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ATC raises £4m+ in IPO

UK-based music company ATC is planning to float on London’s Aquis Stock Exchange next week after raising £4.15 million (€4.86m) in its initial public offer (IPO).

Asset management company Schroders bought almost a 10% stake in the IPO, which was priced at 153p per share, giving the company a market capitalisation of approximately £14.66m on admission, according to Proactive Investors.

ATC (All Things Considered Group Plc) said it will use the money raised to provide additional funds and presence to enable the directors to seek growth across each of the company’s separate divisions.

The company’s divisions include booking agency ATC Live, led by Alex Bruford, which boasts a roster of more than 350 artists including Fontaines D.C, Georgia, Alma, Goat Girl, Mac Demarco, Metronomy and Nick Cave.

“[The new investors] appreciate the scale of the opportunity out there for a holistic artist-focused music group”

ATC Management, meanwhile, represents artists such as Faithless, Jonny Marr and Laura Marling and PJ Harvey.

The company also produces livestream events through subsidiary company Driift, and now also operates in the sync, brand partnerships and promotions sectors through a variety of strategic partnerships.

Headquartered in London, ATC also has offices in Los Angeles and Copenhagen.

Chief executive Adam Driscoll, says: “I am delighted that new investors have bought into our vision, appreciating the scale of the opportunity out there for a holistic artist-focused music group in a rapidly evolving industry.”

“The board and I look forward to welcoming our new institutional and individual shareholders to the group.”

 


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UK acts cancel Spanish dates: “Brexit is the next major threat to live music”

ATC Live has warned that Brexit is “the next major threat to live music” after two of the agency’s British acts were forced to pull out of Spain dates due to Brexit-related visa issues.

Earlier this year, 19 out of 27 EU member states reached an agreement with the UK government to award free work visas for 90 days, so that artists and their crew can travel freely during that period.

No such agreement was reached with major touring markets such as Spain and Portugal, as well as Greece, Croatia, Romania, Malta, Cyprus and Bulgaria.

For that reason, ATC-repped acts Squid and Black Country, New Road were each forced to pull out of several Spain dates on their respective European tours due to bureaucratic and financial hurdles.

“Not being able to play territories that are essential for growth is devastating for acts on the up and means a loss of earnings for everyone”

Sarah Joy, ATC Live, agent for Squid, tells IQ they worked hard with dedicated partners in Spain to “make every effort for the band to perform”.

“Unfortunately there were two major hurdles. Firstly, the cost of the visas makes mid-level venue touring untenable with a tour party of this size. Each member and crew would need a working visa and the costs stack up high against budgets.

“Secondly, the increased red tape including passports being submitted to embassies and long wait times for appointments made these dates completely unviable in the timescale.

“We hope with time that this process will be slim-lined and the costs reaccessed. Not being able to play territories that are essential for growth and reaching fans is devastating for artists on the up and means a loss of earnings for everyone involved. Now we are able to operate in the post-pandemic landscape, Brexit is the next major threat to live music.”

“We hope with time that this process will be slim-lined and the costs reaccessed”

Clemence Renaut, ATC Live, agent for Black Country New Road, adds: “We got clear information about the Spanish visa process and costs only recently, and the Spanish dates being right in the middle of the tour, it became too risky to try to get the visas on time, and too expensive for the band.

“It is a real shame for the band, the fans, the promoters and venues, as they were their first headline shows in Spain following their first album release this year, before coming back for Primavera in 2022. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem feasible to reschedule these shows in the near future because of other commitments, and also because we always try to tour Spain as part of a tour to avoid fly-ins. We all hope for an agreement to be reached very soon!”

Squid would have played in Barcelona (28 October), Madrid (29 October) and Vigo (30 October), while Black Country New Road were due to perform in San Sebastian (29 October), Madrid (30 October) and Barcelona (2 and 3 November).

