From working as a freelance professional with clients including Kendal Calling, Parklife, and The Warehouse Project, Sam Constable certainly knows a thing or two about the events industry.
We recently sat down with Sam after his Creative Spirit session to chat about his career to date, the real life behind the scenes experience at festivals, and his advice to those looking to start freelancing.
Thanks for sitting down with us today Sam. You did a talk today for our Creative Spirit sessions, how did it go?
It was great, the students were engaged, and they were asking the right questions at the end which is good. I’ve got a lot of love for Spirit, and I think you guys are really good at what you do. The students we get from here are always really switched on and really well rounded. It’s a pleasure to work with you guys, you always have the right attitude, and I think we have a great partnership.
That’s great to hear. So, tell us, how did you become involved with From the Fields?
I had previously worked with Kendal Calling as a volunteer, and I got an internship with From The Fields (who own Kendal Calling) as a Festival Assistant, and then I ended up doing a paid role for two of their festivals. From The Fields and I work well together on Kendal Calling and it’s amazing to work with such well-established professionals because it helps you become better at your own role.
Can you tell us a little more about what an artist liaison does?
An artist liaison is responsible for organising everything artists need to perform outside of the production. And so, it could be everything from organising transport flights or ground transport, to doing their laundry, organizing catering, or anything else they need to be able to perform.
Very interesting. Have you had any crazy requests from artists in the past?
One artist wanted a helicopter which was an interesting request. I notice trends change every year though, so one year everyone is requesting candles and the next they’re requesting a particular brand of vodka. Or, now everyone is trying to be healthy, so Kombucha is a request I get often. It’s quite interesting to see the trends come and go.
Why did you decide to start freelancing?
Good question. I decided to go down the freelance route as I really don’t like offices. I’m not a fan of being cooped up all day and I find it difficult to do one thing for a long period of time. The freedom and diversity of freelancing really intrigued me, and now I have the ability to work literally anywhere and get the work done.
On top of that, what advice would you give to students who are looking to become freelancers?
Everything is a stepping stone. No matter the job, everything leads to something else, so it’s important to get out there and keep pursuing things and meeting people. A lot of people expect to get paid right away but it’s absolutely not like that, you have to earn your stripes.
I’d also say don’t rush things, just let them progress naturally. If you keep talking to the right people, taking the right opportunities and working hard you will reach your goal. But you can’t rush it or you’ll never get there.
What are some of the issues you face when working with larger festivals as opposed to smaller ones?
The most challenging part is getting to know who people are, who you should be speaking to, and most importantly, how you fit into the whole hierarchy. One thing I find is Artist Liaison’s can be looked down on because people just assume you’re there just to get some drinks for people, so I find I’m constantly having to explain my job and defend its importance.
We’d love to know who you’re listening to right now.
I’m really in to the new Iggy Pop album at the minute, as well as Idles in general. I tend to listen to the radio more than anything, so I’ll just bounce between different genres depending on my mood. I kind of love everything.
Before you go tell us, are there any projects you’re currently working on that you’re excited about?
I’m really excited about this year’s Kendal Calling, it’s their fifteenth year which is a massive milestone. It’s amazing to see how much it’s grown over the past few years and be part of it.