Big Music, Plan B and Bags of Potential

Around 1,000 young people attended the Big Music Project event at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff on Saturday 11th October. Supported by the National Lottery Community Fund, The Big Music Project is a free music industry event offering young people the chance to network with music industry experts and special guests including PlanB. It offers master classes, workshops and seminars with people experienced in the music industry and our Communications Officer Rhian Richards was among the guests:

Young people enjoying learning music skills on computers
Young people learn new skills

On Saturday morning my alarm went off at 8:30am.

Annoyed and a little bleary eyed I wondered what my alarm was doing waking me so early on the weekend. Then I remembered; today I get to work at the Big Music Project live in Cardiff!!

Excited and a little nervous I jumped out of bed, and started getting ready.

I have been working here as a Communications Officer for two months and this was my first big event. I had the responsibility of Tweeting from both our Welsh and English accounts all day and chaperoning a VIP.  As I brushed my teeth my tummy was full of butterflies.  “Come on girl!” I said to myself, “You’ve got this in the bag. Now let’s go!”

As I arrived at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay the sun was dazzling off the copper dome, and there was an excited buzz in the air. In amongst the early morning joggers and walkers down the bay, the guests and performers were beginning to arrive.

I promptly got myself to the reception area where I was greeted by the site of an army of happy helpers all dressed in blue Big Music Project t shirts. These were young people who had volunteered to help out on the day and the smiles on their faces said they were all very excited to be there.

After dumping my bag and coat out of the way behind reception, I got to work.

I wanted to get a glimpse of the ‘Market Place’ before the hoard of eager young people arrived, so I went upstairs and started meandering through the plethora of stalls being set up.  It was quite obvious there was something for everyone on offer- from makeup stalls to karaoke booths, dressing up boxes spewing forth their feather boas and guitars of all kinds on display to tempt the keen guitarists to show off their talents.

As I turned around I caught my breath.  Above me was a huge Welsh dragon made of steel, roaring its silent roar over the ‘Market Place’.  It was spectacular!

The Market Place rsz
The Market Place

I started clicking away on my camera phone and Tweeting about what was going on.  As I did so the room in which I stood was beginning to fill with young people, all talking excitedly to each other about which stalls they wanted to visit and which performers they wanted to see.

“Do you think he’s here yet?” I heard one of them say, and I knew instantly of whom she spoke as I was thinking the very same thing.

Plan B.

I had been on tenterhooks all day waiting to catch a glimpse of the man himself, and I wasn’t the only one.  As I mingled with the crowds and chatted to the stall holders and young people the general hype of the event was spliced with a growing anticipation.

Everywhere I looked there were young people showcasing their talents. DJ master classes here, circus skills there, dancing, singing, rapping, laughing, it all added to the electric energy swirling around the building.

Then it was 3.30pm and the time had finally come to see the man himself.

We squeezed our way into the darkened room, the only lights the ones illuminating the stage and then he strutted onto the stage to an eruption of applause.

His session was amazing.  He really knew how to talk to and engage with young people, by telling them all about his childhood and youth and the things that had happened to him, the good and the gritty all intermingled with his sense of humour and witty retorts.  He had the crowd spellbound by his stories of a dark life in London with the eventual success of his later years.  It was a pleasure to listen to.

After his session it was time for me to leave for the day, and I left the building almost skipping, on a high from all the positive things I had witnessed and been part of that day and I reflected on how important it had been for the young people who attended.

A day that will be remembered with a smile for a long time to come.

Interested in getting involved in The Big Music Project or attending the Big Music Project live in Belfast? Find out more here.

Also take a look at this great blog by young person and Youth Cymru volunteer Megan Wigley-Jones, who wrote about her experience on Saturday.

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