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The LGBTIQ+ List 2022: Cloe Gregson, Manchester Pride

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) last month.

The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster. 

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on the previous interview with Troy Suda, chief product officer at Ticketmaster in the UK.

The series continues with Cloe Gregson (she/her/hers), senior events manager at Manchester Pride in the UK.

 


Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
A big personal triumph for me is curating the lineup for the Gay Village Party in 2021. It was my first year leading on the programme and it ended up being the queerest and most diverse lineup Manchester Pride had seen to date.

The pool of talent in Manchester is incredible and I created the programme by working with some of the absolute powerhouses that reside here. Co-designing with Fat Pride, Trans Filth and Joy, Black Pride MCR and some of the best queer females and femmes.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Support each other! Accepting the support offered to you is the best advice I can give – you will learn and grow from it. If you have an idea, ask as many people as you can about it and take their feedback because it’s priceless. Gaining others’ insight teaches you how to offer that same support to others. Someone once told me to always told me to pick another letter from LGBTQI+ to support, if you’re L…support the T!

Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry
Before my time at Manchester Pride, I worked mostly in live music and events and in a cis-white-male-dominated industry and it often felt like a fight to prove my worth and to feel respected. When I joined Manchester Pride, it felt like home and I’ve felt championed in everything that I do.

“If you have an idea, ask as many people as you can about it and take their feedback because it’s priceless”

One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place?
We need to make sure we are paying all artists fairly and trying our hardest to ensure we meet fee expectations. No artist should be expected to work for free or for less than they are worth. Sticking by this will mean we see more local and up-and-coming artists featured.

A cause you support
Supporting our trans community…all year round. Ensuring our trans and non-binary family are represented in all of the events that we do, as producers, technical team, hosts, panellists, photographers dancers, singers, poets and more. Representation across every area is super important.

The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
We have some amazing artists joining us for this year’s festival. I’m looking forward to checking out what Black Pride MCR do this year, NIMMO who are joining us from London and Bimini! I’m also really excited to see some of the incredible programme for Superbia! that Beau-Azra Scott has produced.

Your favourite queer space
Fat Out Festival, which is three days of continuous experimental music and art performances. It’s queer, grassroots and based in Manchester. What more could you want?


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 2022: Troy Suda, Ticketmaster

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) last month.

The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster. 

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on the previous interview with Paul Bonham, professional development director at Music Managers Forum in the UK.

The series continues with Troy Suda (he/him/his), chief product officer at Ticketmaster in the UK.

 


Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Transforming Ticketmaster’s Marketplace in more than 30 countries has been the most rewarding accomplishment for me so far. Being able to work closely with teams all over the world, from Germany to Canada to New Zealand, is not only something I have enjoyed immensely but something I’m really proud of.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
You will thrive when you are working in an environment that is diverse, and where different perspectives are respected and recognised to help shape a better outcome. So be yourself. Bring your whole self to work. And if you don’t feel like you’re in an environment where that is a possibility, seek out companies that provide that. Life is too short to have to not be yourself at work every day.

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
Withholding who I was in a professional setting early in my career, as I thought it would somehow be career limiting. It was a good mistake to make as I realised – having subsequently joined companies that were encouraging of me being open and transparent about my whole life – that I will never again work somewhere that isn’t like that.

“Life is too short to have to not be yourself at work every day”

Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry.
I guess I could say I was most challenged earlier in my career. I grew up in a small town of 10,000 people, a place where, at the time, nobody was public about being LGBT+. After moving to Melbourne to go to university, I was surrounded by all sorts of diversity and had my first real encounters with interesting, creative, intelligent people, who also happened to be LGBT+.

At my first full-time professional job after graduating, my manager used to put on a lisp when he would talk about a gay colleague, or make homophobic jokes. He was a lovely guy who I was learning so much from professionally, but his behaviour made me feel like being out in the workplace was not a recipe for career success. So, I stayed in the closet for years working there. Little did he know, three of the five of us around the table on his team were LGBT+ which just demonstrated how short-sighted he was. Thankfully, every other company that I have since worked for has been the complete opposite, and I have been fully transparent about who I am every day. A supportive and open environment where people are encouraged to bring their whole self to work will do that.

One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place?
I think the live event industry could be more active in supporting diversity in general. We work in an industry that aims to entertain the entire population. And that population is made of extremely diverse audiences.

