Kicking off a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to the head of diversity and talent management at Dansk Live in Denmark
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Continuing a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to Can Büyükcinar, head of operations at Wizard Promotions in Germany
By IQ on 25 Jul 2022
The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) this month.
The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster.
To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.
Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on the previous interview with Alexandra Ampofo, promoter at Live Nation-owned Metropolis.
The series continues with Can Büyükcinar (he/him/his), head of operations at Wizard Promotions in Germany.
Tell us about a personal triumph in your career
Of course, I could mention the biggest shows and tours that I have contributed to so far, but actually it was the past two years that showed me that, even under the most adverse circumstances in our industry, I managed to make the best out of the given situation. We made it through this pandemic craziness by developing our company, employing new digital processes and even relocating our entire office to a new, stylish site in the heart of Frankfurt.
What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
From time to time, this business can be tough as hell and some of the old hands in the industry might think your opinion is not as valuable, particularly if they cling to prejudices. Don’t let them get you down, be calm, do your thing and prove them wrong! They might not say anything, but they will realise how wrong their assumptions were.
Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry.
I am afraid most of us queer people can relate to Kelly Clarkson’s What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger. But gladly, I was never subject to direct discrimination in my industry experience so far. Of course, the live industry was and sometimes is a place with very patriarchic-dominated structures and old boy beliefs, but my growing up in a low-income Muslim society in Berlin gave me the toolbox to overcome these biases.
“Growing up in a low-income Muslim society in Berlin gave me the toolbox to overcome these biases”
One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place
I think it is vital that we (and privileged individuals, in particular) step in and speak up whenever we observe unacceptable and discriminatory behaviour such as misogynistic comments. Secondly, representation matters, and we should not underestimate the influence diverse bookings can have. It might require some courage, but it is not only the morally fair strategy – there’s obviously a business case to cater to more diverse audiences.
A cause you support
I feel deeply connected to Kreuzberger Kinderstiftung, a Berlin-based charity that promotes educational equality. Eleven years ago, I received a scholarship through them and therefore experienced myself how impactful it can be to provide opportunities for young people.
The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
I am quite impressed by Lil Nas X’s artistic music videos, so I’m excited to see him in Berlin later this year.
Your favourite queer space
My favourite queer spaces are not specific venues but the audiences of artists who are supportive of the queer community, such as Adele, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, Harry Styles, Beyoncé or Cher. Listening to great pop live performances, surrounded by a queer audience – that is a real happy place for me.
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