Fredstock becomes Fiesta event

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Music business students coordinate live concert as “final exam.”

By Sergio Medina

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Fredstock, the annual music festival produced by music business students, will open April 22 as an official Fiesta San Antonio event for the first time.

Since 2010, the festival has been coordinated by the music business program at this college.

The festival was named after the late Fred Weiss, former music business coordinator who started the music business program in 2005.

This year, the festival will take place noon-8 p.m. April 22 in Lot 7 east of Longwith Radio, Television and Film Building.

“Last year, we had to pass the test,” music business Coordinator Donnie Meals said in an interview April 4.

To qualify to be a Fiesta event, the event must be staged three consecutive years at the same location.

Fredstock met the requirements, Meals said.

“We’re going to be the first Sunday of Fiesta every year,” he said.

Being a Fiesta event means better advertising, Meals said.

For example, Fredstock was listed in an article titled “6 traditions that make Fiesta special” on foxsanantonio.com without public relations efforts from Meals.

The band lineup this year includes Hickoids, Los No. 3 Dinners, S.A. Blue Cats, Claude “Butch” Morgan and King Pelican.  The festival is free.

“We’re not about making money,” Meals said. “We are about giving the student true hands-on practical experience.

“Fredstock is an offshoot of our program. Since it’s the music business, that means we don’t take people out to play guitar or sing.”

The emphasis lies in teaching how to market music products, such as recordings and live shows, he said. Fredstock falls under the latter category.

“My part is more on the technical side,” Meals said. “I teach audio production, both studio and live.”

Among the courses Meals teaches is MUSB 1371, Live Sound for the Music Business. Students in this class will oversee stage setup at the festival, managing live sound.

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“That’s all we’ve done all semester long — talk about doing Fredstock,” Meals said. “So that’s going to be like their final exam. It’s not all just theory. Theory is super important, but we’ve got to go beyond that. You know, you learn by doing.

“I started Fredstock so they could then apply what they learn in our classes. The crowd doesn’t know that. They’re just thinking it’s a nice concert, you know?”

Music business sophomores Carter Cadenhead and Alejandro Dozal said in an interview April 4 they are both participating for the first time.

Cadenhead said this college has provided him an opportunity to work with professional equipment in a real-life situation such as Fredstock.

“This is the first time I get to set up physical things and work with PA (public address) systems,” he said.

Dozal said the festival being a Fiesta event does not add extra pressure on him. “I just see it as an event,” he said. “It’s a better learning opportunity than just reading books.” 

Meals said he recognizes the effort and enthusiasm of his students.

“For every performer in the music industry, there are nine people supporting that one person, and that’s the people we’re teaching,” he said.

Additionally, Meals said his students are graded on their professionalism and performance during the festival.

The event will be streamed live on this college’s radio station KSYM 90.1 FM.

Students taking MUSB 1341, Concert Promotion and Venue Management, also will participate.

Their tasks include coordinating with the city and vendors, Meals said.

To reserve a space at the festival, vendors pay a fee of $75, if selling arts and crafts, or $150, if selling food. All proceeds go to the music business program.

Meals said vendors can contact him for reservations.     

For more information on Fredstock and vendor reservations, call Meals at 210-486-1380.

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