Barcelona festival Primavera, which has booked both bands for its 2022 event, says that the cost of such cancellations due to visa issues could be “the final blow” for the Spanish market, which is still largely closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“The lack of progress to solve this problem is leading us dangerously close to a point of no return”

“We are suffering the cancellation of tours that were already programmed and for which money had already been invested, whilst those tours which should now be closed for next year are still up in the air. In a very delicate climate due to the Covid crisis, with promoters who have been unable to programme for the last two years and bands unable to tour internationally for the same amount of time, these costs could the final blow for an industry on which technical teams, venues and festivals depend, as well as of course the artists from one of the countries with a huge presence on our stages.

“The lack of progress to solve this problem is leading us dangerously close to a point of no return. In the meantime, and respecting the “principle of reciprocity” which was promised by the EU, the Spanish artists and creators have indeed already been granted temporary UK visas for creative / artistic performances, free of charge. In short, if practically the whole European Union has been able to find a solution to this problem, we should be able to do the same in ours. And with the utmost urgency.”

The UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) previously said it is “actively engaging with the remaining EU member states that do not allow visa- and permit-free touring” has made formal approaches to them “to align their arrangements with the UK’s generous rules, which allow touring performers and support staff to come to the UK for up to three months without a visa”.

“We recognise challenges remain around touring, and we are continuing to work closely with the industry,” says DCMS in a statement. “We want to ensure that when Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, touring can resume and our world-leading creative and cultural artists can continue to travel widely, learning their craft, growing their audiences and showing the best of British creativity to the world.”

 


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Mayday! The IQ new music playlist is now live

The latest edition of IQ’s new music playlist, featuring a selection of tracks curated by major international booking agencies, is now live, showcasing some of the most exciting talent for May 2021.

Launched last summer, the playlist complements IQ Magazine’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agents.

The May playlist features contributions from CAA, ICM Partners, ITB, Paradigm, UTA, ATC Live, WME, Mother Artists and Primary Talent, each of which have picked up to five tracks apiece showcasing some of their hottest touring artists.

Listen to the latest selection using the Spotify playlist below, or click here to catch up on the April playlist first.

Separated by agency office, the full track list for the May playlist is:

AgencyArtistSong
CAAStefflon DonCan't Let You Go
CAAJoe PFighting in the Car
CAAMod SunFlames
CAAJonah KagenBroken
ICM PartnersImanbekDancing on Dangerous
ICM PartnersTygapawRun 2 U
ICM PartnersGaidaaLet Me
ICM PartnersTanerelleMama Saturn's Galactica
ICM PartnersCharmaineDouble Dutch
ITBBartleby DelicatePlastic Flowers
ITBCherymKisses on my Cards
ITBHaunt The WoodsElephant
ITBLYRWinter Solstice
ITBThe Slow Readers ClubEverything I Own
ParadigmDom DollaPump the Brakes
ParadigmFred AgainDermot (See Yourself in my Eyes)
ParadigmHenjilaPaper Boy
ParadigmThe ClauseTime Of Our Lives
ParadigmTirzahSend Me
UTAMarthaGunnGiving in
UTAWalk Off the EarthAnthem
UTADirty HoneyGypsy
UTAAyron JonesSpinning Circles
UTAPendulumCome Alive
ATC LiveJuan WautersMonsoon
ATC LivePintyFound it
ATC LiveWu-LuTimes
ATC LiveCrumbBalloon
ATC LiveCassandra JenkinsCrosshairs
WMEOlivia RodrigoDéjà Vu
WMEJ Balvin, KhalidOtra Noche Sin Ti
WMEEric ChurchHeart
WMEKygoGone are the Days
WMEThomas RhettCountry Again
Mother ArtistsCMATI Don't Really Care For You
Mother ArtistsGrandma's HouseSmall Talk
PrimaryIndigo De SouzaTake Off Ur Pants
PrimaryCookiee KawaiiVibe (If I Back it Up)
PrimaryImanbekRoses (Remix)
PrimaryEnglish TeacherR&B
PrimaryEthan TaschHow are you

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ATC Live recruits David ‘Skully’ Sullivan-Kaplan

UK booking agency ATC Live has welcomed David ‘Skully’ Sullivan-Kaplan into the fold.

