Ed Vincent

@festival_pass

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EP 214: Ed Vincent – FOUNDER of FestivalPass (autogenerated)

Dane Reis: You booked it. Episode 214. All right. Let’s kick today off. I’m excited for my guest. Very unique for the show. Ed Vincent ed, are you ready to do.

Ed Vincent: I am ready to dig in. 

Dane Reis: Ed is the founder of the world’s first festival subscription service, providing access to music, film, food, and wine tech and innovation through festival pass and has a strong belief that we as humans.

Connection. He loves to share his experience and passion for festivals and data with any audience. The mission at festival pass is to inspire people to lead active and engaging lives by immersing themselves in community culture. He strives every day to secure at new event partners and think about what our customers want from a social mobile app that compliments their.

Experiences. He’s an entrepreneur with over 20 years of business technology and management experience. Ed, that is a very quick synopsis of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps a bit and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

Ed Vincent: Sure. Sure. thank you for that introduction. Yeah.

at the core, I’m just a, I’m just a beach kid from New Jersey who moved to New York city and became an entrepreneur, and tended to continue to do the things that I love in entertainment. Um, so, uh,I have been an entrepreneur for over 20 plus years.

I was a banker up until 1999 and I left and,the funny thing is that I’d left because, I wanted to try that internet thing that was going on back in 1999. and started e-commerce company, related to making things, selling things that made cities famous, ended up selling that in 2001.

Ed Vincent: And then I had, an agency throughout the two thousands that a 70 person agency where we, we brought a lot of big brands to really big events. And that’s what had me fall in love with live events. We helped, launch and manage multiple film festivals. We’d we even owned one down in the Dominican Republic.

We built a couple of branded hotels with Maxim magazine in the Dominican Republic and had done a lot of other fun stuff in the events industry. and just continuing to live and breathe in and around, part of the entertainment industry, some was that marketing side. And then fast forward to a few years back before my current company, I had founded a company that handled the consumer data side for a lot of big television networks, like a and D networks and AMC networks.

And, whenever somebody runs an ad in a movie theater that they have to pick why that ads running for who? So we help them,predict who’s going to be sitting in that audience. then I’ll let me up to today to do a, I launched a festival pass. and you gave the intro. it is the, the first global subscription, um, service marketplace for live events, 

Dane Reis: Yeah, very cool. You’ve done so much. I’m very excited to dig into this interview, but first , let’s dig into this part. So,and I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone

Ed Vincent: Hmm,I’d say on the personal side, this isn’t really a business quote. I there’s a million business quotes. I’ll give you one of them too. But on a personal side is, when given the opportunity to be right or be kind, choose kind. and that, that actually came from a children’s book. I have, three daughters and,is that going through that process, and realizing that, life is full of trying to create justice and sometimes kindness is, is the leading right way to go. 

Dane Reis: Absolutely and compromise. Right. I guess that kind of goes with that. Right?It’s it doesn’t usually serve us too often to always put our foot down and things, because really, I think most of life, whether it’s with your daughters, I’ve got a four-year-old daughter as well and, or it’s a business decision or in a production it’s still all a collaboration, right.Absolutely. Yeah, it is. and I think sometimes, um, you know, the need to be rightfor a lot of us,is a big driver because when you see an injustice or you, want to correct something, sometimes just choosing to be kind,Yeah, totally agree. Love that one. And let’s get into this next section here. And of course you are an entertainment professional, I’m an entertainment professional. And I think that you would agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective brutally, honest in personally emotional industries in existence.

And you know,as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now takes a lot of dedication and hard work and wow. We have an amazing time doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures. We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through.

So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better? Because.

Ed Vincent: Sure. Sure. I think I’m on the business side. I found that,, through experience that sometimes, having patients to allow, what is authentic to myself, happened, Ends up being a kind of a silver lining. Sometimes it could be an example is my first company. I remember,

selling it in 2001 thinking, Hey, I’d be better off trying to sell it.

at the time thinking I was an internet millionaire, Knowing that, at the time there was a, this the internet, a crash was looming. So I didn’t know how I’d be able to continue to finance the business thereafter. and. By jumping into it and selling it quickly. I didn’t realize what was on the other side.

