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Main Session [clear filter]
Sunday, November 22

12:00pm PST

Poetry Reading & Opening Keynote
Interviewd by Laurie Kirby, Co-President, AboutFest

avatar for Laurie Kirby

Laurie Kirby

Co-President, AboutFest
Former lawyer, conference producer for festivals & entertainment industry folk!

avatar for Roy Yamaguchi

Roy Yamaguchi

Chef-Founder, Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine - ​Hawaii Food & Wine Festival
Chef Roy Yamaguchi Brings Fusion to FestForwardRoy Yamaguchi is a chef, TV personality, festival chairman, author and founder of a collection of restaurants including 30 Roy’s Restaurants in the United States, Okinawa and Guam. Yamaguchi, founded and chairs, along with Chef Alan... Read More →

avatar for Lisa Starr

Lisa Starr

Lisa Silverberg Starr, founder of the Block Island Poetry Project, divides her time among a variety of interests, her family, and her passion for poetry. The Poet Laureate of Rhode Island from 2008-2013, a two-time recipient of the Rhode Island fellowship for poetry, a former college... Read More →

Sunday November 22, 2015 12:00pm - 12:45pm PST
Grand Ballroom

1:00pm PST

The Future of Festivals
The last frontier of the “tribal gathering” according to Seth Godin is the festival. With expansion in every festival vertical under the sun, the death of the festival is greatly exaggerated. Let’s hear from our team of experts in food, wine, music & film about where we are heading in the industry.

avatar for Robert Richards

Robert Richards

Commercial Director, Glastonbury Festival

avatar for David Alan Bernahl,II

David Alan Bernahl,II

CEO, CLM, Pebble Beach & Los Angeles Food & Wine Festivals
Mr. Bernahl is co-founding partner of Coastal Luxury Management, a company that focuses on acquiring and managing unique opportunities in the hospitality sector. The company’s first major project was Pebble Beach Food & Wine, a 4-day, annual event hosted at Pebble Beach Resorts... Read More →
avatar for Bruno Chatelin

Bruno Chatelin

COO, FilmFestivals.com
My background: Business School, Ad Agencies, Distributor, and digital pioneer and entrepreneur.Founder of filmfestivals.com Major Buzz Factory (Film marketing consulting) and Emotion Film Factory (film production)   Bruno Chatelin, french Business School HEC alumni, began his... Read More →
avatar for Maureen Ford

Maureen Ford

President, Local Alliances at Live Nation
Ms. Ford is a 20 year music marketing veteran, having most recently served as Executive Vice President of Live Nation Alliances. Previously, as Vice President of National Music Sales, Ford led the music group's regional and national sales efforts including the renaming of five... Read More →
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Kevan Wilkins

Production Manager, ​Goldenvoice

Sunday November 22, 2015 1:00pm - 1:50pm PST
Grand Ballroom

2:00pm PST

Music in Movies – And Now for Something Completely Different…
Explore the digital world of movies and music. Whether you are a professional in film or music (or aspire to be) – come learn about the magic behind the music in movies such as Crash, The Illusionist, Butter, The Iron Lady, Silver Linings Playbook, Begin Again, Fantastic Four, and hundreds more.

avatar for Phil Gallo

Phil Gallo

Journalist & Author
Journalist and author Phil Gallo has written about music and the entertainment industry for three decades. Co-author of the book “Record Store Days,” published in April 2010 by Sterling, Gallo most recently covered film and television music for Billboard and programmed the Billboard... Read More →

avatar for Andrea von Foerster

Andrea von Foerster

Music Supervisor, Firestarter
Andrea von Foerster is a music supervisor for film, television and online projects based in Los Angeles.  Throughout her extended time in the industry, her credits include independent films such as (500) Days Of Summer, From Prada To Nada, Bellflower, and Begin Again; studio films... Read More →
avatar for Richard Glasser

Richard Glasser

Head of Music, The Weinstein Company
A Motown recording artist, Richard began writing music at age 14.  He’s produced the soundtracks for “Silver Linings Playbook”, ”Escape From Planet Earth”, “Scary Movie 5”, ”Killing Them Softly”,  “Crash, (Academy Award for Best Picture)” “The Kings Speech... Read More →
avatar for Aaron Zigman

Aaron Zigman

Film Composer
Award winning composer Aaron Zigman has composed over 50 film scores for many of the major Hollywood directors and studios. Zigman combines his classical background and training with a strong knowledge of contemporary music which has enabled him to create some of film’s most memorable... Read More →

Sunday November 22, 2015 2:00pm - 2:50pm PST
Grand Ballroom

3:00pm PST

NetGain: Networking With Purpose & Prizes

Review the feedback from any conference and you will consistently find that newtworking is the most important reason for attendance. So here’s your chance!  Bring your elevator pitch, business cards and come ready to rumble.

