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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Joanne Croxford

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Zoe Williamson, agent at UTA in the US here.

 


Joanne Croxford
she/her/hers
Wellness & diversity specialist/live touring/tour assistant
London, UK
Linkedin.com/in/joannecroxford
@joanne_does_It

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Volunteering with Girls Rock London and bringing the learnings around gender diversity and anti-racism in my recent work at the Tour Production Group (TPG) has been huge.

We recently had a production manager in the TPG give us the feedback that as a result of the space that production manager Keely Myers and I have co-facilitated, they feel comfortable to talk to their artists and clients about diversity in their crews, and that’s possibly one of the greatest achievements in my career to date.

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
There is a massive lack of queer talent in our industry and bringing other queer people with you is a chance to make real change happen. Be sure to identify active allies who are committed to getting more queer representation hired and feeling welcome in your work environment.

A cause you support.
3T is one that is very close to my heart as is Girls Rock London. Both programmes really address the issue of ethnic and gender diversity in the industry and offer genuine safe spaces for women, trans and gender non-conforming people of colour to learn about our industry and how to get into it (and thrive!).

“[We need to stop] assuming it is the responsibility of marginalised groups to teach others how to correct the inclusivity issue”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
Having to come out every time I meet someone new at work, or the side-eyes that I receive when people realise my partner is indeed a woman. I have noticed that doors close for me and opportunities have been taken away because I didn’t welcome, nor encourage, the male gaze.

Being sexualised as a heavily tattooed queer woman is tiring! And let’s not even get started on the challenges I have experienced when working alongside members of the trans community in this industry – trying to justify how a colleague decides to live their life to a room full of cis men is literally one of the most frustrating things I have had to do.

Followed by having to continually correct people when they misgender someone. This kind of toxic masculinity is really unpleasant and certainly makes for a seriously unhappy workforce.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Not assuming it is the responsibility of those from marginalised groups to teach others how to correct the problem around inclusivity. We all need to dig deep and take a very good look at the culture we have in our industry.

What does the future of the industry look like?
Many of the new and younger artists and crew that I have been working with during this time are talking about introducing things like inclusion riders into their list of demands for live shows – as well as introducing Safe Space Agreements backstage where people can work with no worry of harassment. This is the future, and I am so excited to be a part of it!

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Zoe Williamson, UTA

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Austin Sarich, tour director for North America at Live Nation here.

 


Zoe Williamson
she/her/hers
Agent, UTA
Brooklyn, New York, US
[email protected]

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Working on and announcing Arlo Parks’ North America headline tour for this fall was a huge highlight. Seeing how much love there is in the US validated the incredible work that Arlo has poured into her music and into building an authentic and organic relationship with her fans.

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Ignore the people trying to tell you to act or behave a certain way to succeed. If we’re going to make a shift in the industry, I would encourage any young queer and/or trans professionals to help break the mould of the traditional perception of ‘leaders’. We are the new leaders, and so anything we do is what leadership looks like.

“I would encourage any young queer and/or trans pros to help break the mould of the traditional perception of ‘leaders'”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
I’m sometimes put in situations where I’m asked to work with someone for the sole reason that they’re in the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s disappointing because at times it can feel as though I’m being paired with someone because of my identity, not because of my hard work or skillset.

Industry professionals often misgender and misunderstand sexuality, and we have to take time and energy to educate, which can be exhausting and daunting. I’m all about patience, but it’s hard to work in an industry that has been saying for years it’s going to do the work, yet year after year that work falls on us to do.

“I want [the LGBTQIA+ community] calling the shots; not just having a seat at the table but having a say in the decision making”

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
During the pandemic, I am proud to have been a part of the launch of Justice Now, a task force within UTA’s music department that aims to reverse systemic racism in the industry through four pillars of education, mentorship, empowerment and fearless imagination.

I feel lucky to work at a company that celebrates and embraces the LGBTQIA+ community, but I want to see more of my community in the industry. I want us calling the shots; not just having a seat at the table but having a say in the decision making.

Causes you support.
For The Gworls, The Okra Project, Marsha P. Johnson Institute, The Center, Trevor Project.

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
We need to create a space for industry professionals within the LGBTQIA+ community to not feel targeted, isolated, neglected, and unsafe. Accountability means nothing without consequences. Basically, if we don’t start telling people “You are not above consequences for your actions” and actually walking the walk on that, I don’t see this industry changing at the rate it needs to.

