Elyse DiPisa headshot and photo at Firefly Festival stage

Radio internship leads to production gig at Firefly Festival

May 09, 2022 Written by Elliana Olivo | Photos provided by Elyse DiPisa

Featuring headliners like Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion and Machine Gun Kelly, the 2021 Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware drew many UD students to attend last September. But Elyse DiPisa had the rare opportunity to work at the festival as an intern.

The junior media communication major was a production assistant and intern with Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), a position she found through her previous internship with 99.5 WJBR-FM.

“AEG Presents reached out to the radio station I previously worked at and asked for recommendations of names of students to invite to apply for the position,” says DiPisa.

With a recommendation from WJBR-FM, DiPisa was able to respond to the invitation to apply, but there was still plenty of competition for the role.

“I had to wait a good amount of time to hear back due to the volume of applications,” she says. “After three to four weeks, I eventually received an email offering me the position. I was so beyond excited.”

Throughout the festival, DiPisa would get to the Woodlands—the 105-acre area for the festival grounds—every day hours before the doors opened to the attendees. The public relations press tent was her main area of work, where she helped with artist interviews, designing backdrops, creating Instagram content and managing press photography pits in front of various concert stages. Through her work backstage, she was able to experience an entirely new side of communications and media.

The 99.5 WJBR-FM internship was involved in a different area of communications and media where she wrote multiple weekly local news articles and stories for the radio station's website and helped aid in their online presence. Her Firefly internship in comparison was more physically demanding.

“At Firefly, it was long, constant hours, doing work with marketing and public relations professionals and aiding in Instagram Story media content,” DiPisa says. 

When speaking of challenges, DiPisa spoke of the long hours and constant running around backstage tending to others needs. “It was an amazing experience and I am so grateful for the opportunity. It was certainly work, but the work was so much fun,” she says. “The live event industry certainly keeps you on your toes and is fast-paced. It was a very exciting environment to experience.”

The position helped DiPisa discover a passion for live event media production, which has expanded her possible career paths.

“I think this internship has positively impacted my outlook on my future and what I want to do career-wise upon graduation,” she says. “I now have a newfound passion for live production and entertainment, and can expand my job search to include positions within this new field.”

For other students looking into similar fields, DiPisa advises to not be afraid to reach out. She explained how networking within your industry, regardless of the career field you are going into, is essential.

“Connections within the field are so important,” she says. “I know the connections I had helped me not only find the application and the opportunity itself, but also helped me have recommendations and people supporting me.”


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