Ed Vincent: So soon thereafter the crash,and obviously nine 11 happened back then, but,but Google and Facebook and all these amazing companies that we didn’t even know existed or were going to exist happen there. so all of a sudden now the e-commerce business had all these other tools to be able to grow rapidly and expand very quickly.

So had, I just had a little more fortitude and patience and had some deeper vision about where we were going. I would have been able to ride that wave of kind of the 2.0 version of what was going on. and I use that. From what I’ve learned today is when I first launched festival pass. I launched a live events marketplace right before a global pandemic, where all the live events, ceased to exist for 18 months as everybody knows.

and it would have been easy to just say, Hey,that’s not going to work. I’m going to go do something else. But I having that knowledge from the first go around, I knew it would, we’d get to the other side. I knew that, that I’d be better off spending the time building infrastructure.

and she’d just feel a little. That we hadn’t gone out and, pre hired hundreds of people that I would have to lay off. Now, what we like everybody else in the live events business was going through. So instead of, instead of throwing in the towel or saying this isn’t going to work, we pushed through and we kept building and kept building infrastructure and technology.

Ed Vincent: And now all of a sudden,in, in the world, I can’t say everybody thinks we’re on the other side of. But, but here where I’m sitting in Austin, Texas, it’s looking, bright. most of the big live event producers are going to be doing twice as many events at 2022 than existed in 2019.

And there’s this massive pent up demand for people to go back to events and, everything out there is getting sold out quickly and people are really getting back to it. So if that’s a, it’s a long-winded answer to the fact that patients and. For believing in the vision, sometimes can allow you to get to the other side, have a 

silver lining.

Dane Reis: Yes, patience and fortitude can and realizing division to get you to the other side. good, uh, on so many levels, that story, and it’s applicable to really, whatever. You’re doing in your career, whether you’re a singer, a dancer, an actor, any, anything in this industry, anything in life, really for that answer and that experience and to stick it out and it’s also about having that experience. It’s hard to know what to do. If it’s the first time you’ve ever experienced something like this, but this is why I love this podcast so much. And speaking with people like you, that have been there, they’ve done that at very high levels of this industry.

And we can learn from that. And there’s so much value in that. So thank you for sharing that story because that’s huge. Yeah, well, let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to get into this entertainment industry or maybe it was, yeah, this is what I need to be doing in the entertainment industry.

Tell us about that.

Ed Vincent: Yeah, I think it was more of a realization on my side that. Businesses is business, no matter what industry you’re in and you’re still going to do the hard work. So why not do it in something that also is fun and passionate? So what I mean by that is,when I first had the e-commerce business and, started realizing, that when you own and operate a business, doesn’t matter if you sell, widgets or you sell really cool things.

the content,. the work is the same, but the content can be a lot more 

Ed Vincent: fun if you pick something to do in the entertainment space. Um,so then I just realized that, and then, when I launched my agency and I started working with a lot of,the entertainment magazines, I think my first client was in touch weekly magazine when I started my agency.

and it was back in the days of, you know, I’veheard all the reality shows coming out. And, I started, throwing a bunch of these events for a lot of people in the entertainment industry. And I was like, oh, this is fun. It’s still work, but it’s fun. And then fast forward, decided that we’re going to build this agency around.

Ed Vincent: Around big music festivals and around film festivals and around, big events and started realizing that, this is one of the most fun times of my life because we’re working hard, but we’re also enjoying the content that comes around and the industry, I could have been producing, conferences, but that wouldn’t be that wouldn’t be that much fun.

And that continued along the way. And when I chose to get into the data space, it was, I could, analyze data in, the coal mining industry, or I could analyze data and movies, film, and music. And, I started realizing that, no matter what it is, I will always, enjoy.

Understanding everything going on in the entertainment industry. and it just, it was a more fun path. So it’s really that kind of aha. From the beginning of starting my first company. 