Facilitated by Stuart MacNaught, AboutFest 

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Stuart MacNaught

Co-President, AboutFest

Sunday November 22, 2015 3:00pm - 3:40pm PST
Grand Ballroom

3:45pm PST


Delta will be awarding a sponsorship at FestForward valued at approximately $10,000 (value of travel certificates) to a festival or event that best embodies a strategic fit for Delta. Introductory remarks will be made by Keith Miller of Kenwood Experiences.


Lesa Ukman, Futures Director, ESP Properties and co-founder of IEG, Inc. will inform attendees at FestForward how to participate and help them understand the best practices in sponsorship proposals and the sponsor industry.


In addition, a Delta representative will speak to the audience about what they look for in a sponsorship proposal. Attendees will prepare a 3 page targeted sponsor proposal for Delta, with mentoring by Liana Bender, California Film Institute Development Director.


Contest: All FestForward attendees at SponsorFest (except for corporate sponsors) are eligible to win.


To Enter: Attend FestForward and sign in at SponsorFest on Sunday November 22, 2015. Submit your 3-page proposal/deck by midnight November 22, 2015 to info@aboutfest.com with the subject "SponsorFest Pitch. The Winner will be announced Tuesday morning before the Awards brunch.

avatar for Liana Bender

Liana Bender

Director of Development, California Film Institute
As Director of Development at the California Film Institute, Liana Bender is responsible for the financial sustainability of the contributed revenue for the organization, including the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center and CFI Education. Liana... Read More →
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Lesa Ukman

Futures Director, ESP Properties & IEG
Lesa Ukman Futures Director, ESP Properties WPP Group MLesa Ukman is a thought-leading marketer, entrepreneur, journalist and a professor.While working for the City of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office of Special Events in 1980, she leveraged the power of live events to transform the City’s... Read More →

Sunday November 22, 2015 3:45pm - 5:00pm PST
Grand Ballroom
Monday, November 23

9:00am PST

Advances in Festival Technology & Safety
Mobile Apps, wireless technology, “wearable” technology, RFID, and other festival technology impacts the safety of the event, experience of the fan, the crew, vendors and the artist. Our goal is to bring you the latest and greatest to make your festival a “techcess.” Introductory remarks will be made by Dax Cochran of WDT WeatherOps.

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Ted Cohen

Managing Partner, TAG Strategic
Ted Cohen is an American digital entertainment industry executive. Having worked in senior management positions at EMI Music, Warner Bros. Recordsand Philips Media, Cohen is currently the Managing Partner of TAG Strategic. Cohen currently chairs the Visionary Committee for MidemNet, served... Read More →

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Michael Eilts

President and Chief Executive Officer, Weather Decision Technologies
Mike and four others founded WDT in 2000 in Norman, Oklahoma. The founders of WDT all came from meteorological research organizations in Norman and WDT continues to maintain relationships with these research organizations to extract new technologies from them. Before founding WDT... Read More →
avatar for Jeff Kreinik

Jeff Kreinik

Head of Festivals, Ticketfly
Senior Business Development, Marketing, and Operations Executive with a proven background of capitalizing on market opportunities and digital technologies to drive strong contributions to revenue, profit and ROI of start-up, high-growth and turnaround organizations. Skilled communicator... Read More →
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Steve Lemon

Director, Event Safety Alliance
Steve Lemon is a live event producer and project manager who specializes in large-scale event planning and management. Steve has worked in the entertainment, marketing, sports and leisure industries for over 30 years. He is the founder of Steve Lemon and Associates, a planning... Read More →
avatar for Damian Pelliccione

Damian Pelliccione

Head of Business Development, Make.TV
Damian is head of North American business development for a live streaming German based company Make.tv. Make.tv specializes in new cloud based software's for Youtube creators and national broadcasters specializing in multi-cam live streaming. Damian has worked with brands like Chevrolet... Read More →
avatar for Gillian Zettler

Gillian Zettler

Executive Director, Charleston Wine + Food
Erika began her career in New York City producing a number of award winning campaigns across a broad spectrum of mediums including advertising, events, sports, entertainment and lifestyle marketing. She has been instrumental in producing multi-platform campaigns for Microsoft, Diageo... Read More →

Monday November 23, 2015 9:00am - 9:50am PST
Grand Ballroom

10:00am PST

SXSW's Past, Present, and Future

2016 will mark 30 years of SXSW. In 1994 they broadened their focus from a strictly music industry event to include interactive technology and film. Other events have adopted various elements of that same convergence approach to conferences and festivals, probably due in part to what they experienced at SXSW.

