The range and prominence of the careers of BA (Hons) Creative Events Management graduates were recently celebrated as part of the course’s 25th birthday year.
From the founding of genre changing festivals to helping deliver international events of global significance, AUB Creative Events Management alumni have reached some exciting and pivotal places within the contemporary events industry.
At the 25th anniversary party, alumna Jo Vidler, now Creative Director of elrowFamily in Barcelona was the keynote speaker, reflecting on her time at AUB and highlights from her successful career in directing festivals since.
The BA (hons) course has equipped graduates with the skills to prosper in a variety of fields and career pathways: Lauren Townsend, 2014 graduate, says, ‘this course gives you a well-rounded and fully stocked arsenal of transferable skills.’
Some of the 25 alumni celebrated include Poppy Handy (2003) – Managing Director of Port Eliot Festival, Lucy Woodbridge (2010) – Head of Visitor Events at the Natural History Museum, Natalie Davies (2015) – Project Manager organising events globally for broadcaster ITV, alongside an array of programmers, producers and event managers making their mark at some of the UK’s most vibrant cultural destinations.
By extension, the creative entrepreneurship element of the degree programme has instilled in our graduates an aptitude for entrepreneurial activity in establishing successful events and companies within the creative industries. From many graduates’ involvement in the 00’s with Secret Garden Party festival and subsequent founding of Secret Productions, to Jimmy’s Iced Coffee and talent management and production companies.
Alumni gathered on 19th January 2019 to celebrate 25 years of the course. Remembering their time at AUB, graduates have been assessing how the course prepared them for their careers.
Nicholas Bartlett (2006) commented: ‘The network you get through the course is incredible, my career would have been impossible without it.’ Andrew Spackman (1995) reflected: ‘The course both allowed me to pursue my creative ideas and passions, whilst wrapping a professional framework and process around it.’
Below is just a few of our celebrated graduates, click ‘read more’ under each profile to find out about their journeys since graduating AUB:
JO IS CURRENTLY A CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF ELROWFAMILY IN BARCELONA, WHICH ORGANISES OVER 100 EXUBERANT DANCE PARTIES OR SHOWS AROUND THE WORLD EACH YEAR.
A prominent figure within the festivals industry worldwide, Jo is a director of Secret Garden Party and Wilderness in the UK, to co-founding Day Zero Festival in Mexico, starting Wonderfruit in Thailand and working on Burning Man in the US.READ MORE
Robin’s career has seen him producing the infamous huge stages and sets for Boomtown, loaded with pyrotechnics, LED, Lasers and live theatrical performance.
Co-founder and Producer, Shangri-La Glastonbury & Production Manager, Boomtown FairREAD MORE
JIM DISCOVERED READY-TO-DRINK ICED COFFEE DURING A YEAR TRAVELLING AROUND AUSTRALIA.
He decided to bring the drink to the UK and five years since the first carton sold in Selfridges, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee became a supermarket staple. He tells us more about owning his own business.READ MORE
"I am responsible for: winter wonderland, london marathon, ride london, BST concerts, proms in the park, taste of london and frieze art fair"
Suzi’s current role is ‘Senior Events Manager’ at the Royal Parks in London, read more to find out what she gets up to in her role.READ MORE
Eleanor began her career working in the fields of Cheltenham's Greenbelt Festival.
She is now responsible for programming events in the hull of the Cutty Sark. She tells us more about what she’s been up to since graduating.READ MORE
"When you graduate, get yourself out there as soon as possible, show you have an initiative, ambition, creativity and drive"
Lucy is the Head of Visitor Events at the Natural History Museum, find out how she got where she is today…READ MORE
My career highlights include “attending the Olivier awards for musicals I worked on, and producing a UK tour under my own productions company"
Agent/Producer and Managing Director, Andrew Harding ManagementREAD MORE
Rosie is the marketing & events co-ordinator at Cornwalls creative hub: Krowji
Rosie worked her way up from assistant to co-ordinator using her events management knowledge and experience. She tells us more about her life after graduating AUB.READ MORE
“The course really laid the foundations for everything I have achieved in my career so far"
Programming and Producing trainee, Sheffield Theatres & Committee Member, Stage Sight (led by UK Theatre)READ MORE
Ruth has recently worked on the opening ceremony for the new louvre in Abu Dhabi.