Skully joins from United Talent Agency (UTA) and brings with him an artist roster that includes Larkin Poe, Steel Pulse, Poliça, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Holding Absence, Hollie Cook, and Lottery Winners.

In addition to nearly two decades’ worth of experience booking headline tours and festivals around the world, he has also secured a range of brand partnerships for his artists with the likes of Chanel, Hermés, Aquascutum, Goose Island and Twitch.

Skully launched his career at The Agency Group in New York and later relocated to London, combining his agency role with life as a touring musician in bands such as Razorlight.

“Agents who excel at the job yet are universally liked and respected are a rare breed,” says Alex Bruford, CEO, ATC Live.

“Agents who excel at the job yet are universally liked and respected are a rare breed”

“Skully is one of the few, and his extensive experience both as an agent and as a touring musician have given him an enviable skill set. Skully’s dedication to both his artists’ careers and his craft as an agent perfectly align with our values at ATC Live, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the company.”

Skully says: “I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the team at ATC Live. It’s been an incredibly tough year for everyone in our business, but with the prospect of live shows returning this felt like the perfect opportunity to partner with such a dynamic, innovative and independent agency. I’m extremely proud to add my clients to such a high-calibre roster, and to join this outstanding team of agents.”

ATC Live currently represents more than 380 artists including Aldous Harding, Black Pumas, Big Thief, Black Midi, Fontaines D.C., Georgia, Julia Jacklin, Japanese Breakfast, The Lumineers, Mac DeMarco, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Passenger, Sleaford Mods, Stella Donnelly, Shame, Snail Mail and Squid.

In October 2020, ATC Live announced a strategic partnership with US agency Arrival Artists to facilitate dynamic global representation for shared artists.

 


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IQ New Music playlist spotlights ILMC 33 showcase artists

The latest edition of IQ’s New Music playlist goes live today, showcasing the exciting new acts, handpicked by major international agencies and music export offices, that are set to perform at this week’s 33rd International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

Launched last summer, the playlist complements IQ Magazine’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agents.

The March playlist features contributions from ITB, ATC Live, Paradigm, UTA and Primary Talent, as well as UK Sounds, Hots (Hungarian Oncoming Tunes), Soundczech and Why Portugal, each of which have picked up to 12 tracks apiece showcasing some of their hottest touring artists.

Listen to the latest selection using the Spotify playlist below – or click here to catch up on the February 2021 edition first.

Separated by agency/export office, the full track list for the March playlist is:

