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MSG Next Generation Tour aims to inspire young Londoners

The Madison Square Garden Company (MSG) today launched the MSG Next Generation Tour, which aims to inspire young people living in east London, near its upcoming MSG Sphere London arena, to consider careers in music and live entertainment.

The launch event, which took place at Here East in Stratford’s Olympic Park, featured a performance by UK act Nothing But Thieves and was attended by students from Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIc).

The tour – which will also visit schools across east London from today (19 November) to Friday 23 November – is led by Glen Rowe, Muse’s former tour manager, who recently retired to set up NEKO Trust, a charity aiming to nurture the next generation of artists and road crew.

Young people taking part will hear from some of the industry’s most experienced tour managers, production crews and technical specialists, including Rowe, Liz Daisley (Glastonbury, Boomtown, Secret Garden Party) and sound designer Nigel Glasgow, about their career journeys and paths into the industry.

Rowe comments: “I love the MSG Next Generation Tour because it opens doors for people who probably don’t know they exist. I’ve spent the last 25 years touring around the world with various different bands, and it’s now time to pass the baton on to the next generation to do what I did – possibly at MSG Sphere London– and to have as much fun.”

“We want to inspire the next generation of talented young people in east London to think about a career in music and live events”

While still subject to planning approval, MSG London – based on the company’s spectacular Sphere concept, which will also be used for a new arena in Las Vegas – is anticipated to be located on a site purchased by MSG directly east of the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, east London. It is projected to have a capacity of more than 18,000 when it opens in around 2022.

Jayne McGivern, MSG’s executive vice-president for construction and development, comments: “We want to inspire the next generation of talented young people in east London to think about a career in music and live events, and that’s why we’ve created the MSG Next Generation Tour.

“If approved, MSG Sphere London will create exciting jobs on the doorsteps of the young people we’re speaking to. But students don’t need to wait for MSG Sphere – music and live entertainment is a large and growing industry that generates billions of pounds for the UK economy, and thousands of interesting career opportunities.”

Speaking at the launch today, Dom Craik, Nothing But Thieves’ guitarist, said: “When we’re performing on stage what you don’t see is the huge team behind the scenes that help us. I think it’s incredible that during the MSG Next Generation Tour people will get to hear about all the jobs you can do besides being a singer, guitarist or drummer on stage.

“Wouldn’t it be amazing if our future tour manager or sound engineer was here in the audience today?”

 


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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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