Ben Coxon, a 2013 graduate from our BSc (Hons) Sound, Light and Live Event Technology program, has carved a successful path for himself in the live event industry. At the university, Ben grew his knowledge base, with AutoCAD becoming an invaluable skill in his arsenal. His career has spanned audio, lighting, and production management, with notable highlights like Leeds Festival 2022. Ben’s experience at Derby and the connections formed during his time here have played a pivotal role in his thriving career, opening doors to opportunities worldwide. As he continues to travel and work across continents, Ben’s ambition knows no bounds, reflecting the enduring impact of his Derby education.


Photo of Ben Coxon

Ben Coxon, Class of 2013



Current location:


Current job + employer:

I’m the director of my own company – providing production management services to multiple clients.

What did you do/study prior to coming to Derby?

Worked full-time as a theatre technician in a school.

Why did you choose to go to the University of Derby?

The course seemed to fit in with my interests and seemed like a great way to get the degree qualification I needed.

Did you start the course with a specific focus or were you undecided?

I started with a focus on getting a degree to return to work in education.

Did that focus change on the course? If so, how?

Changed very quickly – I realised I hate writing paperwork! I decided to just pursue a career as a freelance technician, with the hope of touring.

Has that focus changed on graduating? If so, how?

Over the years since graduating, I’ve spent most of my time as a freelance technician, doing some touring; but gradually moving towards management roles and in the past 5 years that’s very much taken the priority.

What was the most useful thing you learned on the course?

For what I do now – AutoCAD.

What did you learn on the course that you thought you’d never use, but that has come in handy during your career?


What did you do on the course that you never thought you would enjoy?


What was your favourite establishment in Derby (pub, bar, club, restaurant, etc.)?

We spent a lot of time in the Student Union bar, now defunct.

What is your most memorable moment from Derby?

Driving for 18 hours to the other side of Ireland crammed in the back seats of a van with Kit; for a weeks’ theatre show.

What/who at Derby most influenced your life, and how/why?

Kit Lane – he convinced me not to take a full-time job that would have totally stunted my career (hindsight…).

What would you say to a Derby first year student, knowing what you know now?

Learn about event infrastructure – anyone can hang lights, but understanding the backbone is critical.

What have you done professionally since graduating?

A few years doing audio, a few years specialising in lighting, then a LOT of production management.

Have any Derby alumni or staff opened any doors for you? If so, who?

Almost all of my client base can be tracked back to contacts I made at uni – I bump into alumni everywhere I go.

What is your most memorable moment from your career so far?

Leeds Festival 2022 is a particular highlight – but the fact that there’s now an annual calendar of photos of my ever-increasing bald spot… memorable.

What are your future career plans/ambitions?

I want to work a show on each continent. I’m 5 down.

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