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The New Bosses 2017: round two

After shining the spotlight on (in no particular order) our first four New Bosses – Anna-Sophie Mertens, Zoe Swindells, Ryan Penty and Andrés Guanipa – last month, the next instalment of IQ’s New Bosses 2017 features three more live music industry leaders of the future.

Read on to get to know CAA’s Summer Marshall, Truck Festival’s Matt Harrap and AEG Presents’ Connie Shao…


Summer Marshall

Agent, CAA (UK)
Age: 30

Summer is based in CAA’s London office, where she has been instrumental in strategically building the international touring profiles of such artists as Sam Smith, who has headlined arenas around the world, including a massive sold-out Australian tour. Summer is active in a number of industry collectives, including the UK Music Futures Group, and is a member of the BRIT Awards voting academy.

Do you think you were always destined for a career in music?
While I once daydreamed of being a professional skydiver, I followed my passion for music. I love being an agent. And some might argue it’s just as thrilling.

Who do you turn to for advice?
I am fortunate to work with an inspirational group of colleagues. Emma Banks, Mike Greek and Paul Wilson, in particular, are three exceptionally wise and wonderful people.

And as a New Boss, what advice would you give anyone who wanted to follow the agency route into the business?
Humanise your approach. We are all in this together to support the artist.

As a New Boss, is there any practice that you would like to change, or introduce, to improve the way the business is done?
I would encourage everyone to make more phone calls. Establishing a personal connection goes a long way in building and sustaining a relationship. Plus, one call can be more effective and efficient than a string of emails.

If you had to choose one highlight from your career, so far, what would it be?
Being part of writing Sam Smith’s extraordinary story.


Matt Harrap

Event manager, Truck Festival (UK)
Age: 26

Matt Harrap, Truck Festival, UK, New Bosses 2017

While studying at the University of Portsmouth, Matt and some friends set-up a club night that showcased new acts and local talent. During this period he was approached by the founder of Southsea Fest and asked to help run the event’s social channels. This in turn led to an internship at Count of Ten, which by year two saw him elevated to the position of event manager at Truck Festival at the age of just 23.

What advice would you give to anyone hoping to find a career in the live music business?
It’s nowhere near as glamorous as people tell you. You have to be prepared to really work hard. You need conviction in what you believe in – but, most importantly, you need to be willing to listen to feedback from those attending events.

What’s your proudest achievement to date?
It’s pretty lame, but every year at Truck watching the audience go crazy. It makes me feel very proud of what we as a team have done.

And what about the challenges?
Tight budgets and artist exclusivity. I’ve learned you have to be creative to make budgets last, and in selecting artists you believe the audience will love.

Who do you turn to for advice?
I’ve been really lucky to work with great people since the age of 18, including my old bosses from Count Of Ten, people I used to run nights with at university, the whole team that work on Truck and the wider team at Broadwick Live, who have a vast experience of running awesome events.

As a New Boss, is there any practice that you would like to change or introduce, to improve the way the business is done?
Remove red tape; it completely stifles creativity.


Connie Shao

Promoter, AEG Presents (CN)
Age: 27

Connie Shaeo, AEG Presents, China, New Bosses 2017

While studying at the University of Southern California, Connie worked as college promoter, programming and producing concerts for 15,000 undergraduate students while also working an internship at Epitaph Records. Post-uni, she landed a job at ICM, working in domestic and international bookings, then in 2014 moved to Shanghai to join the Asia-Pacific office of AEG Presents.

What are your language skills like?
I grew up speaking both English and Chinese; however, I have a lot more to learn in Chinese reading and writing.

What are the biggest challenges about working in Asia?
There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to touring in Asia – it’s a fine balance between establishing consistency across the region while maintaining the unique distinctions of each market. Putting on a 12-date tour means working in 12 vastly different countries, 12 currencies, 12 ticketing companies and so on.

What do you see yourself doing in five years’ time?
I’d love to continue expanding and developing the Asia touring region – we’re starting to see tours go to more markets, also new markets, and doing record-breaking ticket sales. There’s also great potential for global festival brands to launch with a tailored approach in many Asian markets.

As a New Boss, is there any practice that you would like to change or introduce, to improve the way the business is done?
I would encourage artists to maintain a presence in Asia beyond the touring cycle. It’s so important to develop and nurture the fan base in these markets, which touch half the world’s population.


The remaining three New Bosses will be profiled in future editions of IQ’s Index newsletter. Alternatively, read the feature in full now in the digital edition of IQ 73: