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Trust in the power of youth

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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Industry experts create drone advisory service

It has been announced that the Institute for Drone Technology (IfDT), Paul Sergeant Events (PSE) and Secure Events and Assets (SEAA) are coming together to work on a collaborative drone advisory service. It aims to provide owners and operators of venues with support to better understand and use drone technology to ensure the safety of people and property.

As capability increases and price diminishes, drones are becoming an attractive idea for many venue operators and owners. However, operating a drone comes with a multitude of legal and safety matters that need to be considered. Whilst drones may have grown in popularity, the lack of access to informed advice poses a problem.

By bringing to the table a host of difference experiences and expertise, the service aims to provide a solution. Melbourne-based PSE has be involved in the management and promotion of over 10,000 events, including the Sydney Irish Festival. Paul Sergeant, managing director of PSE, says: “The practical and commercial use of drones can have huge benefits for a business but currently many owners and operators don’t know where to turn for reliable, independent advice.

“Ignorance is no excuse in a court of law and this is just as essential as every other aspect of the industry.”

“There is a host of legalities in relation to airspace to consider and who has what authority and responsibility for what.”

As well as advice on the successful use of drones at events, the drone advisory service will also provide information on counter-drone technology. Besides their practical uses, drones can pose a significant threat to public safety and operators need policies in place to combat this.

Dr Joel Spencer of the IfDT highlights the help the service can give concerned operators: “We will be able to provide the most up to date advice about what kind of options are available to organisations that want to get a better sense of the threats that are in their airspace and in turn what action they need to take.”

This idea of responsibility over public safety is part of the core ethos of the service. Jim Fidler, managing director of SEAA, says: “Ignorance is no excuse in a court of law and this is just as essential as every other aspect of the industry.

“Visitors to events quite rightly expect their safety and security is in good hands so it is imperative the industry stays ahead of any potential threat including those posed by drones.”

 


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