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Trust in the power of youth

Tour manager Glen Rowe on why he retired from the road to set up NEKO Trust, which will provide a future for young artists and crew

02 Nov 2018

Glen Rowe, NEKO Trust

Last month, after the cinema release of Muse’s Drones World Tour, I departed my 18-year position with the band by announcing my retirement from a life on the road in order to set up a new charity adventure: NEKO Trust.

Having been lucky enough to work with some of the best live bands on the planet, I’m struck by the absence of breakthrough acts with guitars, drums and attitude – I’m kept awake at night worrying who will headline Reading Festival in the future. So, this is a call to arms moment.

The UK has given the world some of the best music in modern times, and we need to continue. Where would Coldplay be but for the Bull and Gate in Kentish Town? Or Ed Sheeran if not for the Bedford in Balham? At this year’s TPI Awards, I proposed that the industry come together to tackle this problem. And so, ladies and gentlemen, please meet NEKO Trust: a simple idea with massive ambition!

We want to build five grassroots venues around the country – London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds and Edinburgh – that will be run by young people studying a variety of subjects related to the live events industry. We also plan to add to the mix ex-military and ex-offenders who are in need of a new life.

Young bands need young crew, so let’s unite the young, brilliant minds of the next generation of our industry

The trust will see that the next Bastille or the 1975 are able to meet young crew in these new venues powered by youth, and be able to begin new working relationships. Young bands need young crew, so let’s unite the young, brilliant minds of the next generation of our industry.

Then comes HULLAbALOO, a music and arts festival totally created and run by students for students. A discovery festival with a difference. And this is where you come in…

NEKO Trust is seeking industry mentors to provide guidance in advance of the festival, at the House of Vans in London on 27–28 April 2019. The festival will be a microcosm of our beloved industry, involving students studying art, marketing, first aid, security, transport logistics, stage management, backline tech, sound, lighting, projection mapping… the list goes on!

All equipment needs to be industry sponsored, proving that we care about the future crew. To learn more about NEKO Trust, please visit NEKOtrust.org.


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