Newcastle's World Headquarters club has teamed up with Youth Music to launch new programme The Jump Off.
Presented by North East dance music stalwart Geoff Kirkwood, aka producer and DJ Man Power, The Jump Off seeks to create sustainable high profile careers for three "exceptional" DJs between the ages of 18 and 26 who come from underrepresented backgrounds in dance music.
Across 18 months, the programme will be split into different stages which allow participants to tap into the knowledge, creative and professional networks and experience of both Kirkwood and World Headquarters, before the three then gain status as residents at the club.
"The Jump Off has resulted from the core belief that technical skills are more accessible than ever before due to things like the internet, social media, free materials on streaming platforms and more," reads its press release. "However, what many talented young people from certain backgrounds have difficulty accessing are networks which offer peer support, mentorship, high level industry connections and the opportunity to be presented via visible and far reaching platforms."
In its first stage, monthly workshops, presentations and practical sessions will be delivered by Kirkwood alongside a variety of names including esteemed DJs and music producers, and other industry figures including promoters, management, PR companies, distributors, agents, publishing companies and more. Shifting to the second stage, the three participants will be platformed and supported as World Headquarters residents in order to gain vital experience.
Upon completion, the goal is that each participant feels equipped with the knowledge, network, exposure and tools to find themselves ready to propel their own DJ career.
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"While the core values of The Jump Off are rigid, the program also recognises that young people are the biggest experts about their needs in 2023 and beyond," its press release closes. "With this in mind The Jump Off has not been designed as prescriptive program and much of the specific delivery within its framework will be informed by an initial online consultation project taking place via the Jump Off site and through World Headquarters' and Man Power’s shared social media channels."
"We wanted to try and come up with a route that directly addresses people's needs, leveraging our contacts and extensive experience in the field," explains Gabriel Day, World Headquarters' programmer and Director. "With World Headquarters' three decades of operating as local community venue and Man Power's global presence as a touring DJ and producer. If we don’t know the person who the participants need to speak to, then we at least know a person who knows that person."
Applications are due to open soon, following this consultation period, which will be open on The Jump Off's website. Full application critera and information on the judging process to select the three participants are TBA, with the intention of the programme officially launching in early 2024.
Niamh Ingram is Mixmag's Weekend Editor, follow her on Twitter