Taking Charge of Your Performance Career 2023: Engaging with Venues

Taking Charge of Your Performance Career 2023: Engaging with Venues

Taking Charge of Your Performance Career 2023: Engaging with Venues
Music Network presents a two-day training course for professional performing musicians working in all genres. This course will help you to develop the confidence, knowledge and practical skills needed to work effectively with venues.

Delivered in partnership with leading Irish performance venues Garter Lane and Lime Tree Theatre | Belltable, and industry professionals, the course will offer resources, practical tips and professional support on a range of topics including effective sound checking, preparing stage plans and technical specs, contracts and insurance, preparing your press kit, marketing, and creating digital content for promotion.

The course also includes a short photo session with a professional photographer from which participants will receive digital files of professional photos at no additional cost.

Course details

We are running this in person course in both Waterford and Limerick. Each course will run over two full days:

  • 21 November, 9.30am to 4.30pm & 22 November, 9.30am to 5.30pm at Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford
  • 29 November, 9.30am to 4.30pm & 30 November, 9.30am to 5.30pm at Lime Tree Theatre | Belltable, Limerick

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

This two-day package is offered at a cost of €75 including booking fee. Please note that course participants in Limerick will receive a full refund of course fees on completion of the course, with thanks to support from Limerick City and County Council Arts Office.

Information and enquiries

For more information and enquiries please contact Sarah Ledwidge at programmesadmin@musicnetwork.ie or on 01 475 0224.

Day 1, 9.30am-4.30pm – An Introduction to Working with Venues

Session 1 Behind the Scenes with venue staff
- an introduction to how a venue operates. During this session you will meet the various venue staff and learn their roles, as well as having a tour of the venue.
Session 2 Taking to the Stage with Mairéad O’Reilly & venue staff
- this session will focus on preparing a stage plan and tech spec for your performance and provide tips on lighting and effective sound checking. Participants will receive templates and checklists to assist them in staging their performances.
Session 3
Partnerships and Paperwork with Orla Flanagan- an overview of deals and agreements between artists and venues (including invoicing and insurance), tips on planning tours and building strong partnerships with venues
Session 4 Photogra
phy with Davi Matheson in Waterford and Keith Wiseman in Limerick - photo session for each participant is included in the course fee (10 min slot per participant within this session). Tips on what to wear, how to pose for a professional photo etc. will be provided by the photographer and shared with participants in advance.

Day 2, 9.30am-5.30pm - Showcasing Yourself and Your Work

Session 1 Photography - continued from day 1
Session 2 Bio Clinic with Liz Powell
- how to write convincingly about yourself and your work. The session will include group work and discussion, and participants will receive examples and templates. Participants are invited to share examples of their own bios in advance and receive personalised feedback at the session.
Session 3 Prepping your Marketing & Press Kit with venue and Music Network communications staff
- Tips for showcasing your work when approaching venues and providing venues with high-quality materials to promote your performance. This session will include an overview of the contents of a press kit, insights into a venue’s marketing timeline, and an introduction to creating and contributing to press releases.
Session 4 Creating Digital Content with Jess Harkin
- A guide to creating the type of content that will help venues promote your concert. This session will include tips for optimising your use of social media, simple dos and don’ts of designing digital content, tips and tricks for smartphone videography and photography, and a basic guide to smartphone editing.

Meet the presenters

Photographers Davi Matheson (Waterford) and Keith Wiseman (Limerick) will be taking participants photos at the sessions.

Mairéad O’Reilly

Mairéad O’Reilly

Mairéad O’Reilly is primarily a live sound engineer. She formed her own sound reinforcement company and worked freelance for 20 years. Her specialisation has been engineering high quality sound for acoustic music. She has provided sound reinforcement for national and international concerts, festivals & tours and has also engineered live events for major recording artistes such as Altan, John Martyn, Rhiannon Giddens and Townes Van Zandt among others.

Mairéad holds a master’s degree in Digital Media Technologies from TU Dublin where she majored in Audio. She is also an AVID Certified Pro Tools Trainer.


Orla Flanagan

Orla Flanagan

Orla Flanagan has twenty-three years of arts management, producing and programming experience in live performance. She is currently Senior Producer at Once Off Productions, which provides creative and flexible supports to a range of independent performing artists. Orla was previously Director at glór, a thriving 500 seat theatre and arts centre in Ennis, and led a wide range of creative projects and artists initiatives alongside a dynamic year-round multi-genre programme for over six years.

Prior to this, Orla worked in the UK as Theatre Producer at Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival from January 2012, as General Manager at the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill (2011) and was Producer & General Manager at Fishamble: The New Play Company for five years.

Liz Powell

Liz Powell

Liz Powell is an Arts and Cultural Manager with extensive experience in a range of contexts and organisations for over 30 years. She is currently working in a freelance capacity and has worked most recently with the Arts Officer in Tipperary County Council to develop Tipperary’s second Arts Strategy. She has worked with a number of other agencies and organisations to develop strategically.

A regular member of arts funding assessment panels, she also has also worked in an advisory capacity to develop new funding initiatives and to review existing funding schemes and programmes. She has wide experience in managing change in organisations and creating more effective and efficient working environments and received a First Class Honours Post Graduate Certificate in Change Leadership from LIT (now TUS) in 2021.

Jess Harkin

Jess Harkin

Jess Harkin is a Social Media and Marketing specialist who has spent over 5 years immersed in the world of digital content creation for the arts. Her journey began as a Public Relations Officer for Dramsoc at the University of Galway. This led to multiple social media management positions for various arts organizations, pubs, and businesses.

Jess went on to pursue a Master’s in Digital Media, where she honed her skills in creating engaging digital content through graphic design, video editing, and sound design. She is now the owner of Sóisialta, a social media and marketing agency for creatives by creatives.

In addition to her work in digital marketing, Jess is also the Creative Director of Hysteria Teatar and a freelance director and producer in Virtual Reality and Theatre. In her workshops, Jess aims to share her knowledge and passion for digital content creation so that fellow creatives can create compelling online narratives relating to their work, which will establish a strong connection with their online audiences.