Glen Rowe has managed some of the world’s leading live bands and loved the life it has given him.
Now the tour director for Muse wants to inspire the next generation of ‘roadies’ and is taking the Backstage Academy roadshow round England and Wales to shine a light on the industry.
Having started selling t-shirts for the Manic Street Preachers he has been on the road with bands and acts including The Thrills, Ronnie Wood, Ginger Baker, Hard-Fi, The Kooks, Magic Numbers, Amy MacDonald and Gareth Gates. He knows how tough it can be but also how rewarding and how much fun it is.
Now MD of Backstage Academy, the UK’s leading live events university centre based in West Yorkshire, Glen is joining forces with Beat the Streets Tour Bus to visit sixth form colleges in search of the ‘roadie’ talent of the future.
The tour will visit Heritage High School in Clowne on January 24. Students will hear from Glen about the two-year foundation (FdA) and three-year degree courses available and then get the chance to quiz him about his own life backstage. Afterwards, they will visit the Beat the Street tour bus and try their hand at loading and unloading a tour trailer in a time trial.
Glen, who even production managed the Pope’s only UK tour, said: “Every music festival, stadium gig and world tour needs an army of highly skilled production personnel to bring them to life.
“Production managers, sound engineers, lighting designers, guitar technicians, riggers, carpenters and tour managers are just some of the roles instrumental in creating live events.
“Backstage Academy uniquely trains all these professionals for a career in live events through academic study and work experience. All our students spend time on location with some of the world’s leading artists getting a real work experience.
“Backstage Academy’s first roadshow aims to give them an insight about the course and the industry they will eventually work in. The added challenge of unloading a tour trailer against the clock will give them genuine hands on experience of the buzz of the live events industry. At the end of the tour the fastest college will receive £2000 to spend on technical equipment of their choice,” he added.
“Creative industries are booming now contributing £91.8bn to the UK economy. Importantly, the industry has increased its value by more than 50 per cent in the last five years, with no signs that growth is stagnating. Working in live events is both highly skilled but great fun and can be very well rewarded,” said Glen.
“Employability is an important feature of all our courses. Recent graduates of Backstage Academy have gone on to careers touring with major musicians such as Robbie Williams and Ed Sheeran or working at events such as Glastonbury or the Radio One Live Weekend. Work experience during their course includes tours and live festivals in the UK and overseas.”
Backstage Academy is planning a second national tour in Autumn 2018. Colleges and schools interested in playing host can register their interest at www.backstageacademy.co.uk/tour.