Mike Shea, Executive Director of SXSW 

Interviewed by Phil Gallo, Journalist

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Mike Shea

Executive Director, SXSW

Monday November 23, 2015 10:00am - 10:30am PST
Grand Ballroom

11:00am PST

Convergence and Collaboration 2.0: Food, Wine, Film, and Music
What happens when the arts come together? How do festivals create an identity and an experience that can encompass the best of these disciplines? And how do they leverage their perceived value to maximize revenue? Where do we go from here?

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Clay Busch

Head of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, Danny Wimmer Presents
An alumni of Chapman University, Clay Busch joined Danny Wimmer Presents in 2011--marking the company’s first hire--and has been a key part of the company’s growth. His prior experience includes marketing, consulting, event management and A&R. Clay got his start as an intern for... Read More →

avatar for Melissa Dickson

Melissa Dickson

Communications Director, Fashion Meets Music Festival
avatar for Gary Meyer

Gary Meyer

Publisher/Director, EatDrinkFilms
Gary Meyer stared his first theater in the family barn when he was twelve-years-old. He directed a monster movie there and wanted to show it on the set. It became The Above-the-Ground Theatre where over 250 films were screened along with live productions, workshops and the publication... Read More →
avatar for Devonie Nicholas

Devonie Nicholas

Public Relations Director, Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals
Devonie Nicholas serves as the Public Relations Director for the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach & New York City Wine & Food Festivals.  Born in Michigan, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs and Political Science from Florida State University... Read More →
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Robert Richards

Commercial Director, Glastonbury Festival

Monday November 23, 2015 11:00am - 11:50am PST
Grand Ballroom

12:00pm PST

Social Media: Who’s Listening?
The goal of social media is to engage, listen, and convert with increased attendance, ticket sales and great fan experiences. Different tools serve different functions. Are you using them to their greatest advantage? Listen & learn!

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Shana Fong

Music Marketing, Eventbrite
Shana is passionate about sparking connections between people through live experiences. Her role at Eventbrite is to bring music festivals, venues, and music event organizers of all shapes and sizes on board. Her first CD was Aerosmith and her favorite show of all time was Daft Punk... Read More →

avatar for Clay Busch

Clay Busch

Head of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, Danny Wimmer Presents
An alumni of Chapman University, Clay Busch joined Danny Wimmer Presents in 2011--marking the company’s first hire--and has been a key part of the company’s growth. His prior experience includes marketing, consulting, event management and A&R. Clay got his start as an intern for... Read More →
avatar for Laurie Gordon

Laurie Gordon

Director, Montreal International Animation Film Festival and Industry Conference (Animaze)
Laurie Gordon is the director of the Montreal International Animation Film Festival and industry conference (Animaze). The festival has a focus on animation for film and technology. She is president of Musivision Films and has worked with Oscar nominee Ryan Larkin, the subject of... Read More →
avatar for Hannah Houser

Hannah Houser

Communications Coordinator, AC Entertainment
Prior to joining the marketing team at AC Entertainment, Hannah Houser worked in AC’s artist management department assisting internationally touring artists Abigail Washburn and Trixie Whitley. Since coming aboard marketing in April 2013, Hannah has overseen and exponentially grown... Read More →
avatar for Mike Wald

Mike Wald

Chief Business Development Officer, Oniracom
Mike has been involved with technology since playing on his first Apple in 1988. Educated as an Ecological Anthropologist, he brings both scientific and sociological insight to every project. He has worked with a broad spectrum of technologies and even broader list of media in his... Read More →

Monday November 23, 2015 12:00pm - 12:50pm PST
Grand Ballroom

1:00pm PST

Cinema Centerpiece

Don’t miss award-winning producer, director and writer Jennifer Senko discuss and preview scenes from her highly anticipated and thought provoking soon- to- be-released film "The Brainwashing of My Dad” about the birth of the sound bite and the impact of media. This session will definitely have you talking!

The film is produced by acclaimed actor Matthew Modine and Adam Rackoff and features animation by Bill Plympton.http://www.thebrainwashingofmydad.com

Interviewd by Michael Aisner.

