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Sep 27, 2017

NHI Instructor Provides Massage Therapy to Artists Performing at Outside Lands Music Festival

NHI Emeryville Instructor, Patrick Coomes, had the exciting opportunity of providing Massage Therapy to several artists performing at Outside Lands Music Festival, one of California’s largest music festivals held annually in San Francisco at Golden Gate Park. We connected with Patrick to find out what it’s like to give massages to the artists, how he learned about this opportunity and career advice for those seeking similar massage gigs.

NHI: What was the highlight of your experience doing massage at Outside Lands?
Patrick: I love music so for me, having the opportunity to listen to a wide variety of artists is a general highlight. However, it’s the little things that are most enjoyable like when an artist you massaged before they went on stage finishes their set and gives you a thumbs up as they go backstage again. It’s nice to think maybe I helped the performance.

NHI: Which artists did you get to massage during Outside Lands?
Patrick: I don’t typically tell who I work on in a public forum without prior consent but I did work on members of the Gorillaz, Fleet Foxes, Sofi Tuker, Kamaiyah, Little Simz, and many others! We also massaged the crew backstage as well.

NHI: What types of perks come with doing massage at Outside Lands?
Patrick: On the days you work you get a VIP bracelet, backstage access, and a meal ticket.

NHI: How long did you do massage for during the event?
Patrick: The massage crew worked 4-hour shifts but we were not necessarily massaging the whole time. Before and after our shifts we were free to enjoy the festival with our VIP bracelets. I worked Friday and Sunday but many massage therapists only worked one day out of the three.

NHI: Have you done massage at Outside Lands before?
Patrick:  I worked the festival in 2016 and will continue in the upcoming years because I have a fun time and you never know what kind of networking can come of it.

NHI: Which artists did you enjoy seeing perform the most?
Patrick: At this year’s festival it was Gorillaz, Little Dragon, Schoolboy Q and Solange. There were other artists I would have gone to see but I was working.

NHI: What advice do you have for people who are interested in doing massage gigs like this? 
Patrick: Be professional. No matter who the celebrity is they are still just a person looking for relief. Stay in the moment to ensure your massage is effective and appropriate. It’s not that you can’t acknowledge that they are a celebrity, just do it after you have done a great massage. That’s when a massage therapist can ask for the selfie. After a great massage even if it’s just 15 minutes the artists is usually more than willing to oblige.

NHI: How did you learn about the opportunity to do massage at Outside Lands?
Patrick: Last year another NHI Instructor asked if I was interested in doing massage at the event because they weren’t able to attend. This year, the contact I made during the festival reached out to me directly to see if I was interested in working again.

NHI: Were you seeking it and always had a vision of working on artists, or did it find you through the world of massage and personal contacts?
Patrick: I always thought it would be cool to work a gig like this but wasn’t actively seeking it until it fell in my lap. I like to think I was asked because I have shown that I am a knowledgeable and professional therapist.