AgencyArtistSong
ITBBernhoft, The Fashion BruisesLookalike
ITBBernhoftAll My Loving
ITBConradNo God
ITBConrad, Pablo NouvelleLiving For The Weekend
ITBKapil SeshasayeeThe Gharial
ITBKapil SeshasayeeThe Item Girl
ITBMobs, GoldhouseBig World (Goldhouse Remix)
ITBMobsSay Anything
ITBNature TVHometown
ITBNature TVOnly One
ITBNicole Slack Jones, Guéna LGI Am Free (Acoustic by Johan Czerneski)
ITBNicole Slack Jones, Guéna LGGive You My All (Acoustic by Johan Czerneski)
ATC LIVEFenne LilyTop to Toe
ATC LIVEFenne LilyFor a While
ATC LIVELos BitchosThe Link Is About to Die
ATC LIVELos BitchosPista (Great Start)
ATC LIVEPillow QueensHowDoILook
ATC LIVEPillow QueensGay Girls
ATC LIVERueben JamesSo Cool
ATC LIVERueben James, Col3traneMy Line
ATC LIVEThe Goa ExpressBe My Friend
ATC LIVEThe Goa ExpressThe Day
ParadigmRole ModelBlind
ParadigmRole ModelMinimal
ParadigmRitt MomneyPut Your Records On
ParadigmRitt MomneySomething, in General
ParadigmBartees StrangeBoomer
ParadigmBartees StrangeMustang
ParadigmTV PriestPress Gang
ParadigmTV PriestDecoration
ParadigmJP Saxe, Julia MichaelsIf The World Was Ending
ParadigmJP SaxeHey Stupid, I Love You
ParadigmChristyDancing With Air
ParadigmChristyOn My Mind
ParadigmUpsahlDrugs
ParadigmUpsahlPeople I Don't Like
UTANubya GarciaThe Message Continues
UTANubya GarciaLost Kingdoms
UTAPeach Tree RascalsMariposa
UTAPeach Tree RascalsMango
UTASkullcrusherSong for Nick Drake
UTASkullcrusherPlaces/Plans
Primary Talent InternationalBVDLVD, Lil DarkiePunk!
Primary Talent InternationalBVDLVDAdderall
Primary Talent InternationalDeema, David ArmadaHash Brown
Primary Talent InternationalDeema, Kish!Maddie
Primary Talent InternationalJoesef, Loyle CarnerI Wonder Why
Primary Talent InternationalJoesefThe Sun Is Up Forever
Primary Talent InternationalKaty KirbyJuniper
Primary Talent InternationalLouisahhhChaos - Wax Wings Remix
Primary Talent InternationalMiloeWinona
UK SoundsCherymAbigail
UK SoundsCherymWeird Ones
UK SoundsGengahrBefore Sunrise
UK SoundsLady NadeAin't One Thing
UK SoundsLady NadeComplicated
UK SoundsTrueMendousHmmm
UK SoundsTrueMendousThat Don't Mean
UK SoundsDead Pony23, Never Me
UK SoundsDead PonySharp Tongues
UK SoundsHMS MorrisPoetry
UK SoundsHMS MorrisBabanod
UK SoundsElles BaileyMedicine Man - Acoustic
UK SoundsElles BaileyWhat's the Matter with You
HOTSBabé SilaHole
HOTSBabé SilaMoonlight
HOTSJazzbois, Kid AbsraktLive & Direct - Live
HOTSWun Two, JazzboisInterloop
HOTSPlaton KarataevThe Season of Singing
HOTSPlaton KarataevElevator
HOTSThe Devil's TradeDead Sister
HOTSThe Devil's TradeThe Iron Peak
SoundczechLambdaSpace Express
SoundczechLambdaOdysea
SoundczechLazer VikingWaiting for the End of the End of the End
SoundczechLazer VikingEveryone But U
SoundczechPlease the TreesMissing Feeling Nothing
SoundczechPlease the TreesA Song Is It's Own World
SoundczechTeepeeNo Reason
SoundczechTeepeeParallel World
WHY PortugalWhalesBig Pulse Waves
WHY PortugalWhalesGhost
WHY PortugalLina, Raül RefreeMedo
WHY PortugalLina, Raül RefreeCuidei que tinha morrido
WHY PortugalSurmaMaasai
WHY PortugalSurmaHemma
WHY PortugalDream PeoplePeople Think
WHY PortugalDream PeopleCaroline

The full ILMC showcase schedule is available from the ILMC 33 website.

ILMC 33 takes place this week, from 3 to 5 March. A limited number of tickets are still available – click here for more information.

 


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Agents of Change: The agency business in transition

On 20 October, five US agents, all formerly of Paradigm Talent Agency, announced the formation of Arrival Artists – a brand-new booking agency with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle, a roster that includes the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Khruangbin and BadBadNotGood, and a partnership with European agency ATC Live for global representation of acts shared across both rosters.

Following the termination of hundreds of jobs by the Hollywood-headquartered global agencies since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s the kind of news observers of the agency space have come to expect – a group of agents from one multinational join forces and go independent – and follows the launch of two other new US indies, TBA Agency and Mint Talent Group, in late August and mid-September, respectively, and the likes of Route One Booking and Jon Ollier’s One Fiinix Live in the UK earlier this month.

The resurgence of the independent agency, and the apparent fracturing of the corporate giants following years of consolidation, is being watched closely in the broader live music world, where rumours abound of further agency launches and rebrands – including in Europe – in the months ahead.

Nowhere is this more the case than in London, where recent mergers include Primary Talent with ICM Partners and K2 Agency with Artist Group International. And while uncertainty reins, takeovers, strategic pacts and new ventures will all be under consideration for every business.

