Continuing a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to Chris Ibbs, agent at CAA in the UK
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Continuing a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to Guy Howes, music partnerships executive at CAA in the UK
By IQ on 21 Jul 2021
The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.
The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.
To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Maddie Arnold, associate promoter at Live Nation in the UK here.
Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Being promoted to executive at CAA in 2019 was huge for me, having worked my way up through the agency business for ten years. I’m lucky enough to work across the international roster and the incredible artists that CAA represents, and amongst a supportive team in London and internationally.
In 2019 – along with a group of LGBTQI+ professionals from across the industry – I helped to set up Pride in Music, a network to bring members of the community together from across the industry. Being able to meet and work with people to try to bring LGBTQI+ people together has been really rewarding.
“Changes [like pronouns on our email sign-off] can make a big difference in how people feel included in the workplace”
What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Find your peers and surround yourself with people who share your experience and can support you – that has been key to me. Also, find your voice and be yourself as much as you can be in your work. At the start of my career, at times, I found it easier to try to blend in. But LGBTQI+ voices being heard, and representation through this, can only make the industry better for everyone.
Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
At times there can be a feeling of responsibility to be visible at times when you want to focus on the work. That being said, I have been lucky enough to work for companies who recognise me, and with mentors who support me throughout my career.
What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Continuing to champion more diverse voices and listening to those in less-represented groups across the industry. The more we can do to encourage and support LGBTQI+ and diverse professionals across the board, the better equipped we are to do good business. For example, CAA encourages us to have our pronouns on our email sign-off. These changes can make a big difference in how people feel included in the workplace.
“At times there can be a feeling of responsibility to be visible at times when you want to focus on the work”
A cause you support.
The charity Choose Love do incredible work with refugees and the crisis being faced by so many across Europe and the world. Particularly during the pandemic, the continuing work of charities such as this has been so important for the displaced and marginalised.
What does the near future of the industry look like?
I work in one of the best partnership teams in the business and we’ve been busy during the pandemic supporting our artists by diversifying the opportunities we have been giving them, such as podcasts, virtual performances, brand partnerships, sync, brand ambassadorships and even NFTs. Everyone has become increasingly open to different opportunities, which is going to lead to new areas for growth and ultimately a more innovative and resilient business.
How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
It’s been great to see how people have pulled together throughout the pandemic to support each other across the industry. This can only see us come back stronger as we come out the other side.
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