Upcoming Exhibition

Creative Events Management 25 Years

Upcoming Exhibition Exhibition in TheGallery / Exhibition in Northwest Gallery

Curated by Phil Beards

21 January – 15 February 2019
Northwest Gallery, AUB

The BA (Hons) Creative Events Management course celebrates 25 years in 2019. To mark the occasion, they hosted a formal event in TheGallery on 19 January. The event welcomed staff and alumni from BA (Hons) Creative Events Management and all its previous guises, including BA (Hons) Arts & Events Management, HND Arts & Events Production and HND Arts & Events Administration, who came together to celebrate the past 25 years. This exhibition celebrates the diversity and collaborative nature of the course and its Live Events and Projects over the last 25 years.

Creative events are at the heart of the cultural and creative industries — with music festivals, performances, installations, exhibitions, touring, fashion shows, immersive events, carnivals and much more. The cultural and creative industries are a fast-growing sector and the UK cultural industry alone is worth more than £101 billion (2017) to the national economy and employs more than 2 million people. Creative Event Managers conceive, plan and deliver events from pop-up happenings to large-scale music festivals throughout the cultural industries.

Public facing live Events are a core part of the course, allowing students to deliver a team project of their own devising and through this, demonstrate the culmination of skills, knowledge and experience gained throughout their study. Live Events are designed to challenge and to provide an opportunity for the students to show their ability to analyse, interpret and respond to a complex body of knowledge and practice. These events are designed to have high creative values, push at the boundaries of industry practice or, alternatively, engage with the community and involve the students in something they might not have experienced before, either as spectators or as participants. We see them as ‘creative laboratories’ which allow students to demonstrate their developing skills in marketing, communication, finance and fundraising, project management and team working which are all part of the core programme. The events enable students to demonstrate their learning in staging live events and responding to creative briefs. Students are prepared over the three years to work to professional standards i.e. become ‘industry ready’ for a wide range of career destinations within the contemporary events arena. Students from BA (Hons) Creative Events Management course at AUB have been producing live events for the last 25 years.

In addition to working with external clients and professional artists in external settings, CEM students also collaborate with AUB students studying on other courses via a variety of projects. The recent ‘Mary Shelley Takeover‘ day on AUB campus saw students working in a variety of production roles alongside students from BA (Hons) Acting and BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design. Level 4 students participated in Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival 2018, helping to oversee and deliver a carnival parade and earlier this year and Level 5 students assisted the Bestival team to deliver a campus-wide celebration event at the end of summer term.

Students from Creative Events Management  can be found in all parts of today’s creative industries, here are just a few:

  • Managing Director, Port Elliot Festival
  • Founder and Creative Director, Wilderness Festival
  • Future Producer, Watershed, Bristol
  • Senior Event Manager, Royal Parks
  • Director and Co-owner, Secret Production
  • Co-Founder & Producer, Shangri-La, Glastonbury
  • Head of Visitor Events, Natural History Museum
  • Festival Manager, End Of The Road Festival
  • Marketing Manager, Spotify
  • Programme Manager, Cause 4
  • Project Manager, ITV Experiences
  • Production Manager, Continental Drifts
  • Senior Gallery Officer/Curator, TheGallery AUB
  • Executive Director, In Between Time
  • Development Officer, Royal College Of Music
  • Production Manager, Boomtown Fair
  • Circus Co-ordinator at The Roundhouse
  • Creative Producer, Secret Garden Party

meet the curator: Phil beards

Phil Beards is the Principal Lecturer and Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Creative Events Management course at AUB. Phil has over 35 years of teaching experience in Higher and Further Education, visual arts, technology and performance. Following a degree in Graphic Design and working commercially, he extended his practice into video production, editing and running a professional sound recording studio. An enduring interest in developing technologies led him to complete a Masters Degree in Electronic Graphics in the period of the dotcom boom.

Recent projects have included design and production of innovative video projection mapping at Winchester Cathedral for a performance of Britten’s War Requiem; production of Interactive 360 degree spherical images for Russell Cotes Museum Bournemouth; a Pepper’s Ghost Video Installation and aerial film for Nothe Fort, Weymouth; and Digital Projections and Lighting Effects augmenting a performance of JS Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Bournemouth University Music Choir & Orchestra.

Phil is a proactive member of AUB’s Environment Committee and is passionate about sustainability. This personal and team ethos ensures sustainability is at the core of Creative Events Management teaching and learning, as it refines its vision for the future. As a part of this commitment the course is an associate member of ‘A Greener Festival’.


Saturday 19 January 2019

Arts University Bournemouth welcomed alumni, friends and past staff back to campus to celebrate 25 years of the Creative Events Management course, one of the oldest of its kind in the UK. The event provided a nostalgic return to the university community for over 100 CEM alumni, celebrating their achievements since graduating.

Professor Stuart Bartholomew, AUB’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “Celebrating 25 years of the progress of this course is a great occasion, and the spread of talent represented by our CEM alumni is impressive.

“The course has acted as a launching pad for so many successful careers in the events industry, and they are engaged at a global level across a range of sectors. Our students have gone on to work for world leading organisations and include Holly Brooker, who has worked for Stormzy and Kylie Minogue. Lucy Woodbridge, Head of Visitor Events at the Natural History Museum created a four-month leaving party for Dippy the Diplodocus at the museum attracting thousands of visitors, before he left on a UK tour. Events are about having your fingers on the pulse on what the public will respond to, which our graduates can achieve in abundance”.

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TheGallery works with courses right across the university on a variety of exhibitions, events and projects. Creative Events Management 25 Years is another example of one of these projects that we have worked on with the curator and students. When working on a collaborative project we provide advice and support for the curatorial and technical aspects of the exhibition, as well as advice on event and project management.

TheGallery provides a national and international public platform for the arts within the sub-region as we promote the University’s shared passion for excellence in education, industry and the sector. The BA (Hons) Creative Events Management course is a clear example of this as we provide the students with key insights into the industry to develop their skills.


On the BA (Hons) Creative Events Management course, you’ll understand that Creative events are at the heart of the cultural and creative industries and can span across anything from music festivals, performances, installations, exhibitions, touring, fashion shows, carnivals and more.

You will create a live event every year of the course and work with creative practitioners and external clients. The course aims to create innovative, capable and creative professionals with practical skills and critical minds, able to flourish in the diverse landscape that is the creative and cultural industries.

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