Gerard Venida Takes Us Behind the Scenes at The Barns
Aug 08, 2017
Fall is just around the corner and it is time to secure your seats for The Barns at Wolf Trap’s 2017-2018 season. In anticipation of the exciting season ahead, meet the man who brings it all together.
Gerard Venida joined the Wolf Trap Foundation staff earlier this year as Assistant Director, Program & Production. A DMV native, he comes to us from the Rams Head Group in Annapolis, Maryland. In addition to many other key responsibilities on the Programming & Production team, Venida manages programming at The Barns at Wolf Trap. Welcome, Gerard!
You grew up in Prince George’s County and attended Wolf Trap with your family. What’s your first Wolf Trap memory?
Gerard Venida: My first memory of Wolf Trap was pretty typical if you grew up anywhere in the DC area—picnicking out on the lawn with my family for the Beach Boys concert. Seeing the Beach Boys at Wolf Trap is a rite of passage.
What can we expect to be new and different at The Barns this season?
GV: I’m definitely trying to find a happy balance between bringing in favorites from past seasons and fresh new acts. Expect some young up-and-coming talent as well as seasoned artists who will be making their Barns debut. In regards to newer acts, I would say catch them while you can at The Barns – you never know who may play the Filene Center in the near future!
There will also be more general admission shows this season. The Barn’s capability of doing both seated and general admissions shows really opens up possibilities when it comes to booking different artists and keeping the lineup diverse. It also gives the artist a chance to interact with the crowd in a whole different way.
What sorts of genres are represented this year at The Barns?
GV: When booking The Barns I am open to almost anything, and honestly, the venue is not really bound by any particular genre. This season we have everything from Broadway stars to psychedelic Mexican Jazz.
How do you decide who to book and determine what acts make sense for The Barns?
GV: I can’t give away all my secrets as far as this process goes, but there is a lot of research involved. In this position you read a lot, whether industry publications or music blogs. You also need to really get yourself out there, and as cliché as it may sound, listen to the music. Keeping your ears open and an open mind is a must.
What sets The Barns at Wolf Trap apart from other venues?
GV: As far as venues go I have never experienced anything like The Barns. The venue has an amazing aesthetic. The moment you step into the venue you notice the details—the high ceilings, the large exposed beams—it is just stunning. Then you notice all the other details, such as all the local craft beers available at the bar, the delicious food offered by concessions (at what other venue could I tell patrons that I highly recommend the braised short ribs preshow?), and of course the superb acoustics. Wolf Trap really cares about the quality of the whole experience.
Thank you, Gerard!