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Chris Carey joins LIVE as chief economist

Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment (LIVE) has appointed Chris Carey to the role of chief economist, as the umbrella organisation expands with the formation of several specialist subcommittees.

Carey joins the LIVE team following stints as global insight director at EMI and Universal Music Group and senior economist at PRS for Music. With Tim Chambers, he co-authored Valuing Live Entertainment and UK Live Music: At a cliff edge, two key LIVE reports which underpinned consultations with the British government around support for the live sector. Carey will also retain his current position as head of international marketing at TicketSwap in Amsterdam.

“I’m very proud to be joining the LIVE team at this critical time,” says Carey. “I have always been passionate about the UK live music sector and about the people who work all hours to make gigs and festivals happen. As the live music industry moves from crisis to reopening, I’ll be working closely with members to make sure there is a strong analytical foundation to help underpin a speedy, sustainable recovery.”

LIVE, which launched officially in February, is a federation of 13 UK live music industry associations representing 3,150 businesses, over 4,000 artists and 2,000 backstage workers.

“I’ll be working … to make sure there is a strong analytical foundation to help underpin a speedy, sustainable recovery”

Its newly announced subcommittees include:

The fourth subcommittee, scheduled to launch next month, will focus on equality, diversity and inclusivity, and is convened by Jane Beese, head of music for the Manchester International Festival.

“We are living through an extraordinary period in history,” comments Beese. “The potential for reflection and creative thinking on how we live our lives and run our businesses is immense, so I’m really excited to take on this role overseeing the LIVE diversity, equality and inclusion group. I look forward to the changes we can bring about as an industry.”


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Lucy Wood joins Roundhouse as head of music

Former Festival Republic booker Lucy Wood has joined iconic London venue the Roundhouse (1,700-seat) as head of music, effective from the end of March.

Wood succeeds Jane Beese in the role, who left the Roundhouse at the end of last year to take up the position as head of music at Manchester International Festival (MIF) after five years at the venue.

Having previously led the music programming for Latitude Festival, which last year saw performances from Lana Del Rey, George Ezra, Snow Patrol, Loyle Carner and Primal Scream, Wood will now head up the music team at the Roundhouse, which hosts over 100 shows a year, as well as in-house festivals In the Round and Roundhouse Rising.

With 15 years’ experience in the music industry, Wood has previously held roles at 19 Entertainment, Warp Records and Eat Your Own Ears, working on festivals such as Field Day and promoting shows by Grimes, the xx and Four Tet.

As part of her Roundhouse role, Wood will help expand the venue’s onsite music programme for 11 to 25 year olds, developing the current site with a new talent development centre.

“We are really looking forward to welcoming Lucy to the team at such an exciting time for the Roundhouse”

“We are really looking forward to welcoming Lucy to the team at such an exciting time for the Roundhouse,” says the Roundhouse programmes director Delia Barker.

“She has a great track record and is well respected across the industry and will bring an incredible energy to support our emerging artists – all whilst programming some of the biggest names in the world on our iconic stage.”

Wood comments: “I’ve had a brilliant three years working with amazing music from across the spectrum of genres at Latitude, as part of Festival Republic – building on my time promoting at London’s cherished Eat Your Own Ears.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the team at the Roundhouse, a world-class arts institution with incredible history, and to be supporting its exceptional work with young people.”

Upcoming acts playing at the Roundhouse include Sigala and the Growlers, as well as shows by Sports Team, Michael Kiwanuka, Kate Tempest and Roisin Murphy as part of the 6 Music Festival. The Strokes performed a special, intimate show at the venue last night (19 February).


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Jane Beese exits the Roundhouse for MIF

Manchester International Festival (MIF) has announced the appointment of Jane Beese, currently of London venue the Roundhouse, as head of music.

Beese is currently head of music at the 1,700-seat Roundhouse, in Camden, which she joined from the Southbank Centre/Meltdown Festival in 2015.

She joins MIF as it prepares to move to the Factory, a new arts venue being built in Manchester, which in addition to the festival will host around 80 music events annually.

Beese will work with external companies and the Factory’s artistic team to commission, present and co-promote a range of musical events, including both larger commissioned/interdisciplinary work and projects focused on emerging talent.

John McGrath, artistic director and chief executive of MIF and the Factory, says: “We’re delighted that Jane is joining the team as we get ready for the Factory. She has a fantastic track record that includes some of the most memorable live events of the last decade and relationships across the music industry, which will ensure the Factory is able to create a strong and distinctive music programme that will add to Manchester’s reputation as one of the greatest music cities in the world.”

“We’re of course sad to see Jane go, but we are excited for her”

“It’s a huge honour to be accepting the new role of head of music at Manchester International Festival and the Factory,” adds Beese, who moves into her new role next April. “Manchester has been responsible for all my formative music experiences and I’m really happy to be returning to a city that has always inspired me.

