As Miranda Lambert was preparing for her concert March 1 in Thompson-Boling Arena, her tour manager took some time to talk about what goes on behind the scenes in a country music concert tour.
Curt Jenkins gave a short public talk and then answered questions during the event, hosted by the Country Music Association’s campus-based professional development program, CMA EDU. The program is designed to give college students an inside look into the music and entertainment industry through special projects, events, and guest speakers. Opie Joe, a DJ for the Q100 radio station, moderated the session.
Jenkins told the audience that as a kid he had always dreamed of being on tour with musicians, but it wasn’t until his undergraduate years at Belmont University that he really got his start.
“Through guys I had met at Belmont, I was out doing audio on the Alabama Farewell Tour in 2003 and 2004,” said Jenkins.
He also worked for acts like Big & Rich and Lady Antebellum before becoming tour manager for Lambert.
Jenkins shared his some of his memorable experiences, described a typical day’s schedule, and offered a few bits of advice. He urged students to be willing to learn, ask questions, and talk to people in their desired profession.
Kellen Clarke, president of UT’s chapter of CMA EDU, said Jenkins’ talk provided some great insights.
“We learned more about what it means to manage an artist and tour of this caliber while also getting advice on how to navigate starting a career in the entertainment industry,” she said. “It was great to have the perspective of a tour manager and a radio personality because it allowed everyone to learn how tour managers work with local media.”