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IQ 128 out now: Take That, Germany, Metal & more

IQ 128, the latest issue of the international live music industry’s favourite magazine, is available to read online now.

In the June/July issue, Gordon Masson goes behind the scenes of Take That’s This Life on Tour, and Derek Robertson charts the success of Switzerland’s leading promoter Gadget Entertainment as the company turns 30.

Elsewhere, Kerrang‘s Sam Law provides an in-depth report on the metal genre, and Adam Woods investigates one of the most robust music markets in the world – Germany.

Readers can also gain insight into the 2024 festival season, find out where some of the first New Bosses are today, and preview the forthcoming IFF (International Festival Forum).

For this edition’s comments and columns, Mamas in Music founder Mary Leay provides encouragement for mothers working in the music business, while MMF’s Manasvi Dethekar shares five takeaways from the association’s recent workshop in collaboration with Futures Forum.

As always, the majority of the magazine’s content will appear online in some form in the next four weeks.

However, if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe to IQ from just £8 a month or click here to purchase your print copy.

Check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:

 


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LGBTIQ+ List 2024: Ross Patel, LIVE/MMF/Whole Ent

The LGBTIQ+ List 2024 – IQ Magazine’s fourth annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – has been revealed.

The ever-popular list is the centrepiece of IQ’s fourth Pride edition, sponsored by Ticketmaster, which is now available to read online and in print for subscribers.

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each of them on the development of the industry, the challenges that are keeping them up at night and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on yesterday’s interview with Rivca Burns (she/her), director of From the Other and acting head of music at Factory International.

The series continues with Ross Patel (they/them), CEO, board director, consultant, talent manager, and DJ for LIVE, Whole Entertainment, RossPatelCo, MMF, UMA Ent, and Polyamoross.


Ross Patel is a CEO, founder, board member & consulting advisor with 15+ years of diverse experience in music, media, entertainment, sustainability & tech. Passionate about strategy and talent management, creating platforms to launch and support creatives, talent, brands, and events with social impact at the heart. 

Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2024 so far.
I’ve been sitting on the Live Green steering committee for a couple of years now as a representative for the Music Managers Forum 1500+ membership. It’s been great to see the group grow and build momentum as everyone shows up and makes their contributions. Recently I’ve had the pleasure of leading an initiative with the brilliant Carol Scott (Live Green Chair/Tait) and a fantastic and diverse working group of stakeholders from across the industry to draft sustainable clauses for live booking contracts. Carol, myself and Tom Schroder (who has been instrumental in getting the clause to the major agencies) presented the work on a panel at the GEI conference. That felt pretty significant. The climate issue has always been and will always be one of intersectionality so I’d like to think this work means a better future for everyone and a more conscious approach to our business. It feels like it could have some real lasting impact.

“Culturally, we need to increase awareness around the various privileges we all hold in order to allow us to act in a way that uses them to help others”

As a manager, what’s your most pressing challenge in the industry right now?
I feel like I’d need a while to fully cover this off! In an attempt to keep it brief… I’d say rising costs across the board in the industry plus the more general cost of living crisis plus mega stars taking all the money and giving very little back comparatively and having a UK government that doesn’t care for the arts has put the majority of people in the industry in a very hard position… *and breathe*. I’d like to see the work that’s going on with ticket levies (stadiums and arenas to contribute a small portion of sales to local grassroots music organisations) get over the line. This would help massively with creating economic buoyancy and a more sustainable business model in the live sector, while also helping to address a necessary shift in the culture and perspective of giving.

Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.
Putting the effort in to view things through an intersectional lens as often as possible feels like a great place to start. There is still a lot of education that needs to happen around this. Culturally, we need to increase awareness around the various privileges we all hold in order to allow us to act in a way that uses them to help others. We’re lucky enough to have brilliant organisations tackling certain ‘isms’ such as Attitude Is Everything which is committed to improving access for those with access needs in the industry, She Said So which is helping to increase femme representation, the Trans Creative Collection which works with creative trans (+ allies), the Black Music Coalition etc. The list goes on! It’s amazing to see these groups making a difference in their organisations and delivering ‘bottom-up’ change. Now we need tangible ‘top down’ systemic change to protect those most vulnerable in society and to create a culture where everyone feels safe and can thrive.

