It’s a golden summer afternoon in the vast courtyard at the literal and metaphorical heart of RPA. The deck is already crowded with Associates up from their desks, out in the sunlight, connecting and reconnecting, and ready for music. Platters of tacos and guacamole disappear at high-speed. Strategists mingle with product specialists around the bright orange beer cooler. The show is about to start.
RPA throws a laid-back happy hour party every other Thursday throughout the year, but summer events like this one carry extra excitement—and significance. This is part of the Summer Concert Series, featuring up-and-coming artists from around the world spanning every genre of music.
RPA Summer Concert Series – 2018 Lineup:
24 May – James Supercave
7 June – Untitled Folder
28 June – Van William
12 July – Jems
26 July – Now, Now
9 August – Bishop Briggs
23 August – NoMBe
6 September – Madison Violet
13 September – Michael Mancuso
20 September – M80s
On paper, the Series provides creatives a chance to find exciting, up-and-coming music that could serve as the perfect soundtrack to client projects. But since RPA is always looking for ways to put “People First,” these events transcend their business purpose. A summer concert at RPA becomes a vehicle for fueling creativity, facilitating connections across disciplines, and enriching the agency’s culture.
The event enriches RPA with more than music—each show is promoted with a limited-edition poster designed in-house. Designers and art directors treat the project as an opportunity to stretch their creative muscles, bringing their own personality and passions to the project. Favorite posters from recent shows fill many of the agency’s halls.
Recently, Bishop Briggs and her band took to the stage. Briggs is a singer-songwriter known for her massive voice and bluesy, electro-pop hallelujahs like “River” and “Wild Horses” that have been featured in several commercials and films.
There’s a clear link between the festival-like atmosphere of the concerts and some of RPA’s work. Last year, a team of creatives were looking for an artist to donate a song for a pro-bono campaign video for the End Kids Cancer Foundation. Pulling favors with management companies, concert series organizers got to work finding the perfect anthem for a message of hope and survival.
A few weeks later, the spot got its song: Jeremy Messersmith’s “There Is Nowhere We Won't Go.” Soon after, Messersmith performed a live set in the RPA courtyard with his ukelele and printed songbook. For many Associates, the performance remains one of the most memorable in recent years.
The Summer Concert Series has a bright future. Plans are being explored to announce future lineups via Spotify playlists, so Associates can start the conversation early and share new discoveries with friends outside RPA. And the most requested change to the Summer Concert Series? In the words of one Associate Snapchatting a recent performance, “They should do them all year round.”