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Backstage Academy Graduate Students Receive Suitably Show-Stopping Send-off
UK - Eighty students from the UK’s premier live events education facility, Backstage Academy, received their degrees on Friday 22nd September, in what must be the most rock & roll graduation ceremony in the country.
For the first time the event was produced entirely by students at Backstage Academy’s base at Production Park near Wakefield. Fittingly featuring visuals, lighting and glitter cannons worthy of an arena production, the graduation ceremony celebrated the achievements of students on the Academy’s Live Event Production and Live Visual Design And Production degree courses.
Professor George Holmes, vice chancellor at accrediting institution The University of Bolton said: “I’ve never seen a graduation quite like this. This is a unique and special place in terms of bringing people to job readiness and future creative opportunities that are probably unmatched anywhere else in the world.”
Renowned production manager Chris Vaughan (who counts tours with Take That, Muse, Biffy Clyro, The Spice Girls and the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony among his career highlights) addressed students as guest of honour, welcoming graduates to “our family of the respectably odd and dysfunctional yet splendid individuals otherwise known as 'roadies'.
“I am immensely proud of you all for having taken this first and important step on a road which – if you get half as much enjoyment from as I have – will ensure you’re in for a real treat.
“I hope that in 30 years’ time you’ll look back at your careers with a lot of tall tales and, like me, be keen to encourage the next generation to follow in your footsteps.”
Backstage Academy managing director Glen Rowe summed up the ceremony by saying: “The students were tasked with pulling together a full stage production for the graduation and they did not disappoint. Having spent the last 25 years touring some huge events my level of expectation was very high and the outcome was a testament to all who worked tirelessly day and night to pull it together.
"The fact that Chris Vaughan managed to join us as guest of honour while on tour with Take That is something that really blew us away. Chris delivered the most inspirational speech I have heard in a long time and the graduates certainly got some gold from him.”
28th September 2017
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