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The New Bosses 2022: Zoe Williamson, UTA

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 Bosses 2022 interview with Vegard Storaas, promoter at Live Nation Norway. The series concludes with Zoe Williamson, booking agent at UTA in the US.

Zoe Rae Williamson joined UTA in 2016, working her way up from the mailroom to music agent. She helps strategise and book tours and live opportunities for clients like Arlo Parks, St. Vincent, Spoon, Big Freedia, Pom Pom Squad, Nova Twins, Hovvdy, and more. She also covers North American Pride events for artists including Tinashe, Shygirl, and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, among others.

She finds inspiration in UTA’s collaborative and stimulating environment and holds leadership roles in several company programmes to promote positivity and inclusivity in the music industry. She co-founded La Femme Majeure, an event series focused on empowering women, and Justice Now, an internal initiative to combat systemic racism.

 


You started out in the famous mailroom at UTA. Is this still a viable path for people wanting to break into the music industry in 2022?

Absolutely. I wouldn’t have traded my experience for anything, and there is still immense value to starting in the mailroom at an agency. At UTA, music agents work across the entire company to find opportunities for clients in other business verticals like acting, writing, film, and many other spaces. Since there are so many resources available for clients, it’s helpful to begin your career journey by learning as much as possible about every department, and the mailroom is a great place to start absorbing that knowledge. It’s also important to remember that working in the mailroom or another entry-level agency position doesn’t mean you have to be an agent. So many promoters, managers, label executives, and more got their start working as agency interns, assistants, and trainees. You never know where you’ll end up.

“We wanted to create an environment in which all women – regardless of their levels – could come together, get to know each other, and build community”

La Femme Majeure and Justice Now sound like fantastic initiatives. Can you tell us more about them?

La Femme Majeure (LFM) started off in New York and has since expanded globally. This year, we are hoping to launch LFM panel events in Nashville and London and to resume in-person events in Los Angeles and New York. Many events geared towards empowering women tend to focus specifically on high-level veteran executives and students looking to launch their careers, so we started LFM to create a networking event series that also includes women in the middle of that spectrum, who are succeeding in their current roles while aiming to take the next step in their professional journeys.

We wanted to create an environment in which all women – regardless of their levels – could come together, get to know each other, and build community. The moment you walk into an LFM event, it needs to feel like home. We’ve been able to accomplish that over the years because we go into every event with the intention of facilitating inclusion and warmth. Co-founding LFM with my colleagues is one of my proudest accomplishments. Launching and maintaining the series has been a true group effort, and I feel very lucky to work with such exceptional women.

Justice Now started in 2020 following the police murders of multiple Black Americans, including George Floyd. Quarantine forced everyone to face the reality of how racism still permeates the country. The founding members of Justice Now at UTA have always been communicating about these issues so when the George Floyd news hit, we immediately decided to come together and create structured efforts to combat racism within the industry. We have continually made progress since Justice Now’s inception by increasing inclusivity within the agent training program, creating regular education-focused programming, organising internal mentorship Q&A’s with agents, and more. We are moving forward and it’s important to celebrate those wins as motivation to make more forward strides in years to come.

Do you think the music industry and consumer brands are best exploiting the opportunities that Pride has to offer, or do you think these events should remain somewhat ring-fenced as cultural and educational institutions?

As both a queer person and someone that works at a major agency, it’s important for me to see the benefits of both large-scale, company-sponsored Pride events and more underground grassroots events. Additionally, many LGBTQIA+ artists make a huge portion of their annual revenue during Pride Month through corporate events. However, the LGBTQIA+ community doesn’t stop existing outside of June and other international Pride months, and we need to be creating more year-round live experiences and opportunities to support the community beyond standard Pride months and timelines.

“While it’s important to raise your hand when someone needs help, you can’t take on everything or you’ll burn out”

What has been your biggest career highlight to date?

I could never pick just one! But I will say that one of the greatest highlights has been the friendships and trustworthy relationships I’ve formed and nurtured over the years. It has been, and continues to be, a joy to get to know so many great people within the music space. We’re nothing in this industry without each other. Nothing gets done alone!

If you could offer the 18-year-old Zoe one piece of advice, what would it be?