“It’s clearly a very challenging time for anyone working in live music at the moment,” says ATC Live’s Alex Bruford, whose roster includes Nick Cave, The Lumineers, Metronomy, Black Pumas and Fontaines DC. “No matter the size of the business, if your company relies on live touring, and there is no touring, it’s very difficult.”

“The idea in agency culture has long been geared towards an idea of ‘the bigger the better’”

“Clearly, we all have had to face major challenges in 2020, and we will continue to have significant challenges thrown at us for some time,” agrees Angus Baskerville, partner at 13 Artists, who works with artists including George Ezra, Brittany Howard, Jamiroquai, Michael Kiwanuka, Benjamin Clementine and Paolo Nutini.

But are ATC Live, 13 Artists and other UK-based indies such as ITB, Asgard, Midnight Mango and smaller boutique firms, better placed than their corporate cousins to survive, and even thrive, during the current crisis? With concert activity on hold, is it actually a blessing to be free of the structure of a large company – and are we witnessing a new era of independence in live music booking, the likes of which we haven’t seen for the best part of a decade?

Bigger: not always better
The past seven months have done much to expose some of the myths of pre-Covid thinking within the business, according to Earth Agency’s Rebecca Prochnik, who represents artists including Skepta, JME, AJ Tracey and Nines. “The idea in agency culture has long been geared towards an idea of ‘the bigger the better’,” explains Prochnik. “For a long time, the structural strategy of the larger agencies has been upscaling teams around artists, to provide a more intensive job. While I understand the reasoning, the model creates a lot of employment volume, and in fact the potential for disconnection that has never made full sense to me.”

“Sometimes I look at some of the bigger agencies, and you have too many agents or bookers squabbling over every artist that comes in,” echoes Obi Asika, founder and CEO of Echo Location Talent (Marshmello, Da Baby, Wizkid, Chase & Status, Pendulum, Major Lazer, Giggs). “Many artists have multiple agents, in part to ensure no one agent has too much power over the wider agency. That’s not workable anymore. There’s no guarantee this [a concert-stopping pandemic] won’t happen again – you’ve got to be careful of your overheads.”

“Some large businesses will have been better protected than other large businesses going into this, and I’m sure it’s the same for the smaller ones,” adds Baskerville. “Saying that, I do believe the independent sector has the possibility of thriving in 2021 and beyond, as we’re required to modernise and refresh approaches to the way we work – and do that quickly.”

“Independent companies have been able to be more nimble and adapt faster to new ways of working”

For many of the bigger, multinational agencies, the financial impact of this “surplus” is amplified by huge levels of corporate debt, which in some cases amounts to many times their annual revenues.

According to investment banker Lloyd Greif, Endeavor – the parent company of WME – is shouldering a staggering US$5.1 billion debt, while CAA has $1.15bn coming due in 2026, in addition to a $125 million revolving credit facility. Paradigm, meanwhile, is believed to owe around $80m, following multiple debt-financed acquisitions over the past decade.

Paul Boswell, of Free Trade Agency (The National, Tones and I, Wilco, Tash Sultana, Violent Femmes), says he believes that while the live entertainment shutdown is “clearly bad for all,” it will “hurt those that practice borrow-and-buy capitalism the most.”

“As an independent business, we’ve always been careful not to fall for the seductive culture of living beyond our means: even if money is flowing, we’ve stayed low to the ground on spend,” adds Prochnik. “We’ve always had a culture of working remotely – of needing an office solely for the wellbeing and connection of our staff community, rather than for external business. Throughout my career, I’ve taken my meetings in cars, in cafes, in parks, on the phone… It’s really only ever mattered that I can relate well and do a creative job for my clients as needed.

