EVERYONE dreams of a life in showbusiness. For most it remains a dream. Now the UK’s leading live events university centre is raising the curtain on a life backstage at its open days.
Yorkshire based, Backstage Academy trains the technicians, managers and engineers who put the world’s top entertainers on stage. At its state-of-the-art Production Park campus students combine classroom lectures with industry experience to achieve degree accredited live event management qualifications.
Now Backstage Academy is raising the curtain on life as a roadie with a series of events for would be students.
Teenagers and their parents visiting open days on November 25 and December 13 will be able to tour the comprehensive suite of facilities then visit the full-size rehearsal complex where tours for stars including Robbie Williams, Metallica and Coldplay are planned.
Not only will they get a behind the scenes insight into a unique career but also the chance to quiz the lecturing team, who are all still active in the industry, and current students about courses in live events plus find out about employability opportunities during and following their degrees.
To make sure they get a real sense of what their course will entail they will then trial the different disciplines alongside current students in some of the departments including lighting, visual design, stage set building and sound.
Home to Perry Scenic Creative set designers, Litestructures, creative constructors to arts, brands and sport, Brilliant Stages set designers and LS-Live rehearsal studios, Production Park provides Backstage Academy students with unrivalled access to the world’s top event manufacturing companies and the chance to learn with the world’s best event engineers.
Ryan McClintock, from Lancaster is a second-year student. Just back from a summer at Glastonbury, the BBC Big Weekend and Ibiza Rocks, he is now combining studies for an event management degree with stints on location at the BBC and Channel 4.
“At school I always did the technical production for shows and dreamt of making live events my career, but university wasn’t part of my plans so I left school and got a normal job,” he said.
“A few years in and I realised I missed that so applied to Backstage Academy and have never looked back.
“We get a lot more one to one time with our lecturers compared to red brick universities, they combine teaching with working in the events industry. We get real industry opportunities throughout our courses and Backstage Academy expect us to spend summers on location, on tour or in studios. That experience is helping to build first class CVs for potential employers when we graduate.
“One of my tutors helped me get the work as an artist liaison at the BBC and Channel 4. I spend the days ensuring that the musicians, actors or performers have what they need when they need it and get them where they need to be on time.”
Glen Rowe is Managing Director of Backstage Academy. He said: “Backstage Academy was created out of a desire to train the next generation managers, manufacturers and technical talent for the live events industry. We pride ourselves in offering first class degree education and work opportunities that inspire our students and make them highly marketable when they graduate.”
Photo: Backstage at Glastonbury.