‘Gigcraft’ to launch as part of music fest

A dynamic new programme offering a new generation of artists, technicians and event organisers pathways into the competitive music industry is set to be unveiled later this month.

Accent Music Education Hub and Priestley College have teamed up to launch ‘Gigcraft’ at Golden Square’s Old Market Place on Friday, 24 May, as part of Warrington Music Festival.

The series of free masterclasses at ‘Festival HQ’ are to help aspiring artists and backstage crew to put on their own concerts – exploring all the essential dos and don’ts with the help of industry insiders like BBC Introducing’s Dave Monks.

It is aimed at young musicians in Warrington and Halton from Year 9 to Year 13 and the initial workshops during Warrington Music Festival will provide a taste of what to expect as part of an eight-week online programme this June and July.

The first session on Friday will look at how performers can get their music heard on sites that are essential for exposure like Spotify and Apple Music, as well as a guide to securing gigs and cultivating a fanbase.

Then attendees can glean practical knowledge from sound engineers, stage managers, musicians and seasoned tour managers at a live soundcheck.

Guests at this interactive seminar include Warrington’s own Callum Bate, who has worked with the likes of Viola Beach, Blossoms, Jake Bugg and The Amazons.

Young musicians can also sign up for further Gigcraft sessions on Saturday, 25 May.

This includes a guitar and bass set-up and maintenance masterclass at A-G Music in Warrington Market and a DJ skills and mixing desk basics workshop aimed at aspiring sound engineers at Old Market Place.

Steve Oates, Warrington Music Festival founder, said: “The new partnership with Priestley College, combined with the generous support from Accent Music Education Hub, is a really exciting development.

Gigcraft is a great addition to the Warrington Music Festival format and will, no doubt, help to support the development of the next generation of artists, technicians and event organisers in Warrington.”

Michael Grainger, music performance and production teacher at Priestley College, added: “Gigcraft bridges the gap for young musicians and aspiring stage crew. Stepping onto a pro stage can be daunting, but collaborating with the Warrington Music Festival makes perfect sense.

“Steve has been championing emerging talent for years in a really supportive environment. We’re very lucky to have something like this in our town.”

Following the launch event, young people will have the opportunity to sign-up for a free Gigcraft summer programme, a further series of skills training and hands-on workshops in June and July leading to concerts and events devised, organised and run by the participants themselves.

For more information about Gigcraft, the full timetable and to book, click here.