About Cato

Learn from the best in the industry

The Cato Academy is the only school in the world that trains the next generation of touring and production managers, backline techs and live sound engineers under one roof.

Our “Roadie School” is a tailored evening course that covers all subjects to do with working on the road, including tour and production management, front of house sound, backline teching and a holistic overview of worldwide touring.

Our teachers work with some of the biggest names in the business from Muse, Take That, Queen, Bastille and Hugh Laurie to Will Young, Amy MacDonald, Jungle, Ella Henderson and many more.

During and after the course, we offer students volunteer work opportunities to give them practical “hands on” experience outside of the classroom and, at the end of the course, we provide you with aftercare to explore the areas that you might be interested in working in to help you take your first steps in the industry.


So if you’ve ever dreamt of working at festivals like Glastonbury, touring the world with amazing musicians or putting on your very own gigs, then get in touch!


Next course dates: TBC




Learn about the roles and responsibilities of live music professionals, logistics on a tour, and financial and legal requirements.


Production Management

Learn about production management, lighting and video, show design, stage electrics and health and safety.


Live Sound

Learn about mixing desks, microphones, radio systems, and stage cabling.



Learn what is required to be a guitar, drum or keyboard backline tech.



If you want a bespoke course to up-skill your staff or if you would like to set up a franchise of the Academy, get in touch.

Day Courses

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Drawing on Cato Academy’s expertise and network across the live music sector, we are delighted to offer one-day courses in a range of topics. Held at Cato Music in Wandsworth, the sessions will provide those with an interest in touring, production, live sound, lighting design and video an opportunity to get an in-depth overview of their chosen subject.

Click through the tabs below for more details, dates, and how to book.

Date: TBC

Cost: £150.00 per person

Venue: Cato Music, Wandsworth, SW18 1BF

Overview: In this packed one-day course, students cover all the elements of planning and running a small tour, from budgeting, keeping accounts and looking after money to planning and booking logistics, as well as managing equipment and technical elements of the tour. Delegates should go away confident that they understand what goes into running a tour. This course is also ideal for anyone currently working in management, booking agencies or promotion or any individual who wants a greater understanding of the touring process.

Pre-requisites: Some knowledge of the Live Music industry would be useful as would a basic understanding of Microsoft Office/Excel.

Book or Enquire: charlie@catomusic.co.uk

Date: TBC

Cost: £150.00 per person

Venue: Cato Music, Wandsworth, SW18 1BF

Overview: In this packed one-day course, students will learn about the fundamentals of what it takes to be keyboard guitar & drum tech. From learning about the history of the instruments themselves to setting them up correctly and general maintenance. Delegates should go away feeling confident they have a good understand of backline in the live industry. Please note, no experience on any of the instruments is necessary but it is a bonus if you’re a musician.

Pre-requisites: Basic knowledge of a backline set-up.

Book or Enquire: charlie@catomusic.co.uk

Date: TBC

Cost: £150.00 per person

Venue: Cato Music, Wandsworth, SW18 1BF

Overview: In this packed one-day course, students will learn about live sound on the latest digital mixing desk. From basic sound theory to microphones, radio systems and stage cabling, delegates will also have the chance to get hands on with equipment and will walk away feeling confident they understand the fundamentals of live sound in the industry. 

Pre-requisites: None

Book or Enquire: charlie@catomusic.co.uk

Get in touch to hear about courses as they are announced by emailing charlie@catomusic.co.uk

Meet the crew

Tour crew. And proud of it.

Glen Rowe

Name: Glen Rowe

Nickname: Cato

Profession: Tour Director for Muse

Artists I’ve worked with: Apart from Muse, I have worked with The Manic Street Preachers, The Kooks, Hard-FI, Gareth Gates, The Streets, Amy Macdonald, and many more!

Favourite music festival: Reading festival

Best thing about my job: The feeling that after you get after every show ends and the wave of happiness you feel throughout the venue, whether that be an enormous arena or a small club.

Music idol: John Bonham

Mark Bent

Name: Mark Bent

Profession: Tour Manager

Artists I’ve worked with: Aldous Harding, Amy Macdonald, Asgeir, Black Futures, Bonobo, First Aid Kit, Foals, Fortune, Drive, Hugh Cornwall, Idles, Jack Pack, Jungle, Kelis, Peanut Butter Wolf, Simian Mobile Disco, Slint, The Moth & The Flame, The Vaccines, and Young Knives

Favourite music festival: For “fun” Glastonbury, but for work anywhere but the UK

Best thing about my job: Everyday is like a box of chocolates, bad for you.

