Hannah Farnham, head of production
Hannah Farnham is Head of Production & Events at Live Nation Entertainment (UK) Music.
I was brought up in Matlock, Derbyshire. I now live in Leicestershire.
What job do you do?
I'm head of production and events at Live Nation Entertainment (UK) Music.
What qualifications do you have?
I have a degree in leisure management, A levels and GCSEs. I hold a Personal Licence and have attended various courses in Event Health and Safety and CAD design.
"It's amazing what you learn from being nosy!"
I really did just fall into this industry. I was always a keen sportsperson, but I was terrible at science, so I was never going to do sport science at university. I thought leisure management looked like a good option. I had also been a lifeguard for a number of years, so I understood a little of the industry.
I did some event management modules as part of my degree. I found that I loved the challenges of logistics, deadline pressures and dealing with a wide variety of individuals that events bring.
What previous jobs have you done?
I have worked within the music industry for over ten years since securing a placement position as part of my university degree.
I've been a production assistant, site assistant, safety coordinator, receptionist, furniture maker, chief cook and bottle washer. For my university placement, I joined a small company based in Birmingham. I was one of three people working on very big projects, so I ended up being thrown in at the deep end very early on.
Since starting in the industry I have gradually moved up through the ranks to my current role. I had about a year of being a freelance production assistant between leaving university and joining Live Nation Entertainment full time.
During that time I worked for a few other promoters, but I have always worked predominantly with the senior management at Live Nation Entertainment.
What do you do at work?
Add numbers! That's probably the most important bit. I make decisions, troubleshoot, manage a team on their events and assist the project managers where necessary.
I meet with local authorities and emergency planners, deal with sponsorship activities, and liaise with contractors. I look at creative and practical site designs and I scout potential venues for events. I have to look at things like the number of toilets we need and the mileage of fencing.
"I get goosebumps every time I see a crowd having the time of their lives."
It's a great job, but it isn't as glamorous as everyone perceives. There’s a big responsibility for the safety of the customers who attend our events. Yes, we talk a lot about toilets – and no, I don’t book the bands!
As part of my job, I've worked on a huge variety of events at many different venues throughout the UK. I've worked on events such as Live 8, Nelson Mandela’s 46664 90th birthday celebration, and the World Music Awards.
I've also helped organise world tours for artists including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Madonna, U2, and The Police.
I've worked on festivals too, including Capital Radio's Party in the Park, Radio One Big Weekends, T in the Park, Creamfields, Download Festival, the Wireless Festival, and Hard Rock Calling.
I've seen a lot of acts come up through our festivals and events. I'm proud of every event we successfully hold.
What's the best thing about your job?
Watching the enjoyment of the crowd at events. I get goosebumps every time I see a reaction from a crowd having the time of their lives, completely lost in the entertainment they're witnessing.
The key to our job is not letting the 90,000 people in front of the stage realise the nightmare we might be having behind it!
How do I get into music?
Music is a constantly changing environment, and a very demanding one. When something has to be done, it has to be done – it isn't about waiting until the time suits you! People who don’t understand this tend to slip away very quickly.
Knowledge is key, and I don’t mean the things you learn from books.
Get on the ground and be nosy. Want to know how something works, or who someone is? It's amazing what you learn from being nosy!
Work hard – this isn't a 9 to 5 industry. You have to be prepared to put the graft in and be flexible with your time.