The New Bosses 2023: Chloe Pean, AEG Presents
The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 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 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.
Catch up on the previous interview with Caroline Simionescu-Marin, strategy agent at WME in the UK here. The series continues with Chloe Pean, promoter at AEG Presents in the UK.
Chloe Pean moved to London for a music management course at UEL and throughout this time undertook work experience with Warner Music, MAMA Festivals, SJM and an internship with UTA. Following a year with Locomotion Entertainment on Yungblud’s team, in 2019 she finally found the world of promoting at AEG Presents.
Beginning as a tours assistant, Pean worked with the full AEG promoter roster, pivoting to a focus on international touring during Covid and eventually becoming a promoter in her own right in September 2021.
Leaning towards pop, indie, R&B and jazz acts, Pean works with some incredible artists including Ezra Collective, Confidence Man, Will Young, Paris Paloma, Thomas Headon, Mae Stephens, Cate and Nell Mescal. She also hosts a monthly event, Melodaze, giving a platform to female and LGBTQIA+ acts as a focus which plays out at Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney.
Your work experience and internships introduced you to a variety of music industry disciplines. What persuaded you that promoting was the ideal career for you?
I always knew it was going to be live music for me as it’s what made me realise how magic and alive music can make you feel. I think that trying out all the different disciplines just reinforced that, and I feel very lucky to be able to reach that conclusion through experience. When it came to working with promoters, I loved being a part of the wider production team and it felt very tangible to me being on site. What I wasn’t as sure about was the lifestyle of being on the road, so I kept trying new things. I remember by the time the job at AEG came up I was convinced being a promoter was what I wanted and declared that in my second interview. Here I am a few years later working with a bunch of artists I really adore and still learning all the time from all our teams.
You’ve always wanted to be involved in the music industry. Now that you’ve been in it for a while, what’s the most surprising thing (either positive or negative) you’ve learned about it?
At the risk of sounding silly, I am constantly surprised that there are real people on the other side of the email addresses and usually they are not as intimidating as you build up in your head! I also find it surprising how easy it is to forget the magic in what we do and what it means to people – something I’m making an active effort to remember more in the moment.
“It was very clear to me that at AEG we had a gap for soft play events”
Melodaze sounds like a great idea. How did it come about, and can you tell us a little more about it?
When I got promoted in 2021 it was very clear to me that at AEG we had a gap for soft play events when I was reaching out to up-and-coming artists. I got approval to put a pitch together for a new showcase event and this is what Melodaze turned into. The ethos for me was always going to be young artists that aren’t always prioritised for these types of events and communities I feel strongly about giving a platform to – so most nights you will notice we have nearly all-female bills. I am also conscious of making sure that we are as diverse and queer as possible, but self-aware enough to know that there is always room for improvement in this area. I did a lot of research into the style of the logo and artwork, we went back a few times with our designers to get it to a place that I loved, and from there started the booking process quickly!
Can you see Melodaze expanding – either to other cities, or maybe in the form of a festival?
Yes, I hope so. I’ve started looking into what might be possible but nothing is in the works this immediate moment. The ethos of Melodaze is what I want to carry through and I think it’s important to think out of the box in terms of how the event can work and grow without compromising the integrity of it!
Where is your favourite venue?
The Caves in Edinburgh is a very underused but amazing space, Liverpool Philharmonic is simply beautiful, Brixton Academy is an iconic space I have seen so many incredible shows at and hope to see more again as soon as possible. And a very honourable mention to Roundhouse, another very special room where I’ve seen Radiohead, Fred again.., Confidence Man, RY X, and so so many more. You didn’t ask but if I had to pick a venue I want to get a show into I’d go with The Coliseum in London.
“I also think it’s important for women to keep supporting women, rather than feeling like you must be the only one at the table”
As a new boss, what would you like to change to make the live entertainment industry a better place?
Having more women and people of different gender identities feel empowered to be in positions of power. This is a topic discussed at length and that I feel very strongly about. I also think it’s important for women to keep supporting women, rather than feeling like you must be the only one at the table. The table will be better with more people who aren’t the status quo and who have different points of view and life experience.
Do you have a mentor, or anyone you rely on to bounce ideas off?
Steve Homer has been my mentor as long as I’ve been a promoter and I’m very grateful to him for always making time whilst we’ve had such a shift within AEG. He is also the biggest live music fan I’ve ever met. I could go on but to put it simply, he is bloody brilliant.
What events, tours or festivals are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
Many! I have shows coming up with corook, Paris Paloma, Cate, Nell Mescal, Yazmin Lacey all of whom are at different stages in their careers and all excellent. I can’t wait to keep seeing them grow throughout 2024 and beyond. Lots of other exciting things for next year in the books but too early to disclose those just yet!
What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
Ezra Collective at Eventim Apollo in February was extremely special – their show is full of joy and the feeling that band give their fans is exactly why I do this job – it was also my first Apollo show. Honourable mention to Rebecca Black at BST Hyde Park this year where I could hardly contain my excitement running up to her set.
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