“What Covid’s done is blow away the myth that an independent attitude is a quirk. Big offices, gleaming receptions, plaques on walls, meeting rooms, games rooms, listening rooms… At the end of the day, those things are all just optics, and ones which suddenly seem tremendously outdated. None of those things shape business in a meaningful way…”

“When the dust settles, there are going to be huge changes”

“The importance of having an office as a status symbol – that, for me, has gone,” adds Asika. “You don’t need a shiny office, and you also don’t need people coming into work every day; if you don’t trust the people working for you, that’s a problem. I’ve enjoyed being at home with my family, and I want that flexibility for my business and staff.” “This virus is terrible, but there are potentially worse ones in the future,” he adds. “And when that comes, you want to be the little speedboat nipping around, not the big cruise liner…”

Agrees Prochnik: “Independent and smaller agencies tend to have a shared personality of sourcing and creating whatever there is to do, thinking outside the box, breaking moulds in order to make business work. I think this inherent culture of flexibility, nimbleness and creating value out of thin air is invaluable in these new times.”

“We’ve seen with companies across our sector, from agencies to promoters to ticketing companies, that often the larger the organisation – and therefore the higher the overheads – the harder hit they have been,” says Bruford. “In many cases, independent companies have been able to be more nimble and adapt faster to new ways of working, new opportunities and the changing landscape.”

The great equaliser
According to Asika, “When the dust settles, there are going to be huge changes” across the agency sector as a result of the current “correction.” “From the value of artists, to where people work, what people have started in this time, what new companies pop up… there are all these things happening in the background, and it’s going to have a long-term impact,” he predicts.

 


Subscribe to IQ Magazine here, or read the full feature in the digital edition of IQ 94:


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Winter Wonderbands: December’s agency playlist

The December edition of IQ’s New Signings playlist, featuring a selection of tracks curated by major international booking agencies, goes live today with another serving of fresh new music ahead of the launch of IQ 95.

Launched in May for the June issue, the playlist complements IQ Magazine’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agents.

The December playlist features contributions from CAA, ICM, ITB, Paradigm, UTA, ATC and Primary, each of which have picked four or five tracks apiece featuring some of their most exciting new talent.

Listen to the latest selection using the Spotify playlist below – or click here to catch up on the November edition first.

Separated by agency, the full track list for December’s New Signings playlist is:

AgencyArtistSong
CAAYDEStopped Buying Diamonds
CAAPriya RaguGood Love 2.0
CAACassowaryStarlife
CAABree RunwayATM
CAACole LCWestbrook
ICMKAMAUUMango
ICMCoi LeraySlide
ICMQTake Me Where Your Heart Is
ITBAnnaFast
ITBDead Poet SocietyCoDA
ITBDevonWhy Do We Wake Up? (Before The Good Bit)
ITBJuanita Stein1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
ITBLonely The BraveBright Eyes
ParadigmAddison GraceOverthink
ParadigmDo NothingGlueland
ParadigmProspaThe Thrill
ParadigmKokorokoBaba Ayoola
ParadigmToraCall Your name
UTABoybandTattoo
UTADenise ChailaChaila
UTApoutyfaceDeathwish
UTAmoa moaSpinning
UTAAlina PashDengi
ATCBlack Country New RoadScience Fair
ATCKaty J PearsonSomething Real
ATCSprintsManifesto
ATCKacy & Clayton, Marlon WilliamsArahura
ATCTim AtlasWallflower
PrimaryMiloeWinona
PrimaryJuly Jones2020 Girls
PrimaryIC3PEAKTRRST
PrimaryAll Time LowMonsters
PrimaryMoore KismetYou Should Run

 


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The New Bosses 2020: Bertie Gibbon, ATC Live

The New Bosses 2020 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 93 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, and A&R and production experts that make up this year’s list.

To get to know this year’s cream of the crop a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2020’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success. Catch up on the previous New Bosses interview with Metropolis Music promoter Alexandra Ampofo here.

The next New Boss in the spotlight is Bertie Gibbon (29), who works in A&R at ATC Live in the UK. Manchester-born Gibbon got his start in the music business promoting shows at the University of Sheffield, where he first came into contact with agents and managers. After graduation, he moved to London, where he interned at a management company and label before joining ATC Live in 2013 as a scout and general assistant.

The same year, he founded a management company with Rough Trade’s Paul Jones, Gross Management, which became part of Rough Trade Management in 2018. Today, he continues to work in management while bringing artists to agents at ATC Live and managers at ATC Management. He is also developing a start-up label in Camden, London, called Ra-Ra Rok.

