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Every month, we’ll bring you a collection of stories showcasing student life at Backstage Academy.

Volume 3: November & December 2019

Sound Practical 

Ba (HONS) Live Events Production - 2nd Years 

Monday 11th November 2019

Our 2nd year Live Events Production students on the Live Sound pathway were visited by a group of students from the Music Performance & Production course at Leeds Beckett University. 

During the session, the students were introduced to working with vocalists. As part of this they experimented with different microphones from one of our industry partners, Shure, to gauge which microphones produced the best sound and which the artists preferred. The students also worked with monitors and used a Midas M32 sound desk to give the singer the best possible experience. 

The performance was mixed using an Avid Venue SC48 desk at front of house and the whole performance was played through our loudspeakers from d&b audiotechnik.

Lecturer, Frazer Gall, said

It is very difficult to teach sound theoretically, so it’s a great experience for the students to work with real artists and learn the interpersonal skills required as a sound engineer, as well as the technical abilities.

Aardvark FX Masterclass

Stage and Production Management - 2nd Years

Friday 29th November 2019

We were fortunate enough to be visited by George from AardvarkFX who delivered a brilliant masterclass in live events special effects to our 2nd year Stage & Production Management students as part of their Applied Stage Management Techniques module.

After an initial presentation, George demonstrated some awesome FX including a Co2 Jet, G-Flame and controller, as well as some handheld effects.

The masterclass gave students an insight into the whole range of full time-coded DMX operated systems, simple remote or cable controlled systems and basic handheld units.

Find out more about Aardvark FX at

Marley Practical 

Stage and Production Management  - 1st Years

Monday 18th November 2019

Our Stage & Production Management students had a great insight into festival and rock and roll stage management in mid-November. 

The session involved changing draping as well as planning where cabling would run on a large stage. The most challenging part of the session was when the students had to lay a Marley floor to act as a temporary dance floor for the performer. 

This is a notoriously tricky task but the students worked as a team and succeeded in laying a number of strips of clean Marley fit for the biggest tours on the planet.

UCAS Create Your Future Exhibition

Students from all courses and year groups

Monday 25th November 2019

In late November, we exhibited at the UCAS Create Your Future 2019 event at the Manchester Central Convention Complex.

In true Backstage Academy style, our stand was an epic mix of video, lights and sound with a range of interactive demos for attendees to try including lighting design, live sound mixing and virtual reality all housed in a 5m high cube.

Managed and built by students, it really was a great example of what our students are capable of and the kind of projects they get involved in during their time as Backstage Academy.

DIGITREE at Lightwaves Festival  

Live Visual Design & Production - 3rd Years

Thursday 5th December - Sunday 15th December 2019

The final student project of the decade saw the launch of an incredible project produced by our 3rd year BA (Hons) Live Visual Design & Production students at #lightwaves2019 - an interactive light festival run by Quays Culture in Salford Quays in Manchester.

The project, called DIGITREE, showcased the seasonal evolution of a tree through real-time and rendered content with the use of LED floor and strips.

DIGITREE featured a range of products from some of our incredible industry partners including Black Marble LED Floor from ROE Visual, a GX2C media server from Disguise, staging from STS Touring and a custom fabricated tree from Brilliant.


  • 2020 kicks off with lighting, sound and visuals assessments for Live Events Production 2nd year students
  • Live Visual Design & Production students undergo their January 'intensives'
  • Stage & Production Management students explore the world of prop making
  • Backstage Academy travels to Dubai to deliver  short courses

Stay tuned for all this and more!

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