Taking place this Autumn during The Warehouse Project event series, Take The Reins is a 4-week programme which aims to help underrepresented people from Greater Manchester who are interested in a career in the music industry.
In August 2020, research found that just 16% of people in creative jobs are from working class backgrounds, while a further study from BLIM.org.uk published in September 2021 found 88% of all Black music professionals agree that there are barriers to progression.
Take The Reins is a step towards tackling the lack of diversity that exists within the music industry, by providing tangible paid work experience in roles that exist behind the scenes to people who may not ordinarily have the tools to access them.
The programme will equip participants with a foundation of knowledge about the roles involved in putting together electronic music events, offering vocational training within positions including Artist Liaison, Visual Operator/Artist, Lighting Operator and Sound Engineer.
Following the programme, participants will leave with hands-on experience to reference in job interviews, new industry connections and increased confidence regarding personal career-oriented decision making to help springboard their involvement in the industry.
Take The Reins is open to everyone, but priority will be given to those from underrepresented groups, prioritising women and people of marginalised genders, POC, LGTBQi + and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Participants will be paid £50 per half-day for their time during the programme with travel expenses covered.
Year one of Take The Reins will act as a pilot with the hope of growing the project over the years to come. As a result of the programme, The Warehouse Project and Resident Advisor hope to create a richer, more diverse pool of event professionals to work with in the future.
Kim O’Brien, Director of Operations at The Warehouse Project, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Brighter Sound and Resident Advisor this season providing training opportunities for young people in the local community to work with the best creative talent in the music industry. We are looking forward to creating a platform for real growth that will hopefully inspire other companies to do the same.”
Amy Van-Baaren, Head of Community at Resident Advisor said: "For too long our industry has been too much of a closed shop and lacked obvious paths to success. With Take The Reins, alongside our non-profit opportunities platform Doors Open, RA hopes to change that. We are delighted to work alongside WHP and Brighter Sound for this pilot edition and look forward to supporting its growth and success."
Debra King, Director of Brighter Sound and Sector Lead at Manchester Music City, said: “Building on 23 years of working towards a more equitable music industry we’re delighted to be working with Warehouse Project and Resident Advisor to provide meaningful training & work opportunities for aspiring professionals in Greater Manchester. We hope to continue to work together in partnership to create the essential change that is needed to support the diversification of the music landscape”.
Jenny Coyle, Live Events Coordinator at Sound City Festival completed a placement with Brighter Sound in August 2021, commenting on her experience Jenny said: “One of the reasons I applied was due to the specific nature of Brighter Sound being keen to hear from people from underrepresented groups. This really made me feel that there was room for me in the music industry and it gave me the confidence and encouragement to apply for the job.
“I secured a permanent job following the placement, and now work with an amazing team at Sound City, organising and managing The David Bowie World Fan Convention, getting involved with all sorts of incredible events that aim to connect and engage with emerging artists, young musicians and audiences across the North West. I’ve grown in self-belief and confidence, and feel secure and passionate about my role/job. As a woman, and as a neurodivergent person, I feel really proud to be working in the music industry.”
To apply for a place on the 2022 programme please visit the link below.