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Robert Stephenson

Blastbeat / Level 2

Awardee 2006

Blastbeat / Level 2
Paul Kelly
Bernadette Larkin

Blastbeat is an award winning Teen Music & Multimedia Business project offered to high schools in South Africa, the UK and the US to teach entrepreneurial business skills, promote young musicians, and support youth communities on a local and global level.

The Challenge

Robert formed Blastbeat as a social enterprise dedicated to the education and creative entertainment of young people, educating & empowering young people to become entrepreneurial and to help shape the face of their local music scene and to live it whilst learning to be more socially conscious. The project encountered problems with sustainability in Ireland, but since relocating to the UK has had huge success.

The Idea

Through Blastbeat, teenagers organize themselves into Music & Multimedia Companies (MMCs), with each member of the company taking on a different job description such as CEO, Sales & Marketing Manager, Talent scout, Web Manager, Video Crew, Photographer, Journalist etc , ultimately producing a Battle of the Bands concert in order to identify the best musical talent in their areas.

The programme contains 2 competitions in 1, an enterprise competition for the MMCs and a Battle of the Bands for the musicians.
Winning Bands are selected from the school concerts by a panel of industry professionals and progress to Regional/National finals. The winning band receives the prize of a Record Deal with Blastspace Records.

The Impact

Over the last seven years Robert has organised over 500 live music events with over 2,000 bands performing to over 140,000 teenagers. Robert also started a not for profit organisation called 2winaid with the concept of twining first world countries and communities in the first world with those in the third world.

Blastbeat relocated to the UK in July 2009 as a new UK not for profit. Funded by the UK government’s Department of Children, School & Families, Blastbeat is now taught in 60 London schools. Blastbeat is also franchised in The USA, SA, Japan, Sweden, India and Malaysia. Blastbeat aims to expand to over 30 countries by 2014 and has numerous concerts lined up in London for this year.

Robert Stephenson, Elevator Award, 2006

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Lower Ground Floor, 11/12 Warrington Place, Dublin 2
Phone: +353 1 685 3191, Email: info@socialentrepreneurs.ie

Company No: 433846, Registered Charity No: CHY 17524, © SEI 2016

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