis (Diversify The Stage) Tyler Butler (Well Dunn) Patrize Richards (Roc Nation @ LIU) Quella Gu (Diversify The Stage) Temi Joseph (Well Dunn) Vix Brand (shesaid.so)
2022-2023 #RealTalks with Current Festival Leaders
1. Festival Production & Budgeting
Kyle Casey (Gravity)
Katelyn Scott (Fox Pocket)
Jen Stiles (Founders)
2. Community Relations & Permitting
Erin Bilbo (Goldenvoice)
Jeff Cuellar (Sixthman)
Naraya Mercado (Founders)
3. Site Infrastructure, Design & Operations
Melanie Dorf (Goldenvoice)
Adam Galay (Noise Academy)
Kierrah Matthews (Goldenvoice)
9. Sponsorships & Partnerships
Alex Machurov (Fandiem)
Prue Marek (Live Nation)
Katelyn Scott (Fox Pocket)
10. Sustainability, Impact & Wellbeing
Jocelyn Gan (A Greener Festival)
Sunny Sohrabian (LA28 Olympics)
Evan Tzeng (StayAltered)
Current Festival Leaders
Professional Development Trainings
In 2021, over 20 leaders from 10 festivals joined together for a series of social equity trainings led by SHIFT. Each training was paired with closed-door discussion circles led by Coalition of Festivals.
1. Leveling up from Allyship 2. Challenging Implicit Bias & Microaggressions 3. Unpacking the Gender Binary 4. Building a Culture of Consent
The diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice training sessions and closed-door discussion circles examined how implicit, explicit, and structural problems show up in society, in our festivals, and in our own lives.
Current Festival Leaders
Industry Leadership Conversations
Shut down by the global pandemic and in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, in May 2020, Evan, Jen, Jonathan, Katelyn, Kierrah, and Kyle began discussing the unique role of festivals in society and our unique responsibilities as festival leaders.
We deeply understood the cultural impact and influence of festivals. We acknowledged the privilege of organizing these transformational experiences. We also recognized the growing duty of addressing real-world ills and inequities within our own festivals.
We opened our discussion to include more leaders. All of us shared our hopes and concerns for how festivals returned. All of us also agreed on the urgent need for more community building, knowledge sharing, and critical training.
In 2021, over 20 leaders from 10 festivals joined forces to launch the Coalition of Festivals under two pillars:
1. Be The Change: Programs for current festival leaders. 2. Create Change: Programs for future festival leaders.
2020 Discussion Participants
Jonathan Azu (Culture Collective)
Jonathan Baden (AEG Presents)
Kyle Casey (Day N Vegas + Second Sky)
Laura Day (Burning Man)
Charlie Dolman (Burning Man)
Mary Beth Elam (Old Soul Production Services)
Steve Feener (Superfly)
Cole Froelich (Coachella + Stagecoach)
Inez Lopez (Coachella + Stagecoach)
Kierrah Matthews (CAA)
Brandon McEachern (Broccoli City)
Stephanie Mezzano (Firefly)
Veline Mojarro (SHIFT Consulting)
Michael Sampliner (Electric Forest)
Katelyn Scott (Buku + Hangout)
Jen Stiles (Governors Ball)
Bryant Tan, (Burning Man)
Evan Tzeng (Altered)
Katelyn Yount (Firefly)
Molly Zidow (Danny Wimmer Presents)
Ken Weinstein (Big Hassle)
Law Offices of Stephen Goldstein
Tristan Hunt, Greg Marshall & Ben Turner (Association for Electronic Music)
Noelle Scaggs & Tadia Taylor (Diversify The Stage)
Kerry Black & Rick Farman (Superfly)
Nancy Tarr & Christopher Dunn (Well Dunn Foundation)
Debbie Speer (Pollstar)
Coalition of Festivals is proud to be a founding partner of the Entertainment Equity Alliance, a coalition of mentorship, training, and employment pathway programs to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) within the entertainment industry.
Coalition of Festivals is promoter, production company, and festival agnostic. Industry partners aligned with and committed to the objectives of the Coalition include:
Coalition of Festivals is a community-based organization with representation from a cross-section of the industry as well as social equity, safety, and sustainability advocates within and adjacent to the industry. 100% of contributions fund the Coalition's activities for future festival leaders, current festival leaders, and our impact partners.
Barcley Boyd, Business & Finance Associate, Gravity Productions