Since joining LarMac LIVE in June, Finlay Bowrey has been catapulted into the world of live events, embarking on his first festival production post-lockdown, Creamfields. “It was incredible to be part of the event, from pre- to post-production, I have learned so much in a short period of time,” he said, reflecting on his role as Production Assistant.
From looking after the stage manager to sorting the stage times and artists’ riders, Bowrey was the primary point of contact in the Creamfields production office, resulting in meeting a who’s who of the sector’s workforce.
“By working in the field surrounded by experts, I was able to absorb so much. When I first arrived on site, I didn’t understand the lingo…” However, by the end of Creamfields, he was fluent in roadie. “It was becoming part of my vocabulary. Listening and learning from experts will only help me improve,” he stated. “The best piece of advice I was given onsite was to ask questions – it’s the best way to learn when you are new to the industry.”
Having studied Live Event and Television at the University of The Arts London, Bowrey believes education is equally important. “University taught me the importance of collaboration. We teamed up with other courses and years to learn how people operate in different environments – an incredibly important skill to have in this industry,” he said, adding that unfortunately COVID-19 made it difficult for him to complete his final year in-person. “I adapted by producing a dissertation and major project online. It was tough but I was able to get my head down and produce work that I am proud of,” he said.
With Creamfields being one of the first shows back for most of the crew, Bowrey soon felt at ease. “Everyone was out of sync, which made it easier for me to come in as a newbie. The crew were happy to be working and really welcoming,” he said, speaking as one of the few fortunate enough to land a postgraduate job.
“Unfortunately, a lot of friends and coursemates have not been as lucky as me. The simply can not find jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis, this has been compounded by the fact they are new to the industry,” he added. “It is such a tough time to break into the sector, especially if you have little experience.”
Looking back at how far he has come, Bowrey remembered visiting Camp Bestival as a 15-year-old, stumbling across LarMac LIVE in action. “I was inspired,” he reminisced, managing to sneak a peek behind the scenes. “From that day on, I knew I wanted to work in the industry. It gave me the kick I needed to get my head down and a goal to aim towards.” Having come full circle, now working alongside a team which inspired his entry to the sector, he says, is a “dream come true”.
This article originally appeared in issue #266 of TPi, which you can read here.