Will Hurn had planned to join the army after he left school, but his career took a very different turn when he enrolled for a diploma in 2015 at BIMM Manchester. Three years later and the talented undergraduate – who is studying for a BA (Hons) Music Production – is fast honing his craft as a freelance sound engineer.
It has been an incredible journey and one that has seen the talented student work stints at Manchester’s The Academy and local live music haunt Jimmy’s, where he was the head of sound – thanks to a recommendation from BIMM Manchester Events Coordinator Ellie Battle. But the story doesn’t stop there.
Over the past 12 months, he has worked at Glastonbury, Liverpool Sound City, 2000 Trees, Y Not and BBC Music Day with BIMM as well as our End of Term gigs. These opportunities have coincided with live shows at Manchester’s Ritz for The Temperance Movement and Andrew W.K. As a monitor, stage tech at Derbyshire’s Devil’s Arse Cave for Jarvis Cocker, where he worked alongside STS Touring Production and toured with The Orielles.
Will is also well-known by our BIMM staff and our students, who regularly shadow him here at college and during live performances. This year has already seen Will produce music for rising student singer-songwriter Keaton Boucher. Likewise, he has worked with fellow BIMM diploma graduate Angus Price, who is currently a front engineer for Uriah Heep and Cats In Space – it’s the sort of collaborative spirit we thrive on.
Reflecting on his experience of studying for the diploma, Will said: “When I started at BIMM nearly three years ago, there was nowhere else that focused on live sound for people who are 16/17. I could see people who had been at BIMM like George Ezra and James Bay, and I could see that BIMM had so many industry connections.”
But Will is the first to admit that success hasn’t come overnight. The rising music industry star spent years working for free to gain invaluable experience before getting to where he is now. Nevertheless, his natural talent and aptitude have put him on a path to great things within the competitive music industry.
Working freelance has also provided Will with a wealth of industry experience, such as touring Europe and working behind-the-scenes at Reading and Leeds with the band Counterfeit – an opportunity that came through his time at Jimmy’s. His advice to budding sound engineers? “Say yes to everything that comes your way. It’s about being there at the right time. You have to grit your teeth and do what needs to be done.”