Life In The Air: Student Ryan Kearney Shares His Sevdaliza Tour Diary

Hypnotising the world with her debut LP ISON last year, Iranian-Dutch artist Sevdaliza toured Australia for the first time in January 2018. Thanks to Paradise and Mellum, Entertainment Management student Ryan Kearney joined the team on tour, experiencing what life is like for an artist and their managers with a national touring schedule.

Assisting with operations, Ryan’s time on the tour saw him flying between major cities, advancing the tour and liaising with artists, team and venue to coordinate the production. With a passion for artist management and promotion, Ryan shares his personal film photography and experiences with us; a perfect diary for those curious about what goes on behind-the-scenes of your favourite gig!

The Calm Before The Storm

“Andre Hillas, the director of Paradise, informed me that I will be going on the whole tour alongside Uda Widanapathirana, the founder and director of Mellum. Sevdaliza will be travelling with her own crew—seven strong apparently, with their own tour manager—so we will be responsible for making sure everything’s running smoothly on the road including riders, sound checks and additional venue liaison when required. The whole team (Paradise and Mellum) have very creative working styles, with my primary focus operations including worksheets, tour advancement, time-lining, production liaison, and accreditation.”

Thursday January 18th: It’s Show Week

“After a blurry-eyed morning, I checked in my bag and boarded the plane. After picking up Uda, we drove to Woolworths and collected the majority of the drinks required for the Woolly Mammoth rider, and then headed to FV By Peppers, a swanky apartment close to the venue in the Fortitude Valley. After some downtime waiting to check into the room, Uda and I took the touring party to the venue.

Sevdaliza’s performance itself was incredible and the crowd was so energetic! The toughest part of the night was escorting her from the venue without fans trying to get photos as there was no way to exit the venue from the Green Room. After four photos and some hurried conversation, we managed to escort her from the venue and back to the accommodation.”

Friday January 19th: Four Hours Sleep

“After a short-lived slumber, I raced to the airport, dropped the crew off at check-in and upon arriving to Sydney, the first item of business was to pick the flowers for the performance. The Oxford Art Factory is such a nice venue! From there the crew walked back to the venue where I met them before the performance, and Sydney punters filling into the venue as anticipation was electric. Sevdaliza’s performance was flawless as always, with the crowd mesmerised by her power.”

Saturday January 20th: Wake-up

“The wake-up was a hairy experience—you know when you feel like you just shut your eyes? I made Sydney airport in good time and the flight was glorious. Upon arriving to Melbourne I grabbed my bag and the hire van where the crew piled in and we set off to Sugar Mountain. With her strongest performance of the tour, Sevdaliza blew away a huge crowd on the Merlyn Stage at Sugar Mountain, attracting one of the strongest crowds of the night despite competing with Joey Bada$$ for sizeable chunk of her set.”

Sunday January 21st: Checked Baggage

“After a welcomed sleep-in, all the baggage was checked in and we flew very quickly to Hobart arriving in well under an hour, greeted at the baggage carousel by cheerful Faux Mo Driver, Pippy Edwards, who took a scenic route to the Old Woolstore Apartments with all of the touring party talking excitedly about climbing Mount Wellington. The Artist Liaison, James, showed the crew to their two green rooms and then soundcheck began. After soundcheck finished, Emiliano took the crew back to the hotel where they took the opportunity to rest before heading back to the venue.”

“I ordered room service for the first time in my life—it was a very weird experience having food underneath silver dishes delivered to my hotel door. After watching Nick Kyrgios throw the kitchen sink at Grigor Dimitrov I joined the crew heading back to the venue, armed with Anthony’s digital camera and my trusty Pentax K1000 (as always).”

Monday January 22nd: The End

“Check out and flight back to Melbourne, I’m home!”

This piece has been edited for reading purposes. Wish you were immersed in the entertainment industry 24/7? Check out our 2018 study options at Collarts and get hands-on through exclusive opportunities.