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ATL acquires Finland’s Till Dawn They Count

Till Dawn They Count, the Finnish artist management company which represents symphonic metal icons Nightwish, has joined Nordic live entertainment group All Things Live.

Till Dawn They Count joins Weekend Festival to become the second Finnish member of All Things Live (ATL), a network of mainly Scandinavian live music businesses backed by private-equity firm Waterland. It is also the first management company to join the group.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though ATL notes that “the acquisition does not entail changes for artists, partners, customers or employees, as proximity and familiarity is a key area of focus for the All Things Live partnership”.

In addition to Nightwish, Till Dawn They Count (TDTC) looks after leading Finnish metal stars, including Sonata Arctica, Beast in Black and Marko Hietala.

“I am very excited about the prospect of Till Dawn They Count becoming a member of the All Things Live family, who shares our ambition to help realise the vision and potential of both established and emerging artists,” says Toni Peiju, who founded TDTC with Ewo Pohjola in 2014.

“We see great prospects in the dedicated Till Dawn They Count team … and the expansion into artist management

“We maintain our independence and strong dedication to our bands, with the All Things Live partnership broadening our network and providing us with a strong and supporting organisation that further strengthens our ability to help develop established and emerging artists alike. Meanwhile, we are looking forward to contributing to the partnership with our knowhow and network.”

“We are very excited about Till Dawn They Count joining the All Things Live partnership, as we now establish a strong entry into the artist management activities of live entertainment,” says Kim Worsøe, CEO of All Things Live.

“We see great prospects in the dedicated Till Dawn They Count team, the many talented artists and the expansion into artist management. Together we establish an even stronger platform and ability to grow artists.”

In addition to Weekend Festival and TDTC, All Things Live’s other businesses include ICO Concerts and ICO Management & Touring (Denmark), Friction, Atomic Soul Booking and Stand Up Norge (Norway), and Maloney Concerts, Monkfish, Big Slap and ROA (Sweden). It also recently made its first investment outside the Nordic countries, in Belgian agency Busker.


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New management outfit Grandview Music launches

Experienced managers Graham Martin, Diony Sepulveda and Kimberly Schon have launched Grandview Music, a new artist management company based in Encinitas, San Diego, California.

Martin will serve as the company’s CEO, with Sepulveda as president and Schon as executive vice-president. Grandview Music’s rock-focused roster includes the likes of Rise Against, the Story So Far, Pepper, Quicksand, Bad Child, Militarie Gun, Asking Alexandria, Motionless in White, Lowlives, and the Messenger Birds.

Martin began his management career at Valvet Hammer Music Management, working with clients including Deftones, Alice in Chains and Pepper. In 2014, he joined Pat Magnarella Management, which relaunched in 2018 as Grndvw.

Sepulveda has worked with artists including Pennywise, Avenged Sevenfold and Slipknot. He most recently worked at 5B Artist Management, where he ran Slipknot’s touring business, in addition to signing Asking Alexandria and Hollywood Undead.

“It’s very rare that in this journey you get to join forces with such extraordinarily talented, like-minded and passionate friends”

Another 5B alumnus, Schon has managed acts such as Stone Sour, Motionless in White, Lowlives and Slipknot, helping to launch the latter’s music festival Knotfest internationally. She launched her own management company in 2019.

“Diony, Kim and I have a deep passion for what we do and strive to work with culturally relevant artists,” says Martin, “while building a music company that reaches far beyond the status quo of what an artist management company is.”

“I have been lucky enough to work alongside some of the most respected and innovative industry professionals and artists the last 20-plus years,” adds Sepulveda. “It’s an honour to be working with Graham and Kim as I have incredible respect for what they have accomplished in their careers. I’m very excited for this next chapter of creating a new unique modern music company with my friends.”

Adds Schon: “I got into this business with the goal of helping foster the voice of the next generation of artists. It’s very rare that in this journey you get to join forces with such extraordinarily talented, like-minded and passionate friends as Graham and Diony.”


