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Finding Internships in the Music Festival Sector.

Andy Robertson

Attending a music festival often leads to the desire to work in the industry having been bitten by the festival bug. How can someone with a keen interest find an internship programme in the music festival sector with a view to a long-term career and is it as glamorous as a budding intern might view such work? 


For festival-goers who consider working for a festival as an intern they should be aware that the experience of a music festival as a ticket buying visitor is vastly different from the work that goes on behind the scenes. If they accept that and perhaps had experience of volunteering there are a number of opportunities to consider.

Educational Institutions. 
One of the most heavily promoted organisations online is the BIMM Institute (British and Irish Modern Music Institute) who organise a number of volunteer and work placements across many music festivals in the UK providing experience in just about any aspect of a festival organisation. Not an intern programme as such their placements can be a good grounding to attaining an official internship. BIMM Institiute operates as a normal academic organisation with recognised degrees and clearing through UCAS plus limited bursaries and scholarships also available. 

Festival Organisers.
LiveNation and Ticketmaster offer a number of internships every year with opportunities to work with some of the largest festivals run by LiveNation’s promoter brand Festival Republic. It's also worth searching directly with festival organisers as many internships are not widely publicised and opportunities can only be found on their websites. The English Music Festival is one such organisation currently offering an internship (August 2021). S&C Productions who run two UK music festivals based in Cambridge, Strawberries & Creem Festival and The Cambridge Club Festival are also currently offering internships.

Other Organisations. 
Festicket, a live event ticketing company is growing fast and seems to always have a range if internships available across different departments. Licklist a venue and event promoter listing App also has a number of internship programmes available. For anyone interested in more general event organising they could also consider searching Local Authorities, Universities and Tourism organisations who often have internship programmes.

At best some of the internship programmes pay a minimal salary whilst most offer no salary or will only cover expenses so it really depends on an individual's circumstances if this is feasible. The internships on offer are limited and expect the number of applications to be high. As with any internship opportunity there will be good ones and bad ones where the internship is just an excuse for cheap labour. Whichever route someone chooses expect long unsociable hours and hard work as is normal when working in the music festival business.

For organisers planning their festivals using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event 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, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Edmond Dantès from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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