Grew up >>View Video>>
My Dad was a music promoter and my sister is a musician, so I grew up around the whole industry.
About 15 years ago I started managing bands that my sister was in. This involved working on the logistics and the operations side of things. That really gave me an appetite for the industry. I was originally studying psychology and diversified into retail and a variety of other roles all the while trying to decide what career I really actually wanted to focus on. After pursuing a variety of different avenues and courses I felt live events was where I really wanted to focus.
MCD >>View Video>>
I was very fortunate that 10 years ago I got a job with MCD and ended up getting into various different roles within the industry both in Ireland and internationally. From my first live outdoor event with MCD I was hooked. I loved it; I loved the vibe of it, I just love everything about the industry. It’s an incredible industry to be in.
COVID >>View Video>>
I have been very fortunate to have had an amazing career to date in the live events industry
I am a project manager and Deputy Event controller for MCD’s Slane , Croke Park , RDS , Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Aviva shows. Over the years I have held a variety of roles in the events industry both in Ireland and internationally including in 2015-2017 I am very proud to have held the position of Chief Operating Officer of The Olympia Theatre during the refurb of the Iconic Dublin Venue.
I was also Deputy Project Manager and Deputy event controller for the Phoenix Park and Croke Park aspects of the 2018 Papal visit to Ireland, and over the last few years I also worked on CPLT20 cricket in the Carribean and on large scale boxing events in New York , Vegas, London, Belfast and Scotland.
Throughout the years I have been very fortunate to get to know so many incredible people in the live events industry and I have seen how hardworking, skilled, dedicated and passionate the personnel within the industry are in the roles that they do.
When COVID hit, back in March of 2020, I was very fortunate at the time that I was still working and I still am working within the industry, but unfortunately I’m one of the few who has still been employed throughout this. So many of my friends and colleagues were impacted suddenly; overnight just out of work. After talking to people about it, I really just wanted to do something myself to try and help others in that situation.
I’m very good friends with Bressie; we actually grew up together in Mullingar. We got chatting one day about wanting to do something to try and help support crew and the people within the industry who had been suddenly left out of work. We ended up launching a fundraising campaign called We Are The Support Act; we designed up some crew merchandise to sell and see what revenue we could bring in.
We decided to put the money raised towards the AIST hardship fund so that crew members or anybody working within the industry could apply to the fund, but we also wanted to cater for other aspects that people would need help with. I’ve worked on such a variety of roles and with such a variety of personnel within in the industry over the years so I have seen first hand the challenges that those behind the scenes in the industry are faced with so I absolutely understood how, mentally, COVID hugely impacted people in the industry in addition to the huge financial impact it had for people. Going from being so busy and working so hard to suddenly literally overnight to be plunged into a situation with so much uncertainty is a huge challenge. Bressie said to me, “Dave Reid has been working on this organisation called Minding Creative Minds.” He had been working on it for 18 months at that stage behind the scenes.
That first call >>View Video>>
Brez set up a call between myself, Dave and himself. We got chatting and from the minute Dave started talking about Minding Creative Minds I was like, “This is incredible; this is what the industry needs now because of COVID but also long term definitely.” I wanted to help in any way I could, immediately I knew there were so many people who would benefit from it. Thanks to Brez for setting up that first call we were able to start working together and we added Minding Creative Minds as the second beneficiary for the We Are The Support Act fundraising initiative.
We started off selling crew merchandise. Then a team of myself and colleagues via (EPIC )Event Production Industry Covid 19 working Group went on to produce Songs from an Empty room with Shinawil and RTÉ, which aired last July and helped raise a significant amount of money for the campaign overall, including a very generous €200,0000 donation from U2. The fundraising is still ongoing and to date the campaign has raised over €450K that has been split between the AIST hardship fund and Minding Creative Minds which are much needed resources for those in our industry.
At the moment
It’s great to see how Minding Creative Minds counselling services are being picked up a lot by people. Career guidance has been a big thing with people trying to utilise the time as best they can at the moment, and the business and legal advice is very prominent now for businesses that are trying to navigate their way through restrictions. I have spoken first hand to so many people within the industry who have availed of the services already and to hear how helpful they have found the different services is so amazing.
Longer term, when the events industry actually gets back up and running, supports that they’ll need then will be available through Minding Creative Minds. I think we can build on this and create a community for people to connect, network; realise that if they’re having a bad day there are likely other people who are as well and it’s normal. This industry is so fast-paced, people need to have that connection and have somebody to talk to.
Meet & Greets
I’ve definitely found the monthly Meet & Greets have been getting incredible feedback. It would have been amazing to do them actually in person, but we haven’t had that opportunity yet. I’m looking forward to when we can do it in person; I think it will really help people, but I think doing them online at the moment has actually been really beneficial because it’s allowed people from across the country to connect at the same time.
It’s a really nice, positive group. Everybody’s trying to get each other through these challenging times through tips and advice, sharing what they’ve learned that has helped them. The industry is such a social industry normally and this is reflected in the Meet & Greets. Sometimes you log in and know people there, sometimes there are new people who you haven’t met before.
Feedback >>View Video>>
I think we need to work with everybody within the industry and take feedback from everybody. There are ideas that we on the board of Minding Creative Minds have but it’s about everybody else; what do they want out of it?
This service is for the creative industry. It’s about helping people across their whole journey and their whole experience. If they need counselling services, that’s one aspect but if they need training in something or more support in a certain area, we can help with that too.
If one person raises an item that they would like us to include as part of Minding Creative Minds, then there are probably loads of others in the industry who want something similar.
When we get back out and people get operational at events again, that will throw up even more opportunities for what we can do.
I feel honoured to be a part of such an incredible team and so proud of what Minding creative minds has been able to offer the creative industry so far but I also look forward to watching how we can grow further to support the needs of personnel within the entire creative industry.
Remember, if you’re a member of the Irish creative industry, you can talk to a counsellor free of charge at any time of the day or night. Simply call the phone number below.