Lockdown Q&A: Young Freelancer of the Year, Oli Crump

Taking place this year from 9 to 13 November, TPi’s Production Futures goes online, offering a week of free web-based learning, resources and engagement with the global live events industry. The event also marks the return of the TPi Breakthrough Talent Awards, where students, freelancers and young people can be in with a chance of winning a seat at the TPi Awards 2021. TPi’s Jacob Waite catches up with last year’s Young Freelancer of the Year, Oli Crump to discover how he is keeping occupied in lockdown…

Where when the lockdown came into force?

“I was out with Stereophonics as a PA tech for Capital Sound when people started having serious conversations about how this would effect our industry. Three shows before the end of the tour the Support band flew back home to Texas early due to the impending travel restrictions, and pretty much as soon as I got home after the last show I found out that my next tour (Rick Astley for BCS Audio) was being postponed, and then soon after that the full lockdown was announced.”

Have you managed to find any industry-related work / projects during the past six months?

“Unfortunately not, I was happy with a bit of a break after a busy tour, but once it became apparent that the festival season would be affected too I started to look elsewhere. I was fortunate to find some work in a local factory assembling ultrasonic transducers, and I stayed there for a few months before moving out of the area for unrelated reasons. A few weeks ago I started working for a company installing and wiring up recording studios, so it’s nice to be back on team audio again.”

Have you developed or enhanced any industry-related skills in lockdown?

“In the first couple of months I followed a lot of the videos and webinars by L-Acoustics, DiGiCo and other manufacturers/freelancers – it was really great to see so many great resources being put online. I wish I could say I’d done more with my time, but with full-time work and then moving house I’ve kept pretty busy.”

How has this sudden change in work life balance and the luxury of time affected you?

“It’s certainly been interesting and I must say I’ve come to appreciate having my weekends and evenings back, but I’ve missed the constant pressure and responsibilities of my normal work.”

How do you see the next few months panning out for you?

“Your guess is as good as mine but I’m lucky enough to have some work for now, so I imagine I’ll continue to ride it out and dream of the gigs on the other side.”

What advice would you offer to young people looking to break into the industry at this strange time?

“There’s loads of resources online now – L-Acoustics/DiGiCo/Rational Acoustics have put loads of really useful content on YouTube, and a lot of software has extended trial periods now. Livestreams seem to be the main game at the moment so there’s no better time to be brushing up on your networking knowledge and getting nerdy about how to change your mix for broadcast.”

This article originally appeared in issue #254 of TPi, which you can read here.


Lockdown Q&A: Production Rookie, Harry Boyde

Taking place this year from 9 to 13 November, TPi’s Production Futures goes online, offering a week of free web-based learning, resources and engagement with the global live events industry. The event also marks the return of the TPi Breakthrough Talent Awards, where students, freelancers and young people can be in with a chance of winning a seat at the TPi Awards 2021. TPi’s Jacob Waite catches up with last year’s Production Rookie, Harry Boyde to discover how he is keeping occupied in lockdown…

Where when the lockdown came into force? What project(s) were you working on?

"I was in Melbourne, Australia, for a Robbie Williams concert at the F1. We were on-site getting ready to load in when the news came through that the F1, as well as the concert, were canceled. It was a long way to go for a show that didn't happen. I was also reprogramming Groove Armada's show for the Teenage Cancer Trust at The Royal Albert Hall. As well as working with Fatboy Slim's crew getting a special show together for his headline Glastonbury show."

Have you managed to find any industry-related work during the past six months?

"ER have been lucky enough to get to work on a couple of projects over the last 6 months, including a socially distanced festival called Revival Festival, where we provided an arsenal of lasers and special effects. Fortunately, some TV work has started to pick up for us which has included working with Blackskull Creative on an interesting project for Sigala & James Arthur's performance on Britain's Got Talent. We used a programming technique where we used rolling shutter cameras to create an effect with the lasers that look completely different to how the eyes see it."

Have you developed or enhanced any industry-related skills in lockdown?

"The ER Productions team have used the down-time productively to enhance our skills; this includes weekly programming and design tasks and video meetings for training. It has been great to hone in on some skills that normally we wouldn't have time to improve on. Since restrictions have eased we have also had more hands-on training in the warehouse on our own in-house products, online training from outside manufacturers and laser safety courses for America."

