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Gabrielle Giffard, office and front of house
Gabrielle works as the office manager and front of house coordinator at Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, with the company Live Nation. She explains her role and how she got into the live music sector with a venue apprenticeship.
I am from Fleur-de-lys, Caerphilly, located in the South Wales Valleys.
What is your job like?
My role means never having two days the same. My main duties include liaising with some of the world’s largest music promoters, booking in tours to play at the venue, dealing with the tour contracts and keeping our venue office in check.
I also run the venue stewarding team on event evenings, manage the tour meet and greet and hospitality packages, and deal with any customer issues that may arise at the events.
Working within the live events sector I feel my job expands every day.
Since my apprenticeship, I have met many contacts within the industry.
Some days my role will focus solely on booking tours into the venue, dealing with the music promoters to ensure they have all the information they need to confirm the tour and then creating the show contract before the show goes on sale to the fans.
Other days my role could include booking in venue stewards for shifts, hiring new venue staff, ensuring there is an adequate number of staff to cover the events and running our venue hospitality packages.
When standard office hours are over, my role leads me into the running of the venue concerts where I am responsible for the safe running of the front of house department.
This includes dealing with our customers, ensuring they have a great experience and assisting with any problems they may encounter at the venue, while also liaising with our security and first aid teams to ensure the safety of the event is never compromised.
No two days are ever the same with the hours always varying. However this keeps me on my toes and allows me room to progress.
How did you get started?
My passion for the industry started at 17 when I began to create and run my own small events in the Valleys. This really helped me decide what career I wanted to pursue in the future.
It was then that I was notified of a ‘venue apprentice’ position at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff. I decided right away that this was an amazing opportunity for me to learn on the job, while gaining a qualification in events.
The interview process was tough but I was offered the amazing opportunity and began to work on my apprenticeship for a year.
Once I had completed my apprenticeship, I was offered my current role working for Live Nation full-time.
What qualifications do you have?
- 12 GCSEs B-C
- NVQ in Cultural Venue Operations, which I gained through my apprenticeship
- NVQ in Management
- British Sign Language Certificate
- First Aid At Work Certificate
- SIA LICENCE
- Manual Handling Certificate
- Level 2 Food Hygiene Certificate
What did your apprenticeship consist of?
The apprenticeship allowed me to work in the different departments of the venue and learn the skills required to run each area.
I find it rewarding when the long hours pay off and you see thousands of happy fans leaving the venue at the end of the night.
However the role was mainly based within the front of house aspect of the arena and I assisted the front of house manager on the day-to-day running of the department.
I also worked closely with the stewarding and catering team to ensure that both teams performed to a high standard, on all arena events.
I also attended college and had a tutor visit me once a month to help me complete the qualification. This was a great opportunity to meet other apprentices in this field and gain experience from a tutor who had been in the events industry for many years.
What was the best thing about your apprenticeship?
The best part of my apprenticeship was the opportunity I was given to learn the skills of each department within a live events venue.
This was a valuable opportunity as I can now efficiently work within any of the mentioned departments with ease. It has benefited my current role as I now have a full understanding of what is required for the departments to run successfully together.
What’s the worst thing about your work?
The worst thing about working within the live events sector is the long, unsociable hours. Sometimes my shift times can be from 9.30am until midnight.
This has allowed me to work at many of Live Nations' biggest music festivals, such as Creamfields and Wireless.
My shifts can involve me working on my feet for long periods of time, dealing with a wide range of challenges.
And then beginning again at 9.30 the following morning. However I always find it rewarding when the long hours pay off and you see thousands of happy fans leaving the venue at the end of the night.
How did you get into live music?
I got into the live music sector through my apprenticeship and had previously no experience within this field.
The apprenticeship opened up so many doors for me within live music and I am always very grateful I was given the opportunity.
Since my apprenticeship, I have met many contacts within the industry. This has allowed me to work at many of Live Nations' biggest music festivals, such as Creamfields and Wireless, which has always been a dream of mine.