Interning at Live Nation Entertainment

Three internships with entertainment juggernaut lead film student to L.A.

Barta, right, directing Meadows theater students Hayley Shipley (’20), left, and Ben Singel (’20) at SMU Theater/Film Workshop.

By Alli Barta (B.F.A. Film and Media Arts, minor in arts management ’20)

After spending three years as a B.F.A. Film and Media Arts major, producing the SMU Summer Film Production feature The Book of Job, writing and directing the short film On The Sky, and spending most of my free time working on set, no one was more surprised than me when I found myself pursuing employment with Live Nation Entertainment, a national live events promoter and music venue operator. I started working for Live Nation Entertainment at Dos Equis Pavilion in Dallas in the summer of 2018 as a guest services seasonal worker. Even though the nights were long, the physical demands strenuous and the heat sweltering, I was on cloud nine every day I went to work.

Pursuing a career in the music business was never part of my plan. I was supposed to be making films for a living—I knew that for sure—but I found myself looking for ways to dive further into the live entertainment industry. I found, applied, and was offered the operations intern position at Dos Equis Pavilion for the 2019 concert season. I knew that regardless what the original plan for my life was, I had to see this through because most people never find that level of job fulfillment in their life.

I knew this company was something special and after working with them all year, I found out that I was right. I always thought corporate beasts like Live Nation Entertainment were soulless, but this company has a tangible beating heart and it shows in the dedication of their staff, in their mission to provide the best experience possible to the people who just love music, and to continually grow, evolve, and improve with the world’s ever-changing landscape. I learned how to manage stress (both my own and other people’s); how to take the reins of a situation even if it is “above your pay grade”; and witnessed first-hand the delicacy it takes to manage all of the moving parts in such a complex machine. And I learned what a truly phenomenal manager looks like—that particular lesson was really priceless.

After the operations internship, I was offered an internship with Live Nation Productions, Live Nation Entertainment’s movie production branch in Los Angeles, a place where my love for music and film meet in the middle. The internship will be in summer 2020. This never would have happened had I not followed the rabbit down a hole that looked strange, but felt right. Above all, this internship taught me to try things. Even if they don’t fit in the original plan. And for that I am most thankful.