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UCLan music management student celebrates ska event success


A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) music student is celebrating his success after organising a specialist music event in Blackpool.

48 year-old music industry management and promotion student Colin Appleby organised the ska extravaganza ‘Coast Town’ in Blackpool, which has been hailed a great success and featured 10 bands over the two-day event, including 2 Tone icons The Selecter, The Specials’ lead guitarist Roddy ‘Radiation’ Byers, Heavy Sol and Colin’s own band Ska Face.

Over 1,200 ska music fans descended on the Winter Gardens for the charity fundraiser, with people travelling from far and wide, including Holland, to the specialist music event, which has raised money for the Alzheimer’s Society. The charity was chosen as Colin tragically lost two grandparents to dementia.

Colin said: “The event was a huge success, a milestone in my career and certainly one for the memory bank. Life is full of experiences and that was certainly one that will stay with me as long as I live.”

Colin, who cites legendary music icon Peter Hook as one of his influencers, added: “I’ve always had a passion for music, both from performing as a musician through to running many of the bands I have been a member of over the years. The music industry management and promotion (MIMP) course has provided the opportunity to focus this passion and experience into developing a career within the music industry.

“The two-year course has been instrumental in giving me the confidence to undertake the management of such a large scale event and has given me a deeper understanding of the demands and requirements of the niche and wider music markets.”

The renowned British musician Peter Hook, whose musical career has spanned four decades, has close links with the University’s postgraduate music course and provided Colin with support in the run up to the event.  

Colin concluded: “I’ve had some great opportunities provided to work alongside established industry professionals, along with dedicated support by these and the academic team, allowing me to build a network of professional contacts. The support of the visiting professionals and consultants involved within the programme have also been second to none.”

Les Gillon, course leader for the Music Industry Management and Promotion course added: "Colin has done an outstanding job in creating this exciting and highly successful event. He really exemplifies the ethos of the course in that his work exists not just in the lecture theatre, but out in the highly competitive world of the commercial music industry."

UCLan associate lecturer Tony Rigg, who helped develop the course, said: "We have a range of students who come to study on our MA Music Industry Management and Promotion programme, ranging from people looking to enter the industry, to those who are looking to fine tune or focus their practice, and everything in between. Colin came with the intention of refining his skills to facilitate taking his practice to the next level and that is exactly what he has done. Colin's ambitious Coast Town Music Festival was a resounding success. It was expertly delivered and I am delighted to see he has already booked the venue for next year’s Coast Town."

Peter Hook, Honorary Fellow of UCLan and one of the course’s industrial mentors added: “Colin is a really good example of the sort of activity that can be developed on the course. What he has achieved is very impressive. Promoting is one of the most difficult parts of this business. These are the people who take all the chances and live right on the sharp the mercy of the public. Congratulations to Colin on his success. It is a great testament to the strength of the course and its teachers and mentors.”

Aaron Mellor, course mentor and leading British music venue and festival operator concluded: “Colin's event brought in people from all over the UK and even mainland Europe. This kind of activity has clear benefits to the region's economy and I am delighted to see it looks like Colin is going to make this a yearly fixture.”