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LGBTIQ+ List 2023: Katherine Koranteng, Festival Republic

Continuing a series of interviews with this year's queer pioneers, IQ speaks to the UK-based marketing & campaigns manager

By Lisa Henderson on 21 Jul 2023

Katherine Koranteng, Festival Republic

Katherine Koranteng, Festival Republic

The LGBTIQ+ List 2023 – IQ Magazine’s third annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – has been revealed.

The ever-popular list is the centrepiece of IQ’s third Pride edition, sponsored by Ticketmaster, which is now available to read online and in print for subscribers.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each of them on the development of the industry, the challenges that are keeping them up at night and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Check out yesterday’s profile with Ippei Kimura, booking/marketing/tour manager at Creativeman Productions in Tokyo, Japan.

The series continues with Katherine Koranteng (she/her/hers) marketing & campaigns manager at Festival Republic in London, UK.

Katherine Koranteng is the marketing manager of Latitude Festival, the 35,000-capacity music and multi-arts festival that takes place in Suffolk, England. Katherine (Kat) got her start attending London’s The Event Academy, shortly after securing an internship at MAMA Festivals, moving up to digital strategy assistant working on festivals like Lovebox and Citadel. In 2019, she moved over to Festival Republic, starting as a social media creator before ascending to digital content coordinator, where she delivered brilliant creative campaigns and content for some of the company’s biggest brands including Reading & Leeds and Wireless. In 2022, Kat was promoted to marketing lead at Latitude Festival, overseeing all marketing aspects of creative, advertising, sponsorship and delivering the marketing onsite deliverables and operations.

Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2023 so far.
Being promoted into my role as the marketing manager for Latitude and seeing it on track for a sell-out. What makes me particularly proud is supporting the queer community across the many stages. The late-night programming specifically includes a wide variety of performances, such as cabaret, burlesque, and drag shows.

Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
The Cocoa Butter Club at Latitude this year. They’re a queer collective that showcases and celebrates performers of colour in burlesque, drag, and music.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
To me, queerness is all about freedom of expression. It’s about embracing who you are, being proud of yourself and standing firmly in your authenticity without being swayed by others’ opinions. My advice may sound cliché, but it holds true: Be yourself. Don’t feel pressured to conform or fit into a mould just because the environment around you may be different. Your true essence shines brightest when you embrace your unique self and let your pride and clarity guide your path.

“To me, queerness is all about freedom of expression”

In terms of challenges in the industry, what’s currently keeping you up at night?
One thing is the lack of diverse thought among influential decision-makers in the industry. While there is a gradual shift happening, there are still instances where artists are solely booked based on their commercial value, potentially sacrificing the true essence and spirit of the art. I remain hopeful for a future where the positive changes that are being made continue, where decisions about lineups embrace a wider range of perspectives and artistic integrity. It’s a challenge that we need to address and push for more expeditious change.

How do you see the live music business developing in the next few years?
Even more niche events and festivals catered to specific audiences. We have already seen the growth of festivals like Mighty Hoopla, which was created to provide a space for the queer community to enjoy music that represents happiness, joy, and queerness. This trend of catering to specific interests will likely continue to shape the live music business.

“[There’s] lack of diverse thought among influential decision-makers in the industry”

Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.
Embracing diverse thought. As a black, queer woman, I often find myself standing out in an environment where there is a lack of representation. It can be challenging to express your outlook on life when it feels like others might not relate. We need more individuals of all identities and walks of life, so voices can be heard, and new perspectives can be valued. I believe it ultimately comes down to the hiring process. It is essential to select individuals not only based on their skill set or institutions they’ve attended but also their genuine passion for and understanding of the music or art being presented.

Shout out to your biggest ally and live music industry
I’m not entirely sure if she is still active in the music industry, but I want to give a big shout-out to Olivia Timson. When I first joined Mama and worked at Lovebox festival, Olivia hired me. Lovebox featured an incredible celebration of queerness, expressed through the way people dressed, the music, and the lineup of DJs. Olivia played a significant role in opening my eyes to the abundance of love and self-expression within the industry. She encouraged me to follow my voice, be proud of who I am, and embrace my creativity. I’m truly grateful for her support and guidance.


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