“Everyone deserves a chance of living happily”

Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
I can’t just name one… so much amazing talent out there… Jess Hands and I are playing B2B at QYSP Festival in London – can’t wait for that. Chloe Cailet, Jake Sheers, Kim Petras, Grace Sands, Absolute.

Do you have a favourite queer space?
I have a few! This year I took on the talent-buying role at Club Love in Bristol. It’s an incredible event with a wonderful team led by Tam who puts their heart and soul into every detail of decor, production and play spaces without compromising on the music and DJs. The same can be said for Pinky Promise, Joyride and Body Movements that I’ve had the privilege and pure joy of DJing at in the past… and hopefully will get invited back again in the future. I also love the vibe at Howl and am looking forward to going to Quench soon. I’ve heard nothing but good things! Would also recommend Trash, Riposte and Riot.

“This sense of Pride is something I’m learning to cultivate and nurture within myself on a daily basis”

Shout out any LGBTIQ+ cause(s) you support.
I was involved in a fundraiser for Jess Hands which raised money to pay for vocal cord surgery. It was incredible to see the difference the surgery made in this wonderful person’s life and was a reminder of how powerful and essential gender-affirming healthcare is. Everyone deserves a chance of living happily. I think we have a duty as conscious beings to strive to make that possible for as many beings as possible. Any LGBTIQ+ organisations that are working towards that goal get my vote. But also more than specific causes, I would encourage anyone to support marginalised groups and/or people directly. This can be through gofundme campaigns or by ensuring that intersectional diversity and inclusion are always being considered. Platform and pay fairly people in marginalised groups. Hopefully one day we won’t need the organisations that currently work in these spaces!

How do you like to celebrate Pride?
Quietly… and sometimes loudly! This sense of Pride is something I’m learning to cultivate and nurture within myself on a daily basis. The more I’m able to, the more I feel like I’m becoming a better, more compassionate, more whole person. It’s something that I like to think I bring with me everyday, quietly, when I show up, however I choose to or feel comfortable with on any given day. I also like to go all out when the opportunities arise. Last year I really did lean into the pride celebrations. My pride started at Outloud Festival in West Hollywood, LA. An incredibly well-programmed event by a good friend, Sam Hiller and the JLA team. I also went to Brighton, London and my first Manchester Pride with Absolute and Demi Riquisimo. This year’s pride months will be starting with the Mighty Hoopla in London followed by Brighton Pride. Who knows where else from there… perhaps some readers will hit me up with recommendations!

 


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UK general election: What the live biz wants

As the United Kingdom gears up for next month’s general election, a range of music organisations have told IQ how the new government can best help the live business.

The main political parties have now put out their manifestos ahead of the 4 July vote, with varying degrees of support for the arts. Labour, the party currently leading all opinion polls to form the UK’s next government, has reiterated its pledge to cap ticket resale if it wins the election.

“Access to music, drama and sport has become difficult and expensive because of ticket touting,” it states. “Labour will put fans back at the heart of events by introducing new consumer protections on ticket resales.”

While stressing that Britain will remain outside the European Union, the party vows to improve EU touring for UK artists.

“Labour will work to improve the UK’s trade and investment relationship with the EU, by tearing down unnecessary barriers to trade,” it says. “We will seek to negotiate a veterinary agreement to prevent unnecessary border checks and help tackle the cost of food; will help our touring artists; and secure a mutual recognition agreement for professional qualifications to help open up markets for UK service exporters.”

Touring regulations also feature in the Liberal Democrats and Green Party manifestos, with the former saying it would push to “negotiate free and simple short-term travel arrangements for UK artists to perform in the EU, and European artists to perform in the UK”, and the latter promising to “ensure that musicians have access to visa-free travel to the EU through negotiating a reciprocal arrangement at the earliest possible opportunity”.

“This will be a government seeking to kickstart economic growth, and implementing the right policies to support the live music sector”

The Lib Dems also set out their desire to “protect fans from being exploited by ticket touts by implementing the Competition and Markets Authority’s recommendations to crack down on illegal ticket resale”.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, pledge to “extend our Community Ownership Fund to help more communities across the UK take control of vital community assets like pubs, music venues, libraries, green spaces, leisure centres and more”.

Stressing its support for apprenticeships as “a key pipeline of talent into our world-leading creative industries”, the party adds: “We will work with industry to deliver a dedicated flexible coordination service so that everyone who wants to work in the film, TV, gaming and music sectors can work on live productions whilst benefiting from at least 12 months of secure training.”

