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LIVE appoints Jon Collins as new CEO

LIVE, the voice of the UK’s live music and entertainment business, has today (5 April) appointed hospitality industry expert Jon Collins as its new chief executive officer.

Collins has been appointed following a 25-year career running representative organisations in the hospitality industry. His most recent role was as chairman of the Institute of Licensing and the National Licensing Forum.

He has also held roles including lead author for the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) Night Time Commission for London and as a senior adviser to UK Hospitality, where Collins focused specifically on late night and music licensing issues.

Under his new role at LIVE, Collins’ focus will be driving progress on key issues ranging from boosting sustainability to creating an improved regulatory environment for the export and growth of the UK’s £4.5 billion live music industry.

Collins will also build on the umbrella group’s previous successes, which include improving the ability of musicians to tour post-Brexit and successfully lobbying government for funding and support to deal with the impacts of the pandemic.

“Our challenge is to ensure the gov, policymakers, and regulators fully understand the enormous value this industry creates”

LIVE recently secured multi-year funding, guaranteeing its continued support for the sector and allowing the development of a longer-term focus. This comes as the Association of British Orchestras become the 14th member to join LIVE.

Jon Collins, LIVE CEO, says: “Like millions across the UK, I am a passionate supporter of live music, from local gigs to stadium shows.

“I am delighted to take on this role representing an industry that is a powerful economic performer, catalyst for domestic and international tourism, and a source of soft power for the UK across the globe. Our challenge is to ensure government, policymakers, and regulators fully understand the enormous value this industry creates, and that they continue to support our work.”

Collins succeeds Greg Parmley, who led the body since its formation in 2020 and established LIVE as a thriving organisation representing the entire live music ecosystem.

Greg Parmley said: “It has been a true honour to lead LIVE over the past two years. Despite experiencing some of the most challenging issues our sector has faced in decades, the industry has consistently displayed the vibrancy, energy and resilience which is at the heart of live music.

“Jon showed himself to be the outstanding candidate, with the perfect blend of skills and experience”

“I look forward to remaining close to this work as Jon takes LIVE to the next exciting stage of its journey.”

LIVE Board says: “Greg has played such an important role in turning LIVE from an idea into a fully functioning lobbying organisation in just two years, and he will remain close to our work.

“With Greg returning to ILMC and IQ, we turned our attention to finding the right person to succeed him. Throughout this process, Jon showed himself to be the outstanding candidate, with the perfect blend of skills and experience to take forward LIVE’s ambition to protect and promote the work of the entire live music ecosystem, ensuring it remains one of the UK’s most prized cultural assets.”

Mark Pemberton, Association of British Orchestras, says: “The Association of British Orchestras is delighted to be joining LIVE as a demonstration of our support for its crucial work on behalf of everyone involved in live music. It’s been a tough two years, but at least one positive of the pandemic has been forging a stronger coalition of voices, enabling us to advocate more effectively to Government and policymakers the need to support the UK’s successful live music industry across all genres.”

 


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Nordoff Robbins appoints new CEO

Sandra Schembri will be the new chief executive of music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, taking over from Julie Whelan who retires later this year.

Schembri has spent the past ten years as chief executive of homeless charity and members’ club the House of St Barnabas. She has previously held positions at Bloomberg, the Royal Academy of Arts and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.

“As someone who’s always had a love of music, I’m really excited by the prospect of leading a charity that champions the positive impact it has on people’s health and wellbeing,” says Schembri.

“I’m looking forward to working to make music therapy more readily available for people affected by life-limiting illness, disability and isolation,” adds the incoming chief executive.

Nordoff Robbins chairman David Munns comments: “As the UK’s largest music therapy charity we have ambitious plans to significantly increase access to our services for those who need it most.”

“I’m looking forward to working to make music therapy more readily available for people affected by life-limiting illness, disability and isolation”

Munns states that Schembri was a “stand-out candidate” and “a proven leader with the experience and energy to help us achieve [our] goal.”

During her five-year tenure, outgoing chief executive Whelan doubled the number of people the charity supports through music therapy and increased the number of therapists employed by the charity.

