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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: James Murphy, See Tickets

Continuing a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to James Murphy, chief operating officer North America, See Tickets

By IQ on 14 Jul 2021

James Murphy, See Tickets

James Murphy, See Tickets

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 Maxie Gedge, Keychange project manager in the UK here.

James Murphy
Chief operating officer North America, See Tickets
Los Angeles, US
[email protected]

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Convincing Clear Channel Radio, a very conservative, Texas-based media company, to engage with the LGBTQ community in the late 90s/early 00s. That engagement included supporting local event producers and community-based organisations, culminating in providing more than $2million (€1.7m) in direct support to the local community over a ten-year period.

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Always be your authentic self in all aspects of your life. Take measured professional risks in advocating for our community. Being true to yourself will allow you to openly enlist allies and advocates inside your company. Connecting how your business operates in the broader community directly improves lives, including the lives of the business’s employees.

“Being true to yourself will allow you to openly enlist allies and advocates inside your company”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
Finding the right mix of inclusion and “business success” is oftentimes seen as unrelated objectives. My view is that success and a fair and inclusive work environment are connected, as that type of environment creates the best atmosphere for employees to thrive and deliver. Similarly, convincing partners that a diverse event production and ticketing team will lead to better cultural sensitivities and better service results are equally as connected.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Realising that diversity in your workforce and better service results are connected. When your customer base sees or hears a person “like them” at an event or on the phone they immediately feel heard. Alternatively, that diverse workforce is more empathetic and your customer will feel that empathy…

A cause you support.
I’ve been actively involved in two local LGBTQ organisations over the past 20 years – APLA Health and Wellness, and The Trevor Project. Both organisations are committed to the health and wellness of our community’s youth. As a past board chair and treasurer, respectively, I was able to influence substantive community change and direct much-needed local resources to both charities. Their amazing work continues.

“[The industry] needs to realise that diversity in the workforce and better service results are connected”

What does the near future of the industry look like?
Covid has provided the industry with an amazing opportunity to reopen safely and deploy technology in unique ways. Virtual experiences or events with a mixed virtual/live offering can provide producers and attendees with safe alternatives until vaccine rates are high enough for attendees and staff to feel safe. Requiring customer compliance with Covid safety protocols as well as offering rewards to vaccinated and/or recently tested customers with benefits should be part of every producer’s offering.

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
Safety first, through the deployment of smart and effective technology. I’m hopeful that the industry will focus on local programming and artists as well as local partnerships – for instance, partnering with neighbourhood restaurants that may have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. In addition, the industry should act to reward those that have been vaccinated/tested with benefits that reward productive behaviour with early access to shows, etc.


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