How has this sudden change in work life balance and the luxury of time affected you?

"Being a touring technician, it is normal for me to be flying around or sleeping on a tour bus, sometimes being away from home for months at a time. It has been great to reconnect with all of my old friends and family. Having this time to take a step back and reflect on where I am, has only given me the reassurance that I am doing what I love and that I am fortunate to have a career that I enjoy so much."

How do you see the next few months panning out for you?

"Of course, at the moment it is extremely difficult to predict the future and when live events will come back to how they were. I am taking things as they come and am keen to keep improving on my skills, ER Productions have a fantastic studio space which is full of lasers for us technicians to play with, as well as having some brilliant, experienced technicians, who are always more than happy to offer training and advice. We do have some projects in the books, so fingers crossed these will actually happen."

What advice would you offer to young people looking to break into the industry at this strange time?

"Now is a great time to hone in on skills and to get further training. ER Productions studio is a great resource to learn and fine tune your programming skills. ER Productions have full BEYOND capabilities plus various lighting desks including the new MA3. Don't give up on your ambitions; the industry will come back and when it does return it will be bigger and better than ever."

This article originally appeared in issue #254 of TPi, which you can read here.

 


Lockdown Q&A: Owen McIlreavy

Taking place this year from 9 to 13 November, TPi’s Production Futures goes online, offering a week of free web-based learning, resources and engagement with the global live events industry. The event also marks the return of the TPi Breakthrough Talent Awards, where students, freelancers and young people can be in with a chance of winning a seat at the TPi Awards 2021. TPi’s Jacob Waite catches up with last year’s Undergraduate of the Year, Owen McIlreavy to discover how he is keeping occupied in lockdown…

Where were you when the lockdown came into force?

“When the COVID-19 pandemic situation worsened at the beginning of March, as an international student, I was advised by the University of Derby to return home if possible. While the university already had a good online infrastructure for delivering the academic content of my course, this created an issue for the practical elements. Luckily, being in the latter part if the academic year, most of the assessed practical modules had been completed. However, my Independent Technology Project (“The Design and Build of a DMX Network Tester and Data Analyser”) required access to the specialist equipment in the soldering and electronics labs at the Markeaton Street campus. Thankfully before I returned home, I had my electronics assembled to a stage where I could provide a working prototype, and through the online resources I was able to complete my technical report of the project. With demonstrations of the devices’ functionality being delivered to assessors via video link.

“Once I graduated from university in May, I was due to start full time employment with IPS mid-June in their lighting department. Like any production company, the summer months are usually very busy for IPS, providing technical production for multiple festivals and events. One of those being Harper Adams University Summer Ball, where IPS provide full production, and I was tasked with producing the lighting rig design, overseeing its installation, and operating it throughout the event. However, with the way things have gone, IPS like so many other companies were not in a position to take me on in June, with the vast majority of events being postponed and rental orders cancelled.”

Have you managed to find any industry-related work / projects during the past six months?

“Being back home in Ireland, I contacted many events companies all over the country. Doing so, I found the situation here was much the same as that in the UK. With the majority of in- person events being cancelled, companies were moving to the production of virtual, socially distanced events. However, with Ireland having a much smaller population than the UK, I believe there has not been as much of a demand of such production here. Due to this new virtual aspect, the local population here can tune into events being streamed from the UK or further afield, and not feel like they’re missing out.

“A similar sector (to live events) I have seen continue to operate, if not expand, is the commercial AV install sector. With so many businesses and other sectors now having to move to remote/ distanced operation, it is understandable that there has been an increased demand for such install companies. The positions I am seeing available with such companies require good IT/ electronics/ networking skills, and after developing a lot of these though an IET accredited university degree, and self-education, this is a sector I have been looking into with a lot of interest, seeing good potential for the foreseeable future.”

Have you developed or enhanced any industry-related skills in lockdown?

