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Countdown to the Arthurs 2019: Andy Franks

Ahead of the 25th ILMC Gala Dinner and Arthur Awards on 8 March, previous victors reflect on what winning the live music industry's Oscar equivalent meant to them

By IQ on 27 Feb 2019

Andy Franks collects his third Plumber of the Year award at ILMC 24

Andy Franks collects his third Plumber of the Year award at ILMC 24

He might look as if he’s been around the block a few times, but 2019 marks Arthur’s 25th birthday, so to celebrate his landmark silver anniversary, we contacted some past winners of the coveted statuette, awarded annually at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) in London.

As well as learning what the arrival of Arthur meant to their professional lives (and where he resides in their homes and offices), we asked our alumni to share their hopes and dreams for the future; their most memorable ILMC and Gala Dinner moments; and what new Arthur category they might like to see in our annual awards show.

First up: Andy Franks, tour manager and co-founder of Music Support, the mental health charity for the UK music industry, who won the Gaffer award – then known as Plumber of the Year – in 2006, 2008 and 2012


Winning Plumber of the Year has certainly increased the number of calls I get to fix blocked drains and cracked water pipes… It was actually very nice to get recognition from members of our community to say “well done”. We all get on with the jobs we are given but to be recognised is a great feeling and very much appreciated.

I had a number of house moves recently, and although Arthur is in my office, he is in three pieces – does anyone know a good production manager who can help fix it?

The Gala Dinner and Arthur Awards is always a great place to meet with all your fellow professionals. It’s usually more full of agents and promoters than production staff but I think there is never a dull moment when Chuggy [Michael Chugg] is there, with or without his wheelchair!

To get so many people from all over the world in a room together to meet and say “hi” and break bread is fantastic. It is a great chance to meet the people you only see once or twice a year, all at once. Great to see Thomas [Johansson] and Tor [Nielsen], Robert Grima, Marek [Lieberberg], Chuggy, of course, and people like Attie van Wyk or Marty Diamond.

“To get so many people from all over the world in a room together to meet and say ‘hi’ and break bread is fantastic”

If there was going to be a new Arthur, I’d suggest the ‘Spare a Euro for a Cuppa’ award for the best charitable initiative, or for setting up a charitable/awareness event.

As we move into the next decade, I think we will see virtual ticketing take over – and blockchain purchasing. Productions will get more extravagant, with visual and holograms playing a big part. I will definitely retire as I am getting too old for all this…

I hope that this wonderful business can get more people to work together in partnership. But mostly to look after the welfare of those around them, to support the charitable aspects of the business and to look after those more vulnerable and less capable than themselves.


Other previous Plumber of the Year/The Gaffer winners include Chris Marsh, Tony Gittins, Arthur Kemish, Jason Danter, Bill Leabody, Jesse Sandler, Jason Danter, Chris Kansy, Wob Roberts, Mike Scobie, Chrissy Uerlings, Jake Berry, Steve Martin, Henry McGroggan, Steve Levitt, Lee Charteris, Edwin Shirley, Bryan Grant and Sophie Ridley.


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