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Netherlands’ La Nuit Management welcomes new investment

Amsterdam-based artist management firm La Nuit Management has secured investment from Loki Artist Group, a company formed during the Covid-19 pandemic to invest in music companies ahead of the return of touring.

Through the partnership, Loki Artist Group, founded last year by Bob Murray, Zack Dekkaki and Ric Wake, will provide unspecified investment capital – as well as label and touring support and ‘synergies’ with other Loki partners – to La Nuit Management, launched in 2018 by artist manager Robert Tammens.

La Nuit’s roster includes electronic music acts Caius, Paeve, Kid Honda and Aevion, as well as Eauxmar, who recently produced a song for the new Apple Watch campaign.

Prior to starting La Nuit Management, Tammens was part of the A&R/marketing team at Spinnin’ Records, where he worked with acts including Lana Del Rey, Martin Garrix, Afrojack, Tiësto, Don Diablo and Calvin Harris and discovered Oliver Heldens, whose song ‘Gecko (Overdrive)’ hit No1 in the UK.

“La Nuit’s broad roster of clients, along with Robert’s vision, creative edge and entrepreneurial spirit, brings an excitement to our brand”

“As we grow our business internationally, we believe the best future for us remains to be investing in people like Robert and his vision” says Murray, Loki Artists’ CEO. The company also recently invested in Title 9 Productions, an US label, artist management and record production company.

“La Nuit’s broad roster of clients, along with Robert’s vision, creative edge and entrepreneurial spirit, brings an excitement to our brand as we continue to grow,” adds president Dekkaki.

Comments Tammens: “We are looking forward to working with Zack and Bob as we continue to develop our artists and expand our growth opportunities on an international level.

“Their tremendous knowledge, experience and support will give us the ability to really work with the best artists in our industry.”


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Music Managers Forum announces new board members

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) has announced that Lisa Ward of Red Light Management and Rachael Bee of ILUVLIVE have been elected to its board.  They will join re-elected board members Adam Tudhope, Kwame Kwaten and Ric Salmon.

The news comes after a shake up in voting processes in 2017 to better promote diversity and increase representation among board members. New voting procedures require board members to serve a fixed three-year term with at least five members required to stand down or for re-election each year.

Both women will bring with them extensive knowledge and experience to the roles. As Red Light’s executive vice president of artist strategy, Lisa Ward works closely with management teams for more than 70 artists, helping them grow their business. She has worked with acts including Bastille, Everything Everything and Franz Ferdinand.

“Lisa and Rachael are two of UK’s most talented and respected executives, and their collective experience will be a huge positive for the MMF”

Through ILUVLIVE, Rachael Bee has managed the careers of artists including Izzy Bizu and Emmavie. Since 2004, ILUVLIVE has branched out to five UK cities and has had a hand in the early support of artists including Ed Sheeran and Emeli Sande.

On the new appointments, CEO of Music Managers Forum Annabella Coldrick says: “Lisa and Rachael are two of UK’s most talented and respected executives, and their collective experience will be a huge positive for the MMF and our future policy making.

“I am genuinely thrilled they are joining the board.”

Following the appointment of Ward and Bee, the new board will soon convene once again to announce the replacement for chair Diane Wagg, who will be stepping down.


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Modest! Management set to receive top A&MA award

Modest! Management, the management company behind the success of One Direction and Little Mix, are set to receive the coveted Peter Grant award from the Artist & Manager Awards, created by the Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Arts Coalition (FAC).

The award is named after the iconic Led Zeppelin manager, and previous recipients include Jonathon Kessler, Peter Rudge and John Glover. Last year’s winners were Lana Del Rey managers Ben Mawson and Ed Millett, collectively Tap Management. The 2018 ceremony will take place at a new venue, the Bloomsbury Big Top in London, on 14 November this year.