Jon Collins, CEO of LIVE (Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment), which serves as the collective voice of the UK live music business, says the trade body is looking forward to working with the next government on “a range of issues that require a fresh focus, considered investment and informed action”.

“With Labour likely to form that government, it is very encouraging to see many of our key asks set out in their manifesto and their action plan for the arts, culture and creative industries,” he says. “This will be a government seeking to kickstart economic growth, and implementing the right policies to support the live music sector with a value of £5.2 billion will deliver that growth – both domestically and internationally.

“Labour is committed to facilitating easier touring arrangements with the EU which will critically drive up activity; the current provisions have seen a 74% drop in activity and left orchestras either unable to tour or facing prohibitive costs. We welcome Labour’s support for our grassroots sector and look forward to working with ministers to ensure grassroots music venues are able to thrive, update them on the progress of the LIVE Trust, and ease the trading environment through business rates reform.”

“The rest of the world recognises this country as a beacon of music innovation, and it’s vital that an incoming government maximises that potential”

Collins adds: “Whilst not a manifesto commitment, we will be looking to the next government to act on the recommendations made by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee in their recent report (May 2024) on grassroots music venues to reduce VAT on tickets and undertake a comprehensive economic analysis of the impact of a reduced rate applied across the sector.

“We are pleased that Labour has committed to take forward our proposals published in our Live Music Manifesto on secondary ticketing and reforming the apprenticeship levy. LIVE will work with the next government on plans to deliver Martyn’s Law in a way that protects fans without putting unnecessary burdens on venues and festivals.”

Last week, the Music Venue Trust (MVT) published a report entitled, A Manifesto for Grassroots Music, which outlined the steps the charity says are required in order to stem the closures of grassroots music venues and bring stability to the sector.

“In 2023, of the 366 small music venues Ed Sheeran played while learning his trade, at least 150 are now closed,” said MVT CEO Mark Davyd. “Another 72 grassroots music venues significantly reduced or ended their live music offer. 38% of GMVs in the UK made a loss in the last 12 months. The sector operated on a 0.5% profit margin overall while running live music events at a £115 million loss.

“All of this can be changed if the next government delivers the five simple steps we have set out.”

Music Managers Forum (MMF) CEO Annabella Coldrick highlighted touring, the grassroots scene and streaming as key areas of concern.

“When the general election was called, the industry was in deep discussion with policy makers about reforms to music streaming and to grassroots live music,” she says. “In the next parliament, those discussions must be transformed into tangible actions – and fast! Our artists and music makers deserve nothing less.

“Underpinned by those reforms, it’s really important that music, culture and the creative industries are at the heart of the UK’s business and growth strategy. The rest of the world recognises this country as a beacon of music innovation, and it’s vital that an incoming government maximises that potential – for instance, by negotiating new improved touring arrangements for UK artists wanting to perform in Europe, and by addressing our concerns about exorbitant visa fees for the US. Both have been a real focus for the MMF, and for the FAC, with our joint #LetTheMusicMove campaign.”

“To reset the market, we want the UK to follow the example of Ireland and outlaw ticket resale for profit”

David Martin, CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), says: “The FAC’s priority is to ensure that the momentum to drive forward artist-friendly reforms of streaming and the sustainability of the live music ecosystem continue into the next Parliament. The next government must take forward the work that was started by the Culture Media & Sport Select Committee in these areas. We can’t let progress slip.

“There are plenty of challenges facing our industry, but with a UK music strategy for growth the next government can maximise its untapped potential. Through practical changes to the way we do business – such as implementing fair royalty rates or a live ticket levy that directly supports artists – British music will thrive. The new government should legislate on these issues if industry consensus cannot be found.”

Unsurprisingly, the focus for Adam Webb, campaign manager of of anti-touting pressure group FanFair Alliance, is on cleaning up secondary ticketing.

“To reset the market, we want the UK to follow the example of Ireland and outlaw ticket resale for profit,” he tells IQ. “Thankfully, because of FanFair’s campaigning, this is firmly on the radar of politicians. The Labour Party has already committed to introducing a 10% cap on resale prices, and action against ticket touting is one of the key music-related pledges in their manifesto. The Liberal Democrats also have a manifesto commitment to clamp down on speculative ticketing and other anti-consumer practices.

