Since March, digital training and workshops have been made available in almost every avenue of the world of live music. There is no doubt that this plethora of resources has been of vital importance while the events industry has been on this extended hiatus – however, a common issue with these forms of content is the lack of immediate interaction. This is where Sonic Workshops comes in.
Founded by Danny Harvey [Tour & Production Manager / Sound Engineer] and George Donoghue [Audio Engineer, Producer and Head Music Production at Waterbear, Brighton], the goal of Sonic Workshops is to build a community of forward-thinking, ambitious people from across the events sector to offer one-to-one online mentoring to those looking to follow in their footsteps.
“It all started when George asked me to write a module on Tour Management from one of the classes at Waterbear,” stated Harvey. Following this entry into education, Harvey and Donoghue began to have conversations about the possibility of mentoring and the importance of giving young people first-hand information as they start their careers.
The end result was Sonic Workshops – an online database of mentors covering a broad range of specialities, from music PR, to tour managing, recording, and live sound. Although the site serves as a resource for up-and-coming musicians and bands, there is clearly a pool of resources for those wanting to get into the business side of the industry, too. In the past few weeks, the team have been in discussions with a number of FOH Engineers and LDs, who are looking to join the group of mentors to pass on their advice to those looking to follow in their footsteps.
“The site gives people a chance to start networking,” explained Harvey echoing the old adage for success – “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Each mentor is available for a one-on-one chat, which can be booked on the site. The team have also now rolled out a subscriptions service which, for £20 a month, entitles you to a session each month with a selection of mentors or a regular chat with the same mentor.
“It has been strange speaking to people and giving advice on tour managing during this time while we don’t have a date when we know that events will return,” admitted Harvey. “That said, to everyone I’ve spoken to so far, I’ve pushed the importance of being positive and reminded them that it’s important for people to remember your name for when events come back.”
This article originally appeared in issue #255 of TPi, which you can read here.