Live events and promotion apprentices
Boomsatsuma desribes itself as ‘the community interest company that's fueling the next creative generation’. Formed in 2009, they have created 13 apprenticeships and internships with funding from the Creative Employment Programme. We met with some of their young staff to talk about how they've found it.
We met the first group of young apprentices – Robyn Taylor-Stavely, Arthur Dickson-Bell and Joe Cross – at the Bridgwater Arts Centre, the home for Boomsatsuma's music and live events agency Eclectic Lemon.
All the apprentices are undertaking the live events and promotion apprenticeship, with Arthur focusing on marketing and design.
We also got to meet paid intern Chloe Edgell, who is working part-time with the team in Bridgwater as festival director.
How did you get started?
“I was at Bridgwater College doing Art when I heard about this job. I had also done some event planning and voluntary jobs.”
“I was also at Bridgwater College, doing Fine Art and Graphic Design.”
As project manager my job involves booking bands, building relationships, admin and managing timescales
“I was doing a BTEC in Forensic Science at Exeter College. I became very involved ‘as a punter’ in the music scene there and started to meet people who put on events. I organised some of my own small events and really enjoyed it. The energy I put in, I got back out. It took my heart and mind.”
“I had finished my degree in Arts & Festival Management at De Montfort University and started looking for an opportunity closer to my home town of Bath.”
What do you do at work?
“As project manager my job involves booking bands, building relationships, admin and managing timescales.”
“I do anything design-based. This includes designing flyers, posters, logos and the website."
Arthur was also given the opportunity to bid for a new Boomsatsuma commission to ‘design a corridor’ for Bristol Royal Infirmary, which they won.
“My job involves keeping a keen eye out for new musicians and opportunities of interest. I also do marketing online, social media and building partnerships with different organisations.”
I want to carry on doing this. I can’t see myself anywhere else.
“The festival will be more like a street party and an opportunity for the Arts Centre to showcase what they do. There will be two stages with local and national bands, walk about theatre and there will be local traders and businesses involved.
"At the moment I am doing a lot of health and safety, and licensing, which are not the most interesting parts of the job, but it’s all part of event management."
What you have got out of this apprenticeship?
“By building relationships with other venues, Eclectic Lemon can do really well and thrive. It’s really positive. We run it, it’s completely ours. We did all the work. We had no idea what it would be like.
“I want to carry on doing this. I can’t see myself anywhere else.”
Joe, who is not from Bridgwater, commutes for almost two hours each way to come to work.
“I didn’t want to go to uni. When I travel to work I put my headphones in and listen to music. I never think ‘What am I doing?’ It never crosses my mind. This is an opportunity not easily found or easily rewarded.
"My plan is to go onwards and upwards."
“In event management you need a closet of different hats so you can try out different things.
“I would like to be in a full-time job as a project manager after this.”
What are the best and worst things about your job?
“The best thing is working with music, in the industry. There’s no real downside to the job, but there is only so much of an audience that we can reach."
In event management you need a closet of different hats so you can try out different things.
“The nights and events themselves are the best. Everyone’s there and there’s a good atmosphere. It’s nice to have a good time, but it’s better to see other people having a good time. In terms of the office space, the speakers are too small!”
“You meet different people from so many walks of life. The worst part is dealing with all the different opinions. When you are organising events, people can be negative. The point is to bring them together."
The team were also very positive about the people they had worked with and the variety of opportunities they had been given. On the flipside, they noted there is a limited arts infrastructure in Bridgwater, which means a 60-mile round trip to Bristol to be able to access other jobs in the creative industries.
Advice for a creative career
We asked for a few tips for working in a creative career. They said:
1. You must get experience
Get experience first and go to people in the industry and ask them. Keep your options open and take everything you can.
All experience is valuable. Learn from everyone and from as many places as you can. Meet loads of people, volunteer at loads of events and be helpful.
2. Be confident but honest
Jump straight in. But be honest with yourself too. Don’t take on something completely out of reach.
3. Be passionate
If you really want it you have to immerse yourself in it. Have fun.
To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week we're hearing from apprentices employed through the Creative Employment Programme.