“Alongside that, I’d like to see the Competition & Markets Authority provided with new enforcement powers. The UK’s ticket resale market is not highly regulated. We need that to change, and for capped consumer-friendly ticket resale to be made more visible and viable.”

Meanwhile, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) plans to resume its Five Percent For Festivals campaign – calling for a reduced VAT from 20% to 5% on ticket sales for the next three years – post-election.

“We are delighted to see so many references to music and meaningful commitments that will change our members’ lives for the better”

“I think there will be intervention. My concern is that by the time something does happen, how many [festivals] will have gone?” AIF CEO John Rostron told IQ earlier this month. “What’s good for us is there is an election about to happen, so we’ll have a new group of politicians with a five-year mandate, and that is stronger to work with than where we were, which was with a group of MPs that didn’t know how long their futures would be.”

Elsewhere, the Musicians’ Union (MU) has welcomed the Labour Party Manifesto, saying it tackles many of the issues the organisation has raised with the party on behalf of members.

“The MU is Labour-affiliated and, along with fellow unions, we have been involved in shaping policy for a Labour government for many years now,” says MU general secretary Naomi Pohl. “Having not had significant access to Conservative ministers, with a few notable exceptions, we have a chance of a government that prioritises the arts and wants to engage with us on issues facing musicians.

“This is the first time that the MU has been so directly involved in the Labour Party manifesto process and had a chance to influence the final document. We are delighted to see so many references to music and meaningful commitments that will change our members’ lives for the better.

“While we know our membership is a broad church politically, we would be missing a once in a generation opportunity if we didn’t encourage musicians to vote Labour. This is an opportunity to shift the dial for the creative workforce of today and tomorrow.”

 


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Futures Forum and MMF host artist development workshop

ILMC’s Futures Forum (FF) and the Music Managers Forum (MMF) joined forces this week for an event that saw emerging live music executives and artist managers discuss the future of artist development.

The workshop and networking drinks took place on Tuesday night (28 May) at The Garage in London, hosted by FF’s Lisa Henderson and MMF’s Svi Dethekar, with support from AEG Europe, AXS, The O2 and ILMC.

Attendees from companies including Runway Artists, ATC Live, X-Ray Touring, Royal Albert Hall, Live Nation, Red Light Management, Wildlife Mgmt, East City Management, AEG Presents and CAA attended the free admission event.

The 75-minute hosted debate saw the executives discuss barriers to developing and growing a fanbase in live music, strategies and innovative approaches to ensure a successful tour, and solutions to ensure the next-generation headliners rise to the top.

Discussing key considerations for developing an emerging act’s live career, one exec said: “Artists need to put in their 10,000 hours to be at a professional level. Patience is important – from both artists and managers – especially when you’re looking to build.”

Another exec added: “We need to help emerging artists understand that initially, they need to take ownership of their live career. It’s important that they have mentors and guidance on how the live music business works and how you can get paid – whether that’s via ticket sales or PRS. They also need an understanding of how the industry is changing.”

According to attendees, the biggest barriers to artist development include a lack of government funding, high audience expectations, venue availability, converting online fans to ticket buyers and the cost of touring.

“There was an awful lot of knowledge and passion in the room, especially around areas like grassroots and mid-level touring”

The latter was a major talking point for attendees when sharing their strategies and innovative approaches for a successful tour.

“You’ve got to be creative,” one attendee said. “Think about brands subsidising the costs of a tour, or using influencer marketing to reach new audiences.”

Other execs warned that artists should choose wisely when to go on tour and ensure that every show counts.

“Think about collaborations and providing something special for a fanbase,” said one attendee.  “Think about your marketing campaigns, creating interesting assets, and think about data capture to help plan future events.”

Exploring solutions to the aforementioned issues, attendees said they would like to see a UK ticket levy introduced to support grassroots touring. Execs also called for more transparency about where fees go and revenues flow.

“As Futures Forum continues to build out a year-round programme for its community of young live music professionals, the evening truly showed how creative the various sectors of the live business can be when they get together to collaborate,” says Greg Parmley, head of ILMC.

“We would especially like to thank Futures Forum’s annual partners AEG Europe, The O2 and AXS, for making unique moments like this possible.”

