Neil Butler, artistic director
Neil Butler set up Brighton's famous, and sadly now closed, Zap Club. The former drama teacher specialises in running outdoor festivals and events.
Originally Guildford, now Brighton.
What job do you do?
I run UZ Events in Glasgow. As part of my job, I'm the artistic director of several festivals and events.
What previous jobs have you done?
I trained to be a drama teacher. I started running festivals whilst at college. I played in lots of performance and music groups whilst teaching.
I gave up teaching to set up and run the Zap Club and perform and direct shows.
What events have you done?
"Only continue if you feel passionate about it."
I have become a specialist in closing down cities to create venues, and was event director of Glasgow’s Millennium Hogmanay.
I am MD (managing director) of UZ Events which has played an active part in the rise of Glasgow’s internationally renowned art scene.
I am the British representative of IN SITU, a pan-European network who fund the commissioning of major cross-border arts projects, and the chairman of the Hikkaduwa Area Relief Fund , a Sri Lanka-based post-tsunami charity (nothing to do with theatre, but very important).
I was responsible for brokering and directing the first multi-faith peace concert in Sri Lanka in January 2007, at a time of increasing hostility and violence.
What do you do at work?
I am also the Director of the Chandrasevana Centre (for artists in residence) in Sri Lanka. I live in Brighton and have offices there and in Sri Lanka, but the main office is in Glasgow. So I travel a lot (often two flights a week or more).
Most days I spend a couple of hours in meetings with colleagues from UZ either by phone or in the office. We’re usually discussing programme ideas or issues on fundraising or delivery of an event.
I often meet with artists I’m working with, and in the evening might go with my family to a show. We travel a lot together to festivals around the UK, on the continent and in Sri Lanka .
What’s the best thing about your job?
The people I work with.
And the worst part of the job?
Cancelling a show. In my kind of work, this is rare and usually to do with extreme weather
How do I get into music?
Learn about every part of the job, and then only continue if you feel passionate about it.