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Lucy Babb

Ever wanted a job in festivals, specifically of the music and art form? Well, look no further than the General Manager of Larmer Tree Arts Ltd and Larmer Tree Festival, Lucy Babb.

We spoke with Lucy about her job role, what it entails and more importantly we found out how to steal her job!

Name: Lucy Babb
Job title: General Manager
Company: Larmer Tree Arts Ltd and Larmer Tree Festival

What does your job role entail?

I am responsible for all the day to day running of the company which produces the annual music and arts festival, Larmer Tree Festival on the Wiltshire/Dorset border.

Describe your working day or week?

I am largely office based, with some travel for meetings and visits to the festival site. On a typical day, I would check emails before I even get to the office – there can often be updates and changes that need responding to. There’s no set working pattern, so priorities can shift around regularly. I am in constant contact with our fantastic team who I work with to put the festival together each year. In a typical week, I could be looking at the festival site layout and options for site decor, merchandise, design for our printed programme and suggesting options for our music and arts line-up. Plus keeping an eye on the finances, infrastructure, booking, marketing and making sure everyone is on track with deadlines. There are often a lot of balls in the air!

Which key skills do you need to do your job?

Ability to multi-task, efficiency, creativity, attention to detail, a passion for creating an amazing audience experience.

What made you decide to go for this job role?

I caught the festival bug when I was at university and landed a production role at Glastonbury and then Larmer Tree Festival. I was offered a full-time role at Larmer Tree in 2006 and I’ve never looked back!

The best part of your job?

No two years are the same in this job. There are ups and downs and a huge sense of achievement when everything comes together. The team works so closely and are so supportive – it feels like family.

The worst part of your job?

Visits to the festival site in the winter are often very cold, but we keep ourselves the warm with a flask of coffee and biscuits – always in the company of the resident peacocks! When the festival is being built and then live the hours are long and it’s a high-pressure environment – it’s hard, but you must thrive in this environment to succeed in the industry.

If I’m choosing a course to study, what type of course suits this job best?

There isn’t a requirement for a formal qualification, although I have a BA in Arts Management. A combination of practical and theoretical modules gives a good grounding for planning and running your own events.

Does work experience really help you to get a dream job?

Experience is essential to develop your skills, build a network of contacts and to ultimately help you decide which role suits you best.

Give us a tip on how to steal your job.

I started by offering my services as a volunteer at festivals, so contact those you would like to be a part of. Once you’re in the door then listen carefully, never be afraid to ask a ‘silly’ question (I still do now!), and always put your best foot forward – you never know who may be useful to your career progressing in the future.

Go to the Larmer Tree Festival for more info

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