Future music business talent initiative launches at major city festival

Music business students and artists from four Birmingham higher education institutions are taking part in a pilot initiative ahead of Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival 

– Moonshine Collective Industry Programme is working with Birmingham City University, BIMM University, Screen and Film School Birmingham, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

– Young aspiring industry professionals will support the 12-14 July 2024 edition of the 4,500-capacity festival, headlined by Kool and the Gang, Leftfield, and Yussef Dawes 

A cohort of students drawn from four creative and music education institutions in Birmingham are to drive the pilot of a new major live music industry programme aimed at securing a future talent pipeline in the city.

The Moonshine Collective Industry Programme (MCIP) has been developed for the team behind Birmingham’s popular Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul and Moseley Folk & Arts Festival, and students from Birmingham City University, BIMM University, Screen and Film School Birmingham, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Nine aspiring professionals from music and media courses at the institutions will take on artist liaison, performance, photography, stage management, and videography roles at the festivals after an intense application and onboarding process.

Performers Tidez and Kitty Bella from BIMM University in Birmingham and the Afro-Cuban Orchestra from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire will open the first two days of Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival on 11 and 12 July, reaching thousands of fans with their music.

Amidst significant turbulence within the UK’s live music industry, including incredibly challenging conditions for venues and festivals which has led to a record number of cancellations and closures in the past 12 months, the MCIP initiative is designed to ensure higher employability for future graduates and create an additional resource pool for music businesses in the UK.

Preston-born Jake Campbell, who is studying Music Business at Birmingham City University, said: “MCIP is a well-organised, inclusive programme that strives to help eager music industry professionals like me in gaining valuable experience and skills within a variety of industry-related fields. 

“The team have been very welcoming and supportive of new ideas and have done a great job of helping everyone settle into their roles.”

Alicia Stanley, a Birmingham City University Music Business student from Leeds, said: “The initiative is interested in positively benefiting young people’s knowledge of and exposure to the music industry. 

“By not only offering different roles but allowing the participants to experience these roles rotationally, MCIP provides a grounded and well-rounded chance for a person to gain relevant skills while having fun.”

The Blackbyrds, Kool and the Gang, Leftfield, and Yussef Dayes are among the headline acts at Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul Festival (Friday 12 to Sunday 14 July 2024).

Set in the idyllic Moseley Park, just two miles outside of Birmingham city centre, Mostly Jazz Funk and Soul Festival has built a strong reputation for presenting iconic and up-and-coming artists in an intimate outdoor setting.

John Fell, Moonshine Collective festival manager and booker, said: “With significant change currently impacting our industry, we wanted to create a new way for university and college students to secure real-world experience in a festival setting to ensure they are best equipped to enter the industry when they graduate.

“It is also an invaluable experience for our festival team to have brilliant young creatives on board, helping us to shape our programming, marketing, and operational delivery in the lead-up to, and during our events.

“We look forward to building and shaping MCIP with our education partners, and embedding the initiative into our business model, going forward. Investing in the future of live music in this way is just one way in which universities and colleges can help to drive growth and opportunity for students and festivals.”

For more information, visit www.mostlyjazz.co.uk