 


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

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Austin Sarich, Live Nation

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Raven Twigg, promoter assistant at Metropolis Music in the UK here.

 


Austin Sarich
he/him
Tour director – North America touring, Live Nation
Los Angeles, US
Linkedin.com/in/austin-sarich-193a2265

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
It was a true privilege to be a part of Oprah’s 2020 Vision Touring Team. It was meaningful to me to help successfully grow a project that aimed to inspire people through personal growth and self-discovery.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Your sexual orientation will always be a part of your identity, however, it doesn’t have to be what defines you. Let your work, passion, and drive be your great impact on the industry, regardless of your sexual orientation.

“Your sexual orientation will always be a part of your identity, however, it doesn’t have to be what defines you”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
Working in a male-dominated industry, I would often find myself internalising that my sexual orientation would put me at a disadvantage when I first began navigating the relationships I was making.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Leading through empathy – knowing everyone has their own personal and professional challenges, which could help unify us as a whole.

A cause you support.
Today, I’m Brave, which is an organisation that focuses on empowering underserved youth to be brave and unlock their best potential.

“Leading through empathy – knowing everyone has their own personal and professional challenges”

What does the near future of the industry look like?
An industry filled with gratitude and prosperity. After a year of uncertainty, I confidently believe we are all grateful to have live events back, with fans who have more of an appetite than ever to see their favourite acts live in concert.

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
I would hope that post-pandemic we can all operate efficiently with patience, kindness, and appreciation for each other and the hard work we commit to.


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Raven Twigg, Metropolis Music

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Doug Smith, SVP field operations UK & Ireland, Ticketmaster here.

 


Raven Twigg
She/her/they
Promoter assistant, Metropolis Music/founder, Women Connect UK
London, UK [email protected]
Linkedin.com/in/raventwigg

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Whilst I was a student in Manchester, I bagged myself a casual job working on the customer service desk at Manchester Arena, igniting the bug in me to be at as many live shows as possible. I was able to meet people, prove my hard-working nature and be offered a position programming the venue, as well as other arenas and theatres across the UK. I don’t think any of us knew then that I’d end up in London then booking talent into the venue myself, but I’m extremely grateful to those who offered me an opportunity back then. I feel extremely proud of myself for my journey.

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Seek out inclusive spaces such as networking collectives, queer talent nights, etc… It’s only once you’re around like-minded people that you can access your full potential.

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
I’ve never felt any challenges with Metropolis Music, personally. We’re a very diverse and inclusive team and I’m very grateful for that. I have been told in other work environments that I ‘don’t look gay’. I’m not sure what gay looks like, and it took me a long time to even identify with that word.

Once colleagues become aware of your sexuality, some folx will look at you differently and can never ‘unsee’ your queerness. I’ve also had my sexuality and relationship discussed like office gossip, and that set me back significantly as I struggled with understanding why others found it such a big deal, and felt extremely othered and vulnerable.

“To change the discourse of seeing the same white, cis-gendered male, indie bands littered all over line-ups, it starts with us”

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Seek out queer, trans and non-binary talent, whether that’s on an artist front or for your employment opportunities. We need to give marginalised groups a foot through the door where we can. To change the discourse of seeing the same white, cis-gendered male, indie bands littered all over festival line-ups, it starts with us. By becoming more inclusive with our Spotify streaming habits, the demands shift and marginalised groups are given a platform.

A causes you support.
London Friend. They’re an LGBTQ+ voluntary counselling service and they helped me masses over the past year in terms of “coming out” to my family and friends, accepting myself and being in a same-sex relationship. It’s safe to say that without them and my counsellor, specifically, I wouldn’t be writing this so publicly for you today.

Women Connect. I have to plug our collective, of course. We are a femxle-forward collective creating safer, all-inclusive spaces, good fortune and equal opportunities for women, non-binary people and gender-fluid folx working in the creative industries and beyond.

The collective was birthed from a place of passion and the undeniable need for women in the creative industry to come together organically. We’re entirely self-funded and we aim to create a safe environment for our community.

“I can already see the [post-pandemic] differences when communicating with agents and venues”

What does the near future of the industry look like?
Hopefully, very busy! The pandemic has affected our industry like no other. With the opportunity to grow and educate ourselves whilst working from home (I appreciate this isn’t the case for everyone), we’ve had more time to focus on ourselves and I truly think the industry will bounce back to a stronger and kinder place.

