LMA, a music, media and performing arts institution co-owned by Robbie Williams, welcomed more than 2,500 of its students to the inaugural YOU Festival at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena (cap. 11,000).

The event, which took place from 22-23 January, featured conferences, panels and workshops from the likes of John Bishop, members of Bastille, Don Broco and The Courteeners.

By night, the arena turned into an indoor campsite with more than 200 eco-friendly cardboard tents, a solution LMA devised to offer affordable and safe accommodation to attendees. All the tents were packed up at the end of the festival and will be reused each year.

The arena also hosted evening activities including performances from LMA Level 6 students, cinema screens, a silent disco and an indoor funfair.

LMA has announced a six-year partnership with the M&S Bank Arena for future festivals.

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During the event, more than 100 industry specialists hosted workshops in music, film and TV, dance, acting, gaming and musical theatre. Industry guests included those from YouTube, Sky, Soundcloud, EMI, ITV Academy, Channel 4, Primary Talent, Kilimanjaro Group, Scruff of the Neck, Beggars Group, Glastonbury, Edinburgh Fringe, Fremantle UK and Little Dot Studios.

The final panel of the event featured Michael Loney (manager of Robbie Williams), Richard Wallace (chief executive of LMA), Simon Moran (managing director of SJM concerts) and Lucas Green (COO of Banijay).

LMA CEO Richard Wallace said, “LMA has always placed a huge importance on exposing our students to those in the industry. But we wanted to go one better, to create something that genuinely brings you in the same room as these people, allows you to chat, to be spotted, and to really be inspired.”