There’s something special about dancing the night away with your friends at a Rock the Ruins concert under the shade of the historic ruins at Holliday Park. The location provides the perfect environment for an exciting summer outing that guests of all ages can enjoy. Just like any event, the final production — an enjoyable concert in a beautiful venue with world-class performances and a variety of food and beverage vendors — requires a hardworking team to make the magic happen.
Rock the Ruins summer concert series is hosted by Forty5, the parent company of The Vogue Theatre in Broad Ripple. In 2019, The Vogue was bought by Eric Tobias, Scott Kraege, and Andrew Davis, who created the business entity Forty5 LLC which essentially serves as the parent company to The Vogue, Rock the Ruins, and any other future venues.
In advance of the LeAnn Rimes show at Rock the Ruins on Friday, July 15, Indy Maven had the chance to catch up with four of the women on the Rock the Ruins team for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at all that goes into putting on a concert.
SECURING THE TALENT
with Talent Buyer Adrienne Barry
“To find top-tier talent, the talent team develops relationships with agents within the industry to understand their roster and tour plans. We target artists that fit the Rock the Ruins space and brand, find dates that work with the artist’s schedule, create an offer to submit to the agent who shows it to the artist, and wait for an acceptance, declination, or counteroffer.
“Finding talent for Rock the Ruins is completely different than for The Vogue. Historically, The Vogue has been a music venue and nightclub that is strictly 21+. It is a smaller space and limits our reach to certain artists and patrons. Rock the Ruins is outdoors and all ages. We are able to accommodate a larger audience and bring in bigger talent that we would not be able to typically book for a show at The Vogue.
“For example, LeAnn Rimes is an iconic, Grammy Award-winning artist. We are super excited to have such an acclaimed female artist at Rock The Ruins and bring the great music she is known for. She is another great addition to our series and we look forward to an awesome show!”
FINDING THE SPONSORS
with Private Events and Strategic Partnerships Manager Sara Wajda
“Securing sponsorships begins a year prior to the start of the next concert season; for example, we’ve already begun finding sponsors for Rock the Ruins 2023. We begin communication via a sponsorship inquiry or mutual connection. Once the relationship is established, we work with each potential sponsor to determine which level of sponsorship is the best fit for them, develop a plan to promote their organization, and work to meet their wishes regarding the VIP experience at Holliday Park.
“Sponsors provide a great benefit to Rock the Ruins. From social media exposure, to word-of-mouth promotion, to signage at the park, sponsors help spread the word about Rock the Ruins in their communities well beyond what our team could reach on our own. Sponsors also derive great value from their partnership with Rock the Ruins, from entertaining clients at the shows to providing tickets to their employees and prospects. We view our sponsors more as partners, as Rock the Ruins would not be possible without them, and we work to make sure this shines through at each show.
“Our team is especially looking forward to the LeAnn Rimes show on July 15! Like every show they attend, sponsors will be given a first-class experience: dedicated parking spaces in VIP parking, access to the VIP tent (including private bathrooms and extra food and beverage options), front row seating at the show, and access to reserved shaded cocktail tables.”
PROMOTING THE SHOW
with Director of Marketing Sarah Silcox
“Marketing is responsible for bringing awareness to upcoming events and driving ticket sales. Managing marketing for Rock the Ruins involves efforts surrounding announcing, promoting, advertising, and branding both the program as a whole and individual shows. As a marketing team of three people, we wear a lot of hats and are responsible for everything from building out event pages, to social media management, to designing on-site signage, to choosing where to advertise the series. All of our efforts are rooted in what is also my favorite part about my job: creating world-class experiences that bring an emotional connection to our audiences and make Indianapolis a great place to live.
“While some elements of promoting shows at The Vogue and Rock the Ruins are the same (e.g. building show pages, working with artist teams to solidify a marketing plan, using paid ads and radio to promote shows), there are definitely elements that are unique between the two. One key difference with Rock the Ruins is that we are promoting the concerts as part of a cohesive summer-long concert series, giving us a bit more freedom to create brand-specific assets and promote the series as a whole via more advertising channels than we usually use for one-off shows at The Vogue. This year we are excited to cross-promote the series in several local magazines, online blogs, community initiatives, radio outlets, and more.
“In 2022, we started promoting Rock the Ruins in late January when we announced our first two shows, and we continued to announce and promote shows between then and now. The majority of our promotional efforts really ramped up in early May as we closed in on the month leading up to the first Rock the Ruins show of the season! While the bulk of the marketing lift for Rock the Ruins comes before the day of the show, the marketing team is excited to be helping our operations team with set-up, guest services, teardown, and more for all Rock the Ruins shows this summer.
“Something rewarding about marketing in the live music industry is watching our efforts pay off at the events, knowing we helped connect guests to experiences they love. We are especially excited for the LeAnn Rimes show because it is an event we’ve been working hard to promote and anticipate a really fun audience in attendance!”
“In my opinion, there aren’t enough women in this industry — both on stage and off. Forty5 (The Vogue’s parent company) is lucky to have an incredible group of women on our team and it will be awesome to have a badass woman on stage.” – Anna Tobias
SETTING THE STAGE
with Hospitality & Special Projects Manager Anna Tobias
“Something audience members (including myself before I began in this position) may not know is just how much goes into putting on a concert, especially one at Rock the Ruins where we bring everything in and take it all out each weekend. If you come to a show on a Sunday night and then you come back to Holliday Park the next morning, it will look totally different. Our team completely transforms Holliday Park for each show — it’s a lot of work, but it’s so much fun!
“It takes about 100 staff members to put on every Rock the Ruins show. As hospitality and special projects manager, I schedule staff and am their point of contact throughout the season. We need security guards, bartenders, barbacks, ticket takers, ID checkers, VIP staff, parking attendants, and a site operations team.
“Day of show, I arrive at the park around 8 am and work with our incredible production manager, Brian Tschour, to ensure our artist spaces are ready for their arrival. This could be anything from unloading groceries, to washing dishes, to fluffing pillows. It’s imperative that our artists have a place to relax and unwind before the show, so my first responsibility is to make sure that that space is perfect prior to their arrival.
“From there, I assist our site-ops team with setting up the site and check-in with the tour manager. Once staff arrives around 3:30 p.m., we do a pre-shift meeting to go over everything for the night. During this time, I’m also coordinating the arrival of our food trucks which are crucial to the success of our shows. Gates typically open at 5 p.m., and from 5 p.m. to about 9 p.m., we usually have some downtime which is a great opportunity to enjoy the show! Then, we start the tear-down process. The shows end at 10 p.m. and we try to tear down as much as possible that night. I usually leave Holliday Park between midnight and 1 a.m.
“LeAnn Rimes is going to be the first female headliner for Rock the Ruins. In my opinion, there aren’t enough women in this industry — both on stage and off. Forty5 (The Vogue’s parent company) is lucky to have an incredible group of women on our team and it will be awesome to have a badass woman on stage. Plus, she’s LeAnn Rimes; what’s not to be excited about?!”
Indy Maven readers can get $25 tickets to the LeAnn Rimes performance at Rock the Ruins on July 15 with code “MAVEN” at checkout while supplies last. Check out RocktheRuins.com for more information on this show and to see the rest of the summer lineup.
Kylie Stine is a frequent contributor to Indy Maven and a marketing associate on The Vogue x Rock the Ruins team. She can’t wait for a female headliner to take the stage at a world-class event made possible by a group of dedicated local Indy organizations.