The Vans Warped Tour is one of the biggest touring festivals in the music scene. Hundreds of people work together to build the festival in a different city every morning, and keep it running smoothly throughout the day, but don’t always get the recognition that they deserve. In this mini-series, I am making a point to talk to, and highlight as many different people who were a part of the tour as possible. Meet Brianne McKay!
About Brianne: I started working in the entertainment industry about 9 years ago, mostly in film and TV. In high school, I immersed myself in the music of AFI, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance, Panic! at The Disco, Phantom Planet… I love alt rock and pop punk. For me, I always thought I wanted to work in music video production. Although I enjoy film, after several years of working on various projects, I discovered my somewhat boisterous personality makes it a challenge to stay “quiet on the set”. I’m enthusiastic and chatty– which is a great fit for music and festivals, where staying silent is less of an issue. Now, I typically work for festivals like Coachella, Warped Tour and the Sixthman Cruises, for sponsors/sponsor marketing activations and running / assisting with cruise activities. There are SO many jobs within entertainment as a whole, I’m very happy that I’ve found ones that suit my strengths! I also draw, craft, cook and instagram vlog. I have a mountain of hobbies and curiosities, such as creating and selling enamel pins and curling up with a book.
What was your job on Warped?
This past Warped Tour, I worked for Skull Candy headphones, who was one of the major sponsors. They had a stage, as well as a marketing activation (a branded lounge). Me and my wonderful team would wake up at 7am every morning from the tour bus, help unload the truck and built our giant tent and displays (charging stations, headphones for guests to try on, etc.). During the day, I chat with kids about our headphones, hand out prizes and basically make sure they’re having a fun, memorable time in our tent. Our tent also held meet and greets with Watsky, Big D and the Kids Table and Neck Deep… so handing out passes, working with local security and ensuring the artists are happy. There are a million other tiny tasks like getting catering, restocking merch, and doing inventory. It’s so helpful to collect a broad skill set, because you never know what you may be asked to do on the job! I do equal parts hard labor and customer service.
Do you have any stories from Warped Tour that you would be willing to share?Warped Tour is such an amazing community and family. There is so much love and support among the 1200 of us traveling together… whether it be saving each other’s tents when extreme wind and weather rolls through, playing “heads up” or trivia on the bus, 2am Walmart trips or simply taking a little break to watch a band, it’s an amazing opportunity I’m so lucky to have experienced the past 3 years!! We have plenty of extra curriculars — everything from parking lot karaoke, free yoga classes, and Warped prom. (I amazingly won warped prom queen this year! So fun!!) All of us work and hustle so hard for such long hours, it’s beautiful to have that balanced with fun activities.
Follow Brianne on Instagram!
Photos and interview by Dominique Benedict.