Preparing for the Frenzy: Setting up for Youngstown’s Biggest Outdoor Concert

By Marah J. Morrison

The Youngstown State University Penguin Productions and the city of Youngstown planned for Federal Frenzy for a few months due to what it entails.

Carolyn Jesko, assistant director for programming in the Student Activities Office and one of the advisers for Penguin Productions, said she loves working with the Penguin Productions’ students.

“We have 19 students on the Penguin Productions Programming Board and two advisers,” Jesko said. “We partner pretty heavily with the city of Youngstown, with Mike McGiffin, who is the director of downtown events.”

Jesko said the heavy implementation and planning process happens in October. During that time, YSU Penguin Productions think of artists and headliners.

“We’re always thinking about it,” Jesko said. “I know that Judah & the Lion, our headliner for this year, had come up over the summer after some of our students saw them perform live.”

Jesko said being a part of this event is a great learning opportunity for students involved with Penguin Productions and that are committed to it.

Megan Crees, who is majoring in communications, is one of the co-event leads for Penguin Productions and the Federal Frenzy this year. Crees said being a part of Penguin Productions made her decide to create her own minor in event planning.

“As event leads, we run the meetings for leads every Monday, and then Wednesday we have committee meetings,” Crees said. “… and then Friday we have our two-on-two meetings with our advisors to make sure everything is going smoothly.”

Crees said attending and preparing for these meetings, plus going through emails and actually doing the planning, is a lot of work.

“When you combine that with school and other organizations, it’s a little stressful but it’s definitely worth it,” Crees said.

Hannah Telesz, who is also majoring in communications and working on an event management minor, is another co-event lead for Penguin Productions and the Federal Frenzy. Telesz said planning for this event can be stressful but in the end, it is definitely worth it.

“We do a lot of things, especially with helping out the leads if there’s different aspects that they are missing towards planning,” Telesz said. “Some people kind of think of event planning like the overall picture, but there are a lot of tiny little details that we have to put time and effort into to make sure that the event goes smooth.”

Telesz said being a part of Penguin Productions and this event teaches discipline and that it also has a big impact on students that attend YSU.

“I think that really comes out in our work to kind of benefit the students,” Telesz said. “… and to get them involved in different activities.”