Live Nation and Ticketmaster are well-known for their positions in the live entertainment business, but what you may not know is that our employees are passionate about making their mark in live entertainment too. Take for example, Ben Hill, senior director of financial planning systems. By day, he manages business platforms and applications, but at night and on weekends, he’s working out the details of a performing arts event he founded and has operated for five years, the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Originally launched in 2010, Ben’s annual event occurs every June and includes elements found in other fringe festivals around the world: the opportunity for anyone from anywhere to enter any theatrical work, without having to be selected by a jury for entry.
The shows in his fringe festival are mainly based in the performing arts, including theater, music, dance, comedy, cabaret and variety. Starting out with 130 shows in its inaugural year, the festival has continuously expanded, with 2014 now including close to 300 shows, 1,500 individual performances and 35,000 tickets sold.
But it takes a lot of planning to put on an event of this scale; Ben and his team of up to 50 volunteers work 11 months out of the year. There’s business and marketing plans to be put together, venues to be secured and lots of other operational responsibilities. They only take a break in July before repeating the rigorous cycle.
When asked what he likes most about running the festival, Ben didn’t hesitate: “It’s working with the people and the community,” he said. “It’s an extraordinarily supportive community that puts art above ego, creating great work that’s held in the highest standards.”