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Rising Stars: Meet Cassidy Wurtz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cassidy Wurtz.  

Hi Cassidy, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Hey, my name is Cass, aka Thirteen Fridays! I am 23 years old and a Creative Director in the Music & Entertainment Industry. 

I was born and raised in San Diego and grew up working at our family restaurant, Pernicano’s. After graduating high school, I went on to major in Graphic Communication at Cal Poly SLO, where I studied print production, design, creative marketing, and business. While living in SLO, I threw 500+ person house shows, radio DJed, co-founded a DIY music & arts magazine WAVZINE, designed merch for bands & nightclubs, created posters for shows up and down the coast, and helped put on a music festival, Shabang. 

Upon graduating, I began working at a creative agency, WMA, managing design projects for clients like Disney, Republic Records, and Netflix. I became a Partner and Branding Director for a 10,000-person music festival on the central coast, Shabang SLO. 

When I’m not designing logos, creating mood boards, or planning experiential activations, I love to thrift, spend time on the central coast, and camp!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Working in the music industry and as a creative has had its challenges. Throughout my career, I found it hard to be taken seriously and felt that my gender and age played a large factor in this. In my experience, working in a male-dominated industry has definitely been a challenge, but it has helped me to find my voice, speak up for myself, and hold my ground. There have been days that are harder than others, but my passion for local music, arts, and culture have helped me get through those tough times. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a freelance Creative Director based in California. I began the freelance life when I was 15 as a social media marketing coordinator. I always joke that I live on the road as I’m always in a different city for around 1 week at a time… at most. But San Diego is my home base. 

I work with a number of clients to provide branding, design, creative strategy, experiential marketing services, and help produce live events in California.
As a freelance creative director, I work with different agencies on experiential activations as well as help develop brand’s creative and visual media.
I’m a partner and Branding Director for Shabang Music Festival, have an IMDB rating for set design, have worked on music video sets for artists like Kevin Gates & Zed’s Dead, and help produce events locally with some of my best friends, shoutout to Almost Nakey & Respect The Funk!

On the side, I create ads for brands under my name Thirteen Fridays, where I provide curated playlists on Spotify, typically psych rock, French pop, and hard rock. I also love to shoot film photography. I have a Minolta zoom point and shoot. 

What sets me apart from others is my drive and passion that I have for the local music scene. I have spent thousands of hours climbing ladders to hang decor on sets, looking through color swatches and typefaces to develop brands, loading in build-to-event spaces, and of course, the tear-down that comes with each project (real ones stay for the tear-down). I am so passionate and inspired by local creatives and artists and am always looking for ways to provide platforms for them whether it was in the SLO, San Diego, or Santa Barbara community. 

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
I’d recommend reaching out to people you admire in your local community that are working a job/have a passion you’re interested in. The reason I am where I am today is because I walked up to the co-founder of a music festival in 2018 and told him I wanted to work for the company. Flash forward 5 years later, and I’m putting on a 10k music festival with 6 of my best friends. 

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