Back in 2015, only the 2nd year of Independent Venue Week, we ran 4 “Introduction to the Live Music Industry” workshops in venues over two Saturday’s in four locations around the UK. These sessions were hugely successful and formed the basis for what is now ‘Soundcheck Sessions’ and ‘Be’ as part of our ‘Young People’ programme.

The first official run of Be was delivered in 2022 at The Smokehouse in Ipswich – a community focussed music venue, along with their sister learning organisation, Out Loud Music.  This free, event offered a broad yet thorough introduction to 12 core areas of the music industry, for local young people aged approximately 16-25. Many, but not all, of the young people came from outside the mainstream – possibly excluded, from low socio-economic areas or other demographics that meant opportunities like this aren’t readily available to them. 

Across the course, a leading expert from a relevant trade body or leading sector organisation offered a broad, insightful, and thorough introduction to particular roles within their sector of the music industry. In these relaxed sessions, delivered via a mixture of talks, presentations & interviews, each speaker shared details on their organisation, offering the chance for signposting on to relevant organisations in areas the young people found most interesting across the course. After attending, the participants could opt in to receive an accreditation certificate recognising they have completed this introduction to the music industry, all within the setting of a local grassroots music venue.  

Further editions of Be have taken place in the likes of Lewisham, South East London which offered a five-week course with industry experts for the young people of that area in collaboration with Lewisham Music Hub. Further courses will be announced soon.