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CAA’s Emma Banks wins top Music Week Awards honour

The groundbreaking agent took home The Strat, with Kilimanjaro Live, UTA, Dice and Reading & Leeds fest also among the winners

By James Hanley on 25 May 2023

Strat Award winner Emma Banks

CAA London co-head Emma Banks collected the top honour at last night’s 2023 Music Week Awards in London.

The leading agent was presented with The Strat – awarded annually to an industry icon – by singer and CAA client Becky Hill.

Video tributes came from the likes of Live Nation’s Denis Desmond, SJM Concerts’ Simon Moran, WME’s Lucy Dickins, Peter Mensch and Tara Richardson of Q Prime, and Banks’ CAA longtime colleague Mike Greek, as well as artists such as Katy Perry, Florence Welch, Jack Black, Paramore and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

“I can’t think of anybody who deserves it more,” said Desmond. “Over the years, you’ve built a fantastic business. Your many groundbreaking achievements are well recognised in what was a male-dominated business. You were firm; you were fair. You think of the long-term interests of your artists. You have no problem telling it like it is, and that it is not always about the money.”

“You’ve had a fantastic career so far, you are one of the most influential music agents of all time and deserve – really deserve – all the accolades you receive,” added Greek. “You’re a champion for your clients, an inspiration to all of us that know you, and you’ve made such a positive difference to so many lives, be it clients, be it colleagues or friends. It’s been an amazing ride to work alongside you all these years, and long may that continue.”

“We will be a far worse place if Brixton Academy doesn’t exist”

Banks used her acceptance speech to encourage more support for grassroots venues (“These venues have given so many important artists their start. We can’t let that die”), while also rallying people to support the campaign to save O2 Academy Brixton from closure.

“We will be a far worse place if Brixton Academy doesn’t exist,” she said, while also paying tribute to touring crew and staff (“The people that get up first and go to bed last”).

Hosted by BBC Radio 1’s Vick Hope, the sold-out event took place at Battersea Evolution and was attended by more than 1,400 industry guests.

Winners in the live categories included Kilimanjaro Live (Live Music Promoter), which also triumphed at the inaugural LIVE Awards last year, UTA (Live Music Agency), Reading & Leeds Festival (Festival of the Year), Dice (Ticketing Company) and Leeds’ Brudenell Social Club (Grassroots Venue: Spirit Of The Scene). In addition, The 1975’s manager Jamie Oborne of All On Red Management was named Manager of the Year.

Emma Banks and Mike Greek will deliver a joint keynote at this year’s International Festival Forum (IFF), taking place between 26-28 September in London. After more than 30 years of working together, the powerhouse duo behind CAA’s London office will share the conference stage for the first time ever.

This year’s keynote is due to take place at 11.30am on Thursday 28 September at IFF’s new home, Omeara, in south London.


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