If you’ve ever been to a live Hunter Hayes concert, you have Jillian Ferris, Nick Weir and Dan Wise to thank.
This trio makes up a chunk of Hayes’s touring team. Belmont students got the chance to hear firsthand what it’s like to be on the road with a hit singer and ask questions of the panelists.
Jillian Ferris, a Belmont alumna, started her road career as tour manager for Danielle Bradberry on Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton tours. She is now Hunter Hayes’s VIP manager and in charge of industry and fan relations.
Her goal as VIP manager is to help make meet and greets more of an engaging experience, which is one the reasons she enjoys the Coffeehouse Experience, which is an intimate meet and greet opportunity for fans to enjoy a cup of coffee with Hayes.
Nick Weir has not only been Hunter Hayes’s production assistant for the last four years and counting, but he has also worked for marketing campaigns for JC Penny, Dodge and more.
Dan Wise holds a Guinness World Record for tour managing the most shows played in 24 hours and has also worked in the audio and production aspects of the music industry. He has been working with Hayes since he moved to Nashville in 2011 and has completed eight international tours with the artist.
Being a tour manager is an experience where you’re always growing, he said.
The three gave advice to an auditorium packed with students, many of whom were studying vocal performance or songwriting, or whom aspire to work in the music industry.
All three panelists agreed that being out on the road with each other all the time makes them feel like a family.
“There’s no drawbacks to working with your friends,” Ferris said.
Weir gave advice that all college students have heard before but promises that it is the truth: “If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.”
“Take risks. It might sound ridiculous but you never know where that one ridiculous thing might lead you,” he said.
Article and photo by Cayli Allen.