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The New Bosses 2023: Parker Glenn, UTA

The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous interview with Niklas Magedanz, promoter at Goodlive (DE) here. The series continues with Parker Glenn, a music agent at UTA (US).

Parker Glenn is an agent in UTA’s Music division representing a diverse range of clients including Chance The Rapper, FKA twigs, Polo & Pan, Yves Tumor, Durand Jones, Jordan Ward, Dorian Electra, Major League Djz and more. With a deep understanding of artists’ unique needs and unwavering support for their artistic vision, Glenn has emerged as a future leader in the music space.

Over the past 12 months, he has closed significant deals for his clients including: helping launch Chance The Rapper’s highly anticipated Acid Rap 10-Year Anniversary Shows in New York, Los Angeles and a sold-out show in Chance’s hometown of Chicago; guiding Polo & Pan’s rise by booking closing sets at renowned festivals like Lollapalooza, Outside Lands and Osheaga and booking milestone headline shows at iconic venues such as The Hollywood Bowl, Red Rocks and more; and facilitating South-African musical duo Major League Djz’s highly successful North American tour which marked the first Amapiano artist to tour North America.

Elevating Venezuelan artist, Arca’s career over the past two years, culminating in Glenn booking a groundbreaking new show and residency at the prestigious Park Avenue Armory in New York this October. Glenn’s commitment to the music industry extends beyond traditional dealmaking. As a proud member of UTA’s Justice Now initiative, Glenn actively contributes to the success of the organisation’s mission to dismantle boundaries based on social or racial identity in the industry.


Why did you choose to pursue a career in live music – is it something you studied at university, or is anyone else in your family in the business, for example?
It was kismet. I essentially got my start in music when I bought my first set of turntables and speakers in high school. I was already a music head so DJing and putting on shows quickly became a business for me. In college, I started organising shows at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and as soon as I started working with agents, I knew that was what I wanted to do. It all hit very quickly.

What advice would you give to anyone who is trying to find a job in live music?
Be open, keep at it, and take every meeting you can get. You never know where a conversation might take you.

Who on your roster should we all be looking out for in the year ahead?
Jordan Ward is about to have a breakout moment. He’s an incredibly hungry and versatile artist from St. Louis signed to Interscope/No I.D.’s ARTium Recordings, and managed by Eddie Sikazwe. His debut album FORWARD has been one of 2023’s best and received cosigns from SZA and Tyler, the Creator, among others. His whole debut headline tour sold out immediately, and we’re backing that up with tours with Smino, JID, and also 6LACK coming this fall. Simply one of those artists you cannot deny – check him out.

Where is your favourite venue?
For me, you can’t beat an evening at the Hollywood Bowl – it’s always a privilege to be there.

“I always say I’d like to see more kindness. I’m big on that in my business…”

You brought Major League DJz to North America. How was that tour received and can you see the market for Amapiano acts growing?
Major League DJz tour was a smashing success. There’s so much excitement around the guys and the shows right now. I remember the first time I ever saw them – the energy in the room was palpable. I couldn’t stop raving about my experience for weeks.

The market for Amapiano acts is booming and Major League DJz is a major reason for it. The project with Major Lazer was a milestone. Wizkid, Burna Boy, Black Coffee and others have all been supporting as well. It’s a fairly new market in North America but the growth has been organic and we’re excited for the future of the genre.

UTA’s Justice Now initiative sounds interesting. Can you tell us a bit more about it?
Justice Now is an internal initiative that was created in response to George Floyd’s murder in 2020 to address social injustices within the music and entertainment industries. There are four different subgroups that make up Justice Now: Education, Empowerment, Mentorship and Fearless Imagination. I’m a member of the Education group where we meet quarterly to discuss various topics and create an open dialogue amongst our team.

As a new boss, what would you like to change to make the live music industry a better place?
I always say I’d like to see more kindness. I’m big on that in my business and always try to foster an environment where we treat others with respect, especially in the tough moments.

