My name is Maya Jacobs and in addition to playing viola, I'm the event manager for Phoenix.
Ever since I was little, I've loved organizing events. I liked thinking about all the small details and figuring things out. Thinking of all the fun that could be achieved and on the other hand, what disasters could be avoided.
When Matt approached me and asked if I would be able to help with the Phoenix launch event I was so excited and full of joy. This event sounded so challenging but fulfilling - it would push the conservative expectations of a typical concert to the next level. "I can do this," I said and started to brainstorm. What do we want? What do we need? What is possible? Where? We were looking for an empty space basically, without the standard concert hall stage so we wouldn’t have this big barrier between the musicians and audience. The search for the perfect Ignite venue began and after a while we found it: The Oberon in Cambridge. I'm so happy there's a venue like the Oberon around. This venue is everything we need: very cozy and intimate but also big enough to have a nice size audience and, as a bonus, a super professional staff.
After I contacted them and we decided on a date, the ball started rolling. Endless emails and conversations about the tiniest details and expectations popped up. We wanted our crowd to have an access to a bar throughout the event and not just during one intermission? No problem. We wanted to have special drinks to match our spirit and music? No problem. Special lights and unusual use of the space? No problem. The Oberon team was happy to assist and advise us on what would work and how we could make things possible.
The team we put together at Phoenix to focus on getting ready for the Ignite has been a blast to work with. Doing hard work on something you're really looking forward to with some of your best friends in the world is really rewarding. We've done everything from little to small. From things like booking Oberon for the event, to working with Oberon on the little details of the events, to designing an easel board to display the musicians' names.
Working with the Oberon team is like working with a professional soccer team - together as one team they are amazing because individually everyone is so good at their different role. I was amazed by how many different professionals were involved: from lighting, sound, and production coordinators, to sales and more. The Phoenix team is so devoted and creative, and Oberon’s biggest plus was their flexibility. Seeing Oberon’s team respond to all of the ideas and concepts we threw at them was extraordinary and I can't wait to see the end result of all of this. I'm not even sure myself exactly what it's going to be like - I just know it's going to be a blast.