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Michael Aisner

Co-owner and Producer, frameXframe films
Michael Aisner grew up in Glencoe, Illinois and had to swim naked in high school gym class with 100 other freshman. Surviving, he went on to work in high school, college, and then Denver commercial radio, attending the University of Colorado School of Journalism. At 20 went to the... Read More →

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Jen Senko

Documentary Filmmaker
Jen Senko is an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in New York City. Her first documentary, “Road Map Warrior Women”, won recognition with several festival awards. Her most recent film, “The Vanishing City”, exposes the policies and economic philosophy that has made... Read More →

Monday November 23, 2015 1:00pm - 1:50pm PST
Grand Ballroom

2:00pm PST

That’s The Ticket – The Art & Science of Ticketing Your Festival
Ticketing can make or break your festival’s success. Pricing, delivery, authentication, access control and analytics are just a few of the considerations when selecting and working with a ticketing partner.  Hear the latest in ticketing technology and preview the next generation of tools that will improve social chatter, increase revenues and streamline your event.

avatar for Laurie Kirby

Laurie Kirby

Co-President, AboutFest
Former lawyer, conference producer for festivals & entertainment industry folk!

avatar for Keith Goldberg

Keith Goldberg

Chief Revenue Officer, Vendini
Mr. Keith Goldberg has been the Chief Revenue Officer at Vendini, Inc. since December 2014 and served as its Vice President of Marketing and Product. Mr. Goldberg has been at Vendini since 2011. He started consulting for a myriad of Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Goldberg graduated from... Read More →
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Benjamin Raffi

CEO & President, Universe
Ben is the CEO and President of Universe, the social marketplace for events, acquired by Live Nation in 2015. We work with over 28,000 event organizers globally. Launched two iOS apps, two Android apps, and raised $3 million from angel and venture capital investors. Prior to Universe... Read More →
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John Riccardi

VP of Music, SeatGeek
John Riccardi brings over 15 years of music industry experience to his role as SeatGeek’s VP of Music, where he currently oversees business development in the music space. In addition to actively producing events in over 20 countries worldwide, he has overseen marketing, sponsorship... Read More →
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Lynne King Smith

CEO, TicketForce
Lynne King Smith is a writer, blogger, lover of social media, and loves to share ideas about using technology across markets. She helped to found and ran the communications for a non-profit from 1996-2002 and worked as a senior writer for non-profits for ten years. She holds a... Read More →

Monday November 23, 2015 2:00pm - 2:50pm PST
Grand Ballroom

3:00pm PST

Sustainability - It’s an Authentic Problem
Sustainability is the ability to sustain a behavior indefinitely. Our environment depends upon us to protect and preserve it for future generations. Let’s face it, festivals wreak environmental chaos. But it doesn’t need to be the case. Hear some case studies to prove just that.

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Eric Stevens

Vice President of Operations, OTW Safety

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Kathleen Gasperini

Senior Vice President, Label Networks
Kathleen Gasperini is internationally acclaimed as an industry leader when it comes to global youth culture marketing, research, and sustainable branding strategies. She is the co-founder of Label Networks, the leader in delivering global youth culture intelligence from the heart... Read More →
avatar for Megan Luce

Megan Luce

Branch Manager, Clean Vibes
Meg Luce is the West Coast Branch Manager for Clean Vibes, LLC. Clean Vibes provides onsite waste management and recycling services to special events. Clean Vibes’ mission is to help events reduce their ecological footprints by diverting waste from the landfill through recycling... Read More →
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Patrice Williams

CEO/Founder, Going Green Film Festival
Patrice Williams founded a non-profit charity, The Minorities in Broadcasting Training Program in 1992. As a journalist, filmmaker, screenwriter, she used her background to create a fundraiser for the charity, The Going Green Film Festival. The festival was the first of it’s kind... Read More →

Monday November 23, 2015 3:00pm - 3:50pm PST
Grand Ballroom

4:00pm PST

Working with Charities: The Festival As Change Agent
Organizers of film, music, food and wine festivals generally incorporate charities into their events in a variety of ways. The events are an organic environment to message audience with calls to action that effect change. Find out how these leaders are creating a lasting impression beyond the festival walls.

