A few years ago, then-Mercury writer Patrick Alan Coleman shared his packing list for a TBA “survival kit”—essentially, all that stuff you can cram in a tote bag to keep you running between venues for 10 frantic days of the Festival. Most of the staff have been doing this work for years, so we’ve got our own TBA essentials dialed in pretty well at this point. Taking a cue from Coleman, we decided to share some of our own personal survival kits. Maybe you could learn a thing or two for your own “pro” experience.

Angela Mattox, Artistic Director, plans ahead like the seasoned professional she is:

Disposable Flask
Facial spritz
Mini Super glue (for shoe malfunctions)






Kate Merrill, Institutional Giving Manager, has her priorities straight:

Photo of my 3-month old Lily, to remind me that TBA is as easy as pie compared to my other job

Steve Reich Pandora play list, to blast on my headphones and keep me awake when writing grants during the day.





Helmy Membreño, Artist Services Coordinator, keeps it caffeinated:







Patrick Leonard, Communications Director, needs peace of mind that he’ll be fed and get to where he’s going without a hitch:

Replacement bike tubes
Patch kit
Bike pump (bad history with TBA flats)
That magic, early morning window of time before the other staff get in, to write the daily newsletter.
iPhone and camera
Morning coffee, staff lunches, and late-night beer garden snacks with my people.

Roya Amirsoleymani, Membership Coordinator and Office Manager, believes in the isotonic healing of coconut water:








Erin Boberg Doughton, Performing Arts Program Director, is resolutely practical:

All Festival, Front of House and tech staff contacts in my phone.
Phone charger.
Festival pass, driver’s license and keys on a lanyard so I don’t loose them.
A water bottle, nuts, string cheese, and crackers for eating on the fly.
A roll of quarters for quick meter plugging running around between venues.
EmergenC packets for warding off colds.
Hylands Calms Forte for stress and insomnia.
Little notebook and pencil for taking notes and making lists in the dark during performances.
Sweater, hat, and scarf for cold nights in the beer garden.

Casey Szot, Volunteer Coordinator, needs her wheels:








Kristan Kennedy, Visual Art Curator, just needs magic and comfort and style:

One smooth flat stone
One TBS of Manuka Honey a day
Taxi Magic
My “squares” (Phone and Camera)
Hoop Earrings
Pink Wine and Ice Cubes

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