I’m impressed by events like Mighty Hoopla here in London, crafted specifically for the LGBT+ community, that have become so incredibly popular. I hope their success inspires other promoters to take the lead in creating more offerings like this for our community.

“I hope [Mighty Hoopla’s] success inspires other promoters to take the lead in creating more offerings for our community”

A cause you support
I make myself available internally at Ticketmaster for mentorship which is something incredibly important to me. I’ve been fortunate to have mentors myself early on in my career who were remarkable, so I like to pay it forward to anyone looking to grow and wanting advice or to bounce ideas off. I’m fortunate to work in a vibrant, global company full of amazing diversity, so I feel it’s important that I am available to my colleagues, wherever they are in the world.

I have also been vegetarian since I was 13 years old and vegan for the past ten years. So, I’m also part of another minority group of sorts. As part of my vegan advocacy work, I reach out to businesses that offer limited choices for those following plant-based diets in order to try to convince them to introduce more options to help people like me and save the animals.

The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
Todrick Hall. He’s doing amazing things to show that you can be yourself and achieve immense success if you live life fully transparently. His career growth is impressive and I hope he inspires more artists to own their identity and weave it into their craft, truly putting it at the forefront of their public presence.

Your favourite queer space
I live in Central London so The Duke of Wellington in Soho is my go-to place for a beer after my Friday night spin class with my fellow workout buddies.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2022: Peter Taylor, Cuffe and Taylor

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) last month.

The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster. 

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on the previous interview with Patrick Janssen, marketing manager at Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria).

The series continues with Peter Taylor (he/him/his), founder of Cuffe and Taylor in the UK.

 


Tell us about a personal triumph in your career
Taking the Lytham Festival in my hometown in Lancashire from a one-day, 4,000-capacity event to the 2022 festival, which ran over ten days with an overall attendance of 200,000 people. And if I’m allowed another: getting Britney Spears to play Scarborough Open Air Theatre!

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Have courage and determination. Don’t ever be afraid to speak up, and remember to be kind.

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
Selling my bar contract in the early days at a stupidly low price was a mistake that taught me a lot, very quickly.

One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place
Keep educating ourselves and each other. To be honest, having just finished the RuPaul Drag Race UK Tour, I actually learnt a lot myself about gender and how people identify. I also think music and show business have always been good industries for people to feel inclusive and safe.

“Getting Britney Spears to play Scarborough Open Air Theatre was a personal triumph”

Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry.
Not specifically, but I’d say there are still undertones of homophobia in our industry and we’re still very white-straight-male dominated. I’ve lost count of the times when I’ve experienced this. I have the confidence to call people out these days and I’d like to think we’ve moved on a bit now.

A cause you support
Pride Nation. It’s an initiative across our parent company, Live Nation, to promote inclusivity among our LGBTQ+ colleagues. It’s a good channel for education and learning, plus it supports some amazing organisations.

The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
Well… I’d say the Christina Aguilera show I’m promoting in Scarborough this year. She is an iconic LGBTQ+ act, and we’ve just finished our 2022 tour with Lea Salonga – a massive gay icon, not least because she’s a real Disney princess!

Your favourite queer space
In Lytham, where I live, we’re next door to Blackpool, so anyone visiting me always has a trip to Funny Girls! I also went to Wilderness Festival last year and that felt really inclusive and welcoming.


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 2022: Patrick Janssen, Live Nation GSA

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) last month.

The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster. 

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on the previous interview with Patrick Erhardt, senior manager of content & creation at Goodlive in Germany.

The series continues with Patrick Janssen (he/him/his), marketing manager at Live Nation GSA (Germany, Switzerland, Austria).

 


Tell us about a personal triumph in your career
We promoted the first one-queen drag tour in the German market with Sasha Velour’s Smoke & Mirrors. That was a triumph for me. To combine my passion and job in live entertainment with my second passion, which is RuPaul’s Drag Race and drag culture in general. It was a great moment realising that I’m able to create visibility and establish queer artists like Sasha on big stages in Germany.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Shine in every way. Be unique. Be you. Trust in yourself and your abilities. Always go with your gut feeling. Everything happens for a reason, and don’t let anyone come for you, okay?

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
2009 when I thought I could promote a festival all by myself. I made it happen (somehow). But today, when I look back on what I’ve done and how I worked… well, there was room for improvement.