The CEO of the MMF, Annabellla Coldrick, comments: “Modest! are the epitome of a modern-day music management business, representing all aspects of their artists’ careers and acting for them on a global basis.

“Modest! are the epitome of a modern-day music management business”

“Their achievements over the past 16 years have been nothing short of astonishing, and the company is wholly deserving of their Peter Grant Award, which is the ultimate honour bestowed by the MMF. We now look forward to Richard, Harry, Will and the rest of the Modest! team joining us on November 14th in what promises to be our best awards show yet.”

In a joint statement, Modest! say: “It’s been an exciting and eventful 16 years since we started Modest!. Every day is different and never a dull moment. We’re so proud of all our artists – both established and new.

“We’re also very proud of everyone in the company who every day share a vision and commitment to nurture, develop and maintain the talents and careers of those artists around the world. It’s a very exciting time to be moving the company forward as our industry evolves within such revolutionary times.”


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New Rocket-backed platform Peex turns fans into mix engineers

Peex, a new service that aims to “improve the connection between fans and artists” by enabling audiences to create their own five-channel mix of live shows, has officially broken cover following a multi-year trial and development period.

A two-part offering, Peex comprises twin platforms: Peex Live, which enables fans to create their own five-channel mix of the live concert sound via a piece of wearable technology, the rX, and an app; and Peex ReLive, which allows artists to sell audio downloads of live shows.

The upcoming launch of Peex follows testing at more than 60 live shows at 14 venues. ReLive will come first, with “iconic live shows available from an A-list artist” ready to download soon, with rX wearable receivers due to go on sale later this summer.

The platform has a fan in Sir Elton John’s Rocket Music Management, whose CFO, Mike Dawson, comments: “Over the last three years, Rocket has worked closely with the team at Peex as they’ve developed their technology to improve the fan experience at live gigs, and we’re eager to see it go to market.

“In our partnership with Peex, we see a disruptive technological breakthrough that has incredible potential to generate new income streams for musicians, artists, venues and labels alike. All of us at Rocket love Peex and we are genuinely excited about how it’s going to change the experience of live music for the fans.”

“All of us at Rocket love Peex and we are genuinely excited about how it’s going to change the experience of live music”

Peex Live’s mixer splits the sound heard by the audience hearing into five adjustable channels, which can then by controlled in app to mix the live concert sounds in real time. The rX is provided with a set of earbuds that allow some ambient sound to still be heard, although any standard 3.5mm-jack headphones be used with the device.

Peex ReLive, meanwhile, provides music downloads in the same five-channel mixable format. The company says it is partnering with “selected artists” to offer downloads of previous live shows in the proprietary mixable format.

The Peex app will be available to download on Android and iOS in the near future.

Graham Tull, chief technology officer and co-founder of Peex, says: “We’re delighted to unveil Peex. Through focusing on adding genuine value both to music fans and the music industry ecosystem, we’ve invented new music technology that we’re all very proud of and believe will revolutionise the live music experience. Artists, labels and venues will all benefit from a closer dialogue with their audience via the Peex app.

“We’re looking forward to putting Peex into action with our upcoming partnerships, including A-list talent. It’s sure to be a game-changer for fans, artists and the live music experience.”


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Legendary manager John Gaydon passes

Veteran artist manager John Gaydon – the ‘G’ in EG Management and EG Records – has passed away aged 74.

Gaydon founded EG Management with longtime partner David Enthoven (the ‘E’) in early 1969 to steer the career of a fledgling King Crimson, before the release of their debut, In the Court of the Crimson King.

The pair later signed acts including Tyrannosaurus/T. Rex, Roxy Music and Emerson, Lake and Palmer (featuring King Crimson’s Greg Lake), all of whom went on to become some of the biggest names in ’70s music.

Gaydon left EG in 1971 to set up his own management company, initially looking after T. Rex’s Marc Bolan, before moving into film production as the decade wore on. Enthoven followed him out of EG in 1976.

