Tag Archives: live events

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!


Nissan FUTURE:TODAY Nordics Tour

15 Oct

Ok. Sorry sorry sorry. I haven’t written for a while. I promised in many earlier blogs that I’d write more frequently but I’ve got a fabulous excuse!

As regular readers know, before September I was working with iD Experiential on many amazing projects (Benefit Cosmetics, Britvic, Cadburys), but I decided that I wanted to do something on a larger scale. I got offered a contract at Proud Robinson – a fairly new agency that is owned by Ben Robinson, the Creative Director at Freud Communications, and run by an outstanding array of experienced Events folk such as Simon Sa Feio, Rob Povey and Alan Steel. Even after my first day, I realised this was an outstanding agency that was so forward thinking and passionate about what they do. Proud work on many different projects for Nissan which is what I was brought in to help on.

Nissan have been innovators of electric cars for years. The new Nissan Leaf is a beautiful looking car that is 100% electric, 0 emissions and has loads of other amazing benefits (such as the ability to drive in bus lanes, only costs £1.40 to charge it for 90 miles, and it only takes 30mins to charge at a quick charge unit). Norway loves the Leaf, and since it’s launch it’s sold 2000 units in Oslo – so Proud have been managing a tour of an educational exhibition celebrating innovative technology and the future, today.

The idea is that people think an electric car is a way off to being functional and easy to run/manage – but the truth is that it’s not! The future is here now! The exhibition celebrates the Leaf and other futuristic ideas from across the globe that are happening now. Examples including Masdar city, a city currently being built in Adu Dabi that is entirely self sufficient and will eventually house 10,000 people. Other ideas include TED’s City 2.0, which if anyone is as much of a fan of TED as I am will know all about. TED is a website that offer an arrray of inspirational speeches from innovative people all over the world. Each year they run the TED Prize, where these visionary thinkers present ideas to develop our current educational or environmental state. This year the prize was given to many different ideas all contributing to City 2.0, and we exhibit some of these ideas inside our structure.

Our structure itself is made of recycled shipping containers, about a thousand iPads and the latest interactive technology such as RFID points, a couple of 85 inch screens, a touch table and an electronic booking system where consumers can book in a test drive or a shuttle in a Nissan Leaf. The event also incorporates a light display outside the structure by Hellicar&Lewis, and a ‘tank’ art installation by Chris Levine – all very exciting!! Here’s a video you can watch about it and you can read about everything here!

As a special one off celebration for the 2000 owners of the Leafs in Oslo we held a concert (featuring LidoLido, Maya Vik and Lars Vaular), and developed an incredible light show using 50 Leafs that lit up like an organ – it looked AMAZING.

There are loads of other elements involved and I could talk about them all day, but anyone in Bergen, Norway this coming week, or in Stockholm from 8th till the 15th of November should come and see what all the fuss is about!

This event is something really special to be involved in. It’s a massive amalgamation of different ideas, all pointing towards one point – the future of technology is here today!

We’ve just finished our stint in Oslo and I’m off to Bergen today to start preparations for Bergen. Email me on christianne@proud-robinson.com if you’d like a guided tour in Bergen or Stockholm 🙂

Guest post for iD Experiential

6 Jul

Have written a little post about creativity and innovation within experiential marketing as a guest blogger for the iD Experiential! Have a read here!

Benefit Mascarathon!

17 Jun

This week has been non stop. But all in a very good way, and for a very good cause! I’ve been working with iD Experiential on the Benefit Mascarathon, a fantastic idea to raise money and profile for Refuge, a charity that helps victims of domestic violence.

The Mascarathon is a charity run that starts in Edinburgh and finishes in London. Runners can apply to do a 2 mile leg of the run and get sponsorship from friends and family with all proceeds going to Refuge. The start event was in Edinburgh Castle Street Friday 15th June where we had our ‘Benebago’ (a fully wrapped and branded Winnebago with the capacity to sleep 8 people!), with it’s branded trailer, along with other bits of kit including a huge 3m wide inflatable sphere, 3 bright pink branded Vespas, a bright pink marquee where Benefit staff gave out free make overs, our pink Pashley trike, a step and repeat board and of course our huge trilite start arch.

The start event was attended by the Brand Ambassador for the Mascarathon Caroline Flack and although the weather was wet and windy the atmosphere was fabulous.

As I write this, the runners continue their quest down to London. The finish event is at Spitalfields London on Friday 29th June where there will be lots of other activities including freebie food, drinks, product and live music! But along the way there will also be city centre activity where other celebrities are running a 2 mile leg including Donna Air, Zoe Salmon and Lauren Laverne. The launch event got coverage on the Daily Mail too!

All in all, the project has been fantastic to work on not only because it’s logistically quite challenging which makes it even more fun, but also Benefit are one of my favourite ever brands. I love their products, style and tone of voice!! On the production side of things, Island Marketing have been nothing but a dream to work with. Would highly recommend them for branding and wrapping of vehicles and bespoke builds.

Looking forward to the 29th June for the finish event, and if you feel like donating Text BENE02 £10 to 70070 or visit Justgiving.

In other news, I’m VERY excited to blog about Secret Cinema I attended last week but I don’t want to spoil any surprises for people that are yet to go 🙂 but trust me it’s amazing – definitely go if you don’t have a ticket already!!! Visit here to get tickets.

And will be going to Ascot for the very time on Wednesday!! Very strict rules on outfits but am sure I’ll find something….. gulp! x

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