What are transferable skills and why do you need them? What does it mean to be employable today and in the future?...
- Help stage music concerts before & after the show
- You'll need good practical skills and calmness under pressure
- Become a road or tour manager or move into band management
- Lifting and carrying equipment and sets
- Driving, loading and unloading vans, trailers and tour buses
- Acting as security for equipment and band members
- Setting up and looking after sound equipment
- Setting up video equipment and screens
- Rigging up wiring and lighting
- Setting up pyrotechnics (fireworks) and laser displays
- Tuning instruments during the show
You may also be responsible for other tour management duties, like booking travel and caterers or issuing backstage passes.
You may travel around the whole of the UK and overseas and be away from home for long periods. You'll lift and carry heavy equipment, and may need to work at height on ladders and rigging. Venues are often noisy and work spaces may be cramped.
You'll often work late into the night and 7 days a week, for a few weeks or months at a time while on tour. There may be rest days between gigs and long breaks between tours. Concerts can be anywhere from clubs and theatres to sports arenas and outdoor festivals.
This role would be ideal for someone with a love of music, good practical skills, calmness under pressure, the ability to follow instructions, reliability and discipline.
For this role you'll need to be 18 or over and be able to cope with working at height. It would be helpful to have a driving licence and you may have an advantage if you have a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) licence or Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence, which would allow you to drive tour buses and lorries. Fork lift truck training and experience could also be useful.
You could be travelling abroad so it would be useful if you could speak a second language, though it's not essential.
You may have an advantage if you have experience and qualifications in electronics, electrical work, sound production, music technology or lighting. The more skills you have, the more employable you will be. You could do a college course like a Level 2 Certificate in Technical Theatre: Sound, Light and Stage, Level 3 Diploma in Sound Production or Level 3 Diploma in Music Technology. This would teach you some of the skills needed for the job. You could then try to find a trainee job with an events company. Some employers may prefer you to have experience of live events.
Short courses are also available in subjects like rigging, health and safety, lighting installation, working at heights, operating lifting equipment and pyrotechnics.
You would often start by working for free for local bands – many people get their first paid job through making contacts in this way. You can also get relevant experience through things like working backstage in college or amateur theatre productions, casual work at local concert venues, gigs or festivals and working for equipment hire and supply companies.
You could also start by doing a live event rigger or live event technician advanced apprenticeship.
The National Rigging Certificate is a requirement for anyone working in rigging at height in the events industry.
With experience, you could become a road or tour manager, or move into band management or music promotion. With further technical skills, you could move into lighting or sound for theatre, film or television.