I can already see the differences when communicating with agents and venues, we all understand the difficulties each of our areas of the industry has bear witness to and it feels so much more united.

How would you like to see the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
I hope that the industry, post-pandemic will be a more forgiving place and make space to look after one another better. Our industry can be exhausting, my personal record is four gigs in one night. We need to create boundaries and practice saying no – we physically can’t be at every live show and it shouldn’t be looked down upon if you’re taking a night off to go home, cook yourself a hearty meal and put your feet up.

Our mental health is the most important thing, let’s try to approach situations with compassion. Always say please and thank you and let your employees and colleagues know that you appreciate them. It’s easy to forget that even the busiest of humans, are still humans and a thank you can go a long way.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Doug Smith, Ticketmaster

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Rauha Kyyrö, head promoter at Fullsteam Agency in Finland here.

 


Doug Smith
He/him/his
SVP field operations UK & Ireland, Ticketmaster
London & Manchester, UK
[email protected]

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
The sad truth is that so many LGBTQ+ professionals go back into the closet when they begin their first job. My advice is to find a place to work where you can bring your whole true authentic self. Being exactly who you are at work, day in, day out, is fundamental to a happy life and the key to fulfilling your potential.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Recognise that diversity and inclusion is important all year round, not just for one month. Leaders need to talk to their LGBTQI+ employees, regularly. Give them a voice, look at setting up an employee resource group and be an active supporter of it. Being an inclusive employer and an ally isn’t something you can simply tick off your list during Pride month, it’s an ongoing and evolving commitment.

“Recognise that diversity and inclusion is important all year round, not just for one month”

A causes you support.
It’s an absolute scandal that anyone is homeless in our society. I support two charities who both provide support to young homeless people – Centre Point and Albert Kennedy Trust. The latter provides support to LGBTQ+ young people who are facing homelessness or are living in a hostile environment.

What does the near future of the industry look like?
Busy! Very, very busy! The pent-up demand from artists wanting to play and fans wanting to make real-life connections again is colossal. We’re gearing up for a huge outdoor season and then straight into an intense on-sale season, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Rauha Kyyrö, Fullsteam Agency

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Daniel Brown, event producer/programmer at Birmingham Pride, UK here.

 


Rauha Kyyrö
she/her/hers
Head promoter, Fullsteam Agency
Finland
[email protected]

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
I definitely can’t take the credit for any of the production work required to make it happen, but in 2018 we built a 60-metre stage and a 30-truck production for the most popular Finnish artist, Cheek, on top of a lido located basically in a deep pit at the bottom of a ski-jumping stadium, and let’s just say that it was not uncomplicated. But the artist got what he wanted, and we sold out 60,000 tickets.

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
When you notice a problem in your workplace, whether it is racism, discrimination or inequality of any kind, cis/heteronormativity, assumed monogamy, or anything that you are not comfortable with, speak up and ask for change. And if they don’t want to listen to you, start your own company – or come work for us!

“Hearing ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ these days makes me almost as sick as ‘Dear Sirs’…”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
I think people often have challenges with what they don’t understand. For example, they might judge you for your life choices and therefore not treat you with respect or give you what you deserve even if what you are doing has nothing to do with your work. When someone takes the risk to be open about their gender identity, sexuality or number of partners, etc., in an environment with so many fucked-up norms, it is usually not a phase.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
To start with, we could easily stop using binary and cisnormative language in all our communication. Hearing ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ these days makes me almost as sick as ‘Dear Sirs’. And what’s the deal with binary toilets still around at festivals and venues? Just make all the toilets unisex, that’s the easiest thing you can do to be more inclusive to trans people, and it helps with queues too!

“Make all the toilets unisex, that’s the easiest thing you can do to be more inclusive to trans people, and it helps with queues too!”

A cause you support.
Questioning norms.

What does the near future of the industry look like?
Busy.

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
In my experience, people in the live music industry have been nicer, more understanding and more patient during the pandemic. Let’s keep that up. Nobody should have to be intimidated because of a gig.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Daniel Brown, Birmingham Pride

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Rach Millhauser, coordinator at Wasserman Music in the US here.

 


Daniel Brown
he/him
Event Producer/Programmer, Birmingham Pride, Nightingale Club, Hare & Hounds, Hooker Club, Disco P*ssy, Glittersh*t
Birmingham, UK
https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-brown-676ab3187/

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
A personal triumph for my career was becoming the programmer for Birmingham Pride in 2018. Seeing your plans and ideas that you created in your mind in real life: there’s nothing like it.

