Backstage graduate wins top music award

Backstage Academy, which trains live events professionals of the future, is celebrating after graduate James Hayward scooped a national music award.

James was the winner of the Outstanding Graduate Contribution to Music Award 2018 by the Music Academic Partnership (MAP) – a collaboration between 14 UK wide educational institutions and UK Music, a body set up to represent the interests of the recorded, published and live music industry.

Working with the audio crew on tour in Italy with Muse – James Hayward (facing)

Since graduating from the South Kirkby, West Yorkshire based Backstage Academy, the UK’s leading live events university centre, in 2016 with a BA Hons degree in Live Events Production, James has set up in business as a freelance stage manager based out of his home town of Nantwich, touring as stage manager with The Specials and back line technician for Ocean Colour Scene and Paul Weller.

He credits much of his success in the live events industry with the training and contacts he gained during his time at Backstage Academy.

“The course at Backstage Academy was the best thing I could have done. It involved a high percentage of quality, industry based, work experience which for me included joining the audio crew for Muse’s tour in Milan, stage managing at various festivals across the UK and Europe as well as local crewing at random jobs offered to students,” explained James, aged 24.

“Every opportunity thrown at me, I took and as a result I got to know people at a top level who, if you show talent, are good at what you do and keen, will notice and help you out with your career.”

Glen Rowe, Managing Director at Backstage Academy said: “James is proof positive that Backstage Academy’s model of combined classroom learning with work experience provides real opportunity in the live events sector. He has taken the learning and contacts from his time at Backstage Academy and is building a successful career in an industry which now contributes £91.8bn to the UK economy. Working in live events is highly skilled, great fun and can be very well rewarded.

“Employability is at the centre of everything we do at Backstage Academy and combining academic learning with high value work experience is key to this.”

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