SUNY Oneonta Students Intern with Virtual Music Festival

Two SUNY Oneonta students had the chance to rock the vote on Election Day by working closely with the largest single-night virtual music festival in history.

Thanks to their involvement with the Well Dunn Internship program, music industry majors Vershone "Zy" Bowser and Haru Yoshimatsu got to assist with iVoted 2020, a virtual music festival featuring Billie Eilish, Taking Back Sunday, Trey Anastasio of Phish, and more than 600 other artists.

The goal of the festival, which ran from noon until 2 a.m., was to encourage voter turnout, and fans gained access to the links for the show(s) of their choice by sending a selfie at home with their mail-in ballot or, if voting in person, from outside their polling place.

Through their experiences, Bowser and Yoshimatsu got an in-depth view of what goes into putting on a music festival, and a virtual one in particular. Every facet of the festival was organized using Slack and Zoom video conference calls, they said.

"This is a wonderful example of how experiential learning opportunities are adapting to the virtual world," said SUNY Oneonta music lecturer Nancy Tarr. "The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everything online, including college and internships, and it's been an adjustment for students. But this goes to show that online opportunities can provide just as much of an inspiring learning experience as in-person."

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