Being able to make Birmingham Pride one of the most diverse lineups in Europe is the goal for me and I think we are getting there, seeing all these amazing queer artists being their true authentic selves and seeing the reaction of the crowd, in awe that they finally have people that represent them on stage.

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
If you see a gap that needs filling, don’t wait for someone to fill it. Get your friends together and create that space that you need, you will be so surprised how many people feel the same as you. But also keep at it! The amount of parties and events I have created that have had 20 people attend – if you take it personally, it can knock your confidence. But your next event could be your best, always remember that.

“Get your friends together and create that space that you need, you will be so surprised how many people feel the same”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
Being taken seriously, especially in heteronormative environments. Many people stereotype the sort of work you can produce or want to produce just because you are queer. I’ve spoken with events and venues in the past, who, when I mentioned collaborating, basically laughed in my face. But it lit a fire under my arse to make sure I will prove them wrong!

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
More grassroots nights taking front and centre! I think people now will be so much more excited to see local talent! A more community-based vibe is what I want to see post-pandemic!

A cause you support.
Emerge, in Birmingham, is a youth group for 13-19-year olds who are trans or questioning their gender, identify as trans and/or non-binary. Young people are offered the unique opportunity to support and be supported by their peers. They provide a safe space for conversation, learning and support.

“Many people stereotype the sort of work you can produce or want to produce just because you are queer”

Rainbow Migration supports LGBTQI+ people through the asylum and immigration system. It provides practical and emotional support for those seeking asylum to help improve their confidence and self-esteem and reduce isolation. It also provides legal advice and information to LGBTQI+ people who want to live in the UK with their partners.

What does the near future of the industry look like?
I’m excited for the future, I feel like people are slowly becoming more switched on and understanding about what is needed by an event, especially queer events. I feel another summer of love coming!

How would you like to see the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
More grassroots nights taking front and centre. Events slowly became so much about big names before the lockdown! I think people now will be so much more excited to see local talent. A more community-based vibe is what I want to see post-pandemic.


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

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Rach Millhauser, Wasserman Music

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Guy Howes, music partnerships executive at CAA in the UK here.

 


Rach Millhauser
They/them
Coordinator, Wasserman Music
New York, US
[email protected]

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
I spent many years leaving a lot of myself at the door when I walked into the office or a show. While far from easy, deciding to walk 100% of myself through the door has been a profound relief and quite rewarding – both professionally and personally. Now I feel a strong sense of responsibility to use my voice to push for more opportunities for trans and gender-nonconforming people, both onstage and backstage.

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Be yourself. No career opportunity is worth compromising your identity for. One of my favourite words of wisdom came from Lenore Kinder – “There’s going to be very few people that hold the door open for you in this business, so you just gotta swing the fucker open and walk through.”

“No career opportunity is worth compromising your identity for”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
Going to shows and meeting people face-to-face for the first time can be a wildcard scenario: sometimes I’m not quite what they imagined on the other end of that email address. While some moments have stung, I move right along and let my work speak for itself.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
We still have a long way to go when it comes to truly including and uplifting marginalised communities. How many queer people of colour work at your company? The answer is usually not great.

Causes you support.
Trans Lifeline and The Okra Project. Personally, I’m committed to donating to trans people who need financial assistance with healthcare via crowdfunding websites and cash apps. The financial barriers the trans community faces when it comes to healthcare is astonishing.

“Promoter versus agent mentality has to go out the window…”

What does the near future of the industry look like?
Promoter versus agent mentality has to go out the window. Currently, in the US, the floodgates have opened but in a patchwork way, making it trickier to route a several-week tour months in advance. We’re responding to differing local regulations in real-time, putting shows on-sale with much shorter windows and facing avails that are few and far between. At the same time, live music has never felt more precious and meaningful.

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
Sustainable touring and climate change need to be at the forefront. No one needs to be an expert to make an impact. Carbon offsetting has never been made easier and there are many exciting new ways to approach concessions, catering, merch, fuel and so much more. Shout out to Reverb for leading the charge on this!


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

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Guy Howes, CAA

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Maddie Arnold, associate promoter at Live Nation in the UK here.

