by Sophie Mashlan

Ignite 2018 – Fire In Your Application!

by Sophie Mashlan

Ignite 2018 – Fire In Your Application!

Firing up in April, Ignite 2018 will see 10 music industry professionals paired up with participants aged 15-18 for one-on-one mentorship, offering them an insight into the inner workings of the music events business. Sophie Mashlan asks Ignite founder Savina Kim about the youth development programme returning to Auckland for the second time this year.

Great to see that the Ignite programme is back! Why the year-long hiatus and what inspired you to return to it?

The intention was to run Ignite again last year, but due to a lack of funding, as well as being very time-poor, I decided to postpone to re-assess and re-focus. The main inspiration was the amazing graduates from the 2016 programme. We have a private Facebook group where the programme team post up further opportunities and we all share what we’re up to and as the year went on, it really hit me how much Ignite positively impacted their lives since taking part, and why I need to keep it going!

What are that first programme’s ‘students’ up to these days?

Hunter Keane, who won the MAINZ Scholarship graduated from Diploma in Music and Event Management at the end of 2017 is keeping himself very busy with a show at bFM, an internship at as well as working at Flying Out!

Elleana Dumper who was a top graduate won a Massey University scholarship and started studying Commercial Music at the College of Creative Arts last year. She has put on another all ages event since graduating from Ignite as well as interning with Wondergarden Festival and receiving various work experience opportunities at Mt Smart Stadium and VNZMAs. Other graduates have released EPs, taken up study at MAINZ and put on more all ages shows!

You’re really passionate about underage events and helping young people get into gigging. Why so do you think?

It allows me to keep being passionate about live music. I’ve been working in the industry for a long time and you can get a bit jaded about what you do. I will never forget about the first show and festival I went to and there’s nothing really like it!

I find it hard to get that sort of buzz these days but through Ignite I can make sure those amazing memories are created for the next generation of young people and experience it through their eyes! I love the energy at all ages shows and unfortunately, with the lack of venue options, they’re not all that frequent and I think it’s so vital for the industry to make sure people aren’t limited to live music just because they’re not 18.

What was your favourite part of the first Ignite programme and what are you looking forward to this time around?

I have so many amazing memories from Ignite! One special moment was at one of the shows that two Ignite participants put on and seeing a line of people out the venue when we opened the doors and seeing the organisers’ excited reactions.

Another memorable moment was at graduation where the participants shared how much they enjoyed the programme and meeting so many great, like-minded people who have become friends. I was lucky enough to also witness moments where something they learnt throughout the programme really clicked as they went to apply it to their own show and I can’t wait for that to happen for more people!

What would your advice be to anyone who is considering applying for this year’s programme- what do you look for in an applicant?

A real passion for music and events and willingness to learn – no prior experience is necessary.

Are there any changes to the programme this time around? And if so why?

This year, we are only announcing some of the industry mentors with the applications so we can best match the successful applicants to an industry mentor I can approach specifically to take into account their musical tastes and aspirations.

What impact has the Ignite programme had on your own career? And what impact do you hope for it to make in the NZ music industry as a whole?

Running Ignite keeps me honest and passionate about the industry. It also means I am in touch with my peers that work in various areas of the industry, as well as meet some new faces. I have also been able to help connect people I meet along the way with various volunteer, internship and work placements which is amazing. I want to make sure that live music is always accessible for people of all ages and NZ bands have opportunities to perform to new audiences.

Is your vision the same as the first time around? 

Our mission is to upskill and aspire young people with a passion for music to discover education and career pathways that exist in this vibrant industry. I want to make sure more opportunities are given to participants and make sure that the Ignite shows that they produce are all well attended, if not sold out 🙂

Where do you see Ignite heading in the future?

I would love to offer Ignite in other cities around the country, as well as offer more placements and different learning opportunities such as artist management. I want to make sure we take it one step at a time to make sure we provide quality valuable programmes so, with that in mind, I can say that this year we are looking to pilot a new stream to upskill aspiring music producers so watch this space!


There is no cost to participate in the programme which runs from April 7 – June 28.

Full programme information, mentor bios and the application form are available at