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From music internship to independent music business by Darren Blair

Want to know how an internship in music can take you to running your own business? We caught up with former Creative Access intern, Darren Blair to hear about his internship, what he is up to now and what some of his plans are for the future.

Darren was interested in getting into the music industry and in 2015, secured an internship with I’m Not From London in Nottingham. The company promote events, gigs, parties and festivals, run two record labels and are also a registered music publisher.

“It’s sometimes harder when you don’t live in London as well” he tells us, “to find opportunities in the industry, that’s why it was great to find this in the East Midlands.”

We asked Darren to tell us a little about his experience at the record label, “I really enjoyed it. It allowed me to progress and get the good experience on my CV. It was essentially my first foot through the door. Creative Access made the process a lot easier and it was great to have the support from an organisation who genuinely understands the complications and discrimination within the industry.” He continues:

“Based where I’m from I don’t believe it would have been as easy to find an internship. Thank you, Creative Access for giving me the opportunity to learn the skills I need from the people who know how. I’m truly honoured to be part of the programme.”

Darren clearly made a great impression on the company too! His line manager from I’m Not From London said: “Darren was an asset to us as I believe he will be wherever he decides to go to next. Creative Access was a great help to our business providing an extra person to help us grow in what was our busiest year so far to also teaching us the skills of man management, HR and how to most effectively teach and utilise an employee’s talents. We couldn’t recommend Creative Access enough to companies wanting to expand both their business and increase skills.”

Since his internship, Darren has not only stayed firmly within music and events, he has also now started his own freelance business. Under the name, ‘Darren Blair – Music Business Management’ he now works for himself in all areas of event management. Darren launched the business last November and by March already had his first major contract.

One of the major things Darren advises to people interested in the music industry is the need to learn as much as possible about as many roles as possible. He says “with events – it isn’t all about qualifications. What you need is experience”.

“Whether it is stage managing, lighting or sound, you want to learn as much as you can about it all – show an interest in every area. This is what sets you above others.”

Darren now works for up to ten companies from Festival stages to arenas such as Wembley and Cardiff and some jobs even involving living on tour buses for long periods of time.

Having come so far already in such a short space of time, we asked what the future holds for Darren, he told us “my main aim is to be a tour manager, whether it is UK, Europe or international. I want to be responsible for the crew”

The fast pace definitely suits him and Darren shows absolutely no signs of wanting it to slow down. Follow Darren on Instagram and Facebook keep up to date with his impressive work!