 


Guy Howes
he/him
Music partnerships executive, CAA
London, UK
[email protected]

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Being promoted to executive at CAA in 2019 was huge for me, having worked my way up through the agency business for ten years. I’m lucky enough to work across the international roster and the incredible artists that CAA represents, and amongst a supportive team in London and internationally.

In 2019 – along with a group of LGBTQI+ professionals from across the industry – I helped to set up Pride in Music, a network to bring members of the community together from across the industry. Being able to meet and work with people to try to bring LGBTQI+ people together has been really rewarding.

“Changes [like pronouns on our email sign-off] can make a big difference in how people feel included in the workplace”

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Find your peers and surround yourself with people who share your experience and can support you – that has been key to me. Also, find your voice and be yourself as much as you can be in your work. At the start of my career, at times, I found it easier to try to blend in. But LGBTQI+ voices being heard, and representation through this, can only make the industry better for everyone.

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
At times there can be a feeling of responsibility to be visible at times when you want to focus on the work. That being said, I have been lucky enough to work for companies who recognise me, and with mentors who support me throughout my career.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Continuing to champion more diverse voices and listening to those in less-represented groups across the industry. The more we can do to encourage and support LGBTQI+ and diverse professionals across the board, the better equipped we are to do good business. For example, CAA encourages us to have our pronouns on our email sign-off. These changes can make a big difference in how people feel included in the workplace.

“At times there can be a feeling of responsibility to be visible at times when you want to focus on the work”

A cause you support.
The charity Choose Love do incredible work with refugees and the crisis being faced by so many across Europe and the world. Particularly during the pandemic, the continuing work of charities such as this has been so important for the displaced and marginalised.

What does the near future of the industry look like?
I work in one of the best partnership teams in the business and we’ve been busy during the pandemic supporting our artists by diversifying the opportunities we have been giving them, such as podcasts, virtual performances, brand partnerships, sync, brand ambassadorships and even NFTs. Everyone has become increasingly open to different opportunities, which is going to lead to new areas for growth and ultimately a more innovative and resilient business.

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
It’s been great to see how people have pulled together throughout the pandemic to support each other across the industry. This can only see us come back stronger as we come out the other side.

 


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

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Maddie Arnold, Live Nation

The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with James Murphy, chief operating officer North America, See Tickets here.

 


Maddie Arnold
she/her
Associate promoter, Live Nation
London, UK
[email protected]

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
When I began promoting my own shows and building my own roster. Nothing can compare to the excitement of a gig, the spontaneity, the emotion, the sweat – they’ve been a massive part of my life since I was a kid. After a few years in different roles within the industry, I knew I had to work my way to this point, and now I am selling tickets, discovering new artists and building their careers. It’s a great feeling, daily.

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Finding out who you are and what you want in life is a journey… get lost in the process, make mistakes, learn from them, try new things, don’t settle, keep persevering when you feel like giving up, surround yourself with positive people, and don’t forget to have fun along the way.

“Nothing can compare to the excitement of a gig, the spontaneity, the emotion, the sweat”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
Apart from the occasional awkward silence when I tell someone new my sexuality, I am lucky enough to say my experience has been great. All the people I work with are hardworking, diverse, inclusive and kind people, and I have only ever been given support by my colleagues and managers who challenge me to do better and grow within my role.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Keep going. Diversity and inclusion are becoming a massive part of working life and the music industry knows this, but there is still work to be done. We need more LGBTQ role models in the industry, whether that’s artists or the workers behind the scenes, it’s important for the younger generation to have people to look up to.

A cause you support.
Mental health. As someone who has suffered on and off for years and lost close ones, this subject is very close to my heart and we all need to speak up more about it. Congratulations to all for getting through this past year!

“Continue with the flexibility of working remotely, and give more attention to mental health”

What does the near future of the industry look like?
Very exciting. Lockdown was awful for several reasons, but I have also discovered a lot of new artists during this time who have a great future ahead of them. The streaming got us through lockdown, but nothing will ever replace the experience of a live gig. The demand is there, people want to get back in a sweaty room and scream along to their favourite songs, and I think 2022 is going to be an insane year for us all.

How would you like to see the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
Continue with the flexibility of working remotely, and give more attention to mental health, whether it’s your own, your colleagues, or the grumpy manager you meet backstage. We are all busy and work in an extremely fast-paced industry that never seems to slow down, but it doesn’t take a lot to ask someone how they are, especially after the year we’ve all had, and I hope we can all be a little kinder to one another and to ourselves.

 


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