Gilbert High bringing music festival atmosphere to East Valley - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Gilbert High bringing music festival atmosphere to East Valley

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Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 11:15 am

While music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza are gaining popularity for their big names and indie vibes, teenagers have difficulty affording tickets or driving to any large festival.

Gilbert High School marketing students, however, are bringing a smaller version of the music festival scene to the East Valley.

G-Stock, an outdoor music festival with art and food trucks, is giving residents an opportunity to attend a local festival while teaching high school students like executive producer Kiara Perez about running entertainment events and how to do business.

“I’ve learned that you have to plan things out,” said Perez, a senior at Gilbert. “It’s a process and you can’t just come up with an idea and have it work out right away.”

The music festival will be on April 26 from 4 to 10 p.m. outside of Gilbert High School. This year the headlining acts will by The Tragic Thrills, formerly known as All-Star Weekend, and RadioDriveBy, which Perez said is a big draw for music aficionados.

The shift outdoors is a large transition for the second-year marketing students that organize the event. When the event started nine years ago, it was focused on showcasing student talent, but the event has shifted gears over the years by bringing in outside talent.

The event is entirely organized and produced by students, which allows them to audition bands, select musicians, sell sponsorships and tickets, coordinate and interact with large organizations.

“To see what these kids are doing compared to their peers is unbelievable,” said marketing teacher Steve Mulhearn. “You come into my class and there will be three different people on the phone with corporations and negotiating.”

Mulhearn has helped DECA students organize G-Stock since its first year. He said they decided to move the event outside to make it more like a music festival and to incorporate more acts. That has created a new set of challenges, and the students chose to spend extra money for stage, sound equipment and lighting.

Even though the move outdoors has created new hurdles and made it more labor intensive, Mulhearn said he is amazed at what his students have been able to accomplish.

“Most teachers can’t say yes to that because they have other things to do,” he said. “For me, it’s too difficult to say no to a bunch of kids who only want to work harder and do more.”

Tickets will be available for $10 at the door or $7 presale from the advanced marketing students. Students who go to school within the Gilbert Public Schools district will be able to buy tickets for only $5.

• Shelby Slade is a sophomore at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is an intern with the Tribune this semester. Reach her at tribintern@evtrib.com.

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