On a windy Monday afternoon, our Concert Career Pathways (CCP) cohort took a trip down to East Oakland to visit Suite Treatments, an event design company that transforms spaces into dressing rooms, VIP lounges, and backstage areas. We met with the CEO of the company, Jacqueline Barsotti, who told us about her passion for and experience in the industry. She led the tour along with Bill Knutson and Danika Oatway, who also had experience with backstage hospitality. Barsotti shared what it was like working backstage hospitality for Bill Graham Presents (BGP) in the 90s. She told us how Bill Graham set out with a goal to give artists a memorable experience when coming to a show — starting with the dressing room. Whilst working for BGP, Barsotti was building her own brand and eventually went devoted a full-time schedule to that brand, Suite Treatments. Since then, Suite Treatments has worked with a number of iconic artists including Prince and Madonna, as well as popular music festivals such as Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, and many more.
The facility was huge! All over the warehouse were different walls, fabrics, and lights. As they walked us through one of their showrooms, which featured an Alice in Wonderland theme, they sat us down at the Mad Hatter’s table and offered us tea. They told us about how they were able to throw different themed events for companies like Netflix where they had a Stranger Things theme or decorated for Travis Scott’s Astroworld album tour.
They spent some time telling us about their internship program called Well Dunn to help young individuals with a passion for the industry to get their foot in the door and work backstage hospitality at events that they are partnered with.
As someone who wants to throw events, I want to make sure that everything I plan is an unforgettable experience. I feel that event design not only helps with the appeal but can make a great event a spectacular one. Because if you provide people with a memorable experience — artist or patron — they will come back again. It really makes you appreciate more than what the event is about and I feel that it’s these small details that are often overlooked but can often make or break an event. The Suite Treatments tour definitely opened my eyes to be able to see more than just an event and I would definitely consider doing an internship with them in the future.
– Jade Aguigui, Development Intern Concert Career Pathways 2018-19
Jade Aguigui is from Fairfield, California and attends Diablo Valley College, where she double majors in Music Industry Studies and Sociology and hopes to prepare herself for a career that tackles social injustice within the music industry. Her main interest is to create inclusive spaces for women of color and LGBT+ folks because she has noticed a lack of representation in the industry. In addition to participating in Concert Career Pathways, she works with Another Planet Entertainment, Women in Music festival, and as a multimedia manager for an emerging rap collective.