Alex Duncan, MD of The Main Stage, introduces his company to the industry. 

In 2008, I was a university dropout chugging in Birmingham.

My career prospects were non-existent until I was handed a flyer advertising a new 10k capacity student festival. I decided to ask the man who handed me the flyer if he could introduce me to his boss, so that I could pitch for an opportunity to work at the event…

It turned out the man handing out flyers in the street was actually the festival owner and managing director, on his way to a meeting. He invited me to an interview in Liverpool the following week and six months later I was licensee and area manager for the festival he had been promoting.

It is now almost 10 years later and I am pleased to say my career has improved. Regrettably the same cannot be said for the recruitment process undertaken by most festivals and creative events employers.

I’m sure you’ve heard that this industry is all about who-you-know, an ethos that has negatively impacted on many at entry level and (perhaps more surprisingly) lots of employers.

Who-you-know isn’t always available and isn’t always the best person for the job (yes, I said it). Advertising your positions to a wider pool of talent and implementing a fair and effective recruitment process can provide employers with an opportunity to establish which applicant is the best candidate. This will ultimately drive the business forward and finding the ideal hire is much more cost effective than having to manage the wrong candidate.

Our industry is powered by a hardworking, skilled workforce. They are the key resource of any festival and event organising team and a business’ greatest asset. Most employers recognise this, so why is it so difficult for so many to access this industry and so hard for employers to effectively recruit?

As a manager, responsible for hiring and training teams working across multiple events contracts, I have struggled to find a recruitment solution that meets the following criteria:

  • Relevant
  • Affordable
  • Provides administrative support

So, I decided to make it happen. The Main Stage is hard launching in March 2017.

If you’re looking for a career in festivals and events you can sign up now as an Early Bird Member and benefit from a large discount on our Pro Membership.

Employers, if you’re looking to reach the largest pool of talent and improve the standard of application you receive thanks to targeted advertising, then you should advertise on