The Ferret launches free live music industry training programme

Posted on - 20th April, 2024 - 6:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Education, Music, Preston News, University campus, What's On in Preston
Sound Check learners doing the sound for a band on stage Pic: Robin Clewley
Sound Check is a training programme built by the live music industry, for the live music industry Pic: Robin Clewley

Preston’s legendary grassroots venue The Ferret is launching a live music industry training programme.

The Sound Check programme is designed to introduce people to the skills they need to pursue careers in the live music sector, leading to paid employment or further study.

It is open to people aged 19 and over living in the Preston area, who have a passion for live music and an interest in making it their career. No previous experience is required and it is free to access.

The programme – which is made up of study alongside work experience at The Ferret – focuses on technical production and live music event management. It features guest speakers from the industry and covers a range of roles, from sound engineers to event managers, lighting designers to artist liaison.

An independent group project will enable participants to use their new skills to deliver a live event, and learners will also have the opportunity to get additional hands-on experience at weekend or evening shows and at nearby venues.

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Matt Fawbert, General Manager at The Ferret, said: “We’re excited to start delivering the Sound Check programme at The Ferret.

“It’s important for us to deliver training that makes jobs in the music and events industry tangible and achievable for local people.”

A Sound Check learner at a mixing desk Pic: Robin Clewley
The Sound Check programme covers a range of roles including sound engineer Pic: Robin Clewley

Sound Check was created by Future Yard, a community music venue in Birkenhead, in partnership with Liverpool-based training provider The Learning Foundry.

After the success of the programme in Merseyside, the training is expanding to Preston to support even more music lovers into careers in live events and the music industry.

A large number of previous Sound Check learners have progressed to live music industry careers – from apprenticeships with local events company Adlib to London’s Royal Opera House, or staging weekend festivals and open mic nights at Future Yard.

Read more: Family-friendly Lancashire Festival returning to Preston’s Miller Park for 2024

One participant, Jacob, has progressed into paid work at Future Yard since completing the course. They said: “Sound Check is a brilliant way to get hands-on experience in the industry. I’ve enjoyed being here when bands are loading in and helping with the stage setup – it’s not just being told about it in a classroom.

“It’s given me a lot of experience and I hope to stay on working at Future Yard, getting more experience in this venue and then to work at other venues. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in music. It is a great insight and gives you a good foot in the door.”

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The live music industry is worth £1.1bn each year to the UK economy and is exported around the world. It has been growing at 10 per cent year on year and offers fulfilling creative careers across a range of job roles.

Sound Check starts on Tuesday 30 April. For more information, and to apply, visit the Future Yard website.

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This story was made possible by support from you, our readers and a host of organisations in the city, through our Crowdfund Lancashire appeal, which unlocked support from the Lancashire Culture and Sport Fund provided by Lancashire County Council. You can see all our coverage and, if you know of an event or arts project in the city we should be covering, send details to

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