The stage was shit, the backstage was shit and I’m still embarrassed about what the bands might have thought about playing there. But I kept on improving and in 2012 I promoted the most successful edition of that festival in my hometown with the most visitors ever. So I learnt, that you should never stop learning and improve your abilities.

“Stop working with artists that are openly sexist, homo- and/or transphobic”

Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry
So, luckily, I haven’t had a real “challenge” that I have come across because of being queer and working in the industry, although I’m well aware that this is quite a privileged position as I’m still a white, cis-male man.

One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place
Stop working with artists that are openly sexist, homo- and/or transphobic. Artists like these shouldn’t get any kind of representation or support. Instead: support LGBTIQ+ artists and employees. As an employer, emphasise that you welcome members of the LGBTIQ+ community to work with them. Make them feel invited. It’s necessary!

A cause you support
I’m donating to trans people; buying their art (books/music) and helping trans/queer DIY artists with writing biographies or press releases.

The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
That’s definitely Trixie & Katya’s live tour in November. I’m dying to see two of my all-time favourite queens. I’ve been waiting years to see them somewhere in Europe, and now it’s my former employer promoting the tour.

Your favourite queer space
I don’t have a favourite queer space, but I really enjoy going to Pride because it’s that one time a year where I feel that we are a majority on the streets just for a little moment.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2022: Patrick Erhardt, Goodlive

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) last month.

The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster. 

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on the previous interview with Nix Corporan, fan support team lead at DICE in the US.

The series continues with Patrick Erhardt (he/him/his), senior manager of content & creation at Goodlive in Germany. Erhardt is also lead board member at Berliner (Berlin Pride) and agent of LGBTIQA events and bookings at Kollektiv Komfortzone.

 


Tell us about a personal triumph in your career
I came to Berlin and always wanted to use my time for good causes but my biggest dream was to connect queer and non-queer human beings. And I always dreamed of organising Berlin Pride the way I would love to see it.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Stop doing small talk! Believe me, it’s better to be challenged by five real friends than to be loved by thousands. Society isn’t what you expect it to be.

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
Meeting my ex-boyfriends and former friends!

Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry
We are always talking about understanding and connecting and accepting, but we never work on the actual base that creates this. We would rather believe [that] highlighting problems will change something, but it only [improves things] for a moment.

“We would rather believe [that] highlighting problems will change something, but it only [improves things] for a moment”

One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place
Create an overall commission funded by the industry itself to create projects and work on the bigger picture with the majority of the live industry events/companies.

A cause you support
My own initiative for homeless people and of course my dear Berlin Pride.

The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
Romy, Oliver and Jamie (the xx) as solo artists or as the band.

Your favourite queer space
WHOLE Festival and The Coven Bar, Berlin.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2022: Nix Corporan, DICE

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) last month.

The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster. 

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on the previous interview with Natalie Rudland, senior promotions assistant at Live Nation UK.

The series continues with Nix Corporan (they/them/theirs), fan support team lead at DICE in the US.


Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
A triumph in my career… honestly? Getting this job in the first place is still insane to me. I’ve always wanted to work in the music industry since I was a kid but was always told I couldn’t make it or that a career in music wouldn’t be sustainable. One thing about me is that I don’t like being told what to do (in typical Aquarian fashion) and I kept being persistent. It took fou years of customer service experience and a global pandemic to get here, but DICE was the third application I put into the ether as live entertainment was starting to revamp last year. One year later, I’m over the moon enamoured by our fans, my team – especially our global Fan Support team (hi pals!) – and I got on a neat little magazine spread. Ha, take that, haters!

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, two of our local pioneers, were some of the gender non-conforming individuals to cast the first stone for Pride. Basic human rights weren’t just handed to them, so my advice to professionals is to not be afraid to ruffle some feathers. Fight for your seat in the boardroom, and don’t lose sight of the end goal. If it’s not meant for you now, it doesn’t mean it’s not meant for you forever so my second piece of advice is to let go and let god (for the spiritually inclined) take course. Finally, and most importantly… drink water.

“Don’t be afraid to ruffle some feathers. Fight for your seat in the boardroom, and don’t lose sight of the end goal”

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
Back when I was a customer service agent, I unintentionally sent a customer “Hi (insert name)” and nothing else on the ticket besides my signature. It literally read “Hi so and so, Best, Nix” and I still think about that to this day. I made sure never to do that again and made sure to train everyone under me never to do that.

Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry.
I bought a ticket on DICE for a friend to see Kaytranada last year. As their preferred name doesn’t match the name on their ID, they needed to submit their legal name when registering their account. I never felt more embarrassed, especially as a trans, non-binary person, to tell my friend to provide their legal name in the event they need to show ID. Immediately after this exchange, I scheduled time with someone on our team to see what can be done about this. We’re still trying to find a better solution that’s inclusive to all, but that was a challenge that struck home.

“I never felt more embarrassed to tell my friend to provide their legal name in the event they need to show ID”

One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place?
I think safety is a subject the live industry could use improvement in. DICE’s mission is to get everyone outside, and my personal mission is to get everyone outside and back home. Training our staff and security on how to search people without making it creepy, how to incorporate more inclusive language and maybe allow small defence weapons in certain venues would be cool. While I understand, logistically, it wouldn’t be wise to let pepper sprays and tasers in the building – at the end of the day, we get hurt coming back home from these events and I think we can use improvement on all forms of security in nightlife.

A cause you support
Besides the local queer community, I’m a huge mental health advocate. Publicly speaking on mental health can be frowned upon, especially in POC (people of colour) households but it’s okay to admit that you’re not okay. At work, I do “vibe checks” with my team on days they have lower productivity so they’re able to be vulnerable with me and let me know what’s going on with them. At the end of the day, it’ll reflect in their work and I’d rather them be transparent with me and let it be addressed before I find out something happened after the fact.

“DICE’s mission is to get everyone outside, and my personal mission is to get everyone outside and back home”

The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
I was itching feverishly to see Rina Sawayama live and I got to see her at Terminal 5 back in May. It was a borderline religious experience and I would 10000% see her again!

Your favourite queer space
One of my favourite queer spaces is actually a party that I love in New York – Papi Juice! Papi Juice is a collective formed by queer POC people in New York, and they typically have a monthly party hosted at Elsewhere in Brooklyn. Nothing beats seeing the sea of diverse bodies of all sizes, colours, and walks of life. They often do varying sets in multiple rooms so you have a change of pace in each room.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2022: Natalie Rudland, Live Nation

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) last month.

The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster. 

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on the previous interview with Nikos Kalozeas, a music agent at UTA in the UK.

The series continues with Natalie Rudland (she/her/hers), senior promotions assistant at Live Nation UK.

 


Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Returning to work full-time after having my son was a huge personal triumph. My wife and I underwent IVF treatment just before Covid hit and we were in lockdown throughout my pregnancy and I gave birth in September 2020. The whole experience was bizarre, being locked up at home for the whole nine months. I felt extremely lucky to be so heavily supported by Live Nation throughout.

Returning to work after maternity leave filled me with crippling anxiety and I think being at home since March 2020 and going through a huge personal life change such as becoming a mum was slightly overwhelming, to say the least. I would sit up late at night and panic about the decision to return, whether I could be both a good employee and mum. I envisioned only being able to be 50% of the employee I once was; I thought I would be seen as someone who chose family over their career (ridiculous I know) and would be treated as such.

I feel so proud to have got into the swing of working mum life and to have returned to a company so supportive of new parents. Live Nation has given me the space I need to settle back into the role whilst always being there to support and encourage me as my career continues to progress and flourish.

“Never make yourself smaller for anyone”

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Never make yourself smaller for anyone. Be loud and proud about who you are and never accept anyone taking you for anything less. Surround yourself with people who empower and inspire you. I think enjoying the journey and knowing that it’s never linear is key. Make mistakes and learn from them. And always remember it’s okay to move on from opportunities that no longer fill your cup.

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
I won’t get into the time I sent around a company email with “Sorry for any incontinence” instead of “Sorry for any inconvenience” – that was a very bad day! I think my best ‘mistake’ was having a case of word vomit with a previous boss. Before I joined Live Nation I worked at a talent agency, it was my first job out of university and was an incredible opportunity. I was there for around four years before I realised that I wanted to move on and try my hand at something new.

I remember oversharing with my boss at the time that I was no longer happy and was desperate to leave the company and move on. I came away from his office that day asking myself why on earth I was so honest about it, and if I was too honest about it. I was utterly convinced he would fire me that day or ask HR [human resources] to exit me, as someone who was not fully committed to the company. At the time I thought it was a huge mistake to open up.

