A group of students went behind the scenes at one of the hottest gigs in town.

Four Media and Creative Arts students from South Essex College took not so much centre stage, but more backstage, as they headed to the American rockers Red Hot Chili Peppers’ gig at the O2 last week.
The get-ins, rigging and sound checks won’t have been seen by the thousands who went to see the show, but they were witnessed by college students from the National Skills Academy’s 20 founder further education Colleges, of which South Essex College is a part.

Students focused on the preparations and logistics of moving a built show into a new venue, where they spent a day front-of-house and on the show floor learning about the roles and responsibilities involved in putting together shows on this scale.

The college’s curriculum leader for Music Practice and Music Technology, Hayley Hill, said: “We were blown away by the sheer number of skilled workers that were needed to mount a single night in a venue of this size.”

With the UK experiencing a surge in live music events – contributing £1bn to the economy each year – such inspirational days are increasingly vital to the industry and the creative economy.
Paul Latham, the head of Live Nation and chairman of the National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural, said: “Finding people who want to work in the music industry isn’t the hard part, this is an attractive industry with many a young person wanting to work in it.

“Finding the right person with the right skills and attitude is a different matter. Production Day Visits give these students a real insight into what it takes to put on a world-class show.”

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