“I have turned my attention to developing skills that would be applicable in the current job market, while also remaining useful/ transferrable within the events industry once it returns. One of these have been a counterbalance forklift license. Over lockdown and continuing now, I have seen a growing demand for warehouse operatives with a ‘forklift license being advantageous’. Getting this certificate, puts me in a better position for the current job market, while also adding a useful skill to onsite events work once it returns.

“I have also looked into learning the MA lighting control software while I am at home. When onsite, it is always good to be competent in multiple lighting control soft / hardware brands. As it allows you to adapt to unforeseen changes in production and makes you desirable / available to more production companies that may only stock a particular brand of desk. I feel adding MA will give me a real advantage in the professional industry, with my skillset being expanded to the 3 main control softwares; Avolites, Chamsys and MA Lighting.”

How has this sudden change in work life balance and the luxury of time affected you?

“When I finished university, it was always to be expected that I would have a ‘come down’ after handing in my final piece of coursework. However, finishing during lockdown, I felt the absence of then moving on and starting into work more then I had anticipated. I am the kind of person that needs to be kept occupied, be it through physical work or planning something for the future, two things that are a constant in the events industry. Throughout lockdown I found myself looking at what events went ahead last year, and re-designing/ planning them again as if they were happening this year. However, the satisfaction of seeing a design progress from conception, to pre-visualisation, then reality has been sorely missed.

“After being away from home for the past three years between university or summer work, it was nice to just be at home for more than a week or two. While I couldn’t go and see friends or extended family to begin with, it was nice to talk to them while being that little bit closer, and once lockdown restrictions were eased, I was able to see some family members I hadn’t seen since I moved to the UK.”

How do you see the next few months panning out for you?

“I have been keeping an eye on the economic situation both here in Ireland and the UK. Listening to predictions as to where each country would be in the short term and longer term, I have been assessing what would be the best plan of action to further my career. I like others around me, was originally hesitant to alter our projected career paths and held back to see if things would improve. However, this is only appropriate for so long, and I feel that young people entering the industry currently, like myself, need to adapt our skill sets and see how they can be applied to other industry sectors where possible. I am currently looking for work in these alternate industry sectors, applying the skills and knowledge I already have where possible.”

What advice would you offer to young people looking to break into the industry at this strange time?

“I, for one, like so many others have found these past few months to be difficult and frustrating at times. Working for a degree or certificate for an industry that is not operational when you finish has been quite disheartening. However, the current situation does not void or nullify the skillset, knowledge, or training that you have received. While you may not be able to apply them straight away in the industry sector that you wanted, every one is transferrable and applicable to some extent in a similar industry. I know a lot of people within the events industry have had to do this, and this may be the case for some time. However, the live events industry will return, and when it does it will need the same amount of fresh, young, new people like it always had.”

This article originally appeared in issue #254 of TPi, which you can read here.


Lockdown Q&A: Standout Talent, Dylan Barber

Taking place this year from 9 to 13 November, TPi’s Production Futures goes online, offering a week of free web-based learning, resources and engagement with the global live events industry. The event also marks the return of the TPi Breakthrough Talent Awards, where students, freelancers and young people can be in with a chance of winning a seat at the TPi Awards 2021. TPi’s Jacob Waite catches up with last year’s Standout Talent, Dylan Barber to discover how he is keeping occupied in lockdown…

Where when the lockdown came into force?

“I was local to home at the time; I am studying an audio degree in Norwich so I was there when the measures came into place. In terms of work I had shows lined up with touring bands coming through Norwich, as well as BBC Radio sessions lined up too, and some festival work. My last gig before lockdown began was mixing front of house and monitors on a show with some upcoming bands and Joe Talbot from IDLES at Norwich Arts Centre.”
 

Have you managed to find any industry-related work / projects during the past six months? 

“The first work I got after lockdown began was a series of sessions for Wordplay Magazine, which is a magazine that highlights new Hip Hop, Jazz and Soul music – and these are still happening now. My role is to provide monitoring for and record the sessions – which could be anything from a rapper to a jazz or soul act, and then pass on the multitrack to another engineer for mixing before pairing with video and uploading to YouTube. Location recording prior to lockdown wasn’t something I had done loads of, but I always love the challenge of something new, so I felt, and am still feeling, very lucky to be involved in these sessions.
 
