Behind The Scenes — On Tour With Carly P Connect’s Sydney Grommesh
You finished last year on tour with Carly Pearce as her as her Merchandise Manager and Production Assistant. What did that look like on the 29 Tour?
The 29 Tour looked a lot different for me than the summer tour we did with Lady A.
We brought a lot more merchandise items out on this one, and I took a lot of pride in how I set that up. Because we couldn’t have VIP due to COVID restrictions, I wanted fans to still feel super connected to Carly, especially when the merchandise stand was the first thing they saw when they walked in.
All of the price tags matched the color of her album, I had a cheetah rug on the table, a cash box with Carly-themed stickers, and a special polaroid wall where fans could take a picture with their new merch to sign and hang up. Besides merch, I was still helping out where I could!!
Looking back at the year, what did you learn from Carly, her crew, and this experience?
Oh boy. I can’t even really put it into words. Last year at this time, I was a nanny trying to contemplate what my next steps were. I was thinking about going back to school and trying something else. Carly clearly gave me the opportunity of a lifetime.
I will never forget leaving the first meeting I had with the merchandise company back in May. It was, truly, the first time in my life that I felt like my opinion was valued. I felt like what I had to say mattered. And it has been that way every single day since. I know not everybody gets that experience joining a team, especially at my age, and I feel so grateful for that.
Carly is just a good person. I look up to her like an older sister and I absorb everything she says. She has taught me so much about this industry, but even more than that, she has taught me how to just be better. I have told her this, but I haven’t really spoken publicly about it… but she really has helped me with my self-confidence. Because of her, I look at myself, and what I am worth, in a whole new way. I can’t help but want to be better when I am around her. She just radiates that kind of energy.
I am so lucky to get to travel with such a great group of people!
The boys are like my brothers — they are very protective and supportive, and truly some of the best people I know. Mike is Carly’s tour manager and he is the BEST in the business. He is super patient with me, and I feel really lucky to get to work with him.
Alexa is one of my best friends. She is so sweet, so talented, and always willing to teach you anything you want to learn. We really are a family out there, and I feel like I learn something new every day I am with them.
You continue to run the Carly P Connect page. What was a top bucket list item you checked off for the page in 2021? What’s on the 2022 list?
It sounds really cheesy, but Carly P Connect has been my safe place for almost five years now. When we initially created it, I wasn’t even pursuing a career in Nashville yet. I have grown up in the industry with that page. By running it, I had to learn how to create graphics and videos on my own. I also learned who did what in the industry, names of different radio stations, important events that were taking place, and so much more. Not only that, but the experience I got by working on that page is how I got internships while I was in school!
Being on the road with Carly completely changed the trajectory of where that page was going. There are many “fan pages” online, but it is pretty unique to have one that was started completely by a fan, but now has the inside scoop by being a member of an official team. Hitting 5k on Instagram and 7k on Twitter this year were pretty cool moments for me. However, at the end of the year, I had an idea to create a TikTok account showing Carly behind the scenes. Within one month, I had 20k followers. TikTok is the biggest platform in the world right now, and I think fans just crave to see artists in a more “normal” environment…which I try to show.
In 2022, I hope that fans continue to gravitate towards the account on all platforms. “Fandoms” can get really intense and competitive… I have seen it firsthand. But that is all started by the environment you create and allow. Carly doesn’t tolerate that behavior, so I don’t allow that to happen either. There is no official “fandom” name for Carly yet, but everyone on that page knows we call it a “family.” Everyone is so supportive and I want to try my best this year, as her career continues to grow, to keep it that way.
Any plans to mentor a college student working towards the same degrees you got, Entertainment Industry Studies and Public Relations, at Belmont University?
I have had a professor of mine actually reach out and connect me with a few students! I also get quite a few DMs from people asking me questions. I think everyone gets into touring in a different way, and I definitely had a unique introduction to it. But I try to give the best advice I can!!
The 29 Tour has been extended, running from March 10th through April 9th.
I am so excited that VIP is back on this part of the tour! This VIP will be a little different because of COVID. There won’t be any individual meet and greets with Carly on this tour. However, we will have an intimate pre-show experience that allows fans to get to know Carly on a more personal level. During the Lady A tour, I got to witness so many special moments that Carly had with fans. She has impacted a lot of lives this year with her music and vulnerability, and I know she is excited to get to have those moments again with everybody.
Carly Pearce Connect
On the Road: Carly P Connect’s Sydney Grommesh
How It Started: 2017, connecting with Carly at CMA Fest. The seemingly chance meeting led you to move to Nashville to…