Music idol: None

Simon Buckley

Name: Simon Buckley

Profession: Head of Touring & Operations at Cato (and occasional Tour Manager)

Artists I’ve worked with: Rihanna, Metallica, Lenny Kravitz, Muse, Stornoway, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, The Kooks, MONA, Placebo, The Brand New Heavies, Aloe Blacc, Bastille, Catfish And The Bottlemen and many more!

Favourite music festival: Glastonbury

Best thing about my job: Meeting and working with interesting and great people, companies, plus bands and artists I love.

Music idol: Noel Gallagher

Will Driscoll

Name: Will Driscoll

Profession: Drum Technician and Stage Manager

Artists I’ve worked with: Ella Eyre, Emeli Sandé, Hugh Laurie, The Vaccines, Amy Macdonald, Little Mix, Amber Run, La Roux, Various Cruelties, Angel Haze, Jack Pack, Aston Merrygold, and Jessie Ware

Favourite music festival: Montreux Jazz Festival

Best thing about my job: Getting paid to travel the world

Music idol: Kelly Jones (Stereophonics)

Will Fenton

Name: Will Fenton

Nickname: NA

Profession: Sound Engineer, Music Technician, Music Infrastructure Project Manager and Lecturer

Artists I’ve worked with: Ronan Keating, Blue, Hearsay, Missteeq, So Solid crew, and Newton Faulkner

Favourite music festival: Glasto!

Best thing about my job: Meeting young people I’ve worked with in education out in the industry

Music Idol: Dave Grohl

Nigel R Glasgow

Name: Nigel R Glasgow

Profession: Tour Manager, Sound Engineer, Production Manager, Artist Manager and Golfer!

Artists I’ve worked with: Noisettes, Morcheeba, Toddla T, Mark Ronson, Micachu & The Shapes, Kwes, Jessie Ware, Roseau, Redlight, The Invisible, Theo Parrish, Vanessa Mae, Nick Mulvey, Benga, and Travi$ Scott

Favourite music festival: Roskilda

Best thing about my job: Live music every night!

Music idol: Chopin.  The brother can write a Nocturne!!!

Chris Kiely

Name: Chris Kiely

Profession: Tour Manager and Artist Manager

Artists I’ve worked with: Amy Macdonald, Jungle, The Mavericks, Savages, Slint, Amber Run, Sugababes, Hard-Fi, Magic Numbers, Tricky, Cast, Joshua Radin, The Ting Tings, and many more

Favourite music festival: Rock Werchter

Best thing about my job: Team spirit

Music idol: Andre Young

Nat Walker

Name: Nat Walker

Profession: Production Manager

Artists I’ve worked with: I tend to work on events and festivals, so the amount of artists that have floated through is almost countless!

Favourite music festival: Latitude Festival

Best thing about my job: The buzz at the start of the show!

Music idol: Prince

Simon Wheeler

Name: Simon Wheeler

Profession: Sound engineer, teacher, and lapsed musician

Artists I’ve worked with: Femme, The Invisible, Eska, La Shark, Matthew Herbert, and Right Said Fred

Favourite music festival: Bestival

Best thing about my job: Subwoofers

Music idol: Thom Yorke



Want to support Cato Academy? Show your support – let us know!


Thom Critchley
Thom Critchley
“The Cato Academy was the beginning of my journey into a career in the live music industry. The Academy presented me with many great opportunities, most notably working at Glastonbury 2015 – an experience that I’ll never forget.”
Ellie Alfonso
Ellie Alfonso
“The Cato Academy changed my life. It taught me things I wouldn’t have a chance to learn anywhere else, thanks to the fact that your teachers are people still working in the music industry, who have first hand experience and know what it means to work for massive bands and put on incredible shows. it opened so many doors for me.” 
Adam Thomas
Adam Thomas
“CATO Academy was an absolutely brilliant; it was always so much fun, a great laugh and it gave me a broad, in-depth understanding of what goes into making a great show. I’ve gone on to start working as the guitar/backline technician for the band COLOUR from Liverpool, as well as getting some great opportunities through CATO such as working for bands such as Muse and Take That.”

Is your heart in it?

Get In Touch With Us

Cato Academy
The Arc
35 Armoury Way
London, United Kingdom
0208 877 3700 (Option 3)

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Join Cato Academy Today!

Step 1: Download and complete the short application form and send to charlie@catomusic.co.uk

Step 2: You will be notified if you have been accepted to take part in the Interview Stage.  

Step 3: If successful, you will receive an offer letter, joining instructions and an invoice.