Whelan also led the merger with Nordoff Robbins’ sister organisation in Scotland and oversaw the launch of a third training base in Newcastle, adding to already established centres in Manchester and London.

Schembri will join Nordoff Robbins as incoming chief executive on 7 October, before Whelan formally stands down on 5 November.

Nordoff Robbins works in partnership with care homes, schools and hospitals to enrich the lives of vulnerable people through music.  The charity’s Get Loud campaign (which enables fans to see artists at intimate venues) is designed to raise awareness of the work it does.


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PRS Foundation appoints new CEO

UK-based music development charity PRS Foundation has appointed Joe Frankland as its new chief executive, effective 22 July.

Frankland has worked at the foundation since 2014, running the Momentum Music Fund and the International Showcase Fund in his first role as industry fund manager.

Since 2015, Frankland has held the position of senior grants and programmes manager, leading grant-making and partnership programmes.

He previously worked in talent development at Newcastle-based music development agency Generator.

“I am incredibly excited and honoured to have been offered the role of PRS Foundation chief executive,” says Frankland.

“I am incredibly excited and honoured to have been offered the role of PRS Foundation chief executive”

“I am proud to work with such an enthusiastic team and board and look forward to collaborating with partners and the industry to support the UK’s most exciting music creators and pioneering organisations.”

PRS Foundation chair and managing director of Bucks music group, Simon Platz says he is “delighted” with the new appointment.

“Joe’s years of experience delivering targeted support and developing talent will be a huge asset as he leads the Foundation into its third decade,” comments Platz.

Frankland takes over the role from Vanessa Reed, who held the top position at PRS Foundation for eleven years. Reed says she has “no doubt” that her successor will “do an excellent job”.

Reed was appointed president and chief executive of New Music USA in April.

 


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WME-IMG appoints NBA exec to head up China office

William Morris Endeavor (WME) has hired Michael Ma, formerly vice-president of the National Basketball Association (NBA), to head its new WME-IMG China subsidiary.

WME-IMG China was formed with private-equity backing in June to facilitate the booking agency group’s “new forays into Chinese sports and entertainment”.

Ma had most recently served NBA’s special assistant to the CEO in Beijing (pictured), where he will be based for his new role.

“Michael brings not only a deep knowledge of the Chinese market, but also incredible experience in cultivating brands within China through his work with the NBA”

“Michael brings not only a deep knowledge of the Chinese market, but also incredible experience in cultivating brands within China through his work with the NBA,” say WME-IMG co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell in a joint statement. “We’re looking forward to working alongside Michael to expand our current business in China while creating new opportunities for our clients and partners in one of our fastest growing markets.”

WME-IMG was formed in late 2013 after music and media agency William Morris Endeavor and its corporate parent, Silver Lake Partners, bought sports agency International Management Group (IMG) for US$2.3 billion.

 


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Eventim UK CEO departs company

CTS Eventim UK’s CEO Simon Presswell has departed the company, a spokesperson for the company has confirmed. Presswell (pictured) was previously managing director of rival Ticketmaster UK. Prior to joining Ticketmaster he held executive roles at Sky UK, NBC Universal and software company Citrix.

It is expected Eventim UK’s chairman, Nick Blackburn, will fill in for Presswell in the short term until a replacement can be found.

 


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Mojo CEO Mutsaers steps down after nine months

Mojo Concerts’ CEO, Wilbert Mutsaers, has stepped down after less than nine months at the helm of Live Nation’s Dutch operation.

Mutsaers’s appointment was announced last November, two weeks after the departure of former CEO Dick van Zuylen, and he stepped into the role on 1 January. He was previously station manager at NPO 3PM, roughly equivalent to the UK’s Radio 1.

In a Dutch-language statement, the promoter says the decision was made mutually with “respect and harmony” and cited a “difference of opinion on the future of the company” as the reason for the split.

Mojo tells IQ the company is not currently seeking a replacement for Mutsaers, with his duties taken up by former CEOs Leon Ramakers and John Mulder.

Mojo Concerts is the Netherlands’ largest touring and festival promoter, and organises the Lowlands, Pinkpop and North Sea Jazz festivals.

 


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