What events, tours or festivals are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
There are quite a few events coming up in the next year that I’m looking forward to. From the client side, we have a very exciting show coming up for Major League Djz in October. Polo & Pan’s penultimate slot at Portola in San Francisco will also be a special one. And I’m shamelessly excited to see what U2 brings to the Las Vegas Sphere for Achtung Baby.

As an agent, are there any particular events, forums or platforms that you visit to try to discover the next big act?
For me, the two keys to finding the next big act are making it a point to listen to others, and the second is to never stop being curious. If you do those two things well and believe in your taste, the rest will follow.

 


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The New Bosses 2023: Niklas Magedanz, Goodlive

The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous interview with Michael Christidis, co-founder of Untitled Group (AU) here. The series continues with Niklas Magedanz, promoter at Goodlive (DE).

In his early teens, Niklas spent all his money and time on CDs and concert tickets. After he guest-listed his entire school for an open-air concert, where he also lost a shoe in a mosh pit, the only thing on his mind was how to get a foot in the door of the music industry. Niklas organised his first festival when he was only 15, prioritising the booking, stage management, catering, marketing and ticketing over school lessons.

Voluntary work during summer vacations at indie labels, radio stations and festivals led him to pursue a career in live music and consequently a degree in music business. During his college years, he spent his time studying just as much as being on tour with bands and booking shows.

In 2018 Niklas moved to Berlin and joined Goodlive Artists as a promoter/booker. With his understanding for sub- and pop-cultural trends and developments, he grew his network and roster and is now working with a diverse range of international and domestic artists from small club stages to arena levels.

Stylistically Niklas focuses on (off-)pop, indie as well as neo-Soul and jazz artists such as Moses Sumney, Sudan Archives, Robert Glasper, Biig Piig, Nation of Language, Billy Nomates and Marc Rebillet.

Besides his involvement in the touring department and being part of the Goodlive festival booking committee, he also works in the development of new event concepts like the most recent reissue of the “Introducing” showcase – a live format for artists on the rise, in partnership with Spotify.


You organised your first festival at the age of 15. What can you remember about that experience – and how did you persuade people to trust a teenager?
Looking back at it, it was quite adventurous, since all of a sudden I had a lot of responsibility for several fields I had hardly any experience in. Being very passionate and enthusiastic about the project helped getting support from all people necessary. Only the liquor license was revoked after authorities became aware of my age by then.

Where did you grow up? And as Germany has a number of music cities to choose from, what made you select Berlin as your new home?
I grew up around Cologne, which was a fortunate place to grow up in. Thanks to it’s size and location within Europe a lot of international tours stopped there and in addition to this I genuinely enjoy the optimistic and open mentality of the area. The move to Berlin was done after I got the offer to join Melt! Booking, which was worth re-locating to, given Berlin’s status as Germany’s music capital.

What did you study at college – and have these studies helped you in your career to date?
I did a degree in Music Business, which was basically economic classes with a focus on the music industry, where the focus was e.g. on licensing, marketing plans, accounting, artist development and pop music history. The biggest gain was the network I got through it, working on my own projects on the side and since a lot of alumni from this school are well established in the German music industry by now.

The ‘Introducing’ showcase with Spotify sounds interesting. Can you tell us more about it?
The showcase has been around quite successful in the past and artists such as Little Simz, Alt-J, Years&Years, Chvrches or Omar Apollo played some of their first German shows there. Already back then the aim was to introduce the most exciting new artists to a tastemaking audience in Germany upon a free entry base.

The pandemic forced a break from the showcase and gave us time to re-think the entire concept. As people’s approach to discovering new music has changed over the last years, we were able to bring it back with a more contemporary approach, creating an even more valuable asset for our artists to debut in Germany.

“I am very lucky to be working with a bunch of amazing young artists, that have a lot of potential for the years to come”

You’re now working as a promoter at a big company. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
It’s always rewarding to see the development of artists and help them take the next career step within the German market. Out of the many amazing moments and stories one standing out is probably Marc Rebillet’s 2022 Berlin show I promoted, where he sold out Max Schmeling Halle with 9,000 tickets. It is also always special to take my parents to shows I book in Cologne, especially to venues they brought me to when I was little.