Not everyone’s problem is your problem. When I was younger, I often overextended myself to the point of exhaustion trying to help everyone in my life, even people I wasn’t close with. While it’s important to raise your hand when someone needs help, you can’t take on everything or you’ll burn out. Also, there are occasions in which other colleagues may be better equipped to help solve an issue. Now, when someone is going through a challenge, I consider my bandwidth and relevant experience before jumping in.

The gender imbalance at festivals has been an issue again this year. Are there any proactive suggestions agents can make to help address these problems?

When agents are pitching a woman-identifying client to a festival buyer, they need to be able to articulate why that particular artist belongs on that specific line-up. It is essential to educate ourselves on our clients’ unique personal backgrounds, bodies of work, and fanbases beyond their gender identity, so that we can provide the buyers a more well-rounded perspective on our artists.

“During the shutdown, people across the music industry had to work together to find new ways for artists to connect with fans and make a living”

As an agent, are there any particular events or forums that you visit to try to discover the next big act?

I’ve always been a big fan of The Fader’s Gen-F profiles, which highlight talented emerging artists, and app-curated playlists that recommend songs by new artists based on my current music preferences. However, word-of-mouth will always be my favourite way of discovering potential new clients because it encourages a sense of community with their other fans, as we’re all helping those artists launch their careers.

What are the biggest lessons that you learned during the pandemic that you can use to help with your career going forward?

I learned that you can’t get anything done in this job without getting in touch with your humanity. Before the pandemic, I thought that I needed to forge my own path for myself and my clients through aggressive negotiation tactics, but that simply isn’t true. You can achieve your goals without trying to force someone’s hand. During the shutdown, people across the music industry had to work together to find new ways for artists to connect with fans and make a living. We succeeded by building collaborative partnerships and trusting each other. Now, I try to work in tandem with others to achieve goals and solve problems instead of trying to assert dominance to force something to get done. A colleague once suggested we should assume positive intent. I really like that concept, and I’ve been able to accomplish so much more in the past two years because of it.

 


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Five takeaways from the International Festival Forum

A record 800 delegates from 40 countries flocked to the eighth edition of the International Festival Forum (IFF) in London, last week.

With the world’s best-known festival professionals and booking agents in attendance, IQ has compiled some key takeaways from this year’s event.

Play it safe and route your tours selectively
During the panel Festivals & Agents: Happier than ever? Chris Payne (WME, UK) voiced concerns about the viability of club shows, both for the fans and the touring industry.

“I don’t know that the next generation is going to want to go to a club in their town, be it Bedford or Coventry. They will go online. I’m worried about clubs generally because the ticket price is very expensive, and bands can’t afford to tour for anything less than £1,200–1,500 [per night] but then we’re missing a gap [in the touring ecosystem]. We can’t just skip straight to 800 capacity venues”

Payne also said that agents will need to be selective about which markets their artists play in 2023 in order to curb losses.

“You know your major markets will likely sell,” he said. “The ticket prices are going to be difficult… but it’s going to look better in your Londons or Amsterdams or Berlins than in a fifth market or a sixth market – I don’t think that’s [possible in] 2023. Forget those regional shows, if you’re not sure. There’s nothing worse than losing money on those one or two shows and then it wipes out your profit.”

Payne’s thoughts were echoed by One Finiix Live’s Jess Kinn during the New Kids on the Block panel, who said: “We need to make sure we’re not just putting an artist out there for the sake of it and really stick to the strategy of only touring at the right time, especially now,” she said. “Being able to pick and choose helps.”

Payne continued: “Next year will be about making safe bets. Personally, I won’t be trying to take a big bite out of the market next year, I just want to remain stable.”

“Even if it’s a partner I don’t like or a brand I hate, I have to start considering it”

Reconsider sponsorship offers in order to keep ticket prices down
Speaking during Festivals & Agents: Happier than ever? Cindy Castillo (Mad Cool, ES) said that festivals may have to be less fussy about their partners in order to secure much-needed cash and keep ticket prices down.

“We now need to adapt, as a festival, to things that we wouldn’t have done before in order to keep the prices affordable,” she said.

“For example, brands would come to us and say ‘Hey, I want to sponsor your festival’ and if it was not a brand that we share values with, I would have said no – it doesn’t matter the amount of money you put in. But now, even if it’s a partner I don’t like or a brand I hate, I have to start considering it. We have a business here and we need to keep it running and working.”

