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WATCH: Highland music charity announces return of workshop for young industry pros of the future

By Philip Murray

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Budding music industry professionals of the future are set to benefit after a Highland charity announced the return of its successful 'Setting the Stage' workshop.

The workshop, which is aimed at young people interested in pursuing careers in the live music and events industry, is organised by the Liam Colgan Music Fund. The charity was set up in 2018 in memory of a young musician from Inverness who passed away in a tragic accident while on a stag do in Germany.

The newly-announced follow-up musical workshop, Setting the Stage II, will take place on Saturday, March 16 at the Merkinch Community Centre theatre in Inverness.

Organisers said last year's pilot workshop was "a resounding success", with attendees gaining hands-on experience in sound, lighting, and backline technical roles at a mock concert event featuring local bands.

Students getting instruction from Setting the Stage 2023.
Students getting instruction from Setting the Stage 2023.

The event received positive feedback, and some participants even went on to secure jobs at festivals and theatres. As one trainee said: “The event was genuinely amazing and taught me a lot on what to do it's truly opened my eyes into behind the scenes of setting a stage and I loved it.”

Another commented: “The setting the stage workshop was brilliant! We were shown how to set up a venue for live concerts, and despite me picking ‘sound’ to focus on for the day, I also got an insight into lighting and backline as well as the load-in process.”

Iain Clark of the Liam Colgan Music Fundsaid, “We believe this is a great way of giving young people an introduction to the knowledge and skills needed to get into live events work. We know two trainees at last year’s workshop who went on to get employment at the Belladrum Festival and Eden Court Theatre.”

This year's event is being sponsored by the BRIT Trust, Skills Development Scotland, and the John Preston Memorial Fund, with additional support from UHI NWH Alness. The programme is aimed at providing a "comprehensive introduction" to live music production, with trainees working alongside experienced event production professionals setting up and operating sound, lighting, and backline equipment.

Students getting instruction from Setting the Stage 2023.
Students getting instruction from Setting the Stage 2023.

"We are thrilled to be able meet the demand for a return of this event and to offer this unique opportunity for young people in the Highlands and Islands," said Mr Clark. "The feedback from last year's event was incredible, and we are confident that 'Setting the Stage II' will be even more successful. We are grateful for the continued support of our sponsors and partners, and we look forward to helping more young people take their first steps toward a career in the music industry."

Registration for "Setting the Stage II" is now open, and interested individuals aged 16-26 living in the Highlands and Islands are encouraged to apply online at bit.ly/3TYd5fO or www.liamcolganmusicfund.com.

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