“I was also lucky enough to work with Epic Studios a few weeks ago in their outdoor broadcast trucks at a socially distanced weekend of events including live music, movies, and the world’s first socially distanced FM and International Broadcast of MMA Contenders.
 
“The most recent piece of lockdown work I did was on the 13-14 September: Wild Fields Festival in Norwich, one of the only festivals in the UK this year. I was lucky enough to have mixed monitors all weekend for artists such as Joe Armon Jones, Morgan Simpson, Nubya Garcia, Kokoroko, Another Sky, Anorak Patch and more. It was quite an interesting concept; all audience members sat in socially distant pods, which created quite a calm atmosphere that allowed everyone to focus on the live music, something which most had not experienced for months.”
 

Have you developed or enhanced any industry-related skills in lockdown? 

“I enjoyed watching some of the webinars about the new Yamaha Rivage PM3 and 5 consoles during lockdown. Throughout the time at home, I’ve started to teach myself Pro Tools. I saw the downtime as an opportunity to try a change in workflow; previously I’ve been used to using Logic Pro, but I’m really enjoying using PT. Also throughout this time I’ve worked with my Dad to complete a small garden recording studio build!”
 

How has this sudden change in work life balance and the luxury of time affected you?

“When lockdown was first introduced I felt a certain amount of worry or anxiety around how I would adapt to not doing what I love every day. I’d definitely say it took a couple of weeks for me to slow down, and come around to the idea that just because I can’t be out working anywhere near as much at the moment, the time can still be used wisely. Saying that, I can’t wait to be eventually moving fast again and doing what I love every day.”
 

How do you see the next few months panning out for you? Do you have anything in the pipeline?

“With things the way they are, I’m not sure exactly where I see myself in the next few months but I’m definitely looking forward to settling into the new garden studio and doing lots of recording in there. Throughout lockdown, myself and my bandmate Izzy (my sister, who I live with) have been working on lots of new music with a view to an album with our band (The) Red Dear. I’m looking forward to hopefully working on some more Wordplay Sessions, as well as starting the second year of my degree.”
 

What advice would you offer to young people looking to break into the industry at this strange time?

“The first thing I’d say is don’t be put off by the way the world is right now; everyone is experiencing the same worries or feelings about our industry at the moment, no matter their experience or how much time they’ve spent in the sector. Secondly, I’d say stay in touch with industry contacts you’ve already made on a personal level; this goes a long way. Even if it’s not to talk about industry related stuff, just checking in and looking after each other means a lot. Furthermore, use this time to develop skills you might not have time for otherwise! There have been plenty of times over lockdown when I’ve been reading an article about something in the industry that’s made me think ‘I’d like to know more about that’. There is always a video, website, person, or resource that will answer your question and make you all the more ready for when events return.”

 

This article originally appeared in issue #254 of TPi, which you can read here.


UK Music

UK Music is the umbrella body representing the collective interests of the UK’s commercial music industry, from songwriters and composers to artists and musicians, studio producers, professional recording studios, music managers, music publishers, major and independent record labels, music licensing companies and the live music sector. UK Music exists to represent the UK’s commercial music sector, to drive economic growth and promote the benefits of music to British society.

www.ukmusic.org


City College Southampton

Production arts has grown year on year here at city college, I’m able to draw on my skills as a professional production manager and the body of people I know.

I aim to give students a real-world experience, set in a two year program, first year is all about learning new skills and finding an area of interest, and second year developing the interest and learn on how to make it a job or take the drama school or uni route to gain higher qualifications.

I help all students gain work experience, a push them to go to as many different places as possible (professional and amdram) the more work they can do in theatre or other events or venues the better. Knowing that they are many different ways of doing a job and the more they learn the better. I encourage peer learning and have second years managing departments for panto each year which help students to bold early on and develop work/people skills.

