Multi-service event production agency Continental Drifts has launched the 2023 Festival Lab course to address the lack of diversity in the festival industry.

Overseen by Continental Drifts music director Chris MacMeikan and Global Carnivalz founder and chief executive Pax Nindi, Festival Lab is inviting Black, BAME and PoC 18-30-year-olds to join its free nine-week course at East London venue RichMix.

The students will have the chance to undertake paid work experience at festivals including Bestival, Notting Hill, Wilderness, Secret Garden Party and Ensemble.

Launched by the team behind Glastonbury’s Shrangi La and other themed areas at festivals such as Camp Bestival, Boomtown and Shambala, the goal of the programme is to open the industry up to young people who may otherwise be excluded.

Each week the students will be taught by industry professionals who will share their experience and expertise working for other organisations such as Boiler Room, BFI, Hackney Council and Bristol City Council, Certain Blacks, St.Pauls Carnival and Notting Hill Carnival.

MacMeikan said, “We realised the representation of people of Black heritage and communities of colour in senior production was the least among almost all industries.

“Whether this is in major festivals such as Glastonbury, or diverse events including the main UK carnivals, there seems to be an alarming lack of senior producers coming from these backgrounds. We see this lack of representation as a crisis and are dedicated to making much needed changes in the industry.”

The Festival Lab course can be found here, and the application can be completed here.