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Stars come together for virtual LGBTQ+ benefit

Demi Lovato, Lil Nas X, Ricky Martin and Pink are among the artists who will appear at ‘Can’t Cancel Pride,’ a virtual relief benefit for the LGBTQ+ community

The organisers, consumer goods corporation P&G and media company iHeartMedia, say: “Covid-19 has not only led to the disruption of many national Pride events but has also had a damaging effect on fundraising efforts LGBTQ+ organisations rely on to survive.

“The second annual event will demonstrate that nothing can cancel the heart of Pride and the spirit that the LGBTQ+ equality movement embodies while focusing on the issues that continue to impact the LGBTQ+ community in 2021, including the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.”

Brothers Osborne, Hayley Kiyoko, Jennifer Hudson, JoJo Siwa, Marshmello and Troye Sivan, among others, are also set to perform.

The hour-long concert will stream on 4 June at 9 pm via a number of iHeartRadio channels and stations and will be available to watch back on-demand throughout June.

“This amazing night of music will honour the communities’ fight for equal rights, while benefitting six remarkable nonprofits”

The event is once again teaming up with Greater Cincinnati Foundation to distribute the money raised by the event to LGBTQ+ organizations including GLAAD, SAGE, The Trevor Project, The National Black Justice Coalition, CenterLink, and OutRight Action International.

Last year’s event raised over $4 million to benefit LGBTQ+ communities impacted by the global pandemic.

“As the country is returning back to normal and we are slowly starting to gather again, LGBTQ+ communities around the world are still feeling the devastating effects of Covid-19,” said Gayle Troberman, chief marketing officer for iHeartMedia.

“We look forward to once again celebrating the incredible voices and allies of the LGBTQ+ community with an amazing night of music that will honour Pride and the communities’ fight for equal rights, all while benefitting six remarkable nonprofits that make an everyday positive impact.”

To support this year’s participating nonprofits, visit www.cantcancelpride.com or text “Rainbow” to 56512.

 


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MJR’s Nathan Stone launches Gallos Talent

Nathan Stone, the former creative director of the TEG MJR and the creator of DragWorld, has launched Gallos Talent, a new UK-based LGBTQ+ talent management company.

In his six years at TEG MJR (formerly the MJR Group), Stone promoted shows including Hans Zimmer, Bianca Del Rio, Harry Potter in Concert, Final Fantasy’s Distant Worlds, Courtney Act and Sasha Velour, as well as leading on the company’s licensed exhibitions, such as Marvel’s Avengers Station and Lego expo Brickman. He also helped create MJR’s popular drag convention, DragWorld.

Gallos Talent is working with acts including drag queens Juno Birch and Joe Black (as seen on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK), and also offering its services as a partner to events such as Trans Festival London and Cornwall Pride.

“In a period which has been so brutal to our industry, I, like many, have had to realign, regroup and reenter the workplace,” says Stone.

“We are excited to welcome Nathan to the company and begin managing our expansion in to Europe”

“I am very excited to be furthering my specialisation in the LGBTQ+ events industry with both Five Senses Reeling and the launch of Gallos Talent.”

The official launch of Gallos Talent comes as Stone is appointed head of touring for Seattle-based promoter Five Senses Reeling, whose expansion into Europe he will lead.

Specialising in the LGBTQ+ market, Five Senses Reeling has promoted North American shows by drag icons including Bianca Del Rio, Katya Zamolodchikova, Miz Cracker, Bob the Drag Queen and Fortune Feimster.

“We are excited to welcome Nathan to the company and begin managing our expansion in to Europe,” says the company’s owner, Jason Brotman, “as well as working with the existing team on the North American touring.”

 


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Mayor of London announces £2.3m emergency culture fund

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today (30 April) launched a £2.3 million (€2.65m) emergency fund to support cultural and creative industries at risk due to the impact of the coronavirus.

Beneficiaries of the fund include Music Venue Trust, which receives a £450,000 donation towards its #saveourvenues campaign in aid of at-risk grassroots venues, and the LGBTQ+ Venues Forum, which receives £225,000 – as well as £1.5m for Creative Land Trust to support artist workspaces and £150,000 to the British Film Institute (BFI) in aid of independent cinemas.