List of relevant courses:

Year 1
In year 1 you will learn the skills to operate a variety of kit and equipment including light, rigging, AV and sound. You will also learn about set design and the basics of event management including how to successfully produce a show.
•Lighting skills – rigging and operation
•Sound skills – operation and EQ
•Stage management
•Set construction and scenic painting
•Prop making
•Roles within a production team
•Health and safety within events industry
•Legal aspects of public performance

Year 2
In year 2 you will focus your creative ideas and skills learnt in year 1 to work towards more senior roles and responsibilities within production arts. This includes production management, stage management, lighting, sound, AV, set design and flying.
•Producing a range of professional shows
•Large scale lighting and sound for concerts
•Specialist assignment
•Production of final major performance
•Final major production

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MW3XO0GOkWk&feature=youtu.be

www.southampton-city.ac.uk/


Shure

With a history of innovation that began in 1925, Shure has turned a passion for making great microphones and audio electronics into an obsession. Shure continues to set the worldwide industry standard for superior, reliable products.

We’re a company of engineers. But we’re also performers, artists, presenters, concertgoers, and sometimes yeah, fans.
Whether you’re a musician, audio engineer, podcaster, lecturer, broadcaster, IT manager, sound contractor, YouTuber, or simply a music lover, Shure has an innovative audio product to exceed your expectations.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvmiXTzGyxk&t=1471s

shure.com


Sennheiser

For over 75 years, our microphones, professional headphones and wireless systems come with a built-in mission: to stay true to the sound and soul the music was given by its artist. From the fragile intimacy of a whispered word to the deep dark punch of an attacking bassline, we deliver pure emotion and excitement. A quality that has convinced a broad spectrum of artists – from Franz Ferdinand to the White Stripes to the Sugababes, and of course music lovers all over the world.

 

sennheiser.com


Vectorworks

Vectorworks Spotlight is the entertainment industry-leading software that’s an all-in-one design, documentation and production solution. With an extensive suite of entertainment-focused drawing, modelling and rendering tools, Spotlight can produce detailed paperwork and presentations. Create an immersive experience with cutting-edge technology like virtual and augmented reality and rendered panoramas.

Vectorworks Spotlight 2021 offers customisable Smart Options Display, direct Excel Import/Export, multithreaded Vectorworks Graphics Module providing faster speed and performance along with improvements to 3D modelling, rigging objects and lighting devices.

www.vectorworks.net/spotlight


The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts is a university level provider of world class education for performers and those who make performance possible. Our degree courses include Filmmaking, Management, Sound Technology, Theatre & Performance Design and Theatre & Performance Technology. Our highly practical approach allows you to develop and hone your skills on industry standard kit and facilities while working on our extensive programme of dance, drama and music productions.

Available courses:

Sound Technology
Theatre and Performance Technology
Management of Music, Entertainment, Theatre and Events
Creative Technologies and Performance
Theatre and Performance Design

www.lipa.ac.uk


Access Creative College

Access Creative College has been delivering creative education for over twenty-five years. Operating as England’s largest private training provider, the college delivers creative education at campuses in seven cities, from Bristol in the south-west to York in the north-east.

Now offering courses in Games, Media, Music and Events, the college started life as Access to Music. The decision to rebrand was taken in 2017, enabling the college to provide training for more sectors of the creative industries.

The college is dedicated to broadening its provision and scope of operations to become the number one choice for creative training in the UK.

Available courses:

Event Production - Level 3
Film , Videography & Photography - Level 3
Music Production - Level 3
E Sports - Level 3

Music Technology - Level 2
Videography , Photography & Design - Level 2

www.accesscreative.ac.uk/


The Guildford School of Acting

GSA’s Theatre Production course begins with a comprehensive introduction to core subjects in technical theatre, lighting, sound, video, stage management and construction and scenic arts; students are also introduced to production design. In the second year, students pick a specialist pathway to study further in more detail. Vocational production work is at the heart of GSA’s Theatre Production teaching, and across each of the three years students participate, more and more, in working on the many exciting and high-quality productions produced each year. The course also features work on Professional Development Planning, as well as work experience and work placements. It ends with a module presenting our students to industry in a final graduate showcase.

Available courses:

BA Cons Theatre Production
MA Stage and Production Management

gsauk.org

 


Production Futures: Joel Luther-Braun

With webinars, online tutorials and smaller in-person academic sessions filling the education-shaped void of the COVID-19 pandemic, academic institutions are now in the process of opening their doors, on a university by university basis, to students across UK. One such student lookingto return to the University of Wales in September to complete the final year of a (BSC) Lighting Design and Technology is Freelance LightingTechnician, Joel Luther-Braun. Since completing an internship at Jason Bruges Studio as a Creative Technologist in July – he was responsible for coding installations as well as assisting with lighting design ideas – Luther-Braun has been spending his reluctant, government-mandated downtime developing to improve his workflow and test out new ideas.

