I am a senior Mass Media Communication student at Illinois State University. I’m 23 years old and this is my 6th and final year of college! My major changed from aviation, to psychology, and then finally I found the world of mass media communication. From the moment I got my first guitar I knew I wanted to work with music, but I didn’t find a practical career path until I started taking my mass media courses. In my free time I play guitar, bass, sing and drum, but I also produce music and light shows using ableton live.

My major gives me the unique privilege of working as a DJ and an office manager for Illinois State University’s radio station, 103.3 WZND. Many of the festival reviews are going to be posted to wznd.com so look for them there and listen for my Dj shifts.

My radio personality is actually what started this entire project. In May 2015, I submitted and won an All-Star College DJ search for the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. The prize for the contest was two media passes, a $500 travel stipend, and a three hour live radio show from within the festival. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and one of the best experiences of my life.

It is my mission to replicate and report this experience at festivals across the nation. Festivalforecast.com is going to document my personal experience, but also the experiences of the festival culture and the people that attend them. The goal is to have a collective project that allows me to develop professional skills, while also providing readers a unique documentation of music festivals. My partner, Joe Lazaro, will be writing Festival Forecast’s “Venue Review” column which documents local concerts and venues as well.

Joe and I intend on using Festivalforecast.com to mold our journalism, photography, social media development and business skills. I will be graduating from Illinois State University in May 2016 so please forward any job openings to ryanblair@festivalforecast.com.

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