Every year a range of students from the BA Music Business and Arts management programme sign up to volunteer at the Hanwell Hootie, London’s largest non-ticketed music festival. The event, which typically attracts over 30,000 attenders, takes place in West London and is sponsored by the world-famous amp manufacturer Marshall, founded in Hanwell in 1960. Students take on a range of volunteering roles, from handing out wristbands to artist liaison and managing performances at individual venues. Volunteering gives students great practical experience and helps them connect theory learnt in modules such as Music and Arts Events to what happens in real life situations. The experience also looks great on their CVs, of course!

Third year students have the chance to go on a 6-month work placement with the Hanwell Hootie, where they have responsibility for specific tasks. The placement is part of the Professional Project module, which aims to provide a bridge between studying at university and the professional world. This year students Tony and Domenico were responsible for liaising with all 100 artists scheduled to perform at the Hootie. This saw them sending out contracts, requesting bibliographies and other information for inclusion in the festival brochure, and answering any technical and general queries the artists had.

The collaboration between Middlesex and the Hootie gives students great experience but also fills a need the festival has for volunteers and feedback has been glowing! As Festival Director Faye Hamilton wrote: “A BIG thank you to both of you for the AMAZING job you have done.  I know it’s a lot of work combined with your studies but you have been dedicated and done a great job!!  I hope you derived satisfaction seeing it come to fruition on Saturday and know that without wonderful people like you, the Hootie wouldn’t happen. After the long hours, I hope that you will look back with fondness and pride in the part you have played in this amazing event.”

Julia Haferkorn, Senior Lecturer and module leader ‘Music and Arts Events’ and ‘Professional Project’