 


What are you working on right now?
We’ve been keeping our weekly A&R meetings going at ATC Live whilst the office has been out of action, so I’ve been listening to and sharing a lot of music with the agents and have had a bit more time to think about developing artists. Alex (Bruford) and I have been having some branding conversations too, having worked on the company website and branded materials up to this point.

Things have also kicked back into gear quite recently with my clients at Rough Trade management: Shame, who have just released their first new music for a couple of years and have a big year (Covid permitting!) lined up for 2021; Black Midi who are in the studio working on their next project; Sorry who are also in the studio following the release of their debut album on Domino back in March, and a new band from Manchester called The Goa Express who’ve just rounded off their debut single campaign with playlist support on 6 music.

What are some of the highlights of your career to date?
Generally being able to influence the musical direction at ATC Live and seeing the company grow from strength to strength has been super rewarding. On the management side, working on Shame’s debut album campaign was a big success for me and getting them out playing the shows they did. They really broke through the live side of their business and it was amazing to see that come together so well and see how many tickets they’ve been able to sell globally. Black Midi’s Mercury Prize nomination was nice to see, too!

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt working in live music?
That there is such a thing as playing too many shows! From my experience working with young bands there’s always a desire to do as much as possible and it can be difficult to say no to things when you’re on a hot streak but it’s super important that artists and band members have time to recuperate too (even if they don’t think so ahead of time!).

“There is such a thing as playing too many shows…it’s important that artists and band members have time to recuperate too”

What impact has Covid-19 had on your job?
There have been a few bits some colleagues and clients alike have experienced related to mental health which have presented some new challenges. Not being able to develop ideas in the office or dressing room on the road together has been tough at times, keeping people motivated and feeling part of the team has been something we’ve had to keep on top of week to week.

Do you have a mentor in the industry?
Alex Bruford at ATC Live, who hired me about eight years ago, has taught me almost everything I know about the live business (I originally applied to be his assistant – glad I didn’t end up doing it!).

Also Paul Jones from Rough Trade, who I’ve been working on the management side for about the same amount of time, and Dan Market at Sony, who gave me a leg-up into the industry in general and has consistently shared his unbound wisdom on A&R for over a decade now.

What does the live music industry do well, and what do you think we can do better?
Providing a wealth of opportunities for emerging acts – special mention to promoters in Europe who pay good fees and are willing take chances! I think there is more that could be done in the sector to promote diversity on both sides of the business. Obviously, events this year have leant to have some difficult but positive conversations about the way things have been in the past and what we can do in the future but it’s our responsibility to make sure they’re acted on and not forgotten.

“The current situation is really shining a light on how crucial live is to artists and businesses alike on all fronts”

It’s been great to see the support grow for women in the business in the past few years. I know ATC Live and other agencies have just committed to the Keychange gender equality pledge and I’m also lucky to work alongside some great ladies who have been particularly active in pushing that agenda forward but we can’t stop there. More needs to be done to promote black and minority ethnic artists and workers at the grassroots level if we’re going to get close to their representation being proportional in music and culture in general.

What advice would you give to someone who’s new to the business?
Remember you’re not dealing with products, you’re dealing with people! I know this sounds obvious but there are sectors of the music business that still don’t recognise this as they should and there are no doubt casualties as a result.

What are the biggest challenges you’re facing currently?
Figuring out how to compensate for the lost revenue from live in 2020 and now likely 2021, as well as how to develop and break a new act without the opportunity to play shows. The current situation is really shining a light on how crucial live is to artists and businesses alike on all fronts, while it’s nice to be pushed to be creative in coming up with potential solutions to these problems it’s by no means easy. Email me if you have the answer!

Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Hopefully working in a greener, more ethically driven music business with my current roster and still part of the team at ATC Live.

 


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November rain: New Signings playlist live

The November edition of IQ’s New Signings playlist, featuring a selection of tracks curated by major international booking agencies, goes live today with another serving of fresh new music ahead of the launch of IQ 94.

