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All change at Keychange after Maxie Gedge’s exit

UK-based gender equality initiative Keychange has announced a series of new appointments following the exit of project manager Maxie Gedge.

Three current PRS Foundation members of staff are to expand their roles at the organisation, with Francine Gorman becoming Keychange project manager (UK), Aysha Hussain made Keychange coordinator (UK) and Alison Williams switching from part-time to full-time PRS Foundation communications coordinator.

In addition, Barnaby Duff has come on board as PRS Foundation grants coordinator.

“I am delighted to welcome Francine, Aysha, Alison and Barnaby to their new and expanded roles,” says PRS Foundation CEO Joe Frankland.

“Following the departure of Maxie Gedge, who worked across both Keychange as a project manager and our communications team as a part-time coordinator, it’s fantastic that both Francine and Alison are expanding their current remits with the organisation and Aysha steps into a wider role that epitomises the collaborative, Europe-wide ethos of Keychange.

“And following a period of record demand for our funds, Barnaby will play a vital role in making sure we maintain a pioneering approach to grant-making, efficiently reaching and helping many talented music creators to fulfil their potential as possible. The skills, dedication and knowledge in their respective areas will be a huge asset to the organisation going forward.”

“The impact of Maxie’s work at PRS Foundation over the past five years has been huge”

Frankland also paid tribute to Gedge, who has joined Secretly Group as European project manager.

“I and the whole PRS Foundation team wish Maxie the best in her new role at Secretly Group. The impact of Maxie’s work at PRS Foundation over the past five years has been huge and through Keychange she has really helped to move the dial for women and gender minority artists and innovators around the world,” he said.

“While all at PRS Foundation and Keychange are sad to see her go, we will continue to connect and know that in this exciting new role at Secretly Group, Maxie will continue to shape a stronger, fairer music industry.”

Keychange recently confirmed that 500 music organisations have now committed themselves to achieve parity between men and women and non-binary people by signing its pledge.

The Keychange pledge requires signatories to achieve at least 50% representation of women and gender minorities in an area of their work.

Launched in 2017, Keychange initially focused on festivals – with signatory festivals pledging to book at least 50% of women for their line-ups – and now also includes record labels, broadcasters, venues, publishers, collection societies and orchestras in six continents among its supporters.

 


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IFF puts finishing touches to biggest programme yet

The Interactive Festival Forum (iFF) has announced two Soapbox Sessions panels for the event taking place on 2 and 3 September.

The first 55-minute session will invite five industry experts to deliver quick-fire presentations on a range of specialist topics including agency roster analysis, socially distanced events and mental health.

Soapbox Sessions: Five in 55 will see ROSTR co-founder and CEO, Mark Williamson, present highlights from an analysis of 650+ agency rosters with ROSTR: The Agency World in Numbers.

Deer Shed director and AIF member Kate Webster will deliver a Soapbox Session on Deer Shed Basecamp, the festival’s socially distanced, sold-out camping weekender with AIF presents: Touching Base.

Tim O’Brien – professor at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester (the site of AIF member festival Bluedot) – will reprise a much-loved talk from a previous AIF Festival Congress with AIF presents: Sounds of Space.

Geoff Dixon will present exclusive new research on festivalgoers’ confidence about returning to live events over the next 12 months

In Soapbox Session Covid-19: You Are Here, Dr Mark Salter, consultant for global health at Public Health England, will update delegates on the latest international developments in the fight against Covid-19, including the search for a vaccine, as well as how public health authorities are planning for the months ahead.

Finally, Getting Back to Work: The Fan’s Perspective Vivid Interface will hear Geoff Dixon present exclusive new research on festivalgoers’ confidence about returning to live events over the next 12 months.

Another new addition to the conference schedule is The Lost Causes, a series of presentations from specialists covering diversity, accessibility, and mental health and welfare.

Attitude Is Everything‘s Gideon Feldman will deliver Accessibility: Building Back Better, Keychange‘s Francine Gorman will present Equality: Representation Matters and festival booker-turned-psychotherapist Tamsin Embleton will educate delegates on Mental Health: Minding the Gap.

