Continuing a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to David Davies, founder and head of live at Double D Live (UK/IE)
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Continuing a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to David Jones, chief information officer at AEG in the UK
By IQ on 28 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 Davies, founder and head of live at Double D Live and head of experience at Catapult.
The series continues with David Jones (he/him/his), chief information officer at AEG in the UK.
David Jones is chief information officer for AEG, the global leader in sports and live entertainment. He heads up the AEG Global Technology division, and is responsible for the company’s technology strategy and solutions across the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
A digital and technology leader in the broadcast, entertainment, retail and real estate sectors for over 20 years, David is also executive sponsor of AEG’s Pride Employee Network Group which aims to drive change by giving LGBTQ+ colleagues a greater voice and foster a culture of inclusion.
Prior to AEG, David led the technology team at Virgin Radio and Ginger Media Group. He lives on the Isle of Wight with his husband Tony.
Tell us about a personal triumph in your career
I have recently been promoted to the role of global chief information officer. In my new role, I am leading a new division – AEG Global Technology – which brings together AEG’s talented technology staff in the US and Europe.
AEG’s technology teams were historically organised on a regional basis, and I used to head up the European team as Chief Information Officer for AEG Europe. I will continue to be based at AEG’s European headquarters in London, and I am proud to say that this will be the first time that someone in the UK will head up a global team in our company.
What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Seek out other LGBTQ+ people in your organisation or industry; build friendships and provide support to each other. Being part of the Pride employee network group at AEG has been a wonderful experience. I have made new friends right across the organisation, and our group has been a force for positive change in our company.
Name one thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place
Empower and support your LGBTQ+ colleagues. And that means more than simply ‘rainbowing’ your logos, venues and events in Pride month. If your organisation doesn’t have an employee network group then help your LGBTQ+ colleagues to establish one and support them to drive positive change.
What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
I wouldn’t call it a mistake, but it wasn’t the ‘conventional’ decision. When I left university, I had an offer to join Andersen Consulting on their graduate scheme. I also had an opportunity to join the Virgin Radio sales team on a short-term contract as an assistant working on their customer databases.
Rather than join the safe world of management consultancy, I opted for media and entertainment. Within six months, Virgin Radio had offered me a permanent job as their Head of IT, which was wild, given that I was only 23 at the time. I’ve never regretted that decision.
Empower and support your LGBTQ+ colleagues. And that means more than simply ‘rainbowing’ your logos…
The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
Steps at Birmingham Pride. Even though they are performing on Sunday evening; I’m too old for such giddiness on a school night…
Your favourite queer space
In 2018, the Isle of Wight hosted UK Pride. Peter Tatchell spoke about how ‘local’ Prides were so much more important than those traditionally held in big cities, because it was important for LGBTQ+ people to be visible, embraced and happy everywhere, not just in places like London or Manchester.
I witnessed an enormous Pride flag paraded down the main street of my hometown, enjoyed drag queens in the cabaret tent on the esplanade, and then sang along with Conchita Wurst on the beach stage. My favourite queer space was the Isle of Wight on Saturday, 21 July 2018.
Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry.
I genuinely don’t believe I have encountered any professional challenges. I have been lucky to work for companies which were full of diverse, friendly and inclusively-minded people and I have never had to hide my sexuality from work colleagues.
However, I am a white, cis, middle-class man; I am in a privileged position. My experience will not be representative of everyone in our community.
A cause you support
In my younger days, I was chair of the British Youth Council. The British Youth Council is an organisation which promotes young people’s participation in decisions which affect them. They campaign on issues which affect young people, including climate change, child poverty and votes at 16. I am proud to be an alumnus and to continue to support them.
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