avatar for Andy Bernstein

Andy Bernstein

Executive Director, HeadCount
Andy Bernstein helped found HeadCount in 2004, and became its executive director in the Spring of 2008. He spearheads the organization’s fundraising, marketing, artist relations and strategic planning, under the guidance of HeadCount’s board of directors. Prior to creating HeadCount... Read More →

avatar for Justine Lucas

Justine Lucas

Global Director of Programs, The Global Poverty Project, Global Citizen Festival
ustine is the Global Director of Programs for the Global Poverty Project. She manages Global Citizen events, global partnerships and campaign development. Justine has a dynamic background in both international and domestic non-profits, including extensive work on human rights and... Read More →
avatar for Margaret Martin

Margaret Martin

Founder / National Director, Harmony Project
Margaret Martin, DrPH, MPH Margaret Martin is a doctor of public health.  She is the Founder and Director of Advocacy and Research of Harmony Project, a music-based mentoring program that provides instruments and tuition-free group and private music lessons to thousands of the most... Read More →
avatar for Brandi Veil

Brandi Veil

Personal and Professional Development Consultant, Public Speaker, Sharing Heals
Brandi Veil is a personal and professional consultant with a private healing practice, sharing economy advocate and former event producer. She is the producer/host of "Sharing Heals" a series of broadcasts focused on transformation in the sharing economy and "Get Connected" with Brandi... Read More →

Monday November 23, 2015 4:00pm - 4:50pm PST
Grand Ballroom

5:00pm PST

Wine, Women, & Song – Stepping out from Behind the Camera
These are iconic women - one was a hilarious Sweeney Sister on SNL, another Fame’s talented triple threat Nicole Chapman and the third famed Celebrity Chef Cat Cora. They have broken many boundaries  as they have worked in front of the camera for most of their lives. Now focused on owning their careers by their own standards, they live by what matters most to them. Hear what Cat wants us to do in the kitchen, how Nia has developed a holistic approach to life and still Nora can’t stop making us laugh. 

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Jennice Fuentes

Founder and Managing Partner, Fuentes Strategies
Jennice Fuentes is a recently retired (2013) U.S. House of Representatives Chief of Staff with 25 years of legislative and political experience. She has a demonstrated track record advocating and advancing legislative issues to Congressional leaders and directly impacting the passage... Read More →

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Cat Cora

Iron Chef, Author
"Cooking As Fast As I Can" author  Cat Cora  grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, attended the Culinary Institute of America, and worked in New York City before traveling overseas to apprentice in Europe with world-renowned French chefs George Blanc and Roger Vergé. After the Food... Read More →
avatar for Nora Dunn

Nora Dunn

Nora Eloise Dunn is an American actor and comedian, known for her work on the NBC sketch variety TV series Saturday Night Live. Dunn appeared in recurring roles on Sisters from 1993–1996 and The Nanny from 1998–1999, as well as a guest-starring role in a two-part... Read More →
avatar for Nia Peeples

Nia Peeples

Nia Peeples is an American R&B and dance music singer and actor. She is perhaps best known for her role as Nicole Chapman on Fame. She is also known for her role as Emily Fields' mother on Pretty Little Liars, as Karen Taylor Winters on The Young and the Restless, and... Read More →

Monday November 23, 2015 5:00pm - 6:00pm PST
Grand Ballroom
Tuesday, November 24

9:00am PST

Closing Keynote
avatar for Scott Mirkin

Scott Mirkin

Co-Founder & Executive Producer, ESM Productions
Scott Mirkin is one of America’s most successful event producers. Throughout his 25-year career, Scott has produced some of the most high profile events in the country for political icons such as Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, religious figures including Pope Francis and the Dalai... Read More →

Tuesday November 24, 2015 9:00am - 9:50am PST
Sierra Madre Room

10:00am PST

Best of The Fests Closing Brunch with Reception, Closing Speech and Awards

Sponsorship Winner of SponsorFest: Presented by Delta Air Lines

Best Sponsor Partner to a Festival

Festival Innovation Champion (Film, Music, Food/wine)
Festival Sustainability Champion (Music, Food/wine)
Festival Charity Champion (Film, Music , Food/wine)

Convergce Award: Scott Mirkin, Executive Producer

Champion of Music: Dave Mason, Musician

Lifetime Achievement Award Presented to Shep Gordon, Manager
Presented by Alice Cooper

avatar for Richard Burgi

Richard Burgi

Richard William Burgi is an American film and television actor. He's known for the roles of Det. Jim Ellison on The Sentinel, TV Reporter 1 on Christmas Twister and as Karl Mayer on Desperate Housewives.

Tuesday November 24, 2015 10:00am - 11:30am PST
Grand Ballroom