Live Nation, the world’s leading live entertainment company, today announced ”Live Nation Next Gen”, a new career development program focused on helping young people, primarily from Black and Latinx communities, prepare for careers in the live music business. Live Nation Next Gen has partnered with SoLa Impact’s I Can Foundation at SoLa’s new, state-of-the art Technology and Entrepreneurship Center in the heart of South Los Angeles, where the organization is providing free education to train and inspire future Black and brown leaders.
The inaugural program features an intensive 10-week program of courses for local students ages 16 to 21. Each week the students are guided through a curriculum and learning from a host of industry professionals, volunteer advisory board members, and Live Nation executives. Students are workshopping different aspects of creating and managing live entertainment including budgeting, artist relations, booking, marketing, and ticketing. The program is designed to allow young people to go behind the curtain to see how live entertainment comes to life. The program will culminate with the students producing their own youth-led, live music festival on June 18th at the SoLa Beehive. In addition to gaining this invaluable “behind the curtain” experience on how live entertainment comes to life, each student will earn a modest stipend and receive a portion of the festival’s profits.
“So much of today’s music and popular culture has been built and nurtured through the creativity of Black and brown artists. It is critical that our young people are equipped to become executives, producers, managers, engineers, and professionals in the music and entertainment industry,” says Sherri Francois, Executive Director of the SoLa I Can Foundation. “In Live Nation, we found a partner that was equally committed to creating a long-term pipeline of talented executives of color in the music and live entertainment industry. It is impressive to see Live Nation’s intentionality in ensuring that diversity, equity and inclusion are pillars shaping the future of entertainment and technology.”
“We saw the opportunity to cultivate a direct path to building a more diverse pipeline for young people into our business by investing in and partnering with the SoLa community. We’re thrilled to launch this empowering career education program.” said Ali Harnell, Live Nation Women President. “We want these kids to understand the opportunities there are to work in live music, and that Live Nation is a pathway for them to become the next generation of great minds influencing the live music business.”
Live Nation has also funded the creation and build-out of a jam room at the Tech Center where members of the community can perform, record, train, and simply learn music-related skills, all free of charge to South LA students. SoLa Impact x LN NextGen expands the organization’s existing partnership while underscoring Live Nation’s dedication to creating new pathways to diversify the live music industry.