“People are going to have to choose whether they want to go on vacation or whether they want to do a festival as a holiday”

Be cheap or be unique to attract fans
With the projected increase in ticket prices and a decrease in fans’ disposable income, festival bosses are anticipating tough competition in 2023. During The Festival Season 2022 panel, Primary Talent’s Sally Dunstone ventured that destination festivals may come out on top if fans are forced to choose between a holiday or a festival.

“People have to be more careful with how they spend their money,” she explained. “So people are going to have to choose whether they want to go on vacation or whether they want to do a festival as a holiday.”

Detlef Kornett (DEAG, DE) added: “Recession is going to hit us and I think we will see people that left our industry return because logistics and retail and construction, all of them will suffer. Starting a new festival will be a big challenge. I like to say that next year is going to be about ‘be unique or be cheap’, but anything in the middle will be really difficult to get through.”

“There needs to be a way for us to keep people who can’t afford [festivals] the chance to see live music”

Be careful of pricing out certain groups of fans
During one of many discussions about ticket prices, Rauha Kyyrö (Fullsteam Agency, FI) said that increasing the cost for consumers could price out certain groups, making festivals less accessible for all.

“One real concern I have is that we’re making these events less and less inclusive,” she said. “We have to start thinking about ways to let people in for a very, very low price. I don’t know how we justify it, but there needs to be a way to allow people who can’t afford it the chance to see live music.

Nikolaj Thorenfeldt (Smash! Bang! Pow!, DK) added: “‘Inclusive’ is incredibly important. It’s the first word in our office when we discuss building a new event because they have to be for everybody. Everybody has to feel welcome. If you’re pricing out several customer groups, that is not the right direction.”

During The Festival Season 2022 Karolina Kozlowska (Live Nation, SE) said there had been a huge increase in VIP and platinum ticket sales, which could theoretically help subsidise cheaper tickets in the future.

“Some people are very willing to buy the more expensive ticket to get that extra comfortable experience,” said Kozlowska. “So you might not need to raise all your ticket prices – at least not by 20% – if you can make better experiences for the VIP or platinum guests which then allows the young kids an affordable ticket.”

“I think we’re going to see more and more questions about touring and how we tour”

Rethink the way you tour, to protect everyone’s mental health
With an increasing number of artists cancelling tours due to mental health concerns, James Wright (UTA, UK) was keen to remind the industry that it’s not just those on the stage that are at risk of burn out.

“It’s encouraging that [this issue] is getting the press coverage that it is because it’s been under-discussed in the public domain for a very long time. But it’s not just the artists who get the headlines; it’s the burnt-out tour manager or it’s the crew that are physically exhausted.

“We’re going to see more and more questions about touring and how we tour; length of tours, turnaround of shows more crew required and so. It’s a big topic.

“Going forward, a lot more needs to come from agents about how we route tours. There needs to be conversations with the artists and management ahead of time, to talk about how they want to tour and what their expectations are. And it’s the whole ecosystem that needs to work together.”

IFF returns to London from 26-28 September, 2023.

 


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IFF ’22: ‘Agents and promoters must stick together’

Top agents and festival promoters say that the spirit of collaboration cultivated during the Covid-19 pandemic must be maintained if the industry is to overcome the next set of challenges.

The discussion took place today at IFF (International Festival Forum) during the panel Festivals & Agents: Happier than ever?, which featured Nikolaj Thorenfeldt (Smash! Bang! Pow!, DK), Chris Payne (WME, UK), Adele Slater (Wasserman Music, UK), Rauha Kyyrö (Fullsteam Agency, FI) and Cindy Castillo (Mad Cool, ES).

Fullsteam’s Kyyrö told IFF delegates that the bright side of the pandemic was an increased sense of understanding and patience among colleagues in the business.

“What I’ve noticed during the summer and autumn is that none of the companies to me seem to be working 100% efficiently,” she said. “I think everyone’s still struggling a little bit with how to set up their business and how to work internally so this is making us a little bit more patient. I’m no longer getting so many angry emails about not responding right away. I might get a reminder, but it’s usually a kinder reminder.”

Wasserman Music’s Slater said the pandemic also gave promoters and agents the chance to get to know the person behind the email address, thus humanising business relationships.

