LGBTIQ+ List 2023: Dev Mistry, DICE
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 Saskhia Menendez, Keychange innovator & board of directors at The F-List Music in London, UK.
The series continues with Dev Mistry (he/him/his), global internal comms manager at DICE in London, UK.
Dev Mistry started his career in communications just under ten years ago, working across automotive, entertainment, and tech industries. Working predominantly within communications roles, he also championed DEI within his work and personal life, ensuring practices and processes were amended to be more equitable, creating safe spaces and forums, and more recently, championing diverse representation in live performance spaces – both on and off stage.
Now at DICE, Dev not only co-chairs the #Pride365 employee community group, but he also consults on LGBTQ+ projects across the business, as well as being an active performer in London’s queer cabaret scene.
Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2023 so far.
Helping to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ members at DICE, to encourage debate, conversation, and community. We’re in our early stages, but it’s been refreshing to see people actively want to get involved and drive conversations on topics, which range from queer pop culture to legislation and human rights. It’s important to me that people from across DICE globally have this space to share how they feel but also feel seen, heard, and included.
Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
Tom Rasmussen! I’ve already seen them, so this is technically cheating, but I’d been wanting to see them for so long, and their music and stage presence are insane. The setup was so simple, but the execution was perfect – you could hear the passion in their voice, and the crowd lapped it up.
What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Believe in your work and yourself. Your identity is a strength, giving you a unique insight and lens on the world and that should be championed. We’re so often pigeonholed into how we should look and behave in the workplace – which is often based on outdated stereotypes, and actually what’s overlooked is what we actually bring to the table. I’ve worked on that through my career, with the help of mentors and friends, and now I use my identity as a strength, the power of self-understanding goes a long way.
“I once called my former COO ‘hun’ in a meeting by accident…it opened a conversation that I never dreamed of happening”
What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
I once called my former COO ‘hun’ in a meeting by accident. It was mortifying at the time, but it opened a conversation that I never dreamed of happening. We spoke more about LGBTQ+ experiences, about being our authentic selves at work, and also about how corporate workplaces are often subconsciously designed to be daunting to anyone who isn’t a cis white straight man.
In terms of challenges in the industry, what’s currently keeping you up at night?
The appropriation of queer culture, communities, and aesthetics, without the reinvestment into the LGBTQ+ community and also the creation of safe spaces and policies for LGBTQ+ people. There have been countless examples of this in 2023 so far alone, and it’s something that needs to be addressed across the industry. Mighty Hoopla festivals are a great example of teams who are getting this right – creating safe spaces that are enjoyable and engaging.
How do you see the live music business developing in the next few years?
DICE’s mission has always been ‘to get people out more,’ and I don’t think that will change, people will always be drawn to live music as it continues to bring people together. I think the way we see people come up through different platforms will shake up the traditional ways in how artists and venues are discovered and championed.
“Physical accessibility is one obvious way in which venues and artists could do better”
Name one thing you’d like to see the live music business change.
I’d like it to be more accessible from a number of angles. Physical accessibility is one obvious way in which venues and artists could do better, but also when we look at accessibility to live events as a concept – what are the barriers that are holding people back from attending live shows, and how can we help remove them?
Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.
Find ways to combat secondary ticketing touting and remove dynamic pricing as a concept. It’s unfair to fans and prices people out of seeing their favourite artists, almost immediately.
Shout out to your biggest ally in the live music industry.
I can’t pick one – it takes an army, but I’d like to give a shout out to all of the venues in London that are becoming safe spaces for queer people, as many queer venues have unfortunately had to close in recent years. Training their security and staff, allowing queer people to enjoy live music and entertainment freely, and being supportive of queer rights and lives.
Do you support any LGBTIQ+ causes?
There are too many to mention, but off the top of my head, I’d say: London Trans Pride, The Bitten Peach, First Brick Housing, The Cocoa Butter Club, and The Royal Vauxhall Tavern – London.
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