Which artist that you work with should we all be looking out for in the year ahead?
I am very lucky to be working with a bunch of amazing young artists, that have a lot of potential for the years to come. But UCHE YARA and ORBIT are two talented artists. I joined their teams early on and both artists are currently making their first steps on a continental level, with exciting perspectives for 2024.

What is your favourite venue, and why?
I have a soft spot for old venues that provide a unique charm to any show. In Berlin, there is the Delphi Theater, an old silent movie theatre from the 1920s, which is a stunning place. Less of a venue but a festival ground is Ferropolis, where Goodlive promotes Melt, Splash and Full Force Festival. A peninsula in a lake with old industrial charm and a little forest makes it one of the nicest festival sides I’ve been to.

As a new boss, what would you like to change to make the live entertainment industry a better place?
There is still a lot of potential to change things for the better all across the industry. I hope that my generation is able to leave a footprint behind by improving the lack of diversity, inclusivity and sustainability both across the stages, playlists but also in the offices of agencies and labels.

What advice would you give to anyone who is trying to find a job in live music?
Follow the dynamics of pop and subcultural developments and get an overview of players in the field you aspire to be part of. Be a team player, and open to innovation and mostly passionate about music. In the end, it’s a business focused on emotions and people rather than a manufactured product.

As a promoter, are there any particular events, forums or platforms that you visit to try to discover the next big act?
I try to attend several showcase festivals throughout the year. Eurosonic and Great Escape are the ones I visit most frequently.

 


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The New Bosses 2023: Michael Christidis, Untitled Group

The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous interview with Lotta Widmer co-managing director of the Winterthurer Musikfestwochen here. The series continues with Michael Christidis, co-founder of Untitled Group (AU).

Michael Christidis is the co-founder of Untitled Group, one of Australia’s largest independent music and events management companies. Untitled Group’s connection to Australian youth has enabled their rapid rise with the group now operating hundreds of events each year including renowned festival brands Beyond The Valley, Pitch Music & Arts, Grapevine Gathering, Wildlands, Ability Fest and others more than 400,000 attendees annually.

Untitled Group as a company has seen rapid growth with the company scaling from 7 employees in January 2021 to 65+ full-time employees today and selling over 400,000+ tickets annually. Michael’s commitment to social change has earned him recognition, including a place on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia List.


Untitled Group is a very young company. What was the career path that led to you co-founding the business?
I’ve always been passionate about music however never really saw it as a potential career path. While studying a science degree at university (not super applicable now!) I started running club nights with Untitled business partners Christian, Nick and Filippo and was completely enthralled. Seeing people come together, the communities and culture we were able to build was something really special and something I knew I had to pursue. Reading autobiographies from people like Richard Branson and seeing how music can often be the gateway to much more further inspired me. Fast forward to today, Untitled Group still runs a regular club night (and has for the past 12 years) and so much more as Australia’s largest independent festival and event promoters including a domestic and international touring division, Proxy talent agency, Untitled management arm, and as a stakeholder in a portfolio of strategic ancillary businesses built or backed by Untitled. I’m extremely proud of how we’ve been able to grow Untitled as a business and more excited than ever for our future potential.

You have gone from seven employees to more than 60 in just two years. What are the challenges of overseeing such rapid growth?
Ensuring that our entire team is aligned with the company’s overarching vision and goals. When we had less employees it was a lot easier for everyone to be across our journey and ensure our passion resonates with every member of the team. It has been a challenge ensuring that the proper company structure and procedures are in place so that nothing gets lost from the smallest club event to large-scale music festivals. However, getting this right and building such an amazing team is what has made us able to scale while keeping true to our core values.

