Students from Backstage Academy in Wakefield recently had the opportunity to showcase their skills on the international stage when they were invited to provide vital support at Denmark’s leading music festival, Grøn Koncert.
The team of 18 students played a central role in the festival’s operations, helping set up and take down two huge stages during the eight one-day events held across different cities in the country.
After a hiatus because of the Covid pandemic, this year’s Grøn Koncert proved exceptionally popular, with eager festivalgoers buying advanced tickets in record numbers and with up to 30,000 people attending each event.
Featuring mainly homegrown bands and artists, and this year headlined by Danish hip-hop act, Suspekt, Grøn differs from traditional festivals such as Glastonbury, in that it tours around the country rather than being based in one location. It’s also unusual in that it’s a non-profit festival, with all proceeds being donated to muscular dystrophy, a common disease across Scandinavia.
Having previously worked with Backstage Academy students and knowing how valuable their skills and experience in the live events sector would be, Grøn’s organisers once again invited the institution’s students to form part of the 650 festival crew, giving them an unrivalled opportunity to also gain international experience and enjoy a festival like no other.
In return for their efforts, students received free flights and accommodation, together with food, drink and transport from city to city. They also got a three-day ‘down’ period to enjoy the festival and see the sights of Denmark.
During the festival, the students were organised into two teams, the Up Team and the Down Team. The Up Team was responsible for erecting the stages, with rigging starting at 3 a.m. and finishing at 10.30 a.m.
Once the lengthy setup was completed, they were able to get some much-needed sleep on the tour bus while they were ferried to the next location. The Down Team, meanwhile, waited behind for the events to finish, before dismantling the stages. They then travelled with the rig to the next event.
Jacob Bostrup, Crew Chief for Grøn Koncert said “Backstage Academy’s students are in a league of their own! We request crew from Backstage every year because their students are super passionate, skilled and industry ready. They've been phenomenal throughout the tour, - we couldn't have done it without them!”
“It's also invaluable real-world experience for them, as they get to work on an international tour before they've even graduated.”
Backstage Academy student, Jason Phillips, said of the experience, “Working at Grøn was incredible! Besides getting loads of experience as part of the crew, which is great for our CVs, we toured Denmark, met some amazing people and got to enjoy a brilliant festival. It wasn’t all hard work though; we did get some down time to enjoy some of the parties.”
Based at the prestigious Production Park Campus in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, the world’s premier campus for live events, film and TV, Backstage Academy offers degrees for the live events and creative industries that provide a unique blend of education and hands-on experience.