“These tools include a GDTF system for Unity3D and Project Response software, which will allow me to receive and monitor live feedback from installed projects, which I hope to someday release,” he began. “University has helped me fill in gaps in my knowledge and raise my awareness about new areas of the industry.” He continued: “The most valuable education is being able to put the skills that you’ve learned from class into practice, either in a practical element or by working.” He added that freelance work and internships have also been critical to his career progression. “Working in a live environment brings challenges that you didn’t expect and learning from others on the job has been invaluable to my knowledge. No matter how much theory you are taught and how prepared you think you are for site, there will always be something that you don’t expect.” He shared some tricks of the trade he has become accustomed to employing while on site. “I’ve found that it’s always best to pack as if you’re expecting something to break or go wrong.

For example, laptop for troubleshooting network issues, or pack a portable soldering iron in case you need to make a last-minute repair.” He added: “Always have a backup show file. It’s always good to have the latest show file saved on another device in the case that your show corrupts, or someone deletes it. I’ve also found that it’s especially helpful when you need to offer technical support to the production crew when you’re not there. For instance, when you’re six hours into a plane journey – and yes... this did happen.” The aspiring technician highlighted the importance of staying calm in stressful situations. “Doing a show where people around you don’t speak your language can be terrifying – you can’t understand if they are ready or if something has gone massively wrong, which can be extremely stressful.”

He said ensuring that you are clear-minded allows you to be in the best position for any eventuality. “It can also help calm other people before an event, as seeing that you are in control of what you are working on can be quite reassuring for others.” On 23 March 2020, the UK Government declared a national lockdown, with live events greatly affected. “I was extremely lucky in relation to my work over the lockdown period,” Luther-Braun reported. “I’d been interning at JBS and had been working closely with the technical production team there to help code some of their installations. Unfortunately, due to lockdown, all scheduled installations were put on hold and instead we switched to working on coding our other upcoming projects.”

Although lockdown didn’t affect Luther-Braun greatly, since a lot of his work during March involved coding, which he discovered was easily transferable from a studio environment to a home office environment, he found the inability to easily bounce ideas off colleagues incredibly difficult. “Although I was fortunate during the lockdown period, my heart went out to all of the employees and freelancers within the live events industry who lost their jobs or came into hardships during this time.” At the start of the year, Luther-Braun was fortunate enough to travel to Xi’an, China, where he was tasked with operating a New Year’s Eve light show for a high-end shopping complex. As well as Shadow Wall – an installation for Quintain, outside of Wembley Arena, London. Five years from now, Luther-Braun said he’d like to either be part of a studio or a collective of designers who are constantly experimenting with technologies and mediums to create installations for live events and permanent installs. “Being part of a creative team who engineers projects to bring a sense of amazement and magic to the audience would make me extremely happy,” he concluded. “I look forward to what the next five years bring and hopefully I can contribute to some amazing projects.”

https://issuu.com/mondiale/docs/tpiaug20_digitallr/64


Production Futures Online

Taking place from 9 to 13 November, Production Futures Online is a brand-new platform for students, freelancers and young people all over the world to access training sessions, workshops, webinars, product demonstrations, panel discussions and interviews with live event experts and TPi Award winners.

Production Futures will provide the tools, knowledge, advice and contacts needed for anyone to broaden their skills or start their career in live events. It will offer access to people who work in all areas across the live events industry – from production and tour managers, to hands-on engineers across all aspects of sound, lighting, video, rigging, special effects, staging and set design.

In these uncertain times, there is a real need to reassure students, freelancers and young people that the live events industry is still alive and kicking – it just looks very different right now. There is a genuine concern that highly skilled professionals will leave the industry and TPi wants to support their future as well as new talent starting their career in live event production.

The event will also host the TPi Breakthrough Talent Awards 2020, where students, freelancers and young people can win a free seat at the TPi Awards 2021 dinner.

