The 2015 Listen Carefully Video Contest has officially come to a close! We just hosted a private Aloe Blacc concert at Woodbridge High School in Irvine, California, and the day went a little something like this.
7 a.m. The Listen Carefully team is up early, overseeing trucks as they haul in equipment to transform the football field at Woodbridge High School into a concert stadium.
10:15 a.m. Tents for VIP guests are furnished with comfortable leather chairs, posters are hung around campus, and a bright orange carpet is rolled out in preparation for the private Aloe Blacc concert taking place later this afternoon.
11:04 a.m. Between classes, we catch WHS Grand Prize winners Dan, Ken, and Josh peeking around corners to watch the stage being set up. Of course, we take this opportunity to remind them to join us at the VIP tent as soon as the school bell rings!
12:37 p.m. Lunch! Hundreds of students quickly form a line to check-in early for the concert. The LC team scans ID cards and sticks on orange wristbands at a furious pace before the bell rings.
2:04 p.m. Drew, one of our video production leads, checks his Fitbit and realizes he’s already walked 10 miles today.
3:15 p.m. The final school bell rings! Students are greeted by eight check-in lines arranged by last name, and the smiling faces of Starkey volunteers. After grabbing ear plugs and a wristband, they line up for the security check-point.
3:45 p.m. Long-time Starkey Hearing Foundation and Listen Carefully supporters Chris Massey and Kyle Massey arrive on the orange carpet to congratulate the winners and MC the concert. They happily oblige for photos with WHS students who grew up watching them on Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101!
4:10 p.m. Dan, Ken, and Josh are set free and stand at the end of the orange carpet to hi-five their friends and classmates as they walk onto the field.
5:20 p.m. Let’s get this show on the road! Chris and Kyle Massey take the stage to warm up the audience. (With their infectious energy, it’s not hard.) Next, they introduce SHF’s Director of Global Media, Steven Sawalich. Halfway into his speech, Steven mentions “those videos of a person hearing for the first time on YouTube – at the Foundation, we see them 400 times every day!” The audience turns out to be huge fans of the foundation’s work, because Steven was quickly interrupted by a standing ovation.
5:41 p.m. After introducing all the winners and screening their films, Aloe Blacc and his entire band takes the stage! For 45 minutes, everyone sings along to favorite hits like “The Man,” and “Wake Me Up,” and after Aloe encourages the WHS crowd to form a long aisle through the middle of the field, students dance down the lawn one by one, showing off their best moves.
6:30 p.m. The concert comes to a close as the sun is setting, and the Listen Carefuly team watches everyone leave with smiles on their faces, snapping final photos with one another to capture the moments that will become lasting memories for years to come. We also start to notice that our feet hurt.
The next day, Vice Principal Scott Sodorff confirms our suspicions that the concert was the new “hot topic of conversation on campus,” and we couldn’t be prouder of the WHS team who not only produced a high-quality video, but helped spread the message of noise-induced hearing loss to teens around the country.