Interview with Phil Beaven, Freelance Production Manager

14 Aug

Continuing the I Love Events Interview Season, Freelance Production Manager (and wannabe stuntman!), Phil Beaven gives us his tips and hints on how to get into Event Production!


What is your name? Phil Beaven

What is your current Job Title? Freelance Production Manager

Do you work Full Time or Freelance? Freelance

Who do you work for? Myself, various big brand clients, festivals, corporate clients, large and small scale music events

What qualifications do you have? 9 GCSE’S and 1 A-LEVEL. No degree or higher education

How long have you been doing your current job title? 12 years

What is your involvement in the Events industry? I worked for an agency for 9 years, 7 years full time, 2 years part time, and 5 years freelance working across all kinds of events, concerts, festivals, gigs, tours and award ceremonies. I’m well connected within the music industry, but I wouldn’t say I work specifically in the music industry.

What does your role entail on a day-to-day basis? Planning up coming events, or working on site. Planning logistics, travel, pre-production, ordering equipment and production design (taking concepts from idea to reality). I work from home so can work at my own pace, except summer when work is at it’s busiest .

Where would you say you spend most of your time doing your job? (i.e. office based, at meetings, on site etc) At home when planning, and on site when live.

Do you work internationally or are you UK based? Both. Have been to 28 different countries producing events.

Have you always known what you wanted to do?  I think so! I wanted to be a stuntman when I was very young, then I thought more about getting into graphic design, but I’m not good at graphic design (still good a stunts though). When I was 15 I organised a rave for 2,000 people in a farmers field behind my house and got grounded by my parents, so yes I think I have always wanted to organise music events!

What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far? There has been so many. I’ve met lots of A listers and music heroes. I’ve worked at a great agency for many years with the best people in the industry and learning everything I know from them. But I think the highlight so far has been the realisation that I can do what I do on my own, and I have the confidence to break off to work for myself. It’s been a massive challenge, but it has been worth it and I still enjoy my job every single day. Winning 4 awards for a Groove Armada & Bacardi Campaign was also pretty good.

What do you like most / dislike about your job? I love that no two jobs I work on are the same. It changes every day/week. This keeps my job interesting and means you are always learning to solve challenging problems and constantly develop new ways of working. I love travelling the most. I dislike that as a freelancer it can take months to get paid by larger clients so cash flow can be tough.

What would you say are key skills / attributes to have in your line of work? Being a good problem solver, always remaining positive, never losing your temper and patience! Always smile!

Is there any advice you would give to anyone wanting to get into your area of events?  It’s all about experience. You need someone to give you the chance to work in this industry so you have to create those chances. Offer to shadow people for free for a weekend at a festival, ask about jobs that no one else likes doing, box office, site runner, driving vans, putting up branding. Once you have done these jobs you have the basis to become a Production Assistant. From here you can branch off into different areas – Artist Liaison, Tour Management, Stage Hand/Manager, Production, Lighting or Sound. Find the area that you most enjoy and go for it!


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