For more details about Production Futures Online and to find out how you can support the event, please contact Hannah Eakins at: h.eakins@mondiale.co.uk

https://issuu.com/mondiale/docs/tpisep20_digitallr/8


Production Futures: City, University of London

With the next generation of events professionals adjusting to the ‘new normal’, introducing new talent to the industry and how live event students are completing their studies without live events has become a topic of paramount importance among university course leaders and prospective students. For the past 16 years, Lecturer, Liam Devine has taught a 10-week evening course in Major Event Management at City, University of London and, despite the plight of events calendars given the current pandemic landscape, six students joined forces to organise a real – albeit virtual – event to mark the end of the course.

“We discussed how we would do it and when term finished, six students decided to take it upon themselves to produce it for real,” Devine told TPi. “They’ve worked pretty much flat out on it in their spare time ever since.”

The end result was a discussion between leading event professionals from a range of fields about how COVID-19 has affected their events to date, what comes next as the country cranks back into action again over the next few months, and what they think the long-term effects will be on the industry.

Held on Zoom, the meeting was livestreamed to the Uni’s Short Courses Facebook page. The speakers comprised an “eclectic bunch”, in Devine’s words, of familiar industry insiders including: Music Venues Trust’s Niall Forde; National Museum of Wales Event Manager, Mared Maggs; Tour Music Live MD, Trevor Williams; Ginger Owl Productions’ Helena King; Tickets.com Australia’s Brendan Carroll; COP26’s Mark Malone and Nikoo Sadr of Rum Shack, part of Glastonbury’s online events.

“When COVID-19 hit, it was hard to adjust to the change from in-person contact, to building working relationships online, however, the weekly online lectures ended up being a great, productive escape,” said student, Cristina Barone.

During the webinar, Barone assessed the comments that were sent in by the viewers and communicated them to the panel ahead of the Q&A section, near the end of the event. “Professionals in the industry are very happy to give their time to helping others who may be at the beginning of their career, or not as far along in their career as they are,” Barone reported.

“We had such a great panel of professionals who are at the top of their game, and it was a real privilege to have them take part on a panel that was arranged by a group of short course students.”

Fellow student, Priyanka Gundecha, was tasked with the role of booker for the webinar, which involved sending out invitations and liaising with the guest speakers during the planning process. “We were very fortunate to have a panel of highly experienced event professionals and it was incredibly beneficial for us to hear their thoughts and how their sector of the industry is currently coping,” Gundecha said. “A key takeaway from the webinar was the panellists’ reassurance that the industry will overcome hardships and that events will be back.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding events in a post COVID-19 world, Gundecha believed that gaining as much experience as possible is vital to not only expand and develop transferrable skills but to also set yourself apart from other prospective job applicants in the future. “Whether it is completing courses or volunteering at events, I believe that every experience is valuable and can make a difference,” she said. “As you gain more experience, you also continue to network and build relationships with other industry professionals. It can be very disheartening when dealing with job rejections, but I would advise to keep persevering and sending out applications, as someone will eventually say ‘yes’.”

Equally, Barone believes the biggest barrier to breaking into the fiercely competitive events sector is experience, as with most creative industries. “A lot of companies want to hire people with experience, but how can you get experience when people won’t give you the opportunity to gain it?” she hypothesised. “More companies should be giving a living wage and paid opportunities for people to start their career and gain experience.”

Despite the lockdown of live events, learning resources are at a premium. Gundecha has spent lockdown completing online courses in order to develop her skillset and knowledge. “I am constantly inspired by my colleagues, mentors and friends in the industry, who motivate me to keep learning and improving. I am continuing to complete online courses and am exploring new job opportunities now. In five years’ time, I hope to still be working in film and entertainment PR, and contributing to the delivery of creative, memorable and effective publicity campaigns.”

Asked where she saw herself five years from now, Barone said: “I would love to be working in events still, and my dream would be to work on music festivals or tours.” At the time of writing, the webinar has over 3,500 views and is still available to watch on the City, University of London, Short Courses Facebook page.

“The event was a big success,” Devine enthused. “Event Management students across the UK, including students from Plymouth University and Leeds Beckett University, tuned in to ask questions.”