“We all had to club together because no one really knew what was going on at any point,” she said. “With promoters, once you’d rescheduled your shows, you would check in on them and see if they were okay and actually get to know the person rather than asking for a pencil. You had time to get to know people. It helped relationships with people rather than [feed into] the whole agent versus promoter [thing].”

Thorenfeldt from Smash! Bang! Pow! agreed, adding: “Some of the best conversations I’ve had with various business partners was when we actually got to talk about stuff that’s not numbers of whatever. You actually started to get to know certain relationships a lot better, which I think has been incredibly fruitful in a lot of ways since we returned to business. You found out what’s important in some of your work relationships and got a better idea of what sort of pressure each of us is feeling in our everyday life.”

Mad Cool’s Castillo said she personally experienced this newfound empathy from industry peers when the promoter cancelled Mad Cool Sunset.

“I think we have become more willing to look for solutions when problems arise”

The festival was called off after organisers were unable to find a “suitable” replacement for Rage Against The Machine, who recently cancelled all forthcoming dates in the UK and Europe.

“Four or five years ago, the response probably would have been ‘You’re gonna pay me everything now’,” explained Castillo. “Now, 95% of people said ‘Okay, Cindy, don’t worry. We understand the situation. It’s a shame this has happened. Let’s look for a solution.

“I think we have become more willing to look for solutions when problems arise. Maybe a couple of years ago, there would have been more aggressive communication with people demanding what they want but now there’s understanding.”

And it’s not just the bonds between agents and promoters that have strengthened because of the pandemic, according to WME’s Payne.

“We’ve got closer as a team internally because we’ve had to help each other. It might be that one of my colleagues has got a show but I’ve got a better relationship with a promoter and I’ll go down and help a little bit. And hopefully, that’s happening in the promoter world as well. It makes you just run harder and faster and better together.”

The panel agreed that, going forward, different forces in the industry must continue to work as one in order to overcome issues such as soaring costs, staff shortages and talent drains.

“These are crazy circumstances and we need to try and compromise,” continued Payne. “So I’m hoping compromises are a bigger part of everyone’s conversations, from agents to promoters, because we’re in an ecosystem and you don’t have one without the other.”

Thorenfeldt from Smash! Bang! Pow! added: “We want to help great artists achieve their wildest dreams – that’s the mutual goal for all of us. I also think that if there’s a mutual problem we need to look at it together, as well.”

 


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WME elevates Lucy Dickins to new global head role

WME has elevated Lucy Dickins to the position of global head of contemporary music and touring.

Dickins, whose clients include Adele and Mumford & Sons, was previously the company’s co-head of music and recently relocated to WME’s Beverly Hills office from London, having joined the agency in 2019 from ITB.

In her expanded role, she will oversee all aspects of WME’s contemporary music and touring business across Beverly Hills, New York, Nashville, London and Sydney.

“Lucy is a dynamic leader who brings strategic vision, energy and passion to every artist and colleague she encounters,” says Lloyd Braun, chairman of WME and president of Endeavor Client Group. “Lucy is the ideal leader to guide WME’s contemporary music business as we continue to expand our offerings and opportunities for our clients.”

“There is no place like WME, and I’m excited for what we will achieve together on behalf of our clients”

During Dickins’ time at WME, the agency has made several new key agent and executive hires, and has booked over 30,000 dates alone in 2022.

“I am grateful to the leadership at WME for supporting me in this role, and for my partners and team members I have the privilege of working with every day in the music division,” says Dickins. “There is no place like WME, and I’m excited for what we will achieve together on behalf of our clients.”

Kirk Sommer will continue in his role of global co-head of contemporary music and touring, while Becky Gardenhire, Joey Lee, and Jay Williams will continue in their roles as co-heads of WME’s Nashville office, managing the agency’s country music touring business.

Recent WME signings have included Stormzy, Saucy Santana, Meek Mill, Ozuna and Nataneal Cano, while the company also hired Dvora Englefield as head of music artist strategy.

“We’re on course to where we were in 2019, which is pretty outstanding given what we’ve all just come through”

Dickins is profiled in the new issue of IQ, out next week, which reflects on her 25 years in the business so far and looks ahead to her future at WME.

“We’re having an incredible year,” she reports. “We’re on course to where we were in 2019, which is pretty outstanding given what we’ve all just come through.

