A dream that children could experience the world of professional tour-date processing. A dream that would get troubled kids off of the streets and teach them useful skills like how to talk to artist managers (always begin and end each sentence with “sir”), and how to know when a booking agent is pulling their leg (watch for any sudden lip movement). It was a dream that each and every child on this good Earth would have the chance to volunteer their time and help us out with the daily workload of entering dates for Wave, Rodney Crowell and Jimmy Buffett with hardly any monetary compensation in return.

It was the dream that beget the Pollstar.com student internship program.

Launched during the Great Depression when FDR’s make-work programs drastically reduced the number of unskilled workers in the labor pool who were willing to do anything for a couple of beers and a pack of smokes, the Pollstar.com student internship program has been a shining example of what hard work, coupled with even harder punishment for failure, can instill in the youth of America.

We begin by teaching them the basics of date, city and venue maintenance for such acts as Kittie and Slipknot. Once they seem ready, we drop them in our data processing pits, where they’ll spend up to 20 hours a day entering dates for Jonatha Brooke, Junior Brown and Fu Manchu. Of course, safety is our primary concern, which is why each and every intern is chained to their workstation throughout the course of the day, thus preventing them from accidentally wandering into other areas of our facilities, such as the cafeteria or restrooms where even the slightest mistake can result in the loss of life, limb, or maybe even something worse.

We take great pride in our student internship program, and it shows in the faces of each and every little urchin as he or she processes the dates for Craig David and The Divine Comedy. For not only are they learning a life-long skill from working with concert data such as the latest schedule for Daniel Ash, but they’re also experiencing life’s hard-learned lessons at an age when most kids are wasting their time with so-called team sports, after-school band practice or nonproductive study halls. Our internship program gets potential juvenile delinquents out of the libraries, activity centers and gymnasiums and puts them where they belong; seated behind makeshift desks, many with their own chamber pots, entering concert data for Bob Dylan and Smash Mouth.

So when someone tries to tell you that the entire dot-com business model of giving content away for free isn’t economically sound, you tell them that there is still a place on the Web where you can get something for nothing. You tell them there’s still a place that not only understands child labor regulations, but exploits those laws daily so that concert fans may receive the latest dates for Adema and Dennis DeYoung. You tell them that, and then tell them it all started with a dream.

The Pollstar.com student internship program. Some even say it’s the stuff dreams are made of.