Manasvi Dethekar, membership secretary, MMF, added: “Working with Futures Forum was a really exciting collaboration for the MMF. Importantly, it was also an opportunity to capture views from a wide diversity of upcoming managers, booking agents, venues and others who are dedicated to building the live careers of artists. There was an awful lot of knowledge and passion in the room, especially around areas like grassroots and mid-level touring. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who participated, and we’ll be using all the feedback we gained to inform some of the MMF’s upcoming projects.”

Futures Forum is a year-round platform for the next generation of live music industry leaders to forge relationships and exchange ideas.

The organisation hosts a one-day conference discussion and networking event in London each spring, on the final day of its renowned parent event, the International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

 


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#LetTheMusicMove: Groups oppose US visa changes

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) have stepped up their #LetTheMusicMove campaign in order to oppose changes to US visa applications.

The UK groups say the newly-proposed increases to filing fees attached to specific visa applications – including O and P artists visas – would result in potentially crippling costs for UK artists looking to tour North America.

#LetTheMusicMove was originally established in June 2021 to campaign for reductions in post-Brexit costs and red tape for UK artists and musicians when touring in Europe, but has extended its focus following the recent announcement by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Under the proposals, the cost of artists visas increase by more than 250%, which would make performing in the US unaffordable for many emerging and mid-level artists.

“These proposed increases to visa costs would be catastrophic for British artists, and make it unaffordable for many to tour the US,” says MMF chief Annabella Coldrick. “By reactivating and expanding our #LetTheMusicMove campaign we hope to convince the Department of Homeland Security to rethink their culturally destructive proposals.”

“By working strategically, there is still a chance of stopping these damaging changes”

The DHS and the US Citizenship and Immigration Services have opened a comment period until 6 March, allowing US citizens to send public feedback which will then be reviewed and further adjustments considered.

“#LetTheMusicMove provided artists with a unified campaign in which they could voice their concerns about the challenges of touring after Brexit,” says FAC CEO David Martin. “However, these new proposals around US touring visas are equally concerning and, should they be agreed, will only exacerbate the seismic challenges facing the UK’s artists today.

“For that reason, we are asking British artists to commit to three simple actions: to sign up to the campaign, to send us their views, and to submit feedback to the official consultation process. By working strategically, there is still a chance of stopping these damaging changes.”

More than 1,000 artists originally backed the #LetTheMusicMove campaign, including Little Mix, Orbital, Olly Murs, Sampha, Sleaford Mods, Alison Moyet, Nubian Twist, Bicep, AlunaGeorge, Niall Horan, Wolf Alice, Annie Lennox, Biffy Clyro, Idles, Poppy Ajudha, Radiohead, Anna Calvi, Skunk Anansie and Laura Marling.

 


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IQ 115 out now: ILMC 35 preview, The Cure, Germany

IQ 115, the latest issue of the international live music industry’s favourite magazine, is available to read online now.

The November edition includes a sneak preview of the various events and gatherings set for the 35th edition of the International Live Music Conference, which will be held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London from 28 Feb – 3 March 2023.

In addition, Gordon Masson goes behind the scenes as The Cure resume their live career with their biggest ever European. In his latest market report, Adam Woods discovers Germany’s live music industry is enduring challenging times, while James Hanley examines the high-flying business of air charter.

Elsewhere, we celebrate AEG Presents France general manager Arnaud Meersseman‘s 20 years in music and profile 20 forward-thinking companies developing live music metaverse worlds.

For this edition’s columns and comments, AXS director of ticketing Paul Newman outlines how the Covid standstill allowed his team to reimagine its ticketing delivery systems; and Music Managers’ Forum CEO Anabella Coldrick details the various challenges facing the live music business.

Plus, four years since IQ’s agony aunt, Wasserman Music’s Alex Hardee, last shared his wisdom with those in need of guidance, it’s time once again for Auntie Alex to dispense some sage-like advice…

As always, the majority of the magazine’s content will appear online in some form in the next four weeks.

However, if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe to IQ from just £6.25 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2022: Paul Bonham, MMF

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) last month.

The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster. 

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on the previous interview with Peter Taylor, founder of Cuffe and Taylor in the UK.

The series continues with Paul Bonham (he/him/his/they/them/theirs), professional development director at Music Managers Forum in the UK.


