The latest industry news to your inbox.

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

LGBTIQ+ List 2024: Rivca Burns, Factory International/From the Other

The LGBTIQ+ List 2024 – IQ Magazine’s fourth 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 fourth 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. Catch up on yesterday’s interview with Rhys France (he/him), corporate and private events booker at CAA.

The series continues with Rivca Burns (she/her), director of From the Other and acting head of music at Factory International.

For the past 15 years, Rivca Burns has been a freelance creative programme producer. More recently, she’s worked as director of From the Other, home to the nearly 20-year-old new music festival Sounds From the Other City in Salford, Fat Out Fest, and music residency program Samarbeta. Having programmed and produced Festival Square for Manchester International Festival since 2019, she is also currently the acting head of music at Aviva Studios, home of Factory International.

She also co-chairs the Greater Manchester Music Commission and sits on the board of Manchester Music Cities, as well as holds the reigning title of Manchester’s Cultural Hero, as voted for by BBC Introducing and City Life.

Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2024 so far.
Stepping into the acting head of music role has been huge, not only following the inimitable Jane Beese but also stepping into a building that has so much potential and opportunity for artists, audiences and the city – it’s a real honour. Having spent my whole working life calling Manchester home, the Music City that encompasses its borders is greater and more exciting than ever before – especially in its grassroots – and this venue is another step to solidify that as artists can now play in Manchester at every step of their career.

“The industry needs to recognise that misogyny in music is very much still a thing”

What’s your most pressing challenge in the industry right now?
There are a number of things: from supporting the grassroots, funding to artists from streaming services, ticket prices and audience behaviours, through to equality and diversity in the industry. There are so many things I could pick on but I’m going to focus on something very close to me, and that is that the industry needs to recognise that misogyny in music is very much still a thing. Following the damning report at the start of the year, that in my opinion has not had enough action or follow on attention, there are some huge issues to tackle to make a change. 

There is still a huge gender pay gap, unequal childcare set ups and nowhere near enough women in positions of power, there are not enough women in backstage areas in technical roles, or in A&R or label positions shaping the artists we hear daily and crucially there are not enough women in mixing and mastering positions. Until these scenarios change and become more meaningfully equal then nothing will change and women will still be at risk in this industry, it requires much more acknowledgement and action.  

Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve had to overcome as a queer person in this industry.
Being taken seriously. I think because I look so young due to my androgynous looks and the way I dress as a queer person, it’s sometimes hard to get taken seriously and get the right attention in ‘the room’. But I continue to be authentically me, live by my values and support those around me to be the best they can be.  

“This year is full of incredible queer icons performing live”

Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.
Copy the football set-up and create an independent body that can collect a nominal ticket levy from large arenas, and a percentage of profit from large streaming suppliers and labels to create a self-supporting industry fund that can support the grassroots; from artists to venues to labels and everything in between. 

Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
There are so many; from the haunting beautiful vocals of Anohni & the Johnsons to the legendary Beverley Glenn Copeland through to the much-anticipated return of queer powerhouses Gossip and the superstar that is Janelle Monae; this year is full of incredible queer icons performing live. I’m also really excited about trying to see Alice Longyu Gao again as well, such an amazing live set, and it’s been far too many years since Serpentwithfeet performed in the UK. Sorry that was six!

“I continue to be authentically me, live by my values and support those around me to be the best they can be”

Do you have a favourite queer space?
Islington Mill in Salford is a queer hub/mecca of Greater Manchester that has been operating as a venue since the mid-noughties and has seen so many people come through its doors from Grimes, Christeene, Peaches, Hunx & his Punx, Ssion even Bjork. The main club space is currently being run by Partisan Collective and there are so many upcoming and underground queer nights and artists starting up there. It is a proper Queer Utopia. 

Shout out any LGBTIQ+ cause(s) you support.
Mermaids are doing some incredible work for trans youth who have my full backing, alongside charities such as the Proud Trust, George House Trust and the LGBT Foundation who all continue to do such important work for different humans in the queer community. 

How do you like to celebrate Pride?
Pride is a protest, let’s not forget, so the parade for me is always at the heart of a Pride celebration. Community groups and charities are so important to queer culture; to provide support and community when people often feel left without one and this is so clearly visible in the diversity of groups you see marching year in, year out. But also it’s about friends and raising people up and providing platforms, so I spend a lot of time doing just that and do the rounds of many of the alternative pride events that happen across Manchester.

Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ IndexIQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.