“It would be remiss to say that I don’t think there’s going to be some hurdles next year. The cost of living and the sheer number of acts going out in the market is going to affect things. There’s going to be some bumps in the road, 100%. But I’m a massive believer that you just attack those when they come along.

“The bottom line is that people still want to go out and see live music, which is very refreshing. As long as the appetite is there with the fans, things will be good.”

 


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More speakers confirmed for IFF 2022

The latest round of guest speakers and conference topics have been unveiled for the International Festival Forum (IFF) 2022, ILMC’s invitation-only event for music festivals and booking agents.

United Talent Agency’s UK office co-head Obi Asika is the first industry leader confirmed to join host James Drury (ILMC) for The Festival Season 2022, to discuss the key challenges organisers have faced as we look forward to a smoother 2023.

Wasserman Music’s Adele Slater (UK) and Chris Payne (WME, UK) will appear alongside IQ Magazine‘s Gordon Masson and Smash!Bang!Pow! CEO Nikolaj Thorenfeldt (DK) on Festivals & Agents: Happier than ever? to examine the main ingredients powering our multi-billion dollar business.

And Barbara Hexges (Superbloom!, DE) will speak at The New Kids on the Block, a quickfire presentation session of every key new festival and agency that’s emerged in the last 18 months, alongside Stephan Thanscheidt (Tempelhof Sounds, DE) and Jess Kinn & Sean Goulding from One Fiinix Live (UK).

The first 400 delegates from 26 countries are now signed up for IFF 2022

IFF 2022 will offer the usual plethora of networking, showcases, panels, and parties – all taking place between 27-29 September in London. Check out the first speaker announcement here.

The first 400 delegates from 26 countries are now signed up, with demand for IFF 2022 passes proving higher than ever.

IFF’s new delegate hub, the Holiday Inn in Camden, will be transformed into IFF Central for three days and host conference sessions, private parties and meetings, and speed dating for attendees.

Wasserman Music, WME, CAA, UTA, Primary Talent, ATC Live, X-Ray Touring, Solo Agency, Pure, One Finiix Live and Earth Agency are among the first to back the 2022 edition as agency partners, many of whom will present showcases featuring the hottest new talent.

Full information about this year’s event, including how to apply for a pass, is online at www.iff.rocks.

 


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Wasserman ups agents Blackgrove, Malak and Slater

Wasserman Music has elevated London-based agents Dave Blackgrove, Mike Malak and Adele Slater to partner.

The trio have bolstered the leadership team of the Wasserman’s UK office, while veteran agents Nick Cave and Chris Smyth have also joined the agency.

Electronic music specialist Blackgrove joined Coda Agency 14 years ago as an assistant and has developed a roster including Camelphat, Fisher, Sonny Fodera, Dom Dolla, Franky Wah, Ben Böhmer, and recent signing Syreeta.

“To move from assistant to a partner at the company says a lot about us as a company, but more about Dave as a person,” says Wasserman Music partner Tom Schroeder. “An unbelievably hard-working family man, he has put so much into the job, showing real tenacity and total commitment to his artists.

“He has established an incredible dance music roster in a sphere that rarely backs a newcomer. We are very proud of what he has achieved, and can already feel what an important impact he is going to make on our board.”

“He has extraordinary instincts for A&R and artist development”

Malak, who won the top agent prize at the Arthur Awards in April, is the European agent for Billie Eilish, who just became the youngest headliner in Glastonbury Festival history and sold out a six-show run at The O2 in London.

He also helped Eilish and her team organise climate change summit Overheated at The O2 and was an executive producer for the accompanying Overheated documentary. Additionally, he is the founder of record label and publishing company Coldpress.

Malak began his career working in various capacities with Black Eyed Peas, then at Warner Bros. Records in London and at Steve Aoki management company Seminal Music before joining Coda 11 years ago. His client roster also includes the likes of Girl in Red, Denzel Curry, Pusha T, BoyWithUke, Joji and 070 Shake.

“Mike has had a great year, with Billie’s European shows and helping her create the Overheated climate conference, as well as winning the Arthur Award,” says Wasserman Music partner Alex Hardee. “He has extraordinary instincts for A&R and artist development, and we’re proud to welcome him into the leadership of our agency.”

