By Taroue Brooks
Tell us about the Citrusfest?
The Citrusfest is a live online experience event that showcases unsigned musical talent from across the country, in front of an online audience of fans and music executives in the entertainment industry who are looking to help kickstart an artist’s career.
The event will be held on January 26, 2021 from 8pm eastern to 10pm eastern with special guest host Jenna Ushkowitz, one of the stars from the cast of Glee.
There will be performers in many different genres (like Pop, R&B, Country and Hip/Hop) from all over the US performing at the Citrusfest.
Some of the Music Executives participating include:
- Bruce Waynne- A&R at ACME
- Dahlia Ambach Caplin- Senior Vice President of A&R at Verve Label Group
- Teresa LaBarbera- former head of Music Operations and A&R for Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment
- Neil Levine- Founder and CEO of Penalty Entertainment, L.L.C.
- Lisa Laurecelli- Vice President of MTV Music Strategy and Artist Relations.
The event is open to the public and you can attend by tuning onto the website www.thecitrusfest.com on January 26th.
What inspired you to create the festival?
I’m a student with the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts at the University of Nebraska and I’m learning a lot about all aspects of the entertainment industry.
I also watch a lot of singing shows and I thought it would be a good idea to have a showcase for unknown artists to get direct exposure in front of executives in the industry.
How has Covid-19 impacted the planning?
Originally Citrusfest was supposed to be a live event but then Covid hit and my plans had to change. One of my advisors is Arabian Prince who is one of the original founders of NWA and he mentioned possibly doing the event online. I liked the idea and I think in a way having the event online is a positive since it is my first event.
Covid-19 also affected the music industry specifically artists in general. It made it a lot harder for the unsigned artists to do shows and become noticed.
Who are the performers for the festivals?
There will be 12 performers in many different genres (like Pop, R&B, Country and Hip/Hop) from all over the US performing at the Citrusfest.
How can people participate with the festival?
People can tune in to www.thecitrusfest.com at 8pm EST on January 26th, to watch live.
How are you measuring success for this festival?
Success is allowing artists who would not otherwise get the exposure, perform in front of people who may have an interest in them. Icing on the cake would be if one of the performing artists ended up signing with a big record label.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of creating the festival?
The most rewarding part of the festival is building a strong team and making connections with different people.
Where do you see the festival in the next five years?
My hope is that it continues to grow and one day be in conversation with top music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza.
Social media accounts:
Facebook: The citrusfest
Citrusfest is the vision of Sydney Peters, a young Black female entrepreneur attending the University of Nebraska’s Johnny Carson Center for the Emerging Media Arts, that seeks to engage music lovers from across the nation who represent a strong segment of the 26 billion dollar music industry.
Citrusfest is a live online experience event that showcases undiscovered musical talent from across the country, in front of an online audience of fans, record labels, producers, and leaders in the entertainment industry who are looking to help kickstart an artists career.