“I’ve had an amazing time working at the Roundhouse and I will miss it and the team deeply. But this is an opportunity like no other and I’m really excited to be joining the exceptional team at MIF at this pivotal juncture as we move toward the next Festival in 2021 and the historic opening of the Factory.

“The ethos and ambitions of the MIF are unparallelled, and I am most looking forward to engaging firsthand with the brilliant and visionary music community in Manchester.”

Notable past musical performances at MIF include Kraftwerk performing Tour de France alongside the British cycling team, Massive Attack collaborating with film director Adam Curtis, Kanye West’s first Manchester performance, a seven-day FKA Twigs residency and Gorillaz’s Demon Dayz Live.

Delia Barker, programmes director at the Roundhouse, says the venue will appoint a new head of music in the coming months. “We’re of course sad to see Jane go, but we are excited for her,” she tells IQ. “We’ll be looking to appoint to the role of head of music soon.”


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Beese: Balance key for venues promoting own shows

The Roundhouse’s head of music, Jane Beese, has spoken of the challenges involved in venues producing their own shows – and the importance of not “pissing off” promoters in the process.

Beese appeared at ILMC’s new Venue Summit on 9 March, where she was a panellist for the Industry relationships session alongside AEG Ogden’s Tim Horton, Emporium Presents’ Jason Zink, Kilimanjaro Live’s Stuart Galbraith, UTA’s Paul Ryan, Ticketmaster’s Doug Smith and chair Lucy Noble, of the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Noble asked all three venue operators (Beese, Horton and Noble) on the panel whether they promote their own shows – and, if so, how much friction it causes with promoters. Noble said part of her role at the Royal Albert Hall is to develop its own and co-productions, which currently make up around 14% of the venue’s total programming. These shows – although still a relatively small part of its business, so “no one should panic yet!” – are good for the venue as “we can control the brand more, have an input on artistic quality and link in our education and outreach programme,” she continued, “and, being honest, we do quite well financially out of them as well.”

Beese said the north London venue welcomes more than 100 shows a year from external promoters, so “balance is important: balance between promoters coming in, corporate events and our own programming, which also includes circus, spoken-word and performing-arts events.”

“We’ve had steal shows from us – and that’s the last time we’ll work with that venue”

“Promoters are a huge chunk of our business,” she continued, “so it’s not in our interest to be pissing them off.”

UTA agent Paul Ryan said he “see[s] it from both sides.” “The word ‘balance’ was used – I think that’s a good term,” he explained. “As an agent working across multiple territories, we’ve got to look at what’s good for the artist. Venues like the Royal Albert Hall and Roundhouse are a bit different, but if it’s a standard rock ’n’ roll venue […] there’s got to be a good reason why you’d want to go into a venue directly instead of dealing with a national promoter.”

Noble asked Kilimanjaro CEO Stuart Galbraith if he’d be angry if the Royal Albert Hall bid against him for a one-night show. “Yes!” he replied, to laughs. While “there are a lot of reasons why venues should self-promote in certain circumstances,” Galbraith said going promoter-free only works if the show is a “slam-dunk sell-out. If you’ve got a show that stops at 60% there’s nowhere else to go,” he commented. “That’s where we [the promoter] would make a difference.”

The reason he’d be angry if Kili and a venue both bid on the same show, he added, is because “you’d only bid on shows you think are going to sell out,” leaving the promoter to handle the riskier prospects.

Emporium Presents talent buyer Jason Zink said he’s had venues that have “stolen shows from us – and that’s the last time we’ll work with that venue.”

“Promoters are a huge chunk of our business. It’s not in our interest to be pissing them off”

The discussion also touched on ticketing: specifically the merits and drawbacks of venues operating their own box offices. Ticketmaster’s Doug Smith said it’s up to venues whether they want to ticket their own shows, but by doing so they miss out on Ticketmaster’s “good technology line [and] huge market reach.” “We want to assist you in selling out your venue,” he commented.

Zink said venues have be to sure that if they do go the self-ticketing route, they have the infrastructure in place to deal with demand. “We had a case last year – an arena show – where the website went down for an hour after on-sale,” he said. “That’s not acceptable: if people can’t buy tickets when they want to.”

Beese said the Roundhouse holds on to 70% of ticket inventory, with the remaining 30% going to the promoter. That’s not enough, said Galbraith: “Many venues now are saying you need to give us 60–70%, and then the only tickets that aren’t selling are the venue’s allocation. I have to pay to take them out of the box office, which is wrong. […] Venues are stopping us being able to effectively promote.”

“The proportion held back is sometimes an issue,” agreed Ryan. “As an agent, all I really care about is having those tickets spread as widely as possible.”


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