On Wednesday 11th October, the annual Production Futures event returned to Production Park, Wakefield. Launched in 2016 by Production Park and TPi Magazine, Production Futures brought together the next generation of live events professionals with some of the best-known companies and individuals in the production industry.
This free of charge event saw seasoned professionals share their knowledge and experience through inspiring talks, live demonstrations, workshops and masterclasses giving behind-the-scenes insights into the dynamic world of live events production. The day also presented an opportunity for college students, undergraduates, graduates and freelancers to engage and network with industry giants such as ROBE, Tait Stage Technologies, Just Lite, Chauvet Professional, Hawthorn and White Light.
The event kicked-off with MUSE Tour Director and recently appointed Backstage Academy Managing Director, Glen Rowe, who welcomed the audience of over 700 visitors. Mr. Rowe took centre stage in Studio 001 on Production Park, an arena-sized studio more regularly used as a production rehearsal space by internationally renowned artists including; Coldplay, Muse, Biffy Clyro and more recently Little Mix. The stage was then taken over by industry-led panels covering topics such as ‘a female perspective of forging a career in the live events industry’ and ‘how to make it as a technician in the industry.’ Later in the day industry-leading bussing company Beat the Street arrived on site with their state-of-the-art tour bus for visitors to explore.
Production Futures also played host to the TPi Breakthrough Talent Awards which celebrates the stars of the future and recognises the achievements of individuals and teams who have already made an outstanding contribution to the live event production industry. This year, Ryan McClintock a current student at Backstage Academy, James Walton from The University of South Wales and graduates James Hayward and Matt Didon picked up the prestigious awards.
Glen Rowe recalled: “Production Futures totally blew me away this year! The questions asked by young people trying to find their way into the live industry were spot on. It seems the event is one of the few doors open into our world and it needs to be nailed open. We need young blood, fresh ideas and enthusiasm to keep us ahead of the world as leaders in innovating touring and events. I felt that Production Futures was the kind of accelerator this industry needs.”