Today’s announcement follows the news that CAA board member and London co-head Emma Banks, Paradigm’s head of global music, Marty Diamond, and FKP Scorpio MD Folkert Koopmans are joining the conference.

With just over one week to go until iFF, and with passes increasing in price on 1 September, secure your place and save money by registering here. Tickets are still just £50 inc. ALL fees.

 


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IQ Focus highlights live music’s Lost Causes

The Lost Causes: Campaigners & Advocacy, the 11th IQ Focus virtual panel and the first following last week’s break, caught up with industry pros whose work advocating for mental health, accessibility and diversity has been put on hold by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chaired by FanFair Alliance’s Adam Webb, yesterday’s discussion – the first in a series of ‘Lost Causes’ panels – welcomed Francine Gorman, outreach coordinator at Keychange; Jacob Sylvester Bilabel of Green Music Initiative; Natalie Wade, founder of Small Green Shoots; Attitude is Everything’s head of volunteering and skills development, Paul Hawkins; and Musica Therapy’s Sital Panesar to find out what they’d been doing during live music’s shutdown – and how their work continues when it returns.

Wade expressed a typical view when she said Small Green Shoots – a charity which aims to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds engage with music and the arts – went from being “on the crest of the wave” at the start of 2020 to  “everything being cancelled this summer”, meaning “no one could finish their projects”.

Similarly, said Hawkins, “the aim for 2020 was to be one big 20th-anniversary celebration” for accessibility charity Attitude is Everything. “The one positive we’ve got is that a 21st birthday still sounds like something worth celebrating!” he joked.

Panesar said the worldwide lockdowns in March weighed heavily on the industry’s mental health, as “people lost their coping mechanisms”. “Alongside the additional pressures of being in lockdown, that really compounds difficulties,” she said.

For disabled people, Hawkins added, the pandemic has had a “huge impact on people who don’t like to think of themselves as vulnerable”.

Bilabel said March “felt like a car crash in slow motion”, but the live music industry – and everyone working in it – will ultimately come through the other side

Gorman spoke of the importance of “building back better” when touring and festivals do resume. “Representation is a massive part of that conversation,” she explained. “There are all kinds of voices and they deserved to be sustained in the industry, at every kind of level.”

“We want to make sure that when live music does start again, disabled people have the same opportunities as any other talented people,” Hawkins added.

Bilabel said March “felt like a car crash in slow motion”, but emphasised that the live music industry – and everyone working in it – will ultimately come through the other side.

“Some companies will die, but the people behind them won’t,” he explained. “And the demand for culture – for festivals, for music, for cinema – will be even bigger than it is today.”

The return of live, added Wade, is a chance for “people to say yes” to new opportunities. “It’s so easy to say no, because there’s less work. But I want people to take a chance, to say, ‘Yes, maybe we can help you – let’s get behind it.’”

For more discussion and debate, watch the session back on YouTube or Facebook now.

 


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Lost no more: Campaigners take centre stage as IQ Focus returns

After taking a week off last week, IQ’s popular virtual panel series, IQ Focus, returns this Thursday, inviting six new panellists to shine a light on worthy causes which have taken a back seat during the Covid-19 crisis.

Before Covid-19, a wide range of advocacy work was centred around live music, from campaigns to improve gender diversity in line-ups and accessibility for disabled customers to environmental projects and drives around recruitment, inclusion and mental health.

But what have experts and practitioners in these areas been doing since live music shut down? And when music events do return, against an uncertain economic backdrop is there a risk that their important work will be diminished?

The Lost Causes: Campaigners & Advocacy counts the broader cost of the business interruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic

The first in a new series of ‘Lost Causes’ discussions invites Francine Gorman, outreach coordinator at Keychange; Jacob Sylvester Bilabel of Green Music Initiative; Natalie Wade, founder of Small Green Shoots; Attitude is Everything’s head of volunteering and skills development, Paul Hawkins; Musica Therapy’s Sital Panesar; and chair Adam Webb (FanFair Alliance) to counts the broader cost of the business interruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

As with previous sessions, The Lost Causes: Campaigners & Advocacy will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube. To set a reminder for Thursday 13 August’s session, head to IQ’s Facebook or YouTube pages now.


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