It’s not often you get a careers ‘festival’ that actually resembles the kind associated with beer-soaked fields hosting live music. In this sense, ERIC Festival has really pulled out all the stops. The Hospital Club, nestled into Covent Garden’s kooky vintage-clad streets, provides the perfect venue. Every corner of the dimly lit room is filled with exhibitors and interactive technology, even free professional headshots and CV advice. Intermittently, young artists get up onto a makeshift stage to perform their material. The energy is curious and supportive. TED Talks meets Glasto on this sharp February Sunday.
It’s especially encouraging to see the presence of major record labels here. Not only does Warner give a talk on their hiring process, there is even a chance to secure a marketing internship with them. Applicants send in their proposals for a marketing strategy that will get their favourite artist into the press (I will certainly be taking on this challenge!). Such an unconventional hiring approach is so refreshing. Warner is demonstrating their emphasis on pure talent, rather than previous experience or qualifications. Everyone is now given the equal chance they deserve.
For those looking to take their first steps in the music industry, ERIC Festival provides the starting point. The crux of advice from the people I met? Enthusiasm, initiative, interaction. With that in mind, it’s time to get started.