Launched in May for the June issue, the playlist complements IQ Magazine’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agents.

The November playlist features contributions from CAA, ITB, Paradigm, UTA and ATC Live, each of which have picked four or five tracks apiece featuring some of their most exciting new talent.

Listen to the latest selection using the Spotify playlist below – or click here to catch up on the October edition first.

Separated by agency, the full track list for November’s New Signings playlist is:

AgencyArtistSong
CAADerykCall You Out
CAASaygraceBoys Ain't Shit
CAAMonolinkOtherside
CAAMichael Franti & SpearheadI Got You
CAAGok Wan x Craig Knight ft. Kele Le RocLet Me Be Your Fantasy
ITBDead Poet SocietyIntoodeep
ITBPaceshiftersHurdles
ITBPhil Madeley21st Witch Century Hunt
ITBNature TVHometown
ITBTigressChoke
ParadigmBriston MaroneyFreeway
ParadigmEla MinusDominique
ParadigmFred AgainJessie (I Miss You)
ParadigmGabrielsLove and Hate in a Different Time
ParadigmTayo SoundSomeone New
UTASalem IleseMad at Disney
UTAMarisha WallaceBefore I Go
UTAChartreuseKeep Checking Up On Me
UTASpaceAcreOverthrown
UTADragged UnderThe World Is In Your Way
ATCPVATalks
ATCPan AmsterdamHannibal Lecture
ATCJulia JacklinTo Perth, before the border closes
ATCVoxToo Much, Give Up
ATCAnjimileMaker

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Ex-Paradigm agents launch Arrival Artists

Five former Paradigm agents have established Arrival Artists, the third new booking agency to launch in the US since the effective shutdown of the concert business in March.

Arrival sees Ali Hedrick, Erik Selz, John Bongiorno, Karl Morse and Ethan Berlin, all of whom most recently worked at Paradigm Talent Agency, join forces with agent Matt Yasecko, the former COO of Chicago-based Billions Corporation. A partnership with established London-based agency ATC Live, meanwhile, will “facilitate global representation” for shared acts.

The launch of Arrival Artists follows that of TBA Agency – also established by a group of ex-Paradigm staff – in late August and Mint Talent Group (founded by agents from Paradigm, WME, CAA and Madison House) the following month.

The wave of activity in the independent agency sector comes as the large corporate firms continue to slash staff numbers in a bid to cut costs (with Paradigm specifically known to have laid off 180 of its 600 employees globally).

Explaining the ethos of the new agency, Selz says: “We want to construct an environment that encourages collaboration, crossover and artistic risk-taking among our clients. This is not high-minded, nor a vision with tight guardrails, but rather a practical approach to a platform best suited for the creators we represent.”

Arrival’s roster includes the likes of Khruangbin, Sufjan Stevens, BadBadNotGood, Mt Joy, Andrew Bird, Nubya Garcia, Car Seat Headrest, Goose and Chicano Batman, booking from offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle.

“I am thrilled to be able to construct a new agency alongside friends, mentors and some of the best agents in the business”

“A diversity of artists yields a diversity of opportunities,” adds Yasecko. “Our goal isn’t to corner the market on one genre, it’s to be a home for unique, singular talents that we can champion.”

Non-agents joining the Arrival team are director of marketing Jenna Neer, formerly of AEG Global Touring, and agency associate Jess Bumsted, also formerly of Paradigm.

Selz says Arrival Artists and ATC live share a “similar ethos”, which led to the partnership on international bookings.

ATC Live MD Alex Bruford says: “There is a clear space in the agency ecosystem for agile, independent companies that can provide innovative worldwide solutions for artists. The relationship between ATC and Arrival has quickly blossomed through a mutual desire to put the artists first, and we are delighted to be working together.”

ATC’s roster includes Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Lumineers, Mac DeMarco and Julia Jacklin.

“Historically, opportunity sprouts from crisis,” says Berlin. “I am thrilled to be able to construct a new agency alongside friends, mentors and some of the best agents in the business while we navigate a new touring landscape, strategising hand in hand with our clients.”

 


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