Dane Reis: oh, that’s a really good, I love that. I love how you said. con the the business’s business, right? All of the stuff surrounding what you need to do. The hard work is all there, and it’s the content that changes. And I think what a good thing , to take from that for a our listeners that are, that are performers.

 that’s the great part about the business side of show business is that it is. The same, it that’s kind of a constant, right. But it’s the content that changes. And there’s so many performers out there that are very apprehensive of learning too much or digging into that business side of things.

But learning the business side of things is how you create longevity in your careers, how you create predictability and. The great part I love that you said is that it’s businesses business. It stays the same, which is good news to me. And good news to you. If you’re a performer that you are able to learn these things, it’s kind of a a much more set skill set versus, all of the subjectivity and the dynamics that come with being a performer, a singer, an actor, a dancer, or something like this.

So dig in, learn that business side of things. That really lays a huge foundation of what you can then do with your talents.

Ed Vincent: And I think, I do think there’s a,there’s a big analogy to, the entrepreneurial space and,and talent and performers, um, looking to acquire a job or get hired, or the thing to do, make a movie, whatever the choice is, cause at the core, a lot of early stage technology.

Companies end up pitching and pitching to get, the first investor to buy in or to get angels, to fund you or to get,the big VC to fund your company and in doing so, there’s thousands of pitches and one successful funded company. So the reality is it’s not much different.

Everything’s different. Um,and I think what’s interesting is you can choose to take it in whatever path you want to go, but, just like the, uh, you know,the,the entertainment industry you can choose to, just audition for somebody else’s project, or you could choose to create a project that works for you.

And that kind of is a very similar 

analogy. in building a

Dane Reis: Yeah. Fantastic analogy. Well, let’s piggyback on that question real quick, and let’s talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day. What was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite book? That moment?

Ed Vincent: Since various businesses throughout. It’s always hard to say when was that, that first, best if you will. But,but I think what I can share is, and even in my last business, there’s always that moment in time where somebody makes a commitment to you or to. that brings me to the next spot and the next level.

So, um, you know,even when this was just an idea, I still had a data business, which was fine, but I was really getting excited to go launch just consumer brand. and,it was a commitment from another entrepreneur who I knew very well, who also liked the, the space and the idea that I was,going in and, his first hundred thousand dollars check to say, you know what.

Why don’t you just do it, just go. and basically that initial, kickoff to, to push me forward,was really exciting. and I think that happens a lot. for me, in the process of building a company,it happened here in Austin as well. When I find I started this company in New York and I got to Austin A.

Little over a year ago, in the middle of the pandemic and, I was. certain communities are very tight knit and everybody knows each other. and sometimes from an outsider coming in, it’s really hard to break in. And for me, it was actually,helpful because as an entrepreneur, I was part of some organizations and I guess the same goes for, entertainment professionals.

Whereas if you already have a base connection, you can feed into a group of people. but as soon as I started meeting some of the people that really are, industry players here in Austin, Um, you know,I had the CEO of Alamo draft house, movie theater. who’s a wonderful woman named Charlotte, Shelley Taylor.

she took a liking to what I was doing. She invested in the company and then she introduced me to the next person who was the co-founder of HomeAway VRVO and he invested. And then he introduced me to somebody else before, it there’s this Catalyst of, forward movement with really amazing people that are joining the journey.

and for me, those are 

Ed Vincent: all like little booked at moments. 

Dane Reis: oh, that’s so cool. And getting people on board that that addition of like the minds and the energy, getting on board with whatever, with whatever it is that you’re doing, just besides making it just a, this solo preneur thing. Right. 

Ed Vincent: Yes, absolutely. And,and I wonder if there’s an analogy to the, to the business where somebody might not have booked a, a specific role, but they were able to get a hold of the right manager or the Right.

agent. So now that’s one steps forward to the next thing. And same for me.

 I was able to get a bunch of advisors to join the company, who had very profound. Credible roles that were now on the team. And now that I have a team going forward, it makes every other steps, just a little bit. Yeah.

Dane Reis: for sure. And I think that analogy becomes quite direct as well in the hole, in the audition hustle, the game of what that is and the amount of stories that have been on this podcast to people that have they’re booked at moments came. A failed audition because they went to the audition and they just, well, they just weren’t right for whatever that, that particular role was.