Grassroots venues have been particularly hard hit by the impact of Covid-19, and the funding for Music Venue Trust (MVT) will support up to 147 independent London venues – benefitting businesses most at risk of falling into administration and unable to benefit from government schemes – according to the mayor.

“The coronavirus outbreak is having a significant impact on every aspect of life in London, and that includes our culture, creative industries and night-time economy,” says Khan. “These industries are so important to the fabric of our city during the day and night, and they will play a key role in helping us to recover from this public health crisis.

“This funding from the mayor of London means that MVT will be able to increase the support on offer to each and every venue”

“I’m pleased to be working together with the Music Venue Trust, the LGBTQ+ Venues Forum, the Creative Land Trust and the BFI to offer this emergency funding to those areas most at need, but we need the government to step forward and provide the comprehensive support this industry needs to protect its future.”

MVT’s Beverley Whitrick adds: “Music Venue Trust works on behalf of grassroots music venues across the whole UK, but the greatest concentration of our members is in London. These venues are some of the most impacted by the current crisis because the costs of running a venue in London are so high.

“This funding from the mayor of London means that MVT will be able to increase the support on offer to each and every venue, dedicating invaluable human resources, specialist advice and financial assistance where other measures come up short – everything possible to sustain these venues so they can reopen in the future and host artists and audiences safely and professionally.”

 


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Live and Proud: The vibrant LGBTQ+ music scene

Live music has long served as a platform for those of non-normative sexual identities to make their voices heard, spread values of love and tolerance, and express themselves to the full.

Many music festivals now come with clear messages of respect, inclusivity and love for all, club nights specifically serve the LGBTQ+ community, Pride events host some of the biggest names in live music today and, now, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic,  Digital Drag Fest, the “biggest drag festival in history” is among those embracing a new, virtual  festival format.

However, as heteronormative songs, artists and practices continue to dominate the live scene, IQ asks how many live music events are all-inclusive, all-welcoming, safe spaces for members of the LGBTQ+ community, and questions what the industry is doing as a whole to ensure everyone within it feels as comfortable as possible.

A legacy fit for a Queen
“The live music world wouldn’t exist without the LGBTQ+ community,” states Maz Weston, a programmer at Dutch nightclub Paradiso and part of the team organising Amsterdam’s Milkshake festival.

Weston cites Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’, David Bowie’s “androgynous glory,” Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Divine as having paved the way for later acts such as Marc Almond, Boy George, and later still Scissor Sisters – the queer icons consituting the cream of live entertainment’s crop.

Despite this great musical legacy and improvements to equality and representation across the industry, it remains itally important to have spaces dedicated to LGBTQ+ people within live, says Weston.

“The live music world wouldn’t exist without the LGBTQ+ community”

“The community needs spaces where people can meet, socialise, explore their own identity and feel safe enough to express themselves.”

In order for live events themselves to provide safe and dedicated spaces for the LGBTQ+ community, it is becoming apparent that an inclusive environment must first be fostered within the industry itself.

Cross-industry body Pride In Music aims to provide such a space, creating a community of LGBTQ+ people and giving them a voice within the music business. Groups dedicated to LGBTQ+ issues have also formed within some of the industry’s leading companies.

Sean Hill, a member of the Proud Leadership Team at UTA, speaks of the importance of having such teams within institutions to “provide a support network, breakdown stereotypes, offer mentoring and raise issues affecting those who identify as LGBTQIA+.” For those unaware of the acronym, LGBTQIA+ is an abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Genderqueer, Queer, Intersexed, Agender, Asexual, and Ally community.

UTA’s Proud Leadership Team organises events “from networking opportunities to informative talks and charity fundraisers” to drive openness and promote a culture of inclusivity, also working with the agency’s offices in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville.

A recent industry event in London saw some of UTA’s LGBTQ+ clients performing in front of record label executives, promoters, managers and agency representatives.

