Working from home? Switch to the DIGITAL edition of Projection, Lights & Staging News. CLICK HERE to signup now!
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages


Mike Wharton • Festival SpotlightOctober 2021 • October 8, 2021

Hot 107.9 Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA at Center Parc Stadium. Music Matters provided the creative design, lighting, audio, video, special FX, production management, project management and staffing. Photo by Fabian Fernandez

On the Road to 2022: Bigger, Brighter, Better

With the recent formation of 360Festivals, Aaron Soriero of Music Matters Productions (MMP), a division of Atlanta-based M2 Events Group, is joining forces with Jim Brammer of Mocksville, NC-based Special Event Services (SES) with an eye toward making the most of music festivals, not just in 2021 as the industry gets back on its feet, but in the potentially lucrative post-pandemic years ahead.

Aaron Soriero

A Natural Alliance

The two companies have worked alongside each other on several projects in the past, so they were well aware of each other’s capabilities and strengths. The partnership was a grew from the friendship between SES’ Michael Brammer and Tyler Scott, director of operations at MMP.

Michael Brammer had known Scott for more than 10 years before their association through MMP. “Not only were we friends but we did a lot of cross rental work,” says Michael. “During the Covid shutdown, my dad (Jim) and I were kicking around the idea of forging a more closely aligned workflow with MMP and seeing what else we could do besides cross rentals. We have extra capacity that we can support them with, so the connection is seamless.” The new SES headquarters in Mocksville NC is just a hop, skip, and a jump down I-85 to Atlanta. “The idea is that one phone call does it all,” adds Brammer.

Says Soriero, “With complementary lighting inventories, it has worked well filling in the holes where they pop up. We have always sourced our staging through the promoter or somewhere else. When Michael put the idea on the table about joining forces, I was sold immediately on the idea.”

Michael Brammer

MMP’s Evolution

Created as a company to provide musical education and support for children, Music Matters Productions, in its current form, launched in 2012, shifting focus to become a full rental and production house. “We’ve had a lot of success with the southeastern festival and event scene, and MMP is now the company of record for Atlanta’s SweetWater 420 Fest, Atlanta Jazz Festival, ONE MusicFest and Shaky Knees,” says Soriero. “We are making inroads up the East Coast with Sea.Hear.Now in New Jersey and others as well.”

The company carved a reputation of great creative vision, through the hard work of a team of industry experts as well as a high-end inventory of lighting, video, and audio gear. Music Matters Productions has grown from a small-shop operation serving the Atlanta area to creating unforgettable experiences for audiences and clients worldwide. “With this new enterprise we can deliver complete festival packages in-house,” says Soriero.

An example of Music Matters’ willingness to continually embrace new technologies can be seen on the video side. MMP has adopted a 12G-SDI 4K workflow anchored by FOR-A equipment including an HVS-1200 video switcher, three MFR-1000 routing switchers and three FA-9600 multi-purpose signal processors, which will streamline video production and drive high-quality content for corporate events, festivals, and other projects. (See related story, this issue, page 38). “Music Matters is really well known for the quality of their work and has a great reputation in the festival production market, especially in Atlanta,” notes SES’ Michael Brammer.

Soriero notes SES’ strong points as well. “SES has the envelope that supports and surrounds the production. Now, as a one-stop shop, we can source everything: staging, flooring, barricade; all the peripherals; everything we did not have available in house previously. So yes, a one-stop shop is now feasible.”

SES supported Carolina Country Music Festival in Myrtle Beach, SC by providing the stage, barricade, lighting, audio, staffing. Photo courtesy Carolina Country Music Festival

The 360Festivals Mission

The new joint venture is set to focus on top-to-bottom, high-end festival production and serve as the premier one-call solution for all festival production needs. From creative design, logistics, staffing, the world’s largest festival stages, seating, barricade, and the best AV equipment in the industry, 360Festivals will provide an all-inclusive festival experience for clients across America.

“It’s a big enterprise we are working on, one we are very confident about,” adds Soriero. “We have only lost one festival due to the recent Covid uptick, but we are currently working on and gearing up for a lot of work. Our entire staff is back, and our whole focus has been to be ready to go. We have the gear. We have the people.”

“I’ll echo that,” says Brammer. “More eyes are going to be on us because there are a lot less of us coming out of this pandemic. We have to come back stronger than we were before. Partnering with Aaron and his team is one of the ways we get there.”

Sea. Hear. Now festival in Asbury Park, NJ. Music Matters provided Creative Design, lighting, video, audio, production management, project management and staffing. Photo courtesy Sea.Hear.Now festival

Current Projects

Currently the two companies are out on the Green Day Hella Mega Tour, which features Weezer and Fall Out Boy on the bill as well. The world tour, postponed from its original dates last year, is set to run through July 2022. Together they are providing the stadium delay audio and towers along with I-Mag screens and the FOH tower with followspots.

Lindsay Schwartz, director of marketing for M2 Events Group says, “Right now we are still very much in the education phase of the launch” for 360Festivals — “who we are, what our combined capabilities are, and why this is a great solution for folks. Individually, both companies are booked solid for the fall. The goal is that by next spring, we’ve laid the groundwork for a very successful push into the combined 360Festivals world.”

The M2 Events Group has a warehouse in Utah now, where MMP has been deploying gear for their western push. Along with MMP headquarters in Atlanta, the company also has offices in San Francisco, Chicago and Nashville “Our intentions are to bring this full festival service all across the U.S.,” says Schwartz.

Says Brammer, “The big takeaway here is that we are creating simplicity and guaranteeing peace of mind for promoters and festival owners. With one call, they can have their festival as a turnkey operation.” And the SES transportation company has a rock solid reputation to make sure their clients are always looking at not for their production needs on time every time.

More about SES

Special Event Services began in 1986 when Jim Brammer and Jeff Cranfill decided to combine their skills and expertise to form Winston-Salem’s first true production company. SES quickly became known for its upscale equipment and production services, as well as the spirit of innovation carried into the business by its partners.

This led to the launch of 11 sister companies to create a close-knit network that serves various avenues of the events and touring industries. Beyond production services, the SES network of companies focuses on transportation, large entertainment structures, crowd management, chair rental and installation, and mobile staging. SES is currently serving clients such as Ed Sheeran, The Avett Brothers, Live Nation Worldwide and AEG Live.

SES director of marketing Rebekah Carney sums it up. “One of the things that we are excited about is that the industry as a whole is trending towards more festivals. This is partly due to Covid because festivals are outdoors and instantly safer, but we have been seeing this on the horizon for a few years. Festivals are becoming a more and more dominant attraction. It’s a great time to jump into this market.”

The partnership has the two powerhouse companies joining forces to focus on the full spectrum of festival production services and provide a turnkey, client-focused experience from inception to execution. Service areas include full-service event production (lighting, audio, LED, video), creative design, custom staging and structures, high-end large-format staging, production and project management, transportation and trucking services, crowd management barricades, event staffing and more.

For more, visit and Instagram @360festivals


The Latest News and Gear in Your Inbox - Sign Up Today!