Neg Earth Lights X Women in Live Music Workshop
In collaboration with Women in Live Music (WILM), we were thrilled to have held our first beginner’s workshop to educate and offer advice to women who are striving to enter the world of lighting.
At Neg Earth Lights we are passionate about taking action to make a positive change, and whilst Neg have made a conscious effort over many years to introduce more women into the workplace and bridge the gap of gender inequality, the sad reality remains that far less women are working within the live events industry than men.
Roles such as Lighting Technicians, Power Technicians and Riggers are held predominantly by men, and with shocking statistics from Zippia showing that only 13.4% of Light Technicians are women. Here at Neg we want to change this.
Moreover, Neg Earth Lights is a family-run business and was founded by Dave and Pip Ridgway. With an inspiring female figure as one of the Managing Directors, Pip is passionate about the company helping to make a difference and encourage more women into the live events industry. In the panel discussion, Neg Project Manager Lindsey Markham, told the guests, ‘For me, in this industry I’ve always felt that I couldn’t find the routes in. Now, I think we are getting better at finding these routes in for people and I really think this forum is amazing,’ showing how passionate the Neg team are for offering these opportunities, inspired by their own first-hand experiences.
In honour of International Women’s Day on the 8th of March 2023, Neg Earth Lights collaborated with the incredible team at Women in Live Music, offering exclusive workshops at our in-house studio, LH3. The event was a packed day of learning, networking, and lots of fun! A special mention to the women at WILM, including Olive Olin and Malle Kaas for assisting with the workshop, and Neg’s Marketing Manager, Tanya Kanani, who had carefully planned and hosted the event.
The response to the event was incredible with tickets selling out within the first hour of release! Additionally, there were over 30 people signed up to the waiting list for the event, showing its popularity amongst women aspiring to enter the live events industry, highlighting the current demand for career guidance and support within this industry.
The workshops were split into the specialities of lighting, rigging and power, with the guests alternating between sessions. The lighting workshop was led by Neg’s Technical Solutions Manager Joao Magalhaes and Lighting Designer Subul Lodi. The workshop explored the 4 key stages in the live event lighting process; Design, Preparation, Delivery and Practical. The guests not only gained theory-based knowledge in the sessions, but also gained hands-on experience operating the impressive GrandMA console. The rigging workshop was set up by Neg’s in-house Motors and Rigging Manager Rick Williamson, and the workshop was run by WILM member and rigger Ida Maria Borgstrom. This workshop involved teaching the guests to float a pre-built truss grid, showing them how to build and install baskets onto the grid and land the grid. This interactive approach to the workshop was a fantastic way for the guests to learn through practical application. The third was a Power workshop, set up by Carl Garner, Neg’s Electrical Specialist, and Maintenance Technician Bernice Roust and led by Bernice herself. In the workshop, Bernice educated the guests on Power Theory, as well as incorporating a hands-on practical application to her workshop.
Following these sessions was the panel Q+A, where the all-female panel discussed barriers within the live events industry and how to overcome them. The panel featured the Production Manager Alice James, Neg Project Manager Lindsey Markham, Lighting Designer Subul Lodi, Rigger Ida Maria and Ambersphere Key Account Manager Briony Berning. The audience had a chance to ask questions at the end, which explored how to confidently enter the industry, choose a specific area in the live events sector, and connect with professionals.
On this amazing day, jointly sponsored by Neg and Ambersphere, to ensure this opportunity was accessible regardless of individual circumstances, the group had networking drinks, where the guests, female panel, and workshop leaders had the chance to socialise and make new connections. To put an end to the day the guests left armed with swag from both Ayrton and Neg and a sense that with us, everything is possible.
An inspiring message taken from Lindsey Markham during the panel discussion was; ‘‘If you think you can do it and no one’s giving it to you, go and get it, go and ask for it… go and execute it well.’
Keep an eye out for our future initiatives where you can learn to be a part of the incredible and diverse lighting community!
In collaboration with: Women in Live Music
Networking drinks supplied by: Ambersphere
Event Planner: Tanya Kanani