“We all try and support one another’s events when we can,” says Hill.

“The community needs spaces where people can meet, socialise, explore their own identity and feel safe enough to express themselves”

Pride of place
The role that live music can play in providing a safe, joyful and inclusive space is a common thread throughout the conversations IQ has with event organisers and promoters.

Bringing people together is the main aim of Ireland’s The Outing Festival. An LGBTQ+ music and matchmaking festival, the Outing hopes it can help people together form lasting friendships, as well as initiating romantic unions.

Festival founder Eddie McGuinness tells IQ that the event aims to unite different kinds of people and fuse different genres of music and art forms. “There’s a lot of heteronormative music out there,” says McGuinness. “Here, people can express themselves properly and freely.”

Jamie Tagg, the co-founder of East Creative, which puts on the 25,000-capacity Mighty Hoopla pop festival in London, and runs the LGBTQ+ collective Sink The Pink, explains that “inclusivity, creativity and positivity” are the driving forces behind his events.

The same core ethos goes for one of the most famous gatherings for the LGBTQ+ community – Pride.

Taking place in multiple cities and countries around the world each year, Pride has evolved and grown over the years to host some of the biggest names in live music today.

Criticism has been levelled at some event organisers for losing sight of Pride’s essence, especially when non-LGBTQ+ artists top the bill for the community’s largest celebrations

Criticism has been levelled at some event organisers for losing sight of Pride’s essence, especially when non-LGBTQ+ artists top the bill for the community’s largest celebrations.

However, as Paul Kemp, director of Brighton Pride, points out, popular music has been a feature of Pride since the 90s, with acts including Pet Shop Boys, Kylie Minogue, Madonna and Jake Shears performing at events over the years.

The important thing, says Kemp, is that “in amongst the music and dancing we always make sure the campaign messages are front and centre.”

As the Covid-19 pandemic causes the cancellations of Pride events in London, Toronto and Chicago, among others, and postponements in cities including Dublin, Madrid and Buacharest, Brighton organisers say that “multiple contingency plans” are being put in place to ensure the “safe and successful” delivery of the 2020 edition of Brighton Pride, currently scheduled for 1 and 2 August, given

Dan Brown of Birmingham Pride, which will now take place from 5 to 6 September due to the coronavirus outbreak, admits “there is a danger” of live music detracting from Pride’s main message, but affirms that the evolution of the event indicates “progression.”

“People don’t like change,” says Brown. “The problem is, people don’t shout enough about the good these events do.”

“[Pride] events are becoming more like music festivals in a way – but they’re still so much more than that”

When Britney Spears played Brighton Pride in 2018, for example, the organisers raised £250,000 – “a life-changing amount of money.” Brown also references the controversy surrounding Ariana Grande’s performance at Manchester Pride this year, and a perceived hike in ticket prices for the headline show.

“That one weekend funds everything else,” says Brown. “The Manchester team are putting on free, locally focused events through the year – and I don’t think people realise that.” The same goes for Birmingham, with free-to-enter venues in the gay village depending on the income from Pride and the support of its organisers.

“It’s a massive transition phase for Pride right now,” explains Brown. “The events are becoming more like music festivals in a way – but they’re still so much more than that.”

Pride & joy
LGBTQ+ artists have enjoyed a greater representation in recent years. The 1975’s Matt Healy and Years & Years’ Olly Alexander are just two examples of mainstream, high-profile artists using their platform to talk openly about their sexuality.

 


Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 88, or subscribe to the magazine here

PEG presents month-long Digital Drag Fest

Over 60 artists including stars from reality TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race and other LGBTQ+ acts have been announced for the line-up of Digital Drag Fest 2020, a month-long virtual drag festival.

The event kicked off on 27 March and will go on until the end of April, featuring 30-minute shows from acts including Alaska, Jackie Beat, Kimora Blac, Manila Luzon, Nicky, Peppermint, Trinity the Tuck, John Carmeron Mitchell, Rayvon Owen and Justin Vivian Bond.