Tell us about a personal triumph in your career
Becoming involved with Attitude is Everything in the early 2000s. I learned so much from Suzanne Bull MBE, most notably that change is always possible. Their Charter of Best Practice allowed me to understand that barriers can always be broken down, whether the obstacles are physical, economic, or attitudinal. I’ve taken that philosophy into the MMF, and it’s great to see the management community advocating for a fairer and more transparent industry.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Know your history. It’s easy to become isolated as the only queer in an organisation, office or another environment. Knowing the stories of the past has helped me. Read The Velvet Mafia, Jayne County’s biog; search on YouTube for Divine’s fab TOTP performance; or McAlmont & Butler on [Later With Jools Holland]. Queers have been a cornerstone within music for a long, long time.

Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry
Consistently coming out can be a drain, especially in those parts of the industry that are still quite macho. Not knowing anything about football has stalled conversations on what might otherwise have been good business relationships.

“Queers have been a cornerstone within music for a long, long time”

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
Drinking. Getting drunk is awesome fun until it’s not. In an industry based on relationships and nightlife, I had amazing times and met some incredible people but these days I’m grateful for sobriety, day raves and festivals.

One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place
The nighttime economy is really missing out on serving iced tea and coffee at raves or gigs. Tapped sugary drinks like cola or the energy drinks have had their time.

A cause you support
I love the work of Gendered Intelligence, Key Changes – Promoting Positive Mental Health through Music, and UK Black Pride.

The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
I’m excited about some of the acts the accelerator managers have been working such as Shygirl and Grove, Lil Nas X, girl in red, Rina Sawayama. It’s incredible – the diversity within queer music.

Your favourite queer space
NYC Downlow and Body Movements.

 


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MMF CEO warns touring costs will price out artists

Annabella Coldrick, CEO of the UK’s Music Managers Forum (MMF), warns that the cost of touring will see some artists priced out of their careers, resulting in a “lost generation” of talent.

According to the CEO, the membership is dealing with a “perfect storm” of Brexit, Covid and inflation, making touring unaffordable for some acts.

“I want to be really positive because we’re so pleased that live music is back but when costs have gone up 30-40% – and you can’t put tickets up at the same level because people are working out how to pay their heating bill – that’s tough,” says Coldrick.

“Some artists can absorb the current costs of touring but most can’t. I think we’re going to have to look at how we tour and what reductions we can bring in.”

One band that has spoken up about the overwhelming cost of touring is Belfast-based band New Pagans, who earlier this year opened up about the “massive debt” they racked up on a European tour with Skunk Anansie.

“I think we’re going to have to look at how we tour and what reductions we can bring in”

“Brexit and Covid have truly done a number on small bands. To break even on a tour, or even come home with a little profit was always the goal… to come home from a tour having accumulated massive debt is now the reality for many small and independent bands in 2022,” reads a tweet from the band.

“Fuel costs, tolls, venues taking 25% of merch, buying a carnet to get through customs: just a few things conspiring against you.”

Coldrick raises concerns that the hike in prices will result in a talent drain of British artists.

“I think in five or six years’ time, you’ll see a load of artists who lost momentum because of Covid and not being able to make ends meet,” she says. “And when you look at festival bills in half a decade, they’ll be much fewer British artists on them – partly because they’ve not been able to build the audiences from touring.”

And for the acts that do continue to tour, there’ll be some tough decisions to make – both financially and creatively.

“I think in five or six years’ time, you’ll see a load of artists who lost momentum because of Covid”

“I think production will be severely stripped back for those who do go ahead with touring,” she continues. “I’ve already heard about bigger bands that would usually take three trucks and are now just taking one. We will definitely see different types of shows now.”

With no silver bullet for the cost of touring, the MMF CEO anticipates a tough few years for gigging acts but says there are some things that can ease the pressure.

A 5% rate of VAT on ticket sales is high on the CEO’s wishlist, along with acts being able to take home 100% of the proceeds from the merchandise sold at concerts.

“So many managers have spent a lot of time trying to find ways around venues taking a commission of merchandise,” she explains. “I’ve heard stories about artists hiring ice cream vans and putting them outside of the venue to sell merch, or taking over cafes. We don’t want to do that – it’s a lot more time and effort.

“We’re hoping the venues will realise that being able to make it possible for artists to tour at the moment is a key thing. I think we need to realise we’re all in it together and try and find a way to make that level of touring work or shows will get pulled and that’s not good for anyone in the industry.”


