Life as an in-betweener

After working on the Tech Team at NSDF17, Jasmine Chong thought the MTs had it easy. Little did she know...


The first time I have ever heard of the NSDF was during my second year at the University of Sheffield when I costume designed for SUTCo’s The Great Gatsby and SUPAS’ Cabaret, and the shows applied to the NSDF. I was gutted I couldn’t apply to be on the Tech Team as I was going home for Easter that year. So my first visit to the festival was last year, as a member of the Tech Team.

Half asleep on the train to Scarborough from Sheffield, still trying to finish the dissertation and way beyond stressed, I made it there to start off my adventure of being on the Tech Team of NSDF16.

After finishing the dissertation in the hostel corridor through the first night I arrived, I finally immersed myself in long hours of manual labour. Although it was tough, with much gaffa tape wasted on the first day at business – later earning me an award of “wasting tape” and a roll of cello tape – I thoroughly enjoyed the week with the Tech Team.

I got to learn a lot about tech, like sound and set, which I had not explored at all before the festival. I still have vivid memories of thinking, while running around like a headless chicken,  about what life must be like on the other side, as a member of the Management Team, because I always saw MTs sitting around and not looking like they were doing a lot. I was jealous as I would have loved a chilled moment at that point in my life.

Fast-forward to one year later, I moved to Manchester and started an MA in events management. I thought I’d give Management Team a shot, since it is more relevant to the current big picture I have for life.

And here I am, as a member of the Management Team at NSDF17 in Hull. Admittedly, Management Team is definitely less demanding in terms of manual labour, and there were many instances when I was very tempted to put on steelies and help with all the heavy lifting.

But being on the Management Team made me understand the other side of things; the amount of organisation put into the smooth running of the festival is impeccable.

If you asked me to pick which team to be on, I honestly couldn’t decide. I enjoyed them both dearly. So, to be on the Tech Team, or to be on the Management Team at NSDF18 – only time will tell…


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Photo credit: Giulia Delprato