Continuing a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to Can Büyükcinar, head of operations at Wizard Promotions in Germany
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Continuing a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to Georgie Lanfranchi, tour manager/production coordinator at Only Helix in the UK
By IQ on 29 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 David Jones (he/him/his), chief information officer at AEG in the UK.
The series continues with Georgie Lanfranchi (she/her/hers), tour manager/production coordinator at Only Helix in the UK.
Tell us about a personal triumph in your career
I have had the privilege of looking after so many outstanding performers and crew but my journey with Years & Years, growing from being their production coordinator to their tour manger, has been by far the most rewarding of my career. Being queer and working for one of the biggest gay icons of our time is a true honour, especially when it’s someone as talented, authentic, and kind as Olly [Alexander, Years & Years]. He is a truly special individual and that trickles down to make a wonderfully remarkable touring family. Working their set on Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2019 was a real top 10 highlight of my life.
What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Try your best not to hide who you are. This can often be instinctive for queer people but the industry is changing, opinions are changing and the best way to help drive that forward is to be visible. The more diversity we push forward, the more that follows. The main advice I give to anyone, in general, is to be kind, be a team player and take a moment every day to take in how amazing our jobs really are.
“I actually feel that being a woman is more of a hindrance [than being queer] in this industry”
What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
Without sounding too corny, every mistake I have made is the best mistake, it’s the best way to learn how to do things right. Those cringy, stomach-dropping, mortifying moments that stick with you when you realise you’ve messed up stick with you for a reason. You don’t make those mistakes again! I’ve made a lot of them, and I will make more in the future, and I will be a better learner and teacher for it.
Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry
I’ve had to think quite hard about this. I’m not sure I have ever had any challenges specifically because I am queer, as I actually feel that being a woman is more of a hindrance in this industry, but it can be hard to distinguish I suppose, the two are probably quite entwined. I have been incredibly lucky to work on tours that have been very inclusive and with people who have never made it a problem. Don’t get me wrong, I still get a lot of ignorant questions from people that perhaps don’t (knowingly) have queer people in their life, or even bother to think about the answers before they ask the questions, but I’d say you’d be hard pressed to find a queer person that doesn’t!
One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place
There are a lot of incredible people who are creating the spaces they need to feel included within the industry, so get involved! And if you can’t find the space you need, go and make it! I think it’s so wonderful to see the industry changing to represent marginalised groups as a whole, and people are finally starting to feel seen and heard. I think what we really do need to remember to do is not to isolate ourselves within these spaces. The industry itself will not grow if we pocket ourselves into our groups; we need to make sure everyone is included, and everyone supports everyone else’s cause so that we are integrated into the industry at large. This is not a courtesy we have been given in the past, but to move forward, we have to be better.
“The industry itself will not grow if we pocket ourselves into our groups; we need to make sure everyone is included”
Causes you support
Music Support, CALM, The Trevor Project, David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, WWF, Rainforest Alliance.
The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
The list is extensive but I’m normally on the road, so I tend not to torture myself looking up gigs I’ll never be able to go to! That is the joy of festival season though; seeing a plethora of artists you never thought you’d get to see. I’ve still yet to see Tash Sultana after their gig got cancelled due to the pandemic… maybe one day!
Your favourite queer space
It will forever be my first queer outing – Flamingos Nightclub in Bristol – which is sadly no more. The first time I went was with two friends, we all told our parents we were going to each other’s houses and hopped on a train with some IDs from girls a couple of school years above us. ‘Drink the bar dry’ was Flamingos trademark, and for £20 we got in and gave that a good go! I felt a real absence of queer spaces growing up, from the countryside towns I grew up in and even the cities I frequented in my university years. It’s so important to keep these spaces going so queer folk have a safe space to go, and a place to find and express themselves. Support your local queer spaces!
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