Our supporters run a number of events that focus on the importance of backstage and technical staff in making a live event happen.
They're part of a concerted industry-led project to enrich the existing curriculum and give students an authentic, meaningful experience of professional life in the creative industries.
They also seek to demonstrate that not only are backstage jobs in the industry creative and star-studded, they are also stable, long-term, skilled – and in need of new recruits.
Each year, our network comes together to inspire the next generation of technical staff. Students from the education partner colleges go backstage at summer festivals run by our industry supporters. They're guided round the backstage areas and introduced to the range of jobs underpinning these shows.
Recent shows have included Download, Latitude, Glastonbury, Leeds, Wireless and Hard Rock Calling, all managed by our industry supporters.
In 2012, the network introduced a new spin on the ongoing Production Days programme, as up-and-coming student bands were given the chance to perform at Hyde Park's BT London Live.
Live Connection – the emerging talent arm of Skills Academy supporter Live Nation – invited students from our 20 Founder Colleges to submit demos and biographies. From among these, they selected a programme of 29 acts to perform.
Performing for audiences of thousands, student bands got a chance to get a real, practical taste of working in the music industry.
Our network also provide students with backstage access to major arena gigs at supporter venues. They've been shown the set-up for Elbow, Rammstein, Duran Duran, The Specials, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more.
These opportunities offer a unique opportunity to see what goes into putting these shows together, and what a backstage job actually looks like.
"The projects really helped me understand the efforts that go into putting on a show of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' scale. I was overwhelmed by how smoothly the work flowed, despite the large amount of people working around each other, and how fast it all came together. Being able to actually see how it works, as well as hearing the commentary, has really opened my eyes"
David, student at Stratford upon Avon College
"It was very eye-opening to see how a tour runs, but also very inspirational. I think all of us could see ourselves being part of the operation in the future!"
Lachlan, student at South Essex College
"I'm actually on the Performance course at college, so I didn't really know a huge amount about the technical side of things, but after going on the Production Day, and getting the chance to join up the dots, I've decided I actually want to be a stage manager."
Kristina, student at Amersham & Wycombe College
"It was a great experience to get to see behind the scenes at such large-scale performances, and the students were blown away by the sheer number of skilled workers that were needed in order to mount a single night in a venue. All of them have commented on how they can take what they observed into their own live events projects. We're extremely grateful for the excellent opportunity and are looking forward to future events!"
Hayley, tutor at South Essex College.