Find out more about what it’s like to work at Southbank Centre by reading these case studies about our current members of staff.
I started working at Southbank Centre in July 2013 after five years of working for the Hay Festival in Wales. I had moved to London and was keen to get into the thick of the live events scene here. Southbank Centre was top of my hit-list, and so when I saw a vacancy for Music Event Manager, I went for it. I’m happy to say I was successful, and I’m currently working here as a Producer.
One of the great things about this job is that it’s quite difficult to define a normal working day. Depending where a festival is in its life-cycle I could be in programming meetings, Health & Safety site visits, design meetings, looking at sales figures, preparing events for onsale, or evaluating a festival’s success.
During the festivals I produce I’ll mainly be immersed in the event itself to check that all is going as planned onsite, and dealing with any snags or problems that arise. I work on around six festivals a year, and am in constant communication with many of the different departments here to work on the development and delivery of those events. Together we work to ensure that all runs smoothly, safely and within budget, and we do all we can to develop, engage and entertain audiences.
While I've been here my role has developed as I've worked on bigger and wider ranging shows, from a mass-wedding (Big Wedding Weekend), to drum and bass albums re-imagined with a full orchestra (Goldie & the Heritage Orchestra: Timeless). Now, in my new role, I’ve produced Guy Garvey’s Meltdown, Power of Power Festival (including Wagner’s Ring Cycle in full), our festival of Children’s rights (WHY?) and our festival investigating the changing definition of masculinity (BAM). I feel hugely privileged to have such a varied working life.
In 2015, I started in the role of Producer, so working on the planning and delivery of festivals as a whole, rather than individual events within festivals. It was a step up in terms of scale, and a lot to get my head around. I'm enjoying the challenge. It’s great to work on the full timeline of the festivals, from the initial programming meetings where the festival aims are set, all the way up to the festival itself, and the post-event evaluation.
My advice to anyone looking to work in this industry is to choose an organisation or festival you like and get in however you can – even if it means taking something other than your dream job, or volunteering in the first instance. If you are enthusiastic and innovative and you make your ambitions clear you may well be remembered and called upon when opportunities arise.