Martin Hopewell, co-founder of Primary Talent and founder of ILMC, pays tribute: “For those of us who were around in the early ’70s, Johnny Gaydon was something of a legendary figure. When I arrived behind an agent’s desk as a wet-behind-the-ears ex-student, John and his partner in EG Management, David Enthoven, were very much the rock stars of the management world: young, smart, well-educated entrepreneurs who rode around town on motorbikes, smoked joints and generally seemed to be enjoying the rock and roll lifestyle while handling the careers of Roxy Music and some of the coolest acts around at the time.

“They were at the forefront of a new breed of artist’s representative at a point when the industry itself was changing, and set a new definition of what a manager could be.”

He continues: “I found out that they started in the business at the Noel Gay Organisation – a couple of years before I spent an abortive six months there – so I secretly added them to my list of role models, but never really got any closer than buying a bike with L plates and riding it not very well.

“John and David Enthoven were the rock stars of the management world: young, smart, well-educated entrepreneurs”

“I didn’t know Johnny as well as I would have liked, but I’m very sad that he’s gone. I don’t think that his like will be seen again in the business as it is now.

Solo Agency/Isle of Wight Festival founder John Giddings says Gaydon was one of the last remaining members of what he calls the “Willie Robertson gang” – which also included Giddings, Enthoven and the eponymous music insurance pioneer, who passed in 2015.

“We were all in the same gang together,” Giddings tells IQ. “We had some great times, and I’d be hard pushed to find someone who had a bad word to say about him.”

Recalling some of his first impressions of Gaydon and Enthoven, Giddings says “one of the things that impressed me most” was when he visited the managers during the festive period, and they had a Christmas tree that “instead of baubles, had joints on instead!”

“John was a very likeable, personable guy,” he concludes, “and the world is a darker place without him.”

Artist Sting similarly paid tribute on social media, saying he had lost a “great man and a great friend”.

Enthoven, who later achieved further success with Robbie Williams, died in August 2016.


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Hands on for mental health in the music industry

Being a practical, hands-on recovery coach, it feels so right to talk about proactive steps – hands-on, in-the-moment measures that can be taken to help artists who are vulnerable to mental health issues. It’s good to talk about improving mental health, but even better to walk it through with them.

There are more and more reports on the distressing number of casualties in the music industry regarding mental health problems – and the statistics aren’t getting any better.

Recent statistics show that mental health issues in the creative industries are considerably higher than that of the general public. Research has shown that people working in the music industry, including tour managers, artists and crew, are five times more likely to develop depression, and a staggering ten times more likely to commit suicide.

There are a multitude of factors that cause this, such as lack of sleep, long working hours for the crew, being thrust into the spotlight for the artist and gruelling non-stop tours and promotions.

Artists are set up for a different way of thinking to the rest of the population. What record labels try to do for their artists daily is to make them more extraordinary, more amazing and more elusive. This comes at a cost, as success and adulation from the public could potentially make the artist feel far from normal.

To compound this, artists are high-level creatives, and just like writers and comedians they seem to have less of a mental filter so that a large number of ideas come flooding in. These types are known to struggle with mental illness. Some studies have shown that those who are highly creative also run a higher risk of depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

With stress, anxiety and depression comes the increased chances of addiction to alcohol, drugs and sex to help try and alleviate these feelings. It’s a vicious circle, as substance misuse invariably leads to more anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, mood swings and suicidal thoughts.

I am pleased to see that Music Support and MMF UK have produced a most welcome guide for music managers, who have found they needed support in helping the mental wellbeing of their artists. It includes signs of mental deterioration, symptoms and what can be done, as well as boundary setting, stress management, alcohol and addiction are also there.

Artists live in a hectic and fast-paced world, and their hectic lifestyles lend to feelings of instability

My mantra when it comes to wellbeing is, “Have a plan, get a life”. Some of us plan in great length what clothes we are going to wear for the day, what we are going to have for dinner, what car we want to buy and so forth, so why not plan out our mental health routine?

