Hello, I’m using this page so the reader will know I’m always seeking new collaborations, projects, or a job, in the North West of England. Consider it an online Curriculum Vitae of sorts, only a little less formal and involving less paper.
My main interest is in the field of festivals, events or related arts sector PR, something that works to support creative talent or do something useful in the community or charity sector especially when the world is going to hell in a handcart.
I have a BSc in Communication Studies, an MSc in Public Relations and Events, I have studied creative business management, event management and squeezed in a photography course or two.
We ended up in Liverpool as the good Doctor was offered a role that was too good to refuse. When we arrived I spent 6 months working with Victim Support to change how victims services are managed. I raised 350k of new project funds in that time and created new work with new partners.
Not very long ago I hauled my ass back University.
I opted for an MSc in Public Relations with Events. After having managed bars, written press releases, curated event calendars, created national advertising campaigns, designed and delivered festivals, created websites and social media accounts and hosted hundreds of live shows, I figured I knew a thing or two and thought, well, what’s the worst that could happen?
It was a joy. I learned some new stuff and managed to do something interesting by way of a dissertation on independence in a world of conglomerates. Reader, I have written a dissertation on independent festivals that includes more ‘fucks’ than is reasonable in an academic text. It was great to get stuck into something and get to that level of detail.
I’ve been delivering events for 15 years, working with partners across a range of organisations and sectors. I’m expert at creating conversations and managing communication. I can take the hassle out of stakeholder relationships and create enjoyable, useful engagement tools. I can develop networks, create partnerships and deliver everything from business events to national consultation projects. I have worked on project development, and delivering content with a host of wonderful creatives; I’ve taken on event design and delivery; stage and artist management and a host of odd jobs.
I love a good problem.
I’ve worked with a ton of lovely folk over the years, from OhYeah Belfast through to Belfast Music Week with MTV, Bushmills Live, Belfast Festival, Sound City, Electric Picnic, The Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.
I developed the Oxjam Festival with a crew of remarkable friends and volunteers, delivering four festivals in Belfast, the first of their kind in the UK, delivering over 60 events. We worked with the Oxfam team in Belfast and developed the model for use across the UK and beyond, it’s been used internationally and raised over £3,500,000.
Which isn’t bad for an idea hatched over a coffee on Botanic Avenue.
I am currently working with some wonderful people at the Atlantic Sessions festival on the North Coast of Ireland, a beauty of a thing that will grow and grow and hopefully land me a bottle of Bushmills with my name on it.
I am also making very confusing things real at the University of Liverpool, delivering comics and conferences and I’m also managing online communities, content and creative endeavours at FASTN. My most recent job for FASTN was redeveloping their website, I had it finished before I realised that the orange colour was exactly the same as the colour of the office. See hear.
(Check the words page).
I still brandish a camera and I am available at very reasonable rates. My most recent shows involved a rapper in a record shop and a pirate ship in a forest. Beautiful. (Check the pictures page). In an entirely unexpected twist I’ve found myself making videos, some of which are available to view in this post, about how I’m making videos.
I delivered projects with Youthnet for 8 years, developing income streams, delivering training and supporting organisations in crisis. I helped develop a Code of Good Governance for Northern Ireland and a sector-led Quality Assurance Framework for Youth Services in Northern Ireland. Both more exciting than their monikers suggest.
I was Chairperson of the Belfast Fairtrade Committee, responsible for City accreditation in two national boards and managing partnerships across the UK. I launched the now annual Fairtrade Belfast awards. I worked with the Northern Ireland Co-operative to widen the organisation’s demographic and create new partnerships. I produced marketing campaigns, managed fundraising events, delivered training and recruitment programmes.
I’ve made tea, made policy, and created educational activities; I’ve trained, tamed, tallied; managed diaries, breakdowns, meltdowns, washouts, washed floors, served pints and done just about every job in the book. I am game for just about anything.
Be well, be beautiful and be good.
What other people say…
Chris has developed close working relationships with key artists, practitioners, venues, and promoters. His reputation for being dedicated, committed and his ability to deliver to tight deadlines has led to him being an invaluable member of the festival team.
I have known Chris for five years as both a manager and collaborator across a wide range of projects, developing proposals and creating innovative services for our joint employer and for my own company. Chris is consistently creative, innovative and thought-provoking (in a very positive way) in his approach, he is knowledgeable across a range of subjects and is thorough when researching a new area. I would have Chris on my team again without hesitation.
Freelance Client (AHP Services)
Chris is a tremendous ally who has supported the Oh Yeah music center since the very early days. He is a friend, a councillor, an expert in youth services and he scrubs a good floor. In the past few years, he has taken an interest in photography and he made this into a personal dynamic. His music shots have bite and drama. He has documented a lot of the changes in music around the city. His portraits are cool. I fully endorse this chap.
Journalist, NME, WORD, BBC
Chris has been an official photographer for CQAF for eight years. He is a technically gifted photographer with a great eye for the key shot and is as adept at careful composition as he is at beautifully capturing the moment be it at a rock or comedy performance or an audience reaction. I’d have no hesitation in recommending him for any kind of photographic work; such is his talent and versatility. Oh, and he’s a very dependable and decent bloke as well!
Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival
I have known Chris for years and have worked with him in a number of capacities. With his running of gigs for Oxfam in Belfast and promoting local music in many ways he is always a consummate professional. An all-round decent chap that does what he says he will. A credit to the Northern Irish nation!
Chris is a top bloke and a great photographer.
He’s documented several projects for Oh Yeah and always delivers the goods.
The Ohyeah Centre
Chris is an excellent photographer and demonstrates unrivaled professionalism to his work and dedication to his craft. Chris is highly efficient and personable and works hard to deliver exactly what is needed – using his expertise to advise and offer guidance.
I would wholeheartedly recommend him.
Holy Trinity Youth Centre