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Training and Experience for the Next Generation of Music Festival Workers.

Andy Robertson

It can be difficult for people to get a permanent job working for a major music festival but there are not-for-profit organisations in the UK that do their best to give young people experience and increase their chances of securing their desired job. 


Large numbers of festival-goers easily get bitten by the festival bug and this can lead to a desire to work in the industry. There are a wide variety of specialist roles available for those committed to obtaining the right training and qualifications. From stage and artist management to sound and audio engineers the variety of specialist roles is enormous. Some of the industry associations provide limited resources and training for young people keen to work in the industry and there are numerous formal qualifications related to music festival management that also provide training opportunities.

But what about those individuals without any formal academic qualifications or a desire to travel hundreds of miles to attend training events? There are some community initiatives that are striving to do their best to support those interested in working in the live music industry. One of the best local not-for-profit initiatives is the AMP (About Music Project) in Shropshire who are a voluntary organisation for people to learn about all genres of music, stage and equipment management and studio work. The AMP volunteers work to promote and encourage mainly young musicians, by offering opportunities to learn about live performance work. They collaborate with a local events company, Centre Stage, to get involved with putting on their very own local community music festival providing opportunities for youngsters to get involved with just about any aspect of organising a music festival. Their main event is like a mini music festival with just over 1,000 visitors but work experience can include all aspects of technical stage management and even organising musicians and scheduling for example. 

Most music festival organising entities always seem to place experience over formal qualifications so this kind of initiative provides invaluable hands-on experience and hopefully can give those involved a great advantage in pursuing their dreams of working for a major music festival. For those that can't find local organisations offering live music performance event experience the next best action is to volunteer at as many music festivals as possible. This can help build up experience in a multitude of festival management aspects with the added bonus of being in contact with key people in the festival organising entity. Volunteering at major music festivals provides great networking opportunities to connect with key people already working in the industry. Experience and networking are the two main routes to a career working in the music festival industry.

For any event organiser planning their music festival using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their music festival logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors guestlists and ticketing. 

Image by Brandon Bolender from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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