Part Two: Getting to know the SupaJam Stage Crew

Black Deer Supajam

This is the second post in a five part series, from the brilliant Katie – a student of SupaJam.
You can read her first post, here. In which she sets the scene for the series she’s writing, and the adventure she’s on with us here at Black Deer.
Time now though, for part two. So once again, over to you Katie…


It’s Now or Never

The ball has finally started rolling (someone pinch me, no way is this happening).
How has it happened to us though? How have a colourful bunch of misfits from Swanley got the opportunity to book, manage and run our very own stage at the first ever Black Deer Festival of Americana and country?
It seems that Gill (co-founder of Black Deer) previously worked with David Court and Nick Stillwell (SupaJam founders) therefore the relationship between them was already there. I wonder what hooked them to Black Deer though? It transpires it was ‘how passionate Gill is’ and how the concept of Black Deer isn’t just another ‘Muddy festival’.
Nick enlightened me on his personal attachment saying that he ‘would really want to go’ to Black Deer because of the ‘great food, music and lifestyle that is going to be on offer all under the Americana umbrella’. As a result, it sounds like a no-brainer.
Now, it’s time to start learning the ropes. But what’s everyone been doing?

Black Deer Festival SupJam

Well, the sound crew has been learning a ‘bunch of different activities to help build team, communication and quick thinking skills’.
The booking team has been ‘reviewing email submissions, watching artists performances on Youtube and similar platforms as well as having meetings with Bev Burton (head of booking) to speak about who would be best to perform’.
Artist liaison has been ‘learning communication skills, how to look after artists over the weekend and how to separate the Blue M and M’s from the red ones!’.
That’s not just it though, photography has been getting themselves equipped by ‘checking the weather for the day and practising taking photos in similar conditions to help us be prepared and know what equipment will work best’.
I wonder how everyone is feeling though…
Michael from the Sound crew said ‘I’m super hyped about doing this sort of thing because it’s an opportunity I never thought I’d have and it will be my first music festival’.

John from Booking said ‘I think it’s good and it’s been interesting to learn the booking process, it’s just a fantastic opportunity I’m grateful for’.
Damon from Artist Liaison said ‘I feel pretty good about it, it’s a really great opportunity for me’.
Jason from Photography said ‘I’m excited because it will be a good opportunity for my career and will be good to see the final result as well as experience the Americana lifestyle’.
For some of us, it will be the first taste of real pressure when we help out at the Black Deer launch event on June 7th at the terrific Tunbridge Wells Forum. We’re going to be lucky enough to see some of the countries best emerging Americana and country bands and artists who will be awarded a slot on one of the stages.
David Court, Co-founder of SupaJam who has photographed some of the world’s leading bands at Glastonbury, Benicassim and others said ‘The launch event is going to be amazing – not only for the students but to see some of the amazing artists that will be headlining in years to come’.
Personally, I am just so grateful for this golden opportunity to interview Bev, Gill, Debs and the Black Deer crew along with some of the artists. Another chance to build my CV, polish my skills ready for working in the music industry – from what I’ve been told I’m going to need all the experience and skills I can get – the industry is the survival of the fittest.
Countdown to D-Day now begins, with less than a month to go!
It’s now or never, we’ve been given the lemons now just got to make the lemonade.
Katie x