Nominations are open for this year's New Bosses, IQ's annual spotlight on ten of the most promising young people working in live music
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Continuing a series of interviews with IQ's 2018 New Bosses, Aino-Maria Paasivirta is a promoter at Fullsteam Agency in Finland
By IQ on 21 Nov 2018
The New Bosses 2018 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual list of future live business leaders – received a rapturous industry response following its publication in IQ 78, with friends and colleagues of the winning ten agents, promoters and other rising stars rushing to congratulate the class of 2018.
In putting together the list, 2018’s New Bosses gave IQ lengthy interviews spotlighting their careers so far, as well as insights into their working methods and tips for those hoping to follow in their footsteps. While these were (owing to the limitations of a print magazine) edited heavily, they’ll be reproduced in full online and on IQ Index over the coming weeks.
The fifth New Boss, Finnish promoter Aino-Maria Paasivirta, interned at Fullsteam Agency while studying in Helsinki for a degree in cultural management. After graduating, she worked at Copenhagen venue Pumpehuset before returning to Fullsteam as assistant to founder Rauha Kyyrö.
Since then she has worked with the likes of Big Boi, José González, Franz Ferdinand, Wiz Khalifa, Jack White, Volbeat and Justin Bieber, and recently took on the role of full-time promoter. (Read the previous New Bosses interview, with UTA’s Maxim Karlik, here.)
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m lucky enough to be working with a variety of different-sized bands and venues, from a couple of hundred-capacity venues to arenas. I have been booking foreign artists to Provinssi Festival (32,000-cap.) together with Rauha the last three years.
I am also the promoter for Allas Sea Pool, a 2,500-capacity outdoor venue in downtown Helsinki.
Is there anyone that you can name as a mentor?
I don’t think I’ve ever actually called her my mentor, but I would not be where I am today without Rauha Kyyrö’s constant support. She keeps pushing me forward on many levels, and I’m lucky enough to not just call her my boss but also my friend.
I’m also grateful to be sharing my office with whom I’d call Finland’s best agents and promoters.
As a New Boss, how would you improve the way business is done?
Not as much a specific practice, but I think we would all benefit from talking about equality – and, more importantly, taking actions to improve equality within the business.
What has been the most exciting event you have been involved with in 2018?
It was wonderful to be a part of the 40th-anniversary edition of Provinssi Festival. The festival looked great, we had a wonderful line-up and it was just great to see how much the festival has evolved and that all the hard work put into the festival has paid off.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned while at Fullsteam?
I don’t think it’s possible to mention just one thing – I’ve learnt so much at Fullsteam. Having been PA to someone who works with such a variety of acts, both international and domestic, was such an eye-opening experience. For example, one of my first tasks as PA to Rauha was doing ticketing for an arena tour, for a domestic act that we represent, to which we sold 75,000 tickets. Some of the venues had never hosted concerts before, so that was quite an experience!
“When you’re willing to accept challenges, work hard and learn from your mistakes, you will be rewarded”
Also, having never done ticketing before, it wasn’t easy, but I learnt so much from it. I think when you’re willing to accept challenges, work hard and learn from your mistakes, you will be rewarded. I also think that having done a variety of different tasks has helped me understand the business better, and what it takes to put together great events.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt at Fullsteam is that when you get to work with people you can call your friends, you’ll always be ready to go that extra mile for them and they’ll be ready to do the same for you. Not to mention that being at the office is then a lot of fun.
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
I like going to shows. Sometimes when I really need to clear my head I read, go to dance class or study a language on an app. I guess it’s good to activate your brain with something that has nothing to do with your job every now and then.
What advice would you give anyone who wants to get into the live music business?
Be ready to work hard, and always try to see as many sides of the business as you can. If you have the chance to do and internship or get a job opportunity abroad, take it.
You’ll not only learn about the business, but about yourself as well.
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