“We’ve had thousands of attendees with a diverse range of disabilities come and experience their first music festival”

If a potential partner or client has not heard of Untitled, what one-line pitch would you use to tempt them into working with you?
We create innovative and culturally impactful moments rooted in music that deeply resonate with our diverse and loyal audiences across Australasia.

Ability Fest sounds like an incredible event – can you tell us a bit more about the concept and what it has achieved so far?
Ability Fest was created with two core ideas in mind. Firstly, allowing people of all levels of ability, particularly those overlooked by the community, the opportunity to experience live music (an event most may take for granted). Secondly, we wanted to raise awareness and funds to support people with disabilities. The festival was conceived in collaboration with our good friend Dylan Alcott, who in addition to being a multiple Grand Slam and Paralympic Gold Medial Winner, was also named Australian of the Year in 2022. To date, we’ve raised over $1 million dollars for young Australians with disabilities with our great partner – The Dylan Alcott Foundation. More importantly though, we’ve had thousands of attendees with a diverse range of disabilities come and experience their first music festival. The event truly is one of a kind, not just with intentionally designed, fully-inclusive infrastructure – but also the atmosphere created. Everyone checks their ego at the door and looks out for each other to ensure a welcoming, safe and comfortable environment for all. The feedback has been truly overwhelming and Ability Fest is one of my favourite events to produce and attend.

“Currently, we’re developing our next product line and have our first major retail distribution upcoming”

Untitled Ventures seems to have caught the imagination of brands. What recent projects would you say best describe the ethos behind the concept?
Every venture has to be done with some greater purpose behind it. That’s why UGLY Vodka, our first in-house venture, is so exciting for us. With bar trade/alcohol being a major revenue stream for our events, we had constantly been pitched liquor brands to invest in or launch but it never quite made sense. UGLY Vodka is the world’s first Vodka made from cosmetically imperfect or ‘ugly’ fruit, that would otherwise end in landfill. It not only helps reduce food waste and emissions which are terrible for the environment, but also supports Aussie farmers by providing an alternative use for unutilized stock. For us, it made perfect sense to create a brand that is rooted in sustainability and would actually have a huge impact if integrated across our events. Our in-house creative agency, Underscore, developed the brand which we’re super proud of and UGLY Vodka launched in Dec 2022 at Beyond The Valley. Our first batch sold out, saving over 20,000 kgs of ugly apples from landfill. Currently, we’re developing our next product line and have our first major retail distribution upcoming so I’m excited to see this company and our impact grow.

In a very short time, Untitled has disrupted the marketplace to great effect. Do you have any plans to take the group into other territories?
Yes definitely, however I think music events in particular are hyper-tailored to the markets in which they exist. So, we would not enter a new market without a deep understanding of the local music scene, trends and operators. As such, we have been tracking the electronic music scene’s growth across Asia and are actively booking lots of tours and artists there. I’m excited to increase our footprint and network across Asia.

“I’d also like to see our impact grow across other facets outside of music with ventures such as UGLY Vodka”

And what about your own ambitions – where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I would like to see myself and the Untitled team continue to raise the bar for music experiences in Australasia. Creating culturally impactful moments recognised on a global scale. With the magnitude of our events growing, the impact they have on performing artists’ careers can be significant – and I see myself as a driving force for the milestone moments of future artists careers within the Untitled ecosystem. For example, homegrown talent (now global superstar) Dom Dolla brought in the 2022 New Year at our flagship event Beyond The Valley which featured a surprise collaboration with Nelly Furtado. This was also Nelly Furtado’s first show in over 6+ years, and first time returning to Australia in over 20+ years – a milestone we hope to repeat with other global talents.

Untitled went on to promote Dom Dolla’s hometown headline shows – breaking the record for fastest-selling tickets at Melbourne’s iconic Sidney Myer Music Bowl with 2 instantly sold-out shows, 20,000+ tickets. We’ve worked with Dom and his team (special shoutout to Dom’s amazing manager and Untitled supporter – James Fava) for 8+ years – starting with our very first club nights together – and being part of artists journey like this, is the journey I look forward to being on with many other artists to come – with both domestic and international talents. We’re all super proud of what Dom is achieving globally and excited to see the next stages of his career unfold (particularly for what we have in store for these big Melbourne shows in December).