“Adele is agent to some of the most exciting acts around

Slater joined Coda six years ago, and signed Liam Gallagher with Alex Hardee. Gallagher headlined two nights at Knebworth last month, bookending Slater’s career, which began as a receptionist and assistant to Stuart Galbraith at concert promoter MCP, who staged Oasis’s legendary shows at Knebworth in 1996.

She later worked as an assistant to Neil Warnock at The Agency Group before returning as a promoter at Live Nation. Slater returned to The Agency Group to work with agent Russell Warby, then moved with Warby to WME, where she was an agent for nine years before joining Coda. Her roster also includes Courtney Barnett, Perfume Genius, The Horrors, Gruff Rhys, Lynks, Asgeir and Wet Leg.

“Adele is agent to some of the most exciting acts around,” says Wasserman Music partner James Whitting. “Liam Gallagher, Wet Leg and Courtney Barnett, to name a select few, are all having fantastic years. Wet Leg’s set at Glastonbury was a particular highlight, and officially the busiest that stage has ever been.

“Not only is Adele a great agent, she has an invaluable knowledge of the live industry that can only be gained by years of experience as both an agent and a promoter, and we welcome her input into the future management of Wasserman Music.”

“Having him join our team is a fantastic win for TeamWass”

Meanwhile, Nick Cave spent 13 years at WME, growing an electronic music roster that includes Charlotte de Witte, Anfisa Letyago, John Summit, 2manydjs/Soulwax, Enrico Sangiuliano, Mind Against and Trentemøller.

“Nick is an unwavering force in this electronic scene. Having him join our team is a fantastic win for TeamWass,” says Blackgrove. “He’s also good for a midday lunch which is great for me.”

Chris Smyth ran his own digital PR company early in his career, before joining Primary Talent International as an agent in 2015. He joined Paradigm’s UK music team in January 2022, shortly before its acquisition by Wasserman Music in April.

His primarily pop-focused roster includes BI, IC3PEAK, Melanie C, MØ, The Rose, The Walters and Tommy Cash.

“Chris brings fantastic taste and instincts to our team of agents, and we look forward to working with him on this next stage of his career,” adds Whitting.

 


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Stormzy signs with WME

WME has signed Stormzy for representation in all areas.

The grime artist, real name Michael Omari, inked a worldwide deal with CAA only last year, having previously been a client of Primary Talent International.

The move, announced just days after the completion of CAA’s $750 million acquisition of ICM Partners, covers touring and brand partnerships and reunites the 28-year-old with his former agent at Primary, Craig D’Souza, who joined WME as partner in 2021.

“Stormzy is one of the UK’s most inspiring artists who has consistently stood up to address social injustices”

D’Souza, who brought a roster including Dave, Krept and Konan, J Hus, Jacob Banks and Headie One to WME’s London office, guided Stormzy’s live career from 250-capacity club shows in 2015 through to his 2019 Glastonbury headline performance and a sold-out world tour.  He will represent the star alongside WME co-head of music Lucy Dickins and agent Whitney Boateng, reports Music Week.

“A true spokesman of Black empowerment and social activism, Stormzy is one of the UK’s most inspiring artists who has consistently stood up to address social injustices, encouraging his fans and listeners alike to speak openly about their beliefs and fight for their rights,” says a WME statement.

Managed by #Merky co-founder Tobe Onwuka, Stormzy also headlined Reading & Leeds in 2021, and completed his first UK arena tour earlier this year.

His upcoming tour dates include slots at Weekend Festival Finland (2 July), Madrid’s Mad Cool (7 July), Portugal’s Nos Alive (8 July) and Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland (11 July), followed by an Australasian tour booked for November/December.

 


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CAA promotes six trainees to agent

Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has promoted six graduates from its CAA Elevate training programme.

Chris Burrus, Zakaria Laaboudi, Inder Gill, Sophie Kavanagh, Arlen Papazian and Kara Petit have all been elevated by the company.

CAA Elevate is the agency’s next-generation training and practical development curriculum for its new wave of agents and executives in training, designed to “cultivate best practices, encourage innovation and foster global strategic-thinking”.

Nashville-based Burrus, who represents the likes of Nate Smith, Tyler Booth, Erin Kinsey and After Midtown, has been upped to agent in the music touring department. He is also on the teams that support Jake Owen, Matt Koziol and Brandon Ratcliff. He joined CAA in 2018 as an assistant to Sabrina Butera, and was promoted to music touring coordinator in 2021.

