MUTI Live: Forging industry careers

Nick Young-Wolfe, Director of MUTI Live, shares the crucial training the company is providing for industry newcomers.

Founded in 2022 in the wake of many roadies leaving the industry, live arts and events training provider MUTI Live is making leaps and bounds to bring a new generation into the live events space. With the name of the company coming from South African origin, where Young-Wolfe was born, MUTI stands for magic and healing – everything the industry needed after the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we were emerging from the weirdness of COVID-19, something struck me as a fundamental truth,” Young-Wolfe began. “Coming together in person is a core part of being alive and plays a magic and healing role in our lives. Humans are social animals and thrive in the live experience in a way that we simply can’t do online or in virtual environments. So, our philosophy is to do what we can to help live experiences, and those who make them thrive.”

With the pandemic decimating a significant section of the sector, with both venues and staff struggling, MUTI Live was set up in direct response to the staffing crisis as well as the lack of diversity. Young-Wolfe elaborated: “Our directors come from the industry and so we felt compelled to do something about the shrinking talent pipeline. We didn’t initially set out to become a training provider, more to support the sector with information about the rich range of jobs and experiences. However, when we realised that the problem was not just the failure of storytelling from our sector about careers but the lack of non-debt-laden pathways into them, we knew we had to do something that would have more of a direct impact.”

MUTI Live is attempting to change the perception of how apprenticeships work in the industry, but not in a hurry as Young-Wolfe explained that there is no quick fix for this issue, and that instead, the company is working towards career longevity in the industry by training people properly.

“We have a commitment to contributing to something larger than ones own monthly targets,” commented Young-Wolfe. “Our mixed approach of apprenticeships, Skills Bootcamps and bespoke workforce development training are designed to provide a range of short to long term solutions for new recruits and existing staff.”

Having shifted back to in-person learning, Young-Wolfe assured TPi that ‘live is best’. “We are very interested in the role of immersive technologies and have been actively trialling their use in our recruitment and training, but this is still to serve as real-life experiences,” Young-Wolfe explained.

For MUTI Live’s goals to work, the wider industry must get on board with their mission. “We need the industry to become more proactive in their approach to understanding alternate pathways – what they are, how they work, and the potential benefits both in terms of numbers and diversity,” he concluded.

MUTI Live is currently working with regional, national and international organisations from its base in Bristol and started delivering its training in February 2024 and is currently working with five organisations that have each taken on one apprentice, with four more lined up for a start in the autumn. Through its Skills Bootcamps programme, MUTI Live is working with a further six organisations to deliver training for 44 new and existing workers between now and April 2025, covering technician, producer, leadership and management roles.

Words: Alicia Pollitt

Photos: MUTI Live