Ruth tells us about being a general project co-ordinator and artist support/liaison officer, read more to hear about the buzz of working on such a large event.READ MORE
'I'm in the perfect job straight out of AUB'
Beth’s currently working as an Account Executive for one of the UK’s leading PR companies, read more to find out about Beth landing her dream role.READ MORE
Executive Director, In Between Time (live arts company)
“My career highlights have been working on Cultural Olympiad in 2012, and setting up a company to run independent Festival (Stoke Fest) with fellow student Robin Collings”.Find out more
Senior Events Oﬃcer, Arts and Events, Bristol City Council
“My career highlights include running Diwali festival in Brent to currently the 250,000 people Bristol Harbour Festival, and many more in between”.Find out more
"Work hard, then work harder. Find out what you are passionate about and don’t be dissuaded".
Andy is a Senior Lecturer and course director for BA (Hons) Illustration and Graphics, Coventry University.Find out more
"I'm currently an MA Marketing, Distribution, Sales and Exhibition student at National Film and Television School".
“I graduated in 2018, but successfully programming my third year live event; booking and managing professional working bands throughout the process and getting into the Masters programme at NFTS have to be some of my highlights so far”.Find out more
Music Programme Coordinator, Boomtown Fair.
“The broad nature of the course gives you the whole picture of events, and insight into all the roles involved (which can vary greatly) to give you an understanding of how they relate and ultimately rely on each other”.Find out more
Student Union President, Arts University Bournemouth.
‘One of the main things CEM prepared me for was talking. Talking is at the base of everything! My time on the course showed me it is conversations, not just organising an event where communication is key, but learning to talk, listen and pay attention to people’s speciﬁcs can really help you form a network of people to make amazing things come to life.’Find out more
Founder of Rhythm & Blues festival and Red Rooster Festival, Production Manager and Music Booker at Secret Garden Party from 2007-17
Founding Director and Promoter, Red Rooster Festival; General Manager and Production Manager, Neverworld Festival; Production Manager and Booker, The Dark Horses.Find out more
Current Role: Project Manager, ITV experiences
Conceiving and launching ITV’s debut drama festival Elected internally as OneITV ambassador, mental health champion and the events lead for ITV’s Women’s Network. Graduating from industry mentorship program Fast Forward 15, a portfolio of inﬂuential talent who represent the future of the events industryFind out more
Artist, Art Director, Creative Production Manager, Creative brand consultant.
Designing shows such as Lovebox, Boomtown, Secret Garden party, Leeds and Reading. Travelling all over the world to work on festivals. Working creatively with major brands, such as The North Face, Vice and Google.Find out more
Senior Gallery Oﬃcer/Curator, The Gallery Arts University Bournemouth.
“The course enabled me to turn my ideas, organisational skills, words and writing into a powerful creative tool”.Find out more
Marketing Manager, Spotify
“My career highlights include: Throwing a birthday party for Stormzy in Mallorca. Organising intimate concerts for Justin Timberlake, Kylie Minogue, The 1975 and George Ezra. Leading brand campaigns and artist marketing campaigns, which I organise the media, budget and creative work for”.Find out more
Programme Manager, Cause 4
‘The practical creativity you get on the course gives you the support to try your ideas and work out what as an individual you’re good at (and what you aren’t) so that you can apply this in your career. This sector needs more people who know all aspects of a project from beginning to end, whilst keeping two feet on the ground.’Find out more
For information about the Creative Events Management’s 25th Anniversary Event see here.