Access editor Tom Hall says Fashion Week is upping its game…

Working in music or events is a dream for many, but there’s a high level of volatility in these markets. It didn’t surprise me, then, to read Skiddle research reporting “astronomical” stress levels in the live industry.

Tensions were certainly palpable at a recent Live UK Summit, where the likes of AEG and Kilimanjaro Live touched on how tight margins, frenzied negotiations and high levels of risk are a daily reality for staff.

The ensuing blame game often finds fingers pointed at the live industry’s big monopolies who’ve have gained budgets big enough to speculate on gigs – not a gamble the smaller promoters and artist management companies have the luxury of.

The advent of the new currency – data – has made it even harder to see how fledgling compaines can compete with the ever-growing hard drives owned by the likes of Live Nation. It would be like throwing a thumb drive at a server farm… or, er, something.

I’m clearly not an expert on digital, but I do know we could be one algorithmic innovation away from a revolution. MySpace, for example, owned a lot of people’s data, but no longer their loyalty.

But, while the music and ticketing industries are increasingly relying on digital, events are still reassuringly tangible, from the furniture to the projectors. Fashion, another cut-throat industry, is making increased use of this kit as heightened buyer expectations and brand competition veer runway shows away from minimalism, towards more ambitious production.

This issue, we examine some of the best efforts at London Fashion Week (p28), as well as this year’s finest event production jobs (p36) for the likes of U2 and the BBC.

It’s great to see sectors making more use of the industry’s products, staff and services, but one thing remains constant: every show counts, and no one’s nails remain unbitten when the tickets go on sale.

New fashioned: How London Fashion Week is evolving