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IFF ’21: WME, CAA, Marshall, MVT complete schedule

The full schedule for the 2021 edition of the International Festival Forum (IFF) is now complete, with the final addition of WME, CAA, Marshall Live, and a final night in partnership with Music Venue Trust.

WME, CAA and Marshall Live join a line-up of partner agencies which already includes 13 Artists, ATC Live, Earth Agency, ICM Partners, ITB, Paradigm Agency, Primary Talent International, UTA and X-ray Touring, many of whom are showcasing new artists from their rosters.

IFF has also partnered with grassroots venue champions Music Venue Trust (MVT) to present the final night of their recent Revive Live tour, which is supported by the National Lottery. Taking place on Thursday 30 September (19:30 – late), MVT will present five unique artist showcases, with the full line up announced next week.

The completed schedule also includes a double keynote interview with Melvin Benn and Folkert Koopmans, as well as an array of sessions with high-profile speakers.

Replacing the usual closing party on the Thursday night of IFF, MVT will present five unique artist showcases

Joining IQ Magazine‘s Gordon Masson on The Therapy Session will be Earth agent and co-founder Claire Courtney, as well as Mercury Wheels @ Live Nation’s head promoter, Barnaby Harrod.

The Roaring 20s will see chair Clementine Bunel (Paradigm) take the stage with Jim King (AEG Presents), Lowlands Festival Director Eric van Eerdenburg; WME agent Andy Duggan; and Primary Talent International/Decked Out! agent Martje Kremers.

The Agency Business 2021 conversation, chaired by Anna Sjölund (Live Nation Sweden), will see One Fiinix Live’s Jon Ollier joined by ATC Live agent and founder Alex Bruford and Mad Cool festival booker Cindy Castillo.

Finally, virtual panel Counting the Cost of Brexit welcomes UTA senior agent James Wright to a lineup including Marshall Arts’ Craig Stanley, Anita Debaere from Pearle* and Annabella Coldrick of the MMF. Other online topics include sustainability and insurance.

Over 500 music festivals and booking agents are expected to attend the invitation-only event, which returns to Camden, north London, for the sixth in-person edition. This year’s physical event follows an online-only edition in 2020, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Some 500 delegates are expected to attend this year’s IFF

As the first major live music industry gathering in 18 months, IFF 2021 will kick off with the opening party on Tuesday 28 September and end late on Thursday 30 September. And with some international delegates still unable to travel to the UK, all of this year’s conference sessions will be available to watch back on-demand for up to 30 days after the event.

This year’s edition is supported by key partners that include Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Tysers and Megaforce. Association partners on the 2021 are Yourope, AIF and DeConcert!

More information about how to attend, along with the full event schedule is online at www.iff.rocks.


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Marshall Amps launches Marshall Live Agency

Marshall, the British music company best known for its guitar amplifiers and speaker cabinets, has launched Marshall Live Agency (MLA), the latest new booking agency to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The firm’s second foray into the music business proper, following the launch in 2016 of Marshall Records, Marshall Live Agency is headed up by agent Stuart Vallans, who explains that the agency sits alongside other aspects of the Marshall business – including amps, loudspeakers, headphones and Marshall Arena, in the company’s hometown of Milton Keynes – to offer a “holistic” service to the live music industry ahead of concerts restarting.

Vallans tells IQ industry reaction to the launch of MLA, which has been in the works since last summer, has been “really positive” so far. “Everyone’s on board with the bands we’ve got so far, and getting the bands right has made the booking process easy,” he explains.

The company’s launch roster includes a diverse slate of emerging acts, including Gen and the Degenerates, Crashface, Elijah Miller, Gallus, Make Friends, Moray Pringle and Polar States.

The goodwill associated with the Marshall brand, which stretches back to the 1960s, when the company built cabinets for guitar legends such as Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Ritchie Blackmore and Eric Clapton, has been a “massive selling point” when talking to promoters and festivals, who trust that Marshall can be relied upon to do the ‘right thing’, continues Vallans. “There’s a lot of good faith in the industry – people know Marshall are here to help out,” he says.

According to Marshall, the agency will especially focus on supporting grassroots music in a sustainable way, with plans for carbon-neutral tours also in the works.

“It’s incredible to be backed to do the right thing and put the needs of artists and venues first”

Marshall managing director Jonathan Ellery comments: “From day one, Marshall Amplification has prioritised the needs of musicians and done whatever we can to support live music. Marshall Live Agency is a natural continuation of this legacy.

“Twenty twenty was a devastating year for the venues, musicians and support networks that rely on income from live performances, and we’re not out the woods yet, so it is more important than ever to find creative solutions for audiences to reconnect. Marshall Live Agency, under the guidance of Stuart Vallans and working with the wider Marshall business, will aim to play a key role in nurturing young talent for both the short-term recovery and long-term growth of live music.”

Marshall Live Agency follows the launch of Mother Artists, One Fiinix LiveRoute One Booking and Runway Artists in the UK, as well as Arrival ArtistsMint Talent Group and TBA Agency in the US and Rebel Beat Agency in Spain, in 2020, amid a wider fragmentation of the global agency sector in response to the coronavirus shutdown.

Looking to the immediate future, Vallans says he is focusing on developing MLA’s roster, with the long-term aim being to recruit more agents. He adds that there are a number of other new initiatives coming from Marshall in 2021.

“I’ve been in the industry for 15 years, and quite often agent performance is measured by fees generated. Marshall has straight away thrown that out the window, as it’s not how they do business,” he comments.

“The agency performance will be based on how many people we inspire to see live music. It’s incredible to be backed to do the right thing and put the needs of artists and venues first.”


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