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Countdown to the Arthurs 2019: Amber McKenzie

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 Anna Grace on 04 Mar 2019

Arthurs Awards Amber McKenzie

Amber McKenzie

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.

This time, following Live Nation/Ticketmaster’s Joanna Young, is International Talent Booking’s (ITB) Amber McKenzie who won the People’s Assistant award in 2016…


Winning The People’s Assistant award delivered me a very large hangover and a great big smile on my face.

Arthur lives on my bookshelf next to a MOBO Award and Man of the Match cricket trophy that I won when I worked at LD Communications back in the day.

The most memorable gala dinner is easy – it’s the year David Hasselhoff turned up and walked onto the stage to the Baywatch theme. He had some rather interesting slippers on that night.

“My greatest hope for the future is that the live music industry workforce finally begins to reflect the diverse audiences that watch our acts”

If you were to create a new Arthur category, it should be the ‘Not Enough Budget’ festival booker award.

My predictions for the future? Well, most people who know me would say I’m quite good at rubbing balls but unfortunately not crystal ones. So I’ll pass on that one.

But my greatest hope for the future is that the live music industry workforce finally begins to reflect the diverse audiences that go and watch our acts at all the shows, gigs and festivals. I also hope that all live music in whatever format will be accessible to everyone. Oh, and that Biffy headline Glastonbury.

Other previous the People’s Assistant award winners include Eliza-Jane Oliver, Sarah Donovan, Samantha Henfrey, Clare Utting, Charlie Renton, Sandra McCarthy and Prue Almond.


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