Creative Futures Programme Day 5: Event Planning

Event planning was today’s sole focus at Lives Not Knives, as Alison Surtees helped us with the thorough planning of our live music event on July 26th.  Alison has a background in film, which then led to her setting up a couple of social enterprises, and she now works freelance.

Alison wanted to find out where we’re at in regards to planning our event, as well as understanding what plans we have set out at the current time.  She told us that we want to think about why we’re putting the event on, who our target audience are, what the time scale of the event will be and what else might be going on that day which could give us a headache.


We were also provided with some words of wisdom from Alison, who said: “Negotiating skills are crucial when having an event.”  She also told us about the 3 Bs – Beg, Blag, Borrow – which we need to do in order for us to get what we need, as using all of our contacts is extremely useful.

However, we also had to face the fact that no matter how well we may plan an event, there is always something that will go wrong.  Alison says that there is”always something you’ve got to think about” and that once you start dealing with external partners, you also need to consider their time scale.  We have to get into the mindset of thinking like event managers and be able to manage people, as well as locations.


We also discussed the RAG system – Red, Amber, Green – for the risk assessment.  If you start to see red, then do not do it or neutralise the problem immediately.  If you think amber, then have a discussion with the group regarding your decision, and if you think green, then it’s all good.

Alison told us that we are “firefighting from the moment [we] start”, so we need to consider our backup and have a Plan B, as well as an emergency plan, in place just in case our Plan A fails.  She also said to us that today was going to be the first day of our event planning, which we got stuck right into by being split into two groups – girls versus boys.

We wrote down as much information as possible and went through the ins and outs of the event, such as permits, health and safety, uniform and promotion.  We were also allocated official roles, so that we are now able to carry out particular tasks that will get the ball rolling.


Fast-thinking Tara (17) found our first official artist, who she met through the Momentum 2014 Youth Conference, while Rodney P – who is leading the event – was able to get in contact with an individual he knows within the industry who has also agreed to perform at the event.

Andrae (23) and myself (21) were close behind, as we confirmed two more great young artists later in the day, while Nia (17), Ijeoma (24) and Damian (24) are on the case, as they continue to make contact with more potential acts.


However, all of our current acts are male and we are still looking for a band, so please get in contact if you would like to perform (Facebook: Shaniqua Benjamin; Twitter: @ShanqMarie/@YPInsight).  We would also love to some more young people working with us, so if you are 16-24 and on Jobseekers, then come to the Lives Not Knives unit in Centrale next Tuesday at 2pm.

Be on the look out for our official Facebook page and Twitter account, which will be coming soon.  We can’t wait to interact with you.


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