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Mykey Young


I was working abroad as a singer and had worked in production for a couple of years in between contracts. I’d had enough of being away, there was no opportunity for progression so I wanted to come home, but I was worried that there weren’t going to be any opportunities. Previously when I’ve lived in Blackpool there just wasn’t a lot of work out there for people who do what I do. Some friends mentioned that LeftCoast had just set itself up, so as soon as I got back I booked in to see them. 

It started off as just a chat, to see what it was they did and what it was I did, and see if there was any natural fit, which there wasn’t at the time – my work was really mainstream. But I made a point of going to things that LeftCoast did – a lot of different talks and seminars, a lot of opportunities to learn about the cultural sector. From going to those things, Michael eventually approached me to come and work on the SpareParts festival in Fleetwood as an assistant producer. 

It was great. I did so much in a very short space of time. LeftCoast helped and developed me through the process, and I learned a lot. A few weeks after the festival ended they were looking for someone to come in and work on the Showzam! Festival in Blackpool. I worked as assistant producer on that. 

It was a real crash course, those eighteen months working on these two festivals with LeftCoast. I had no festival experience at all and now I feel that it’s the area I excel in – I absolutely love it. 

When a job appeared in Blackpool with the Illuminations, I just took a punt. I didn’t think for a minute that I would be considered, but I have so much passion for the town and for making amazing changes to it through arts and culture that I knew I just had to apply. Again, LeftCoast helped me put my application together, and I was lucky enough to be interviewed. I didn’t get the job that they had advertised; but instead they broke it into two parts and took me on as creative producer. We created the LightPool festival, which was a brand new festival of light, fire and art that completely transformed the town centre for 6 nights. It was incredible. This job wasn’t working directly for LeftCoast but it definitely came as a result of everything that I’d learned, the confidence they gave me and the contacts and connections that they had helped me to make. LightPool really gave me the chance to broaden my network and I was later approached by Light Up Lancaster and now sit on their steering group, which is an amazing opportunity. 

I do count myself as really lucky to have been part of it all. I was so terrified to come back to Blackpool, knowing that I’d never really been able to work here. LeftCoast changed this and have helped me build a new career. I’ve been here now for almost three years. It is awesome. I might not always stay here, but I want to keep coming back to do amazing things and hopefully keep making a difference to Blackpool’s landscape. 

Photo: Stephen King