The Festival . Photo Credit: Steven Sibbald.

This year is the 21st year of Manchester Jazz Festival, and I was lucky enough to do my placement there as a Marketing Assistant. Manchester Jazz Festival has happened every year since 1996, with both national and international artists. This year, the 10 days festival takes place from 22nd to 31st of July, with 81 gigs, 550 artists and 9 venues across Manchester City Centre.

The mjf team is a very small team, I was surprised by how such a well-organised event as the UK’s leading jazz festival is delivered by such a small team. The first I heard about the festival was during a presentation given by the Artistic Director of the Manchester Jazz Festival, Steve Mead. From his presentation, I could see how passionate he was about the festival and I could also see the amount of work the team needed to do for the festival!

As I did my undergraduate degree in marketing, and as I want to further develop my marketing skills, I chose to be the Marketing Assistant. It is an exciting time to join the marketing team, as the jazz festival is trying to build a new image for jazz. Last year, mjf had a significant change in terms of the marketing theme; it used a colourful painting for its marketing materials. The creative theme of mjf2016 is ‘Rethink Jazz’, which aims to inspire people to develop a new perspective of jazz. My main responsibilities are to look after the social media accounts and the website, drafting newsletters as well as researching different projects for the future development of mjf. As the placement will continue until the end of the festival, I believe I will be given more responsibilities and gain more exciting experiences.

The mjf team is very friendly and always willing to help. My line manager Diane always asks me what I want to get involved with, and give me the tasks according to my interests. She also brings me to meetings with different mjf’s partners, which I find very useful for me in terms of understanding their relationship with mjf and learning the communication skills from my manager. There are challenges sometimes, but Diane always encourages me and gives me as much help as she can.

This placement is a great opportunity to learn how a festival is organised and how to promote a festival. After all the assignments are handed in, I will devote more time to the festival as I know mjf will help me to develop the skills that I want as long as I am willing to. I am now really looking forward to the festival; it will also be the first time for me to see the Manchester Jazz Festival!