Continuing a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to Nadu Placca, global event & experience architect at The Zoo XYZ
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Continuing a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to Maddie Arnold, associate promoter at Live Nation in the UK
By IQ on 20 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 James Murphy, chief operating officer North America, See Tickets here.
Associate promoter, Live Nation
Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
When I began promoting my own shows and building my own roster. Nothing can compare to the excitement of a gig, the spontaneity, the emotion, the sweat – they’ve been a massive part of my life since I was a kid. After a few years in different roles within the industry, I knew I had to work my way to this point, and now I am selling tickets, discovering new artists and building their careers. It’s a great feeling, daily.
What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Finding out who you are and what you want in life is a journey… get lost in the process, make mistakes, learn from them, try new things, don’t settle, keep persevering when you feel like giving up, surround yourself with positive people, and don’t forget to have fun along the way.
“Nothing can compare to the excitement of a gig, the spontaneity, the emotion, the sweat”
Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
Apart from the occasional awkward silence when I tell someone new my sexuality, I am lucky enough to say my experience has been great. All the people I work with are hardworking, diverse, inclusive and kind people, and I have only ever been given support by my colleagues and managers who challenge me to do better and grow within my role.
What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Keep going. Diversity and inclusion are becoming a massive part of working life and the music industry knows this, but there is still work to be done. We need more LGBTQ role models in the industry, whether that’s artists or the workers behind the scenes, it’s important for the younger generation to have people to look up to.
A cause you support.
Mental health. As someone who has suffered on and off for years and lost close ones, this subject is very close to my heart and we all need to speak up more about it. Congratulations to all for getting through this past year!
“Continue with the flexibility of working remotely, and give more attention to mental health”
What does the near future of the industry look like?
Very exciting. Lockdown was awful for several reasons, but I have also discovered a lot of new artists during this time who have a great future ahead of them. The streaming got us through lockdown, but nothing will ever replace the experience of a live gig. The demand is there, people want to get back in a sweaty room and scream along to their favourite songs, and I think 2022 is going to be an insane year for us all.
How would you like to see the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
Continue with the flexibility of working remotely, and give more attention to mental health, whether it’s your own, your colleagues, or the grumpy manager you meet backstage. We are all busy and work in an extremely fast-paced industry that never seems to slow down, but it doesn’t take a lot to ask someone how they are, especially after the year we’ve all had, and I hope we can all be a little kinder to one another and to ourselves.
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