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The New Bosses 2022: Lewis Wilde, DICE

Continuing a series of interviews with the 2022 New Bosses, IQ speaks to Lewis Wilde, head of music partnerships at DICE (UK)

By IQ on 31 Oct 2022

Lewis Wilde, DICE

Lewis Wilde, DICE


The 15th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 114 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2022’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous New Bosess 2022 interview with Kathryn Dryburgh, agent’s assistant at ATC Live in the UK. The series continues with Lewis Wilde, head of music partnerships at DICE (UK).

Born and raised in Bradford, Wilde and a friend started an online music blog in 2011. In 2013, whilst working in Brighton as a support worker and bar-backing (having dropped out of university in London after six months), the music blog caught the attention of Phil Hutcheon, the founder and CEO of DICE.

Hutcheon had been running the music management company Deadly, and was just launching DICE, where Wilde landed an internship in 2014. Starting out as an assistant (to pretty much everything) in the early days, Wilde ended up working toward the position of venue and promoter partnerships, which he took on in 2016. In 2021, he was promoted to head of music partnerships.

 


Having dropped out of uni, how have you still ended up in your dream job, and can you talk a little about the passion for music that prompted you to take the risk of dropping out to do something you love?
It was shocking. Advertising and marketing at London Met. I took a year out after sixth form and just panicked and thought “I need to go to uni now because all my mates have gone,” so I picked any course, pretty much. I thought by being in London I could worm my way into a ‘music’ job. You’re a lot less risk-averse when you’re younger, so at the time it didn’t feel like a big decision. Mum hit the roof though.

It sounds like the start of your career was quite tough – having to work bar jobs to fund your blog exploits. What advice would you give to anyone trying to break into the music industry?
I loved all those jobs, to be fair. I think everyone needs to do a stint in hospitality and deal with the public at some point in their life. Character building. And working as a support worker helps shape your perspective massively. My advice would be to get in early – take in as much experience as you can and put yourself about. Everything else will come from that.

What was your music blog about, and what made it different from others to the extent that you caught the attention of your future boss?
It was just anything me and Leo – who I ran it with – loved. We’d support local parties in the north; push new music, anything from UK rap to techno; interview artists we liked; then DJ off the back of it and ended up throwing a few parties around Europe. It was class looking back. Our main thing was to keep the quality high so people will come back to it. Maybe the curation element got Phil’s attention. I’ll ask him.

“Relationships are the key. Focus on building those where you’re most passionate – the rest will fall into place”

We’ve all just been through an unprecedented couple of years, but you managed to get promoted. Tell us a bit about your pandemic experience – what you were up to, and how the promotion came about?
It was obviously pretty rough at the time. Everyone just mucked in to get through, you’d be working on everything; artist streams, fan support, helping venues with funding, and just checking in to see how people were coping. It’s amazing to be on the other side of it. Thankfully we’re back hiring again. Then, personally, I drank loads and Strava’d everything I did, like everyone else.

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?
Seeing DICE go from a 15 to 400 person company over eight years has been pretty mad. Also, it might be stuck in my head because I saw it in full flow last week – but New Century partnering with DICE is really up there for me. It’s an amazing 1,000-cap venue in Manchester with an unreal team behind it – it’s my new favourite venue in the UK. Watching it come to life last week for the launch was pretty special. Everyone needs to go.

How would you encourage the next generation to choose the live music sector for their chosen career path?
Relationships are the key. Focus on building those where you’re most passionate – the rest will fall into place.

IQ 114 is available now. To subscribe, and get access to our latest issue and all of our content, click here.

 


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