Production Co-ordinator Newcomer of the Year Georgia Keavey talks to us about her career highlights and why networking is so important.

Did you study? If so, where and what?   

Yes I did, I have an MA in Events and Experience Management from Goldsmiths, University of London. Here, I got a first but wouldn’t say it has much to do with the career I’ve now made for myself! my practical experience has helped me much more. I completed my masters over Covid as a way of still staying in the industry whilst there wasn’t much, if any work. 

What was your very first industry role and how did you get it?

I always knew I wanted to work in live music but had no idea where I wanted to be or what my strengths were. I worked at a bar in East London whilst studying my degree and got chatting to one of the locals about my ambitions. He put me in touch with a friend of his who was one of the directors for Dimensions and Outlook festivals in Croatia. I persistently emailed/Whatsapped him until we met for a coffee in Dalston and he offered me an internship working onsite for three weeks gaining experience across a plethora of roles including campsite and volunteer management, artist liaison and stage management. 

What has been your biggest achievement or ‘pinch me’ moment so far?

I think my first tour being a 6 week Arena tour in the US was a pretty big deal. I won’t pretend that I knew what I was doing but it taught me more than I never thought. Working at Madison Square Gardens on a sold out show in your first fortnight is a bit ‘pinch me’! 

Is there one person who has helped or pushed you, been a support?

Gareth Russell, my Production Manager across two tour campaigns, has been my main support without a doubt. We met in the US when I was working on experience as a Tour Assistant and he took me on despite my minimal experience. From then, we worked together with both the Pet Shop Boys and First Aid Kit throughout 2022 and 2023. I remember on one of our first phone calls, in the beginning, he reassured me that no question was stupid and that sentiment continued throughout our time working together. 

Where would you like to be in 5 years from now?

I’d love to be a Tour Manager working at an Arena level. 

Is there more industry should be doing for newcomers?

I think there is so much opportunity for young people to work for free but it isn’t enough. An individual can volunteer with festivals, venues, etc as much as they want but, unfortunately, taking your career to that next level is SO difficult. I was stuck in that place for a very long time. Unfortunately, I believe nepotism is still rife in the industry and it’s who you know. I’ve never been afraid to ask for favours and to put myself out there and I truly believe that is why I’m in the position I am today. 

How important is networking for newcomers?

SO important, too important! I never knew anyone directly in the industry but knew of friends of friends who I unashamedly pestered through email which certainly paid off! I am continuing my networking now, signing up for events and mixers, broadening my circle past the crews and artists I’ve previously worked with. It’s a continuous job! 

Will you come back to the awards as our guest next year? 

Of course!

How did you feel when you won the award?

I was utterly shocked, if I’m honest. My first year in touring had been such a whirlwind that I hadn’t really had time to consider my achievements. It allowed me to reflect on how far I’d come! 

What made you want to work in the production industry?

I’ve always wanted to work in live music and quickly realised I was not musical in the slightest. When I was a teenager, I was going to gigs 2 or 3 times a week and was extremely nosey – always watching people side of stage and wondering what they were doing or why/how they were there. I knew then that I wanted to be them, whatever that meant! 

How has winning this award affected your personal or professional life, and what are your future goals?

It’s definitely given me confidence in my ability and driven me to reach out/apply for jobs that before I thought I wasn’t qualified for. Honestly, though, since my tours have come to an end for a while, I’ve been struggling to find work but the logo on my CV certainly helps get those interviews! 

What advice would you give to other newcomers who aspire to achieve similar recognition?

You are only as good as your last job. I don’t mean this in a disheartening way but consistency and perseverance is key. It’s not a secret that this is a tough industry but recognition comes when you consistently show up. That doesn’t mean that you have to pretend you’re not struggling if you are, I think it’s always better to be open about that, but try your best. Every day. 

Are there any upcoming projects or initiatives that you’re excited to work on and why?

I’m currently looking at work outside of touring as I want to develop my knowledge, experience and expertise beyond the few artists i’ve worked with. 

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