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Phil Bowdery wins top honour at LIVE Awards 2023

Legendary promoter Phil Bowdery was honoured with the LIVEtime Achievement Award at last night’s (12 December) LIVE Awards in London, attended by 600 live music professionals from the UK business.

Tom Jones, Stevie Wonder, Dame Shirley Bassey and Michael Ball were among the superstars who paid tribute to the Live Nation stalwart during the ceremony at Troxy.

“I keep thinking it’s a bit early for me to receive a lifetime achievement award but then I remember that it was over 50 years ago since I went on the road,” said Bowdery during his acceptance speech. “It’s then that I realise it’s the memory that is going, nothing else.

“I’ve been really blessed throughout these years to work with incredible artists, without whom none of us would be here. [Plus] great managers, agents, tour managers, production managers, crew and everyone who makes the show happen every night. There have been some bad times but of course, they are far outweighed by some incredible highs and experiences.”

Bowdery went on to thank his team at Live Nation, as well as his colleagues at the Concert Promoter’s Association (CPA), which he chairs.

“I’ve been really blessed throughout these years to work with incredible artists, without whom none of us would be here”

“Looking back on those dark days of 2021/2022,” he said. “The CPA had long days and nights on endless zooms trying to make a difference. It was a lack of support from those in power that really focused us on trying to make some changes.

“We had lots of conversations with Greg Parmley [ILMC] and Stuart Galbraith [Kilimanjaro Live] and from those LIVE was conceived. Bringing together all the associated industry bodies in one forum was a dream. We spent many hours on the phone with the begging bowl and trying to get enough money together to get the ball rolling and so to be here tonight at the secondary LIVE awards, with so many people in attendance, gives me an incredible feeling of pride and satisfaction knowing that it is now recognised as our industry’s voice.”

Other award winners included The O2 for the LIVE Green Award, Live Nation for the National Promoter of the Year Award and The Boileroom in Guildford for the Grassroots Champion Award.

Char Goodfellow from The Boileroom accepted the award flanked by other small venue operators and Music Venue Trust team members who wore or held t-shirts commemorating Bath Moles, a 45-year-old venue that closed last week due to rising costs.

The silent demonstration was a bid to raise awareness about the increasing number of grassroots venues that are closing down.

“If this award is to represent anything, it is the value and imprint that grassroots venues stamp on every form of life”

“If this award is to represent anything, it is the value and imprint that grassroots venues stamp on every form of life,” Goodfellow said. “Every venue is deserving of this award considering all of our circumstances so we’re honoured to receive this. It’s a tough time out here for grassroots spaces.”

“The LIVE Awards has become an important moment in the industry calendar as the only chance everyone gets to take a step back and celebrate what’s been achieved each year,” said Jon Collins, CEO of LIVE.

“We know that this has been a tough time for many given the cost and complexity of touring, pressure on festival margins and grassroots venues taken to the brink. LIVE will continue to fight for positive change while taking this moment to celebrate the incredible achievements of so many in our sector.”

The full list of award winners are:

The LIVE Green Award: The O2
The LIVE Workforce Award: PRS Foundation x Keychange
Grassroots Champion: The Boileroom, Guildford
Ticketing Service 2023: Ticketmaster
Festival of the Year: Deer Shed Festival
Production Supplier 2023: Neg Earth Lights
Regional Promoter of the Year: JOY. Concerts
Booking Agency of the Year (<21 Team Members): Pure Represents
Major Festival of the Year: TRNSMT
Festival Brand Partnership 2023: Sky VIP lounges
Road Warrior of the Year: Trevor Williams
Venue of the Year: KOKO, London
National Promoter of the Year: Live Nation
Booking Agency of the Year (>21 Team Members): Wasserman Music
The LIVEtime Achievement Award: Phil Bowdery

 


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Event welfare consultant Penny Mellor honoured

Event welfare consultant Penny Mellor was presented with the female lifetime achievement award at this year’s UK Events Summit.

A longstanding member of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) team, Mellor has racked up 50 years’ worth of experience in the sector.

Fifty years ago, she became a field worker for a recently founded charity, Festival Welfare Services, which she ended up running for nearly 20 years and whose remit was to take care of the health and safety of audiences and crew at events.

From the late seventies onwards, Mellor has arranged welfare services, written welfare reports, and consulted for many events both in the UK and abroad. More recently, she has worked as an environmental assessor for A Greener Festival.

“Her work has always been for wellbeing and safety and concerned with the people and kindness, rather than status and profit”

She has been involved with government departments and universities, and has written extensively about event safety, crowd management, and drug safety at events. And in 2018, she contributed the section of the Purple Guide dedicated to worker welfare.

“The female lifetime achievement goes to a woman who has served the industry for over 50 years,” said the presenter at the 26 October ceremony.

“Her work has always been for wellbeing and safety and concerned with the people and kindness, rather than status and profit. As well as being a published author and still travels to complete Greener festival assessments amongst many other great projects. Congratulations Event Welfare Consultant, Penny Mellor.”

 


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