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Norwich College's budding sound technicians go behind the scenes of Coldplay gig at the O2 arena in London

PUBLISHED: 10:00 22 December 2011 | UPDATED: 11:39 22 December 2011

Six Production Arts students from City College Norwich, who are more used to working in the College’s 250-seat theatre, will go behind the scenes at the 20,000 capacity O2 arena on Friday to see the fit up for Coldplay's sell-out concert. Pictured: Production Arts students Ashlie Mason, Evie Smith and Jonny Emery.

Six Production Arts students from City College Norwich, who are more used to working in the College's 250-seat theatre, will go behind the scenes at the 20,000 capacity O2 arena on Friday to see the fit up for Coldplay's sell-out concert. Pictured: Production Arts students Ashlie Mason, Evie Smith and Jonny Emery.

Terrez Price

Students from City College Norwich received an inspiring experience that put their dreams into perspective.

Six production arts students went behind the scenes of the mission impossible operation that is the stage set up for a gig by a massive band in a massive venue, Coldplay at the 02 Arena in London.

On Friday December 9, Evie Smith, Ashlie Mason, Jonny Emery, Morgan Ellis, Harry Lackey and Rory Woodhouse met with people they aspire to be in future - sound and lighting technicians and tour production staff working on big jobs in the music industry.

They also met with and learnt from Coldplay’s tour manager, and the main stage managers for Latitude Festival and Glastonbury. And for the young, budding backstagers, who are more used to the college’s 250-seat theatre, to be given exclusive and rare access in a 20,000 capacity venue was an eye opener.

“It was really useful, it broadened my knowledge and gave me perspective,” said 17 year old Rory Woodhouse, from Thunder Lane, Thorpe St Andrew.

“Watching them rigging the stage and set up the lights was exciting, we do things on a much smaller scale. The speed they work is impressive, they are quite pressed for time.

“It inspired me to follow my dream of working as a followspot operator.”

Mr Woodhouse wants to work the spotlight for major bands, he’s in one himself.

“I would love to work at Wembley or the 02, that’s the dream and hopefully I’m working towards it,” he said.

The six were given the opportunity through the National Skills Academy Creative and Cultural’s Production Day Visits programme.

Evie Smith, 17 from Southburgh, said: “It was good to see what we are aiming for, now we have a target.

“It was amazing, we are so lucky, not even 02 staff are allowed to see the set up.

“We learnt so much, it was run totally different to how I expected. It was a few hours before the gig, I expected it to be manic but they were so organised.”

The group didn’t meet the band, but Miss Smith doesn’t seem too bothered.

“It was more beneficial to see the set up of the gig, without that there would be no show.

“It would have been cool to meet the band, but much more useful to meet the unsung heroes.

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