A little while later, the same boss came to me with a job opening he had heard about at Live Nation, he got me in touch with the right people and made sure an interview was arranged. And that’s how I ended up working at Live Nation – mistakenly oversharing. Now looking back, I realise that it’s a fantastic thing to be able to have open and honest conversations with your line managers, I’m so thankful to that boss (who may be reading this, hello).

“My personal experience as a lesbian in the industry has always been great and I have never felt like I need to hide who I am”

Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry.
The need to ‘come out’ to new people constantly can be a little awkward, especially when new people ask about my son. I have had a few “So who’s the dad?” or people referring to our sperm donor as the “father”. I wouldn’t say that is industry specific of course, people are naturally curious and often don’t know what terms to use.

I’m always more than happy and often excited to chat about it and our journey of becoming a two-mum family. Besides that, I work with incredibly inclusive, diverse, and wonderfully kind people. My personal experience as a lesbian in the industry has always been great and I have never felt like I need to hide who I am in order to progress and succeed.

One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place?
Give more queer artists and industry professionals the platforms to continue to thrive and excel. Our industry is moving in the right direction to support, protect and project queer people, it needs to keep going, keep pushing and keep being a safe space for people to be their true authentic selves.

“I’m dying to see Lil Nas X, I reckon I could recite to you the whole Montero album word for word”

A cause you support
There is a wonderful charity called Mermaids that supports non-binary, transgender and gender-diverse children and youth. I have been a huge supporter of their work for a long time. Our children are our future, and the young people in the UK today are such a special, strong, passionate generation. I love that there are organisations like Mermaids that support young people through the journey of exploration of their gender identity, free from judgement, fear and isolation. Let’s keep learning from our youth, listening to them and always providing safe, loving spaces for them to be themselves.

The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
Ashnikko hands down is my number one. I missed her earlier this year and was kicking myself. When that opportunity arises again I’m first in line – her genre-bending, infectious earworms are on a constant loop in my headphones. I’m also dying to see Lil Nas X, I reckon I could recite to you the whole Montero album word for word, it’s my go-to to get me in a great mood.

Your favourite queer space 
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is host to a wonderful array of alternative entertainment. It’s always a super fun night out, and often quite ridiculous. The staff there have created a beautifully inclusive, safe space. Mighty Hoopla is another brilliant space for queer people. The festival is an explosion of glitter, pop, colour and drag. It’s infectiously camp, couldn’t recommend it enough.

 


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 2022: Nikos Kalozeas, UTA

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) last month.

The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster. 

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on the previous interview with Jonas Sjödén, chief financial officer at Live Nation Sweden.

The series continues with Nikos Kalozeas (he/him/his), a music agent at UTA in the UK.

 


Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Planning, announcing and executing Rebecca Black’s debut UK/EU tour this past May was a big highlight for me. Rebecca is a queer artist who has undergone a huge personal journey over the last 10 years and it was amazing to see how well she connected with European audiences as an American artist. The crowds were so widespread in terms of gender identity, sexual orientation and musical tastes, and it felt great playing a role in bringing all these different people together.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Be yourself from day one and don’t be afraid to educate others, inside and outside of your workplace. As queer people, we had to figure out our places in our families, our schools, our friend circle and our society. It’d be a shame to suppress your unique point of view in order to fit a standard.

Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry.
When I first started in the music industry in the UK, I heard derogatory and stereotypical comments that were made about other queer people in the industry, which made me feel uncomfortable about coming out. It was challenging to disclose my sexuality to my colleagues and the larger circle of people I worked with. I’d like to think we’ve come a long way since then but there is still work to be done, especially to support the trans community and their representation in the workplace.

As queer people, we had to figure out our places in our families, our schools, our friend circle and our society

One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place?
It’s great seeing all these artists expressing themselves and being proud members of the queer community. We also see global music companies making efforts to educate their employees. However, we shouldn’t forget about all the behind-the-scenes sectors of our industry whose learning curve is just as important. Bar staff, security, crew, and box office employees all play a vital role in representing our industry and creating safe spaces for our artists and fans.

A cause you support
GIRES (Gender Identity Research and Education Society) is a fantastic organisation whose purpose is to improve the lives of trans and gender-diverse people of all ages. I was really pleased that I was able to set up a partnership between UTA Proud, our company’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Inclusion Group, and GIRES to deliver some important training for all our colleagues on gender diversity in the UK, correct terminology and intersectionality.