The festival is promoted by Producer Entertainment Group (PEG), which manages top drag queen artists, LGBTQ+ talent and influencers.

Tickets for each show start at $10 and are kept to “extremely limited” numbers, with some shows selling out days in advance. Viewers will have the chance to interact with artists, tip them and receive prizes and giveaways. Performances will not be recorded or re-released.

“Drag is about resilience, and this festival is meant to share that message during a challenging time in our world”

A portion of all proceeds will be donated to the festival’s charitable partner, Glaad, an LGBTQ+ media advocacy organisation.

“Drag is about resilience, and this festival is meant to share that message during a challenging time in our world,” says PEG founder and president, David Charpentier. “We want to give fans an opportunity to continue supporting their favorite queens and provide a welcome distraction for drag lovers around the globe.”

More information on show times and the number of tickets remaining for each performance, are available on the Digital Drag Fest website, along with artist merchandise.

Read more about how the monetise virtual events here.

How to make money from virtual concerts


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New decade, new look: IQ 88 out now

IQ Magazine is back with a revamped look, compact design, additional content and brand new features for its 88th edition, which is available to read online now.

A special edition asks for special content and IQ #88 does not disappoint, with the issue’s main feature celebrating IQ’s Agent of the Decade, Rod MacSween.

Having sold more tickets internationally in the past ten years than any other agent, and with a roster boasting the likes of Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard, the Who, Christina Aguilera, Kiss, Black Sabbath, and many more, MacSween is a veritable legend of the industry. The anecdotes, interviews and testimonials appearing in IQ 88 are testament to the super agent’s past and present success.

With the 32nd International Live Music Conference just around the corner – now just a week away! – this edition of IQ Magazine provides a full agenda guide to help delegates plan their jam-packed days for this year’s special game show-themed conference.

IQ Magazine is back with a revamped look, compact design, additional content and brand new features

Elsewhere in the magazine, metal takes centre stage, with an in-depth tour report on metal juggernaut Slipknot’s hugely successful We Are Not Your Kind tour, as well as a wider overview of the booming metal business.

Festivals and events dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community and the state of play in the Scottish market are other highlights of this bumper 88th edition.

The new-look magazine also comes filled with some shiny new regular features, such as the Readers’ Lives page featuring the favourite pastimes of top industry figures; the Unsung Hero feature, profiling the stars of the production world; and an agony Aunt/Uncle column, this time led by Solo Agency’s John Giddings.

As always, most content from the magazine will appear online in some form over the next few months. However, if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe now.


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LN named top workplace for LGBTQ equality

Live Nation Entertainment has been recognised as a top workplace for LGBTQ equality by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) foundation, the educational arm of the United States’ largest civil rights organisation.

HRC works to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. For the second year running, Live Nation has earned the top score of 100 on the organisation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI).

HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are accepted as full members of society at home, at work and in every community. Its equality index is the premier benchmarking tool for recognising companies that practise LGBTQ equality in the United States.

The CEI assesses equality across transgender benefits and wellness, domestic partner benefits, culture and engagement, corporate and employee policies, learning and development and public engagement with the LGBTQ community.

“Live music has a unique ability to connect and unite people from all different backgrounds, and we promote that same sense of community and belonging for our employees at Live Nation”

“Live music has a unique ability to connect and unite people from all different backgrounds, and we promote that same sense of community and belonging for our employees at Live Nation,” says Michael Rapino, president and chief executive of Live Nation Entertainment.

“We’re always striving to create a more inclusive and equitable culture, and are proud to be recognised by the Human Rights Campaign once again,” adds Rapino.

According to HRC president Chad Griffin, the companies that score best on the CEI are “not only establishing policies that affirm and include employees here in the Unites States, they are applying these policies to their global operations.”

This has an impact on “millions of people beyond our shores,” states Griffin.

This recognition follows several third-party acknowledgments for Live Nation’s industry practices and workplace culture, from LinkedIn, Fast Company and Fortune.

Live Nation joins over 560 major US businesses to earn top marks on the equality index.

More information on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index and a free copy of the report can be found here.

 


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