VIDEO: Backstage Academy students graduate with Rock and Roll ceremony

It was a day of firsts as students graduated from live events education centre Backstage Academy.

It was the first time a graduation day had been held at its base in South Kirkby and the first ceremony to be produced entirely by students.

Graduation at Backstage Academy

Graduation at Backstage Academy

Around 80 people received their degree on Friday, after completing the academy's Live Events Production and Live Visual Design and Production courses.

And the ceremony, at Production Park, was a chance for them, and the centre's remaining students, to show off their skills.

The 'Rock and Roll' event featured lighting displays, video and pyrotechnics - and it certainly impressed guest of honour Prof George Holmes, Vice Chancellor at accrediting institution the University of Bolton.

As he took to the stage to congratulate students, he said he had "never seen a graduation quite like this".

Graduation at Backstage Academy

Graduation at Backstage Academy

He said: "You are breaking the mould. Here you are doing something very different and something that is very important to the country, to the economy and to the future of Britain."

Chris Vaughan, who has production managed around 250 tours and major events across the world, was also a guest of honour at the ceremony.

Mr Vaughan has worked with Take That, The Spice Girls, Biffy Clyro and Muse - and was the production director for the London 2012 Olympics Closing ceremony.

Congratulating the students, he said: "Now that you have graduated, I want to be the first to welcome you into our family of the respectably odd, and dysfunctional yet splendid individuals, otherwise known as roadies."

Dr Adrian Brooks, who founded the academy in 2009, paid tribute to the industry experts who continue to support it.

He said: "It is those people that will take on young people, nurture them and give them what I hope will be fabulous careers."

Backstage Academy specialises in degree courses and training programmes in the live events industry.

It is based at Production Park on Langthwaite Road in South Kirkby, the top live events production destination in Europe.

Prof Holmes said: "This is a unique and special place in terms of bringing people to job readiness and future creative opportunities that are probably unmatched anywhere else in the world.

"Adrian's' vision and desire to go from an academy to a full university, which I fully support, is not far away anymore."

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