The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
I can’t wait to see Lil Nas X live later this year. He’s playing the game by his own rules and I’m excited to see what he does next.

Your favourite queer space
The Glory in East London is a venue I keep returning to. Also, shoutout to Mighty Hoopla Festival for the great line-ups and the fun days and nights out!

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2022: Jonas Sjödén, Live Nation Sweden

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) last month.

The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster. 

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on the previous interview with Joel Siviour, director & booking agent at Seismic Talent Agency in Australia.

The series continues with Jonas Sjödén (he/him/his), chief financial officer at Live Nation Sweden.


Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
A great personal triumph for me was being part of the strategy behind bringing both Summerburst and Sweden Rock Festivals into the Live Nation family. For me personally, it has become one of my proudest moments in my career.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Always be yourself and be proud of who you are. Most people are more open-minded than you might think.

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
I was heading to one of our concerts but went to the wrong arena. There was only me and another guy there, while thousands of fans were on the other side of the city – at the correct arena. We then went together to the actual concert, and become more than friends after that.

Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry.
Having kids as a gay man was challenging in the beginning, many years ago. Now my kids are teenagers and so much has improved in terms of the view of rainbow families.

“I try to take my responsibility by being as open and relaxed as possible, talking openly about any type of ‘sensitive’ topics”

One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place?
More education on what LGBTQ+ means and widen the recruitment pool.

A cause you support.
I try to take my responsibility by being as open and relaxed as possible, talking openly about any type of “sensitive” topics and being proud of who I am.

The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
It would be great to see Lil Nas X and I’m beyond excited about Lady Gaga and The Chromatica Ball Tour, playing here in Stockholm in July.

Your favourite queer space.
Stockholm Pride and of course Melodifestivalen, the annual Swedish song competition leading up to Eurovision Song Contest, which Live Nation Sweden is co-producing locally.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2022: Joel Siviour, Seismic Talent

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) last month.

The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster. 

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on the previous interview with Jill Wheeler, promoter at Red Mountain Entertainment in the US.

The series continues with Joel Siviour (he/him/his), director & booking agent at Seismic Talent Agency in Australia.

 


Tell us about a personal triumph in your career
Being able to launch Seismic Talent Agency in 2020, right in the thick of the pandemic. As an independent operator, it took a lot of mental fortitude and endurance and an amazing support network to persevere through so much uncertainty, but I’m really grateful that I was able to make it work!

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Don’t be afraid to bring your authentic queer self into the workplace, it can be a major strength. Early in my career, I tried to compartmentalise parts of my identity and isolate that away from my professional career, but since embracing those parts of myself within the context of the music industry, I’ve been able to work on some incredibly personally satisfying projects that previously I might have been too guarded to take on.

One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place
Honestly, I’d just love to see more companies practice what they preach in terms of inclusive values. I’ve witnessed plenty of virtue-signalling from within our industry, but when push comes to shove there are companies whose actions don’t align with the values they claim to hold.

A cause you support
Support Act is an incredible Australian-based charity that support musicians and music-industry workers with relief through periods of crisis. They were absolutely instrumental in keeping the local live performance industry afloat through the pandemic, both through financial support and mental health support services. I’m so grateful for their support and hope to be able to continue to support them as much as they supported us throughout the toughest times of the pandemic.

“I’d just love to see more companies practice what they preach in terms of inclusive values”

The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
I’m super excited to be seeing Lady Gaga at The Chromatica Ball in Paris soon! That album became such an appreciated escape during the peak of the pandemic and lockdown, so I think there’s going to be something super cathartic in seeing her perform those tracks live.

Your favourite queer space
Sircuit in Melbourne. Every trip I take to Melbourne mysteriously sees me arrive early enough to pop into their Thursday night event “Hey Henny” hosted by Sabrina and Kali. Yet to have a bad night there!

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
I can’t think of a specific example but taking risks and being open to making mistakes is such a crucial part of growth, both personal and professional. They don’t have to be catastrophic mistakes either, you can learn a lot from small mistakes, and ideally, if you keep an eye out you can learn quite a lot from other people’s mistakes too.

Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry
I feel quite fortunate that I haven’t personally encountered much in the way of homophobia or my identity holding me back in the music industry, and I’m grateful and appreciative of the queer people who came before me to make help pave the way for that experience.

 


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