As part of #LifeAtBIMM we encourage our students to get up close and personal with the industry, and to take opportunities where they can get them to build their network. So it’s amazing when we hear that the future students of BIMM Birmingham are doing just that. We caught up with James Attwood who recently got involved with Project SoundLounge in Birmingham…
How did you get involved with the Soundlounge Festival?
At the beginning of this year, I applied to be part of this year’s Project SoundLounge – an annual initiative that allows a select handful of young people aged between 16 & 25 the opportunity to plan and deliver an arts festival at Birmingham Town Hall. This is in conjunction with Town Hall, Symphony Hall and Performances Birmingham Limited.
I was lucky enough to be shortlisted and then ultimately one of the 9 young people selected to be part of this year’s programme. As a musician in a gap year from studies, applying for such an exciting and one of a kind opportunity was a no brainer and an excellent way to expand my knowledge and experience of what goes on behind the scenes at a live music event and in the months leading up. It was also a great addition to my CV and gave me a chance to network with, and work alongside, staff at one of Birmingham’s best venues – not to mention run a live music event at one of Birmingham’s most prestigious venues.
What was your role?
My role in the project became programmer, meaning it was in my hands to select and cultivate a lineup that was reflective of our artistic vision for the festival. This took inspiration from the wide variety of musical artists on the current Birmingham music scene. Part of my role included artist liaison, which involved me contacting and negotiating with management/booking agents in order to check availability and secure our artists, as well as finally on the day being the artist’s first port of call. The project was a great way of exercising and challenging my teamwork skills, working amongst 3 other programmers and a wider team – involving a marketing section and production section – who I needed to interact with continuously throughout in order to execute the festival successfully. It was a lot of hard work and commitment from all of us but it paid off in the end with over 700 tickets sold online for the festival.
What was your highlight from the day?
A highlight of the day was getting to host the festival in front of a busy Birmingham Town Hall, I may not have played the festival but that was certainly a special moment for me and one that I will remember for life. I also loved talking to, and networking with, our brilliant artists throughout the day and other staff that we employed such as the sound crew and Town Hall who all did an excellent job. The whole festival day was a highlight though!