21st June 2013

Crewing at Crooked Ways

Student Jason Fox, currently on the Foundation Degree in Live Events Production at Backstage Academy, tells us what he got up to at the Crooked Ways festival in June as part of his Industry Practice module…


Along with some of my classmates from the Live Events Production Foundation Degree at Backstage Academy, I was asked to help on the production of Crooked Ways festival in Pontefract Park, which is near where we study. The organisers had heard about the training academy and needed some extra pairs of hands on the event, and we were all about to start one of our two Industry Practice modules.

We got to work directly with the suppliers at the event, helping build the Mini Stage with StagePro two days before the event, and assisting with the technical set up of the lighting with Ian Livie, and the sound equipment with Wigwam.


On show day on the Saturday, we were split into teams and helped out with the band changeovers on stage every half an hour.


I have some experience in lighting at Lamproom Theatre and Electric Theatre in Barnsley, and Swansea Pride, so I went up to the lighting designer on the main stage and said hello and showed an interest. His name was Ian Livie and he was working on an Avolites Expert Titan console which he had programmed before the event. He showed me the ropes and as I seemed to know what I was doing, he let me manually operate the lights for three bands including Pigeon Detectives and Grand Master Flash!


I’d had some experience doing lighting for events before the course, but nothing as big as the Crooked Ways festival so I was thrown in at the deep end really. It was pretty amazing to be doing a show for 1,000 people who were all loving it!

Ian seemed to be quite impressed and mentioned that he might give me some work at the end of the summer. All in all it was a great event! I’m looking forward to further work at festivals this summer during my Industry Practice module and beyond – Glastonbury, Latitude, Lytham Proms, Global Gathering and Junction 16 festival, bring it on!

…So what did Lighting Designer Ian Livie say about the event?

“The students all did a great job, no one was injured, and all the equipment was accounted for and turned up in the right place at the warehouse. Jason did a great job on the lighting, he was really keen and knew his way around the Avolites Pearl Expert Titan console. I was more than happy to leave him to it and his show with Mike Skinner had the biggest crowd reaction of the whole day, even more so than the two headlining acts!”

Photos: Laurie Cooper-Murray