CAA Elevate is the agency’s next-generation training and practical development curriculum

London-based Laaboudi joined CAA Sports in 2018, serving as an assistant to Roman Di Somma, prior to being promoted into CAA Elevate in October 2021. In his new role as an international sports talent agent, Laaboudi will identify and orchestrate endorsement opportunities for the agency’s international talent clients, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Son Heung-min, Raphaël Varane and Daniel Ricciardo.

Elsewhere, Los Angeles-based Gill has been promoted to agent and will serve on the media finance team; Kavanagh has been made an agent in the commercial endorsements department and will be based in CAA’s New York office; and LA-based Papazian is promoted to agent in the podcast group, with a focus on creating live touring opportunities. Also based in LA, Petit is promoted to agent in the global television department.

 


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Wasserman Music UK announces handful of promotions

Wasserman Music has elevated five longtime UK-based employees to agent.

The promotions include Laura Brown, Cecilia Chan, Suzie Melki, Lucy Putman and Holly Rowland, who were all previously bookers at the agency.

The move represents the first promotions for the London office since Wasserman’s acquisition of Paradigm’s UK’s live music business in April.

“We are very proud that they have come through the ranks of the company”

“We are thrilled to announce the promotions of Laura, Suzie, Cecilia, Holly and Lucy,” says Wasserman Music partner James Whitting. “They have all been with us for a number of years and worked across the likes of Slowthai, Easy Life, Kaytranada, Louis Tomlinson and Billie Eilish, and we couldn’t be happier for them for this next stage in their careers.

“We are very proud that they have come through the ranks of the company, helping to shape our culture and building and developing our artists’ careers in the best possible way. We look forward to enjoying the future with this great group of individuals as we continue to grow Wasserman’s global music division.”

Brown joined Coda (now Wasserman Music) as a receptionist in 2013 and moved up to an agent assistant and became booker for Whitting in 2018. As a new agent, she has signed artists Lucy Deakin, Queen Millz, and Clarence & The Modern Life.

Chan, who first joined Primary Talent International as assistant to agent Cris Hearn and followed him to Coda in 2015, has signed artists including iamamiwhoami, Amy Wiles, Moon Boots, Shimza and BluePrint, and is a mentor with British charity Youth Music.

Melki moved into the live business at Asgard, later switching to WME to work with agent Sol Parker, who she followed to Coda in 2015. She has also worked with Wasserman agent Adele Slater. Recently, she has signed artists including Matt Corby, John Vincent III, Remme and Lip Critic.

Putman, who started promoting club nights with friends as a teenager, was invited to join Coda by agent Tom Schroeder in 2007. Putman has helped organise the Music Mudder charity fundraiser created by Wasserman Music UK agents, which will return later this year, and has also mentored at Bristol Beacons, an organisation that helps up-and-coming musicians.

Rowland, meanwhile, began her career as an apprentice at Coda before coming on board full-time as an assistant in 2016. She worked across DJ clients booking travel before moving to work with agent Sol Parker, and was promoted to booker for Alex Hardee two years later. As a new agent, she has signed artists including David Kushner, Sophia Alexa and Rhys.

 


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UTA announces 26-strong partner class

UTA has announced the largest partner class in its 31-year history, elevating 26 team members across more than 15 divisions.

Music agents Mike “G” Guirguis, Jbeau Lewis and Matthew Morgan have both been promoted to partner alongside the company’s co-head of music brand partnerships Toni Wallace and Joe Kessler, global head of the firm’s UTA IQ research, data and analytics department.

The class also includes three recently announced partners with Stefanie Liquori as general counsel, Carmen Bona as chief strategy and corporate development officer and Richard Siklos as chief communications officer.

“These colleagues’ leadership, hard work, mentorship and dedication helps push our business forward every day”

“As UTA has grown, these colleagues’ leadership, hard work, mentorship and dedication helps push our business forward every day,” says UTA co-president David Kramer. “This partner class encompasses a wide range of expertise and backgrounds and reflects our commitment to providing clients with best-in-class representation and resources across all areas of the company.”

The new partners also include agents and executives from UTA’s motion picture literary and talent groups, unscripted television, ventures, production arts, sports, MediaLink, media rights, UTA Speakers and digital talent, as well as corporate functions such as legal and human resources.

 


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