December 13, 2022, by ahyeo2
The Roles and Responsibilities of Working as an Artist Liaison
By Emily Oxbury, MA History student blogger
Have you ever considered the roles of the backstage team at a music venue? Who is it that looks after the artist whilst they are on site and what responsibilities do they have?
These were certainly not questions I’d ever considered before, until I stumbled across the opportunity to work as an Artist Liaison at the AO Arena with TBI Media. Taking on the role during their production of ‘The Big Jubilee Street Party’ in May this year opened my eyes to the vast number of roles and individuals involved in putting such a production together, and the importance of artist liaisons!
How did I get the role?
I discovered the role on the TBI Media LinkedIn page, where they had a callout for people to apply, no matter what their experience in live events. This really appealed to me as, whilst I’d been involved in a few live events and broadcasts for University Radio, I had no experience at music events or working alongside high profile individuals. I focused on how I could turn my previous experience into relevant skills for this job, focusing on my ability to manage my time effectively, work as part of a team, and strive under pressure.
After a successful online group interview, where I had only a few minutes to demonstrate my understanding of the role and skill set, I received my briefing for the role and began to prepare my three day adventure to Manchester! From engineers to the catering team, during the days before the live show spectacle, the AO arena was transformed into a town that never slept, as the team worked tirelessly around the clock to build and prepare for the event. I arrived onto site two days before the show, to learn the secret passages and walkways of backstage. I had only a few hours to memorise my route round the arena, before I’d be tasked with showing my superstar guests the way.
Roles and responsibilities
As an Artist Liaison I was responsible for collecting my guests at the backstage entrance, and ensuring they received their accreditation to be on site for the event. I was then, for want of a better word, their ‘personal assistant’ for the duration of their stay at the arena. I fetched props, make-up and costumes when necessary. Most importantly, I was responsible for keeping check on their schedule, and ensuring my guests were side of stage with plenty of time to get their ear pieces and microphones in advance of soundcheck, and the live performance.
The role was fast paced and tiring, but very rewarding too. As an Artist Liaison you certainly had to possess the ability to multitask. You would be assisting your guests whilst also making sure to keep an ear tuned into the radio feed to know where and when to take your artist for press appearances, make-up and performances.
If you’re looking for an exciting and unusual role, then maybe being an Artist Liaison is for you! It is a role which is undoubtedly different every shift. Lots of Artist Liaison jobs are on a freelance or ad-hoc basis, meaning its a perfect role for full-time students.
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