But the person sitting across the table, one of them had another project, you know, that they were working on and kept them in mind. They’re like, you know what? I think there’ll be the good. and the next thing, you know, they get a call, they have an audition and they land the leading role just like that.

And. Building those connections in those in those relationships with people within your network. And, uh, network. And, uh, I think that’s very cool.

Ed Vincent: Yes. I 

Dane Reis: Yeah. it is time now to take a moment to talk about the present. Uh, We’ve talked about festival pass a little bit,but, uh, can we dig into that a little bit more and. We are still kind of in this global pandemic, like you said, depending on where you are in the world, it’s loosening up or tightening down, but how do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

Ed Vincent: Yeah. I think the, the pandemic obviously had an effect across the board on various ways. the industry works, obviously we’re in the live event space,I see a huge resurgence and a lot of people here in the states. Yeah. calling it the roaring twenties coming back, which I do see that happening.

there really is a lot of fundamentals that, that, that make that true. with festival pass, we’re super excited, to bring more and more events into our marketplace, because we do know how. How many people are out there in, in the consumer side that just haven’t had an opportunity to go out and be part of a community.

Ed Vincent: And, I think as we open this,this conversation, you mentioned, some of our kind of goals that festival passes, it’s really driven by community. And, everybody does need the community to actually feel fulfilled. So people are really getting back. So the next 18 months are gonna be insane in terms of people going into more and more.

There’s a lot of discretionary income and consumers’ hands that, they haven’t spent from traveling and haven’t spent from going out over the last 18 months. I think the, from a business perspective, there’s about $2.1 trillion in savings in discretionary income, ready to be spent.

so that’s our super exciting, and I think it’s shifted a lot of other forms of entertainment. the artists themselves, the reason why there’s so many events coming up. a lot of, on the music side, a lot of artists have been writing music for the last 18 months at home in their studios and they want to get out and share it.

it just, it goes on and on, and even the way the film business has changed, from how movies are released. the pandemic kind of brought about the time and date releases. And the question is will that stay or not? I think there’s been a lot of, discussion around. Was it a, is it a smart move to be releasing a film in theater and at home on the same day?

Ed Vincent: And is there, is, are they leaving money on the table? So it’s a lot of conversations happening , 

Dane Reis: you’re right. So many industries have had to change the way they do business throughout entire pandemic, right. With the film, especially, but I’m, I’m very excited to see what’s happening.

And I agree that, I mean, you said what $2.1 trillion. Holy crap. That is a lot of cash, uh, to. Get a piece of that pie. Right. and that’s and that’s part of everything. So I think that’s amazing. I’m looking forward to it and I love your, I love your take on what’s happening. And then I’m looking forward to see what happens with festival pass.

Moving forward as everything really does start exploding and opening up

Ed Vincent: Yeah. we’re um,just even for our own product, there’s about 80,000 events. We’re pulling onto our platform this coming week. just because so many are getting into. 

Dane Reis: Yeah. Wow. That’s amazing. And well, actually, could you, uh, explain a bit how festival pass works? You said, you know, it’s a subscription-based, events or festival pass, right? So how does it make.

Ed Vincent: Sure. I always say on a high level, it’s like Airbnb meets ClassPass if anybody knows either or both of those brands, but, the way it works is, consumers, members, we call them members, they, they come to festival pass and they sign up for a monthly subscription. The monthly subscription can cost anywhere from 19 to $99 a month.

And in return for that fee, they get credits and they can use those credits to attend thousands, tens of thousands supply of events that can, it’s almost like a, credits from the old days at the arcade, but they can then apply those to go to these events. And the reason it becomes useful to do so.Is, we will never charge a ticketing fee. There’s been a big kind of rub in the industry for so long about a Tran transaction and ticketing fees and them being,10, 20, 30% of the actual ticket price. so that we also, enable a lot of other fun items that, are valuable. So our members can also.

book hotel rooms at 20 to 40% less than they would anywhere else on the internet because we get wholesale rates as a membership group. so they can use those credits to book those hotels. and there’s a lot more we’re doing with artists to really build,benefits and, really, subscriptions and ways for our members to get perks.