With our unique insight and connection to Australian culture, I’d also like to see our impact grow across other facets outside of music with ventures such as UGLY Vodka our partner media company ‘The Daily Aus’. Understanding the next generation of punters through Untitled means we can service them with better products, services and experiences – both in and outside of music.

“Australia’s live entertainment industry has historically bred fierce territorial competition between promoters in the country”

As a New Boss, if you had the power to change one thing in the live entertainment industry to make it a better place, what would you do?
Australia’s live entertainment industry has historically bred fierce territorial competition between promoters in the country. While there is a role for competition, Untitled has always, and will continue to, champion collaboration between and support of other promoters, managers, agents and artist’s teams as a means towards betterment. I think it’s important that this collaboration also extends to the government’s support of our industry. While there are a variety of grants and initiatives to support the Music and Arts industry, there is still a large gap that exists which could be filled and better aligned to the industry’s needs through active engagement with promoters. Great organisations like the AFA (Australian Festival’s association) which we’re proud to be a part of are helping push for these outcomes. For a successful and sustainable live entertainment industry, government help is crucial – especially with ever changing and difficult economic conditions.

Do you have a mentor, or anyone you rely on to bounce ideas off?
I think mentorship is very important. I’m lucky that most of my ‘mentors’ are also dear friends so while I very much value their advice and mentorship, I think it all comes down to deep friendship and finding people who are vested in your journey. People that enjoy seeing you develop will give you the right guidance to do so.

My first official mentor was my best friend Mike Bird (and his awesome business partners George Glover and Erica Sachse). Mike saw a lot of potential in Untitled from when we were just running small scale localised events and always encouraged me to think bigger. In 2020 he put me forward for an Entrepreneurs summit on Necker Island where I was very lucky to meet a huge inspiration of mine, Richard Branson, alongside so many other amazing people. The trip changed my perspective on business’s ability to be a driver to do good and introduced me to another valued mentor, friend, and successful Australian entrepreneur – Rob Phillpot. While I love music, I’m no expert in business and Rob has been a crucial advisor for me in the face of the new, unknown challenges encountered in scaling and diversifying businesses.

There’s also countless industry peers I bounce off of, particularly leaders of other independent companies like ourselves. Jaddan Comerford who runs UNIFIED music group (artist management, recordings, bookings etc) is such an experienced and inspirational figure within the global music scene. Jaddan and UNIFIED share a very similar ethos to our company and he is always very open to helping and supporting others. We’re always sharing knowledge and ideas to support each other and help empower other independent operators within the industry.

All in all, it’s just important to surround yourself with good people in every capacity. I’m not very good at being independent myself so luckily I have a very supportive family (although at first they weren’t thrilled with my choice for the music industry!), 3 amazing Untitled business partners who I’m constantly learning from and a team of 60+ who guide me. I hope to be a mentor myself to many great aspiring entrepreneurs and promoters in the years to come.


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The New Bosses 2023: Mitsuyo McGroggan, Eventim Live Asia

The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous interview with Lotta Widmer co-managing director of the Winterthurer Musikfestwochen (CH). The series continues with Mitsuyo McGroggan, director of touring for Asia at Eventim Live Asia (JP).

Mitsuyo McGroggan is a driven professional with a passion for bridging cultural gaps between the West and East. Born and raised in Shonan, Japan, she embarked on an exciting journey that led her to London in 2010. It was there that Mits kick-started her career at OddChild Music, where she contributed her talents to management and label operations.

Eager to further explore her aspirations, Mits made the decision to return to Japan. She became an integral part of the live entertainment sector, joining Live Nation Japan. As one of the leading promoters, she orchestrated and promoted captivating tours for internationally acclaimed artists such as Doja Cat, Anne-Marie, Jacob Collier, Miguel, Ginger Root, and Clairo, among many others.

