“Don’t try getting into the industry if you value sleep” – Jade Parker talks us through her summer of festival work experience…
Hey Jade! What festivals have you done this summer?
How did the initial opportunity arise?
It all came about from Al Taylor (MMS tech support staff) putting up a volunteering poster in the Midi School, for the Management Support Team scheme with Outlook and Dimensions. I made a bad ass music CV with Al’s help and applied – I got an interview with the production manager of the two festivals. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough experience at that point with stage running to get the MST position, but they saw my passion and drive and put me in touch with The Eye Of The Storm Team. It was through them that I landed working the summer on the main stages as a stage assistant.
What was your highlight of the festival season, were there a few?
That’s a real hard question… I’ve had the best summer ever, it’s been an amazing journey festival hopping. I have made so many valuable contacts for stage work and my own music, as well as learning how stages are set up, run and patched. I’ve been lucky enough to work stages with some amazing acts such as Daughter, Sub:motion Orchestra, Dam-Funk and many more. It feels so surreal but I guess gaining the most amount of experience and knowledge has been my highlight.
Were there any really difficult bits?
Yeah for sure, load ins for main stage bands equipment at 7.30am in storms was pretty hard work. Along with the few “casual” sexism conversations/actions: I tried to help a member of our crew carry an amp off stage, he just looked at me and laughed, passed me an XLR lead and said “Girly just carry this”. My reply “Yeah I am female but what makes you think I’m not as good as you… we’re on the same team, I wouldn’t be here if I couldn’t do this, so go struggle on your own and next time insult someone else… Thank you :)”
Good stuff Jade! Did you use a lot of what you’d learnt on your course at the Midi School when doing this festival work?
Yes, everything I had learnt! I had no idea how to use a mixing desk before the course, along with patching equipment and mic placement etc. I wouldn’t have been able to do the summer scheme without the knowledge I already had from the Music Production and Audio Engineering Diploma, it gave me a chance to put it all into practice.
Musically, have you got anything big in the pipeline?
I am working on a few downtempo electronica collaborations at the moment. I am very inspired by the Project Moon Circle record label and I love to try capture that vibe within my music. I’m making music, mostly experimenting with my vocals and audio samples from hardware synths.. It’s all still in demo phase at the moment, but my stuff will be coming out in due time. I also have my vocals on two tracks of an album coming out in the next couple of months, this is so exciting, my voice will be on vinyl! I’m not sure what I’m allowed to talk about regarding this collab, but it’s a producer’s dream to hear and I am honoured to be a part of it.
Are there any nuggets of advice you’ve learnt from your festival period away?
- Don’t do festivals in an £8 tent.
- Take every opportunity you get given, because you never know what or who is around the corner.
- Gaffa tape, torch, sharpie, lighter, headphone jack adapters, and earplugs are all essentials.
- Don’t let sexism get you down, just laugh it off and let the guy struggle with the amp. He’ll soon learn that everyone is an equal.
- Don’t try getting into the industry if you value sleep.
Fancy taking the course Jade did? Check out our 15 month Music Production and Audio Engineering Diploma if you like the sound of it!