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LGBTIQ+ List 2022: This year’s queer pioneers revealed

IQ Magazine has revealed this year’s LGBTIQ+ List – the second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business.

The landmark list is the centrepiece of IQs second Pride edition, which will be available for subscribers online and in print, in the coming days.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee – are individuals that have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.

The sophomore class comprises agents, promoters, CFOs, CIOs, tour managers, marketing managers and more – all of whom identify as LGBTIQ+ and, in the face of adversity, have made enormous contributions to their respective sectors.

In alphabetical order, the LGBTIQ+ List 2022 is:

Alexander Rastén Rydberg, head of diversity and talent management, Dansk Live (DK)
Alexandra Ampofo, promoter, Metropolis Music (UK)
Can Büyükcinar, head of operations, Wizard Promotions Konzertagentur (DE)
Cloe Gregson, senior events manager, Manchester Pride (UK)
David Davies, founder and head of live, Double D Live (UK, IE)
David Jones, chief information officer, AEG Global Technology (UK)
Georgie Lanfranchi, tour manager for Years & Years, Only Helix (UK)
Hatice Arıcı, promoting director/ artist agent, Charmenko (TR)
James Fleury, marketing lead, Ticket Swap (NL)
Jill Wheeler, director of booking, Red Mountain Entertainment (US)
Joel Siviour, director & booking agent, Seismic Talent Agency (AU)
Jonas Sjödén, CFO, Live Nation Sweden (SE)
Natalie Rudland, senior promotions assistant, Live Nation (UK)
Nikos Kazoleas, agent, UTA (UK)
Nix Corporan, fan support team lead, DICE (US)
Patrick Erhardt, senior manager content & creation, Goodlive (DE)
Patrick Janssen, marketing manager, Live Nation Germany (DE)
Paul Bonham, director of professional development, MMF (UK)
Peter Taylor, promoter, Cuffe and Taylor (UK)
Troy Suda, chief product officer, Ticketmaster (UK)

Throughout the next month, IQ will be publishing full-length profiles of each person on the LGBTIQ+ List 2022.

“We work in an industry that aims to entertain the entire population. And that population is made up of extremely diverse audiences,” says Ticketmaster’s Troy Suda in his profile.

Joel Siviour, Seismic Talent Agency, adds: “I’ve witnessed plenty of virtue-signaling from within our industry, but when push comes to shove there are companies whose actions don’t align with the values they claim to hold.”

Check out last year’s cohort of queer pioneers here.

 


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Elton John stars at UK’s Artist & Manager Awards

Elton John and David Furnish were honoured at the 2021 Artist & Manager Awards (AMAs), which attracted more than 700 artists, managers and music industry professionals to Bloomsbury Big Top in London.

The duo made a final-hour appearance to collect the Artist & Manager Partnership Award at last night’s ceremony, which was organised by the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) and the Music Managers Forum (MMF).

Rina Sawayama, who was also named 2021’s Breakthrough Artist, presented Elton and David with the accolade at the first in-person AMAs since 2019. Other artists recognised on the night included Little Simz (Artist of the Year), Mogwai (Pioneer) and Bicep, who shared their award for Innovation with their management team at This Is Music.

Coming together again with friends and colleagues feels like such a hugely positive and symbolic step forward

“Coming together again with friends and colleagues feels such a hugely positive and symbolic step forward,” said MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick and Featured Artists Coalition CEO David Martin. “Tonight’s Awards was about celebrating music, talent, innovation and camaraderie across the artist and management community – whether that’s individuals at the start of their careers, survivors and legends, or those still standing after decades.”

September Management’s Amy Morgan was crowned Manager of the Year for her work with Glass Animals and Metallic Inc’s Grace Ladoja MBE received the Entrepreneur Award in recognition of her bridge-building between music scenes in the UK and Nigeria. In addition, Kayleigh Thorpe of Little Runaway Management was revealed as the 2021 Breakthrough Manager for her work with Gerry Cinnamon.

The Black Music Coalition were named Industry Champions, while Karma Artists picked up the award for Writer/Producer Manager, and YMU Music Group were presented with the Team Achievement Award in recognition of their groundbreaking inclusion initiatives, including a Mental Health and Well-Being programme for clients and staff.

Presented by Capital FM’s Roman Kemp, the event featured live performances from Wes Nelson & Hardy Caprio, The Anchoress and Lucy McWilliams.

 


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