Driven by her commitment to the industry and her dedication to fostering artistic connections, Mits has recently taken on a new role, joining Eventim Live Asia as the director of touring for Asia. While based in Japan, Mits will continue to lead and shape the future of touring in Asia, fuelling the growth of the live music scene across the continent.


Lots of people agree that Asia offers huge potential for industry growth. What advice would you give to anyone thinking of moving from the West to help achieve that growth?
Many may view Asia as a whole, but each market has its own nuances and sensitivities with its own unique cultures. I highly encourage anyone entering the market to try to understand the foundation, immersing yourself in the culture and understanding the dynamics from all angles. Once you’re able to understand the fundamental practices, we can all help one another in bridging the gap between the West and East and further propel touring opportunities in Asia regionally.

What made you decide to switch from the label side of the business to live music? And were there any lessons from the label sector that live would benefit from (and vice versa)?
Coming from a family of musicians and touring folk, I’ve always been passionate about the live music sector, so it was a natural next step for me but from a young age, I was eager to immerse myself in the music scene outside of Japan and luckily started my career in artist management/label in London; giving me the opportunity to understand the process of artist development from a completely new perspective.

Since joining the live entertainment sector, I’ve strived to bring my background in music management and promotion with me and have always been passionate about cross-promoting with the label aspects in mind. It’s integral as promoters that we strive to understand all aspects of the artist and their running campaigns so we can look at the long-term vision. With the incredible support from our local team, I’ve always been able to strategically implement campaigns catered to each individual artist and hope to continue having a hands-on and artist-centric approach.

“I believe that we are in a transition period in Asia and it’s an exciting time for us as promoters”

Japan is a huge live market, while China is always noted as a growth spot, but where are the other countries in Asia that you look toward as offering potential for international touring acts?
While some markets may be more mature than others, specifically Japan and Korea, I believe all markets have the potential for international content. I believe that we are in a transition period in Asia and it’s an exciting time for us as promoters as we continue to look for new innovative ways to introduce Western content to new markets, specifically in Southeast Asia, which is proving to have some of the biggest and most dynamic opportunities for the touring landscape.

Traditionally, Japan has been seen as an expensive market for international acts to visit. How is the tour circuit developing so that artists can put together a run of dates in Japan and other nearby countries, rather than just a couple of shows in Tokyo?
Now more than ever (specifically post-Covid landscape) it is true that costs have gone up across the board and financially it’s an uphill battle for all parties involved but what I’ve learned over the years is that the fans in Japan remain loyal and the return is ten-fold. The artists and managers that are willing to invest in the first couple of years have continually seen this to be the case and I welcome all artists to look into the positives associated with investing presence in Asia as it continues to cement longevity for an artist’s career.

Do you have a mentor, or people you can trust to bounce ideas off?
I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by senior executives who have helped shape and continue to support my career but my journey at Eventim Live Asia would not be where it is without the support of my colleague, Mike Galt (senior vice president of touring); his passion and knowledge of the music biz and his artist-centric approach has always been inspiring.

Locally in Japan, I continue to have the honour of leaning on Mr. Yamazaki (Yoshihito Yamazaki, CEO of Kyodo Tokyo) and Shoji Takemata (Kyodo Tokyo). Their track record and success in the market is undeniable and I continue to lean on their wealth of knowledge and experience as a guide to help shape the future of touring in Japan/Asia.

“I think it’s our duty as promoters to champion rising stars”

As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live entertainment industry a better place?
I think it’s our duty as promoters to champion rising stars and I hope to continue striving to support new talent in an ever-changing industry. I’m committed and driven to making a lasting impact by connecting audiences and artists from different corners of the world.