The Major Event Management course starts again on 29 September and is now open for bookings. “Completing this course at City Uni was a great experience, during which I enhanced my knowledge about the key elements within the planning and implementation process of major events, such as budgeting, risk management and sales,” Gundecha concluded. The webinar is available to view on the Facebook link below.

 

https://issuu.com/mondiale/docs/tpisep20_digitallr/56


South and City College Birmingham

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Confetti

We’re a specialist creative industry institute part of Nottingham Trent University and our Creative Quarter campus is home to the very best technology, studios and equipment, industry-connected tutors and over 2000 passionate and committed students. Our graduates go on to careers in music, gaming, TV, film, live events, graphic design and many more.

Our classroom, which doubles as a commercial venue, features the industry-standard equipment you will expect to find on concerts and in theatres all over the world including: Digico, Allen&Heath, MA Lighting, L'Acoustics, Robe, Martin, Green Hippo, Clay Paky among many many others. Our qualified tutors are all industry professionals with extensive real-world experience in live events.

Available courses:

BSc (Hons) Live & Technical Events
FdSc Live & Technical Events

 

 


Backstage Academy

THE HOME OF LIVE EVENTS EDUCATION

Backstage Academy is like no other university. We exist for passionate and driven individuals who dream of producing breathtaking events.

We offer specialist undergraduate degrees and short courses for the live events industry and are proud to be a small and exclusive institution where students are known by name rather than their student number.

From day one, our students are immersed in industry. Using best-in-class technology and equipment in state-of-the-art studio spaces, students work side-by-side with leading professionals across campus at the world-renowned Production Park.

 

Courses offered:

Undergraduate Degrees:
BA (Hons) Live Events Production (also available as FdA and Top Up degree)
BA (Hons) Live Visual Design & Production
BA (Hons) Stage & Production Management

Postgraduate Degrees:
MA Live Event Design
MA Innovation & Entrepreneurship for Live Events
MSc Creative Technologies for Live Events

Short Courses:
Event Safety Passport
Mental Health First Aid
Principles of Lighting
Principles of Networking
Rigging
Stage Pyrotechnics
Working with Electricity

Plus bespoke training.

 

www.backstage-academy.co.uk


Access Creative College Birmingham

Access Creative College is the UK’s first choice destination for school leavers who want to follow their passion for a career in the creative industries.

GROW INTO WHO YOU WANT TO BE
We provide the skills that allow you to develop and grow into the creative person that you want to be.

CREATIVE FAMILY VIBE
We have that all important ‘family feel’ which provides you with a welcoming and comfortable creative environment.

TOP CLASS FACILITIES
All of our locations are cool, creative and relaxed and are equipped with top-class facilities. From games labs to recording studios, we have everything that you’ll need and more.

BOOST YOUR CREATIVITY & CONFIDENCE
We encourage you to think outside the box with the help of tutors, industry guests and creative work experiences. Assessment is based on practical project work rather than exams.

BE YOURSELF
Wear what you want, design what you want, play what you want. We encourage inspiration! After all, it's all about you.

FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS
Our ex-students include, Ed Sheeran, Jess Glynne, Rita Ora and JP Cooper. We also have loads who have gone into other industry roles, from being a head of a radio station to running stages at Glastonbury Festival. Need we say anymore?

GET OUT THERE & DO IT
Get hands-on creative work experience, from organising and taking part in gigs and festivals to designing apps, games and content for media.

LEARN FROM PRACTISING CREATIVES
Our tutors are professional creatives, many of whom are still active in the industry. Learn from people who have been out there and done it.

ASSESSED BY COURSEWORK, NOT EXAMS
Our courses are based around real-work industry projects. You won't be assessed in an end of course exam.

FOCUS ON YOUR PASSION
Take the chance to really develop your creative talents ready for your next steps.

 

www.accesscreative.ac.uk


NEXO

NEXO has been designing ground-breaking sound reinforcement solutions at its Parisian headquarters since 1979. The company’s pioneering technology, innovative designs and sonic excellence have enhanced live events across the globe for decades, gaining the respect and trust of sound professionals everywhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TSUzDa5bL4&t=1996s