This would be a great strategy for music artists, vulnerable to mental health issues or not. It becomes routine if implemented daily.

There are various techniques and strategies I encourage individuals from the music and entertainment industry to adopt and integrate. Techniques that alleviate stress and panic attacks are super effective and quick.

Grounding, centring and process focus strategies can also be very useful for helping the artist to stay in the present moment.

Artists live in a hectic and fast-paced world, and their hectic lifestyles lend to feelings of instability. Once again there are tools that can be employed to bring their energy systems up to a point that can match their lifestyle and support their physical and mental wellbeing.

I strongly encourage labels, managers and others working in the industry to take supporting their artists’ wellbeing to the next level. Having tailored programmes in place for artists who are at low, medium and elevated risk could be a solution.

Having a wellbeing coach would, in my opinion, also prove beneficial, as tour managers cannot be all things and in all places. The coaches can then oversee the artist, the crew and even the tour manger themselves. Everyone being well will have positive effects on the tour.

Our musical performers are valuable to our culture. As the environment which they live and work does not contribute to a life of abstinence, extra effort must be made towards emotional and mental fitness and away from alcohol and drug abuse. In this way, we can save lives and preserve the great talent and creativity they provide to our culture and society.


Bunmi Aboaba is the CEO and founder of the Sober Advantage, an organisation providing hands-on, bespoke wellbeing and recovery coaching services to the music and creative industries, especially those struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. Her approach adopts a variety of holistic therapies, while taking into account nutrition, personality profile and more, and is tailored to each artist and their needs and schedules.

UK live music-supporting MP Michael Dugher sacked

Michael Dugher MP, one of Westminster’s most prominent advocates for Britain’s live music industry, has been sacked by Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn in a cabinet reshuffle.

The Barnsley East MP, who was until yesterday shadow secretary of state for culture, media and sport, says he was let go for “decid[ing] to speak out a number of days ago because […] a number of good, hardworking, loyal members of the shadow cabinet [are] being systematically trashed, in terms of their reputations, in newspapers by people in the employment of Jeremy Corbyn”. Dugher supported Corbyn’s rival Andy Burnham in the recent Labour leadership election.

Dugher, a patron of the Live in Barnsley music festival, spoke on the importance of protecting small venues on the UK Music ‘Big Issues for Small Venues’ panel at the recent Music Venue Trust/Music Venues Alliance-backed Venues Day conference in London on 20 October.

SFX defaults on Spotify deal, sheds TMWRK

After a less-than-stellar 2015 marked by plummeting share prices, a downgraded credit rating, non-payment of royalties and no end of lawsuits, troubled EDM promoter SFX Entertainment has entered the new year by defaulting on its high-profile content agreement with streaming giant Spotify.

SFX announced the partnership, which would have seen its digital music store and streaming service, Beatport, provide Spotify with exclusive audio and video content, last July. “[Spotify users] will be the first to access the latest need-to-know exclusive electronic music from Beatport, and will also be able to watch to a mix of original festival and event video content,” said Beatport CEO Greg Consiglio at the time.

As part of the contract with Spotify, Sillerman was to purchase US$15m in Spotify preferred stock (shares which pay fixed, regular interest income as opposed to dividends) by 17 October 2015. This didn’t happen, and SFX will now refund the streaming giant its $10 million licensing advance in instalments by July 2016.

A knock-on effect of Sillerman’s failure to make said payment to Spotify is that SFX has defaulted on a $30m credit agreement with Barclays and other unnamed lenders ­– which could potentially lead to a greater ‘cross-default’ on a $295m loan, reports Billboard, adding to SFX’s already perilous financial situation.

SFX has also parted ways with artist management company TMWRK, which it purchased in 2014. TMWRK, home to Diplo, Dillon Francis and a host of EDM artists, has agreed to pay $3.6 million to buy itself out of SFX ownership.