Club management class takes over Reggies


Kelly Wenzel

Columbia-based bands Minds of Atlantis (above), OBY and Highness performed at the Feb. 17 “A Night of Funk” event organized by students from the Business & Entrepreneurship Department’s “Club Management: Practicum” class.

Get ready, South Loop—this semester, Columbia is taking over Reggies Music Joint, 2105 S. State St. 

Students from the college’s Business & Entrepreneurship Department took control of the popular South Loop music venue Feb. 17 to produce “A Night of Funk.” “Reggies Takeover,” the first show in the department’s spring performance series, featured performances from Columbia-based bands Minds of Atlantis, OBY and Highness. 

The series, which runs every other week for the rest of the Spring 2015 Semester, allows students in the department’s “Club Management: Practicum” class to produce every detail of the series, including booking the bands and selecting which stage to use.  

Each semester, the course provides 12 undergraduate and graduate students with hands-on experience that allows them to learn what it takes to produce a live event, according to Joe Bogdan, an assistant professor in the Business & Entrepreneurship Department who has taught the course for the past four years. 

“The entire class is just producing shows,” Bogdan said. “There’s no book, there are no tests, no assignments—just getting shows on.”

The class has been available to students for four years, but this semester marks the first time the class has been able to produce an off-campus event, Bogdan said. Past events took place at The Haus in the Quincy Wong Center at the 623 S. Wabash Ave. Building. Bogdan said it was not an ideal situation despite its convenience.  

“As [the class] has grown over time, we realized that doing a show on campus presents a lot of restrictions that you wouldn’t have in a real club,” Bogdan said. “So we decided to take it to a real club, and this is the maiden voyage.”

Bogdan said he was always interested in moving the event off-campus and was presented the opportunity to do so when a former student and intern at Reggies connected him to Brendan Joyce, the club’s talent buyer, last semester.

Joyce said the partnership is a great fit as a local venue. The club has  historically had a strong relationship with the college, including offering internships to students, having several Columbia-based bands play on its stages and even producing college performances for students in the music program, he said. 

“We’ve always wanted to do something like this, allowing students to build everything from the ground up, because it’s the easiest way to learn,” Joyce said.

Though Joyce said that the benefits far outweigh any possible risk, he said allowing students to take over the venue is a bit of a chance. Students will be supervised and aided by a small number of staff members, but they are largely responsible for every aspect of the production. 

According to Malorie Pivato, a senior business & entrepreneurship major that was put in charge of marketing “A Night of Funk,” the independence is what makes the class so exciting and rewarding. 

“It’s like having a job, but it’s a lot of fun and it’s a great opportunity to really learn what it’s like to produce a show,” Pivato said.

Each student is given the opportunity to work a different aspect of each show on a rotating basis. Students do everything from booking the bands to marketing the event to setting up the show and seeing that it runs smoothly, Pivato said.  

Though the semester and the series just began, the class has been working to produce a series that the campus community can get excited about. According to Adriana Prieto, a graduate student in the Business & Entrepreneurship Department responsible for the social media promotion of the events, the class has already seen some encouraging results. 

“We’ve been here for only four weeks, but it’s been great,” Prieto said. “We can put this on our resume, and this is a great opportunity to reach external media and other sources in real life.”