Ed Vincent: Whether those parks are advanced tickets, whether those parks are. meet and greets or, other unique items that, some of the touring artists or sporting teams or theater groups will, will allow our members to 

participate in. 

Dane Reis: very cool. Thank you for that. That’s amazing. And it is now time to move to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready?

Ed Vincent: Yes, I 

Dane Reis: Brilliant. First 

question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an.

Ed Vincent: nothing. 

Dane Reis: Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?there’s no limit what a man can do. If he doesn’t mind who gets the. 

third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before the industry kind of took a pause? 

Ed Vincent: I think what’s working for me now is I’m just continuing to build relationships with people, that can help. it’s been, it started working for me pre COVID it’s been working through, and I do realize that the core relationships are what 

drives any success. 

Dane Reis: Oh, so glad you said that. I say this all the time on the podcast, that relationships are everything in. Business and every, every scope of life, but specifically for the entertainment industry, it’s how you can create a real true professional career. It’s one thing to book a gig or maybe two contracts, right. But to book a career’s worth of them requires relations.

Ed Vincent: Agreed. Agreed. Yeah. It’s it’s the core for anything. if you’re good people and people want to work with you, then they tell others and it just makes 

everything 

grow exponentially.

Dane Reis: there you go. Fourth question. What is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast or a piece of technology you found is helping your career right now.

Ed Vincent: Sure. So as an entrepreneur, there’s so many different books have been part of an entrepreneur organization for 14 plus years globally. so there’s always a ton of. tools. but there’s one book that I really called measure what matters. and it’s really more applicable to building a company and making sure goals are aligned with actions and those actions are aligned with,larger goals.

so it enables,us as a culture to move forward in the right direction. so I guess that can be applied really anywhere but 

Ed Vincent: measure what matters.

Dane Reis: very cool. I will have to check that out. I have not read that book, but I will add it to my list today. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do?

Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

Ed Vincent: Yeah. I mean,because I sit where I sit today and I love what we’re doing. I would be doing this. I felt like everything over the last 20 years has led up to why I’m doing what I’m doing. pat passion for live events, having a significant data background, having run and built other tech and SAS companies.

so all of it coming together in this space, which is a $200 billion industry in the live event space. And, I, I. I’m excited to have the, the vehicle, through which to affect change in this industry. and I’m excited cause I think our model is the one for the future. so I wouldn’t be doing anything different cause I can’t think of another, another, challenge, that’s is as big and 

Ed Vincent: as exciting as what. 

Dane Reis: Oh, very cool. Love that. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career? You’d like to leave with our listeners.I think I’d given a few along the way. I think that the patients was really the key bond. but, Yeah. should have had been better prepared for this it’s, it’s kindness first, patience wins. Don’t worry about the credit. it, it, as long as You continue, moving forward, the credit will come.

Ed Vincent: People will know what you’ve done. You don’t have to ask for it. 

Dane Reis: Beautiful. And to wrap up this interview, ed, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? I’m sure you want to promote festival pass.

Ed Vincent: Of chorus. So anybody that lives loves live events should be going to festival pass.

though com signing up and being part of festival pass. They can follow us on Instagram, a festival underscore pass, where on Facebook and tick-tock and any of the social channels, you’d be able to find us,personally, accessible through LinkedIn.

just my name on LinkedIn. but outside of that, yeah, it’s a festival past. This is where we’re going, where we’re 

Ed Vincent: building.

Dane Reis: Brilliant. And for everyone listening out there, I’ve put the links to everything and just said into the description of this episode, you could easily connect with him and also be sure to share this podcast with your fellow entertainers, coaches, teachers, arts, and entertainment educators, and anyone, you know, aspiring to create a career in the entertainment industry.

You booked. It is the number one resource of expertise on how to actually create a success. Entertainment career case-in-point everything. Ed just gave us in today’s interview. If you enjoyed this one, hit that subscribe button. So you don’t miss the next guest. And thank you so much for jumping on. It’s been such a pleasure to connect and chat with you,

Ed Vincent: Thanks so much, Dan. I appreciate it.