Backstage Academy goes on tour!

04 January 2018

GLEN Rowe has managed some of the world’s leading live bands and loved the life it has given him.

Now the tour director for Muse wants to inspire the next generation of ‘roadies’ and is taking the Backstage Academy roadshow round England and Wales to shine a light on the industry.

Having started selling t-shirts for the Manic Street Preachers he has been on the road with bands and acts including The Thrills, Ronnie Wood, Ginger Baker, Hard-Fi, The Kooks, Magic Numbers, Amy MacDonald and Gareth Gates.  He knows how tough it can be but also how rewarding and how much fun it is.

Now MD of Backstage Academy, the UK’s leading live events university centre based in West Yorkshire, Glen is joining forces with Beat the Streets Tour Bus to visit sixth form colleges in search of the ‘roadie’ talent of the future.

Students will hear from Glen about the two-year foundation (FdA) and three-year degree courses available and then get the chance to quiz him about his own life backstage. Afterwards, they will visit the Beat the Street tour bus and try their hand at loading and unloading a tour trailer in a time trial.

Glen, who even production managed the Pope’s only UK tour, said: “Every music festival, stadium gig and world tour needs an army of highly skilled production personnel to bring them to life.

“Production Managers, Sound Engineers, Lighting Designers, Guitar Technicians, Riggers, Carpenters and Tour Managers are just some of the roles instrumental in creating live events.

“Backstage Academy uniquely trains all these professionals for a career in live events through academic study and work experience.  All our students spend time on location with some of the world’s leading artists getting a real work experience.

“Backstage Academy’s first roadshow aims to give them an insight about the course and the industry they will eventually work in. The added challenge of unloading a tour trailer against the clock will give them genuine hands on experience of the buzz of the live events industry.  At the end of the tour the fastest college will receive £2000 to spend on technical equipment of their choice,” he added.

“Creative industries are booming now contributing £91.8bn to the UK economy.  Importantly, the industry has increased its value by more than 50 per cent in the last five years, with no signs that growth is stagnating.  Working in live events is both highly skilled but great fun and can be very well rewarded,” said Glen.

“Employability is an important feature of all our courses. Recent graduates of Backstage Academy have gone on to careers touring with major musicians such as Robbie Williams and Ed Sheeran or working at events such as Glastonbury or the Radio One Live Weekend. Work experience during their course includes tours and live festivals in the UK and overseas.”

Steve Brown is one of the lead tutors at Truro Academy.  He said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students here at Truro College to see first-hand exactly what is on offer at Backstage Academy. Live events is a thriving industry with plentiful job prospects, we are very proud to link up with Backstage Academy.”

Backstage Academy is planning a second national tour in Autumn 2018.  Colleges and Schools interested in playing host can register their interest at

The Backstage Academy Roadshow commences January 22 in Wakefield. Dates and venues include:

Wakefield – Wakefield College Jan 22

Leeds – Notre Dame Sixth Form College Jan 22

Selby – Selby College Jan 23

York – Access to Music Jan 23

Chesterfield – Heritage High School Jan 24

Lincoln – Lincoln College Jan 24

Newcastle – The Sage Jan 25

Liverpool – LIPA College Jan 26

Truro – Truro College Jan 29

South Devon – South Devon College Jan 30

Glastonbury – St Dunstone School, Jan 31

Swansea – Feb 1 Full Day Venue TBC

Cardiff – Feb 2 Full Day Venue TBC

Croydon – The Brit School, Feb 5

Cobham – Cobham Free School Feb 6

Battersea – Harris Academy Feb 7

Purfleet – Backstage Centre Feb 8

Southampton – City College, Feb 9