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Women Behind the Music in Cincinnati: Debbie Branscum

Women Behind the Music in Cincinnati: Debbie Branscum

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Debbie Branscum is currently a co-owner of Cincinnati Events Management with Casey Gilmore. Previously, she was a production manager at Riverbend and worked at 3CDC. Among many other positions she has held, you can most likely catch her running the show at Bunbury Music Festival, Buckle Up Music Festival, and MPMF. She is force not to be reckoned with.

Given she is such a staple in the major events in our Queen City, we feel lucky we were able to catch up with her about being a Woman Behind the Music in Cincinnati.

You are the backbone for so many events in Cincinnati. Was being in event management something you had always wanted to do?
Definitely, yes. From a very young age I was obsessed with music, but never had the desire to be a performer. I started out as a stage manager and learned quickly that live events is exactly where I belong.  

What’s your day to day look like?  
Every day is different – and I love that! If we are preparing for an event like Bunbury, Buckle Up, MPMF, Cincinnati Food + Wine or Taste of OTR my time is spent meeting with the various teams and departments and making sure we have prepared as much as possible. We create these events for fans – and I spend quite a bit of time working through the fan experience and trying to ensure they have a great experience as well as our bands, sponsors, vendors, etc. 

If we are loading in an event (which can be the day of the show or up to a week in a half prior depending on the level of production), it is a very special time. It’s watching months of planning come together right before your eyes.

Show days are my favorite days. There is nothing better than seeing thousands of people experience an amazing show and be blissfully unaware of the months of work that have gone into it!

As a woman behind the scenes at so many Cincinnati music events, do you feel that your gender has ever hindered your path? Do you feel that you have (or had) to work harder to get your voice heard?
This is a hard question. There are times that I definitely have had some interactions that I feel would have been handled completely differently if I was a male. However, in resolution, I feel that I have earned respect from those individuals because they realized that I was a competent, professional who was able to perform at a high level in a stressful situation. 

I have also been very lucky to work with Bill Donabedian in various capacities since 2008. Bill is extremely supportive and creates environments for good people to do great work and has no time for that kind of BS!

What women in music (or behind the music) do you admire?
I am very lucky to have met and work with some of the most talented women in this industry. Locally we have some true all stars in Kristin Ropp, Morrella Raleigh, Karen Koch, Kelly Gould and my business partner, the one and only, Casey Gilmore.

What do you want people to take away with them when they think of you?
I want people to enjoy working with me and our team and to see our passion for what we do. 

March is Women’s History Month, in celebration, will be featuring important women behind the music scene in Cincinnati. Cincinnati is the home of so many amazing women within the music industry. These women include; a Venue Owner, a well known DJ, Educators, the First Lady of Cincinnati Music, an Assistant Program Director, Writers, Photographers, and a beloved fan.

Stay tuned to for our Features on these talented women this month!