Meet Ryin Jones, Music Festival Manager
Meet Ryin Jones, owner of Amplitix. His company “amplifies the fan experience” by providing support services to music festivals and mid-sized live entertainment venues.
What’s involved in managing a music festival?
Everything from booking the talent to ticket sales. I’m the guy in the background who is taking care of logistics. Sometimes I just show up with a laptop, but often, I’m unloading trucks and setting up perimeter fences.
Do you interact with the artists?
Not as much as you think. The talent usually comes in to do a sound check directly with the hired production company. My interactions are with the artist’s management and tour manager. It’s all very smooth and professional—but sure, it’s a bit of a buzz when I’m working with one of my favorite artists.
Have you worked with any big-name artists?
I’ve worked with a lot of Americana and indie rock groups, but during Covid, I worked alongside Luck Presents and had success with online events. Artists were off the road, sitting at home, so we produced and streamed concerts with Jewel, James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, John Mellencamp, and handled productions for Farm Aid 2020. Willie Nelson is the only living legend I can claim to know well. I was part of the team that runs the annual Luck Reunion festival at his ranch in Spicewood, Texas–which is an outdoor “wild west” movie set from Nelson’s film Red Headed Stranger. I did that festival for 11 years, and always enjoy hanging out at Willie’s ranch with my family.
How did you get started?
By accident. I was a “coffee shop musician” in college, but knew it wasn’t in the cards for me to do that as a career. The spotlight isn’t really my comfort zone. When some of my friends started seeing success, I quickly figured out how I could help them. In the early 2000s, that meant website design, and by 2009, I was building ticketing systems. It grew from there.
What’s a favorite moment?
It was a best/worst moment at our annual Luck Reunion outside of Austin in 2016. A lightning storm came rolling through. The sheriff said to shelter in place, so we announced to 3,000 people that they should wait in their cars. Most left disappointed, but a couple hundred people waited for two hours–and they were rewarded. That audience basically had a private concert with Willie Nelson, Jenny Lewis, and even Bill Murray stopped by. What could have been a total loss, ended as one of my favorite memories.
What’s been your worst disaster?
An artist, whom I’ll not name, never showed up. That was not fun to relay on the customer end.
I’ve mostly managed shows in Oklahoma, Texas and Nashville. Many of them are college town festivals or shows centered around a major conference, like SXSW or Americana Music Fest. This job is historically a lot of travel and shutting down at 3AM. Recently, with growing family commitments, I’ve shifted to a local focus. My wife, Jen, and I are committed to investing our time and energy into Edmond, my adopted hometown since 2012. We’ve started investing in real estate and are developing a music venue for downtown Edmond…. and that’s a teaser!