A lot of people might see Japan – and other places in Asia – as intimidating places to tour, because of cultural perceptions or differences. What would you say to persuade more artists to invest time building fanbases in Asia?
Asia regionally is on an upward trajectory – agents and managers that choose to learn and lean into the dynamics of the landscape have learnt that there is longevity in this region and that the fanbase continues to stay loyal for the long-term. Historically speaking the Japanese fanbase is intently absorbed in the performance and the artistry that each artist brings and that in itself can go a long way in building a long and meaningful career in the region. I encourage artists to invest in these markets early in their careers in order to establish a core foundation and footprint for maximum exposure within the Asian market.

 


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The New Bosses 2023: Kerem Turgut, Dubai Opera

The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous interview with Katherina Thalerová, an artist/production manager for LaLa Slovak Music Export in Slovakia here. The series continues with Kerem Turgut, senior event programmer and live music booker at Dubai Opera (TU).

In February 2022, Kerem moved to Dubai to join the Dubai Opera as a Senior Programmer and Music Booker. There, he introduced artists like Bonobo, Jay Shetty, M83, Tom Odell, Gilberto Gil, Ali Sethi, Jethro Tull, Kenny Garrett, Tinariwen, Travis, Ghostly Kisses, and Ludovico Einaudi to Dubai audiences for the first time.

Kerem’s wide-ranging experience and unwavering dedication have helped him establish strong relationships with artists, labels, brands, managers, and agencies, including CAA, WME, Wasserman, UTA, ATC, ITB, Free Trade, X-Ray, and Primary Talent. He has proven his versatility by working at venues of varied capacities, such as the Dubai Opera (2,000 seats), Zorlu Performing Arts Center (4,000 seats), Volkswagen Arena (6,000 seats), Babylon (700 seats), and Harbiye Open Air Theatre (4,500 seats).


You began your career in the finance department. How does that background in economics help you with your day-to-day work now?
My background in economics and finance has been a real powerhouse in my current role in the live music industry. It helps me navigate the financial side of things with ease, from managing budgets and revenue analysis to negotiating contracts with artists and venues. Plus, it’s a great asset when it comes to assessing and mitigating risks, especially during these uncertain times. It allows me to strike a perfect balance between making events profitable and ensuring they’re accessible to fans. It’s like a backstage pass to making awesome concerts happen!

Is anyone else in your family involved in the entertainment business? If not, why did you choose this career path and how did you find out about jobs like promoters and agents?
Music has always been my heartbeat, and my sister actually played a huge role in shaping my music taste. She’s a DJ at Radio Eksen, a cool alternative music station in Turkey. She took me to concerts like Little Dragon, The Walkmen, Toro Y Moi at amazing venues like Babylon when I was just a kid! Those experiences sparked a fire in me, and I knew I wanted to be part of the magical world of entertainment. During my time at Pozitif, one of Turkey’s leading entertainment companies, I discovered the mesmerising roles of promoters and agents. It was like finding the missing piece to my puzzle, and from that point on, there was no turning back. Live music became my true calling, and I haven’t looked back since.

Your switch from finance to booking is intriguing. Did you have a mentor to help guide you – and is there anyone these days you can turn to when it comes to bouncing ideas around?
Switching from finance to booking was like diving into a whole new adventure, and I was fortunate to have some fantastic mentors along the way. Elif Cemal, a senior booker at Pozitif, was a guiding light during that transformation. She believed in me, saw my potential, and encouraged me to pursue my passion for live music. Later, as a live music booker at Zorlu Performing Arts Center when I was 24, I found another mentor in Murat Abbas, the General Manager at the time. Murat provided invaluable guidance and encouraged me to attend industry events like ESNS and IFF. His mentorship empowered me to build new relationships and secure contracts, opening doors to new opportunities in the industry.

The ‘Istanbul is a Stage’ project sounds like it was a crucial support for the creative community. Can you tell us more about why you started it, and its success?
The ‘Istanbul is a Stage’ project was born out of a desire to support local musicians and bring live music experiences to the people of Istanbul, particularly during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Inspired by Lincoln Center’s Restarts Stages project in New York City, we wanted to create an initiative that utilized unconventional venues to host free concerts across the city. Our goal was to make live music