If you have been out in the Providence nightlife within the past 8 years, chances are you have seen this familiar face, Donelle Wilson.
Donelle has been a night club General Manager in the city of Providence for about 8 years and HotInRI would like all of our loyal followers to salute this hardworking gentleman when you see him out. Anyone who has had the chance to work with Donelle knows how professional and dedicated he is to ensure all of the clientele he works with has the best experience possible. We had a chance to sit down with Donelle and learn about his experiences and how he got to where is today.
Please introduce to our audience
My name is Donelle Wilson. I’ve been a Night Club General Manager in the city of Providence for 8 years. I’m currently the Bar Manager and Front of House Manager at Fete Music Hall - a live music venue in Olneyville.
Let’s start with your history where have you manage prior to Fete
In 2007 I started off as the General Manager at the Providence Black Repertory Company - a non-profit public arts organization geared towards public programming and community youth outreach.
While working at the Black Rep, I was offered the opportunity to work with the City of Providence to be the Bar Manager and Special Events Coordinator for a major music festival called Sound Session. Sound Session was a week long arts and music festival held in the heart of the city of Providence once a year during the summer. Sound Session brought people from all over the globe to Providence, and I was able to learn so much from the patrons and the people I worked with. After that incredible opportunity, my career took off fro there.
In 2010 I moved on to be the General Manager of Food & Beverage at Forbidden City in Providence’s historic Federal Hill. In 2011 I was given the opportunity to be the General Manager of Lot 401, another hot venue in Providence.
Finally, in April of 2012, i was offered the opportunity to have a management position at Fete Music. I became the Bar Manager and also Front of House Manager at Fete, and haven’t left since.
Let’s talk about you experience with riyp what is it and what did you there
Throughout my earlier years in management, I had the pleasure of working with the Rhode Island Young Professionals Organization. I worked with their socials and galas and other events. In 2012, RIYP presented both my mentor Henry Mu and myself with the Rhode Island Young Professionals Award for our participation with their organization.
In 2012 you got started at Fete how did you get your foot in the door at fete
Throughout the years of working in nightlife, I was able to establish some wonderful connections with some amazing people. While working in the nightlife industry, I had the pleasure of working with people like Lizzie Araujo, who was the general manager of Fete at the time. They offered me the opportunity of a lifetime - a management position at Fete. Fete opened its doors in October of 2011 and I started in April of 2012. It has been an amazing journey and I am happy I was able to see Fete grow so much, and I was able to grow with it. My great work reputation with people along with my experience in nightlife management allowed me to excel at Fete and I have been here ever since.
What type events do you have at fete
Fete hosts a variety of different shows and events. Live rock, heavy metal, raves, Latin events, tattoo conventions, sneaker festivals, street art festivals, weddings, bat mitzvah, live wrestling and more! You name it, Fete hosts it!
Most people love crowds but hate people, you seem to have no issue with that. what make you so unique in having the ability to be serene in that environment
Honestly, I have to say that I have been extremely lucky with the crowds I have worked with. The ability to be serene in this environment comes from the past experiences I have had. Whether they were negative or positive, I was always able to learn from them and adapt to any environment.
What was one of the wildest thing you experience working the night life
Hands down, I would have to say my wildest experience was managing a swingers night. I will keep it at that…
Who was the best artists that you work with
The best artist I’ve had the pleasure of working with was Chronixx. If you don’t know him, make sure you check him out - he is a huge Reggae star from Jamaica. Chronixx performed a sold out show at Fete in July of 2014 and it was pleasure to work with him and be able to see him perform live.
Why working at fete is so ideal for you
Fete is the ideal place for a person like me because I enjoy meeting and working with people from all over the world. I’ve worked with artist and bands from Canada, Japan, Australia, Hawaii, Jamaica and all across the United States. With Providence being the capital of the smallest state in the US, it becomes a destination and many people from different places travel here. Fortunately, many of them come to shows at Fete and I get to interact with them. I get asked many times what life is like in the smallest state, and my answer is always that it is great thanks to the live music scene we have.
ACCORD TO OUR RESEARCH YOU HAVE WON DIFFERENT AWARDS PLEASE SHARE THE DETAILS
Like previously mentioned, in 2012, my mentor Henry Mu and I were presented with the Rhode Island Young Professionals Award for our great work we did with their organization.
In 2014 I was presented with an award from my community for being one of the founders of a great non profit organization for kids. Through this organization, we brought after school sports, community outreach initiatives and mentor ship programs for kids ages 5-17.
WHAT IS THE LONG TERM GOAL FOR YOU
I would love to own my own restaurant and nightclub. I am working on that right now and I hope the people I’ve worked with throughout all these years will come and support it.
HOW CAN PEOPLE REACH YOU
AND FEEL FREE TO GIVE ANY SHOUT OUT
I truly believe I wouldn’t be where I am today in this industry if it wasn’t for my mentors Donald King, Lizzie Araujo, and Henry Mu. They taught me so much when I was young and believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself, It has been an honor to have the opportunity to learn the business from them. Also, I would like to give a shout out to, Amanda Ronchi, Dan MacKnight, Nicholas Petrarca and the whole Fete Music staff along with all the promoters, DJs, bartenders and everyone I’ve worked with throughout these past 8 years. Also to all the members, parents and kids of the cbaa organization we love working with our kids in the community. Finally,a huge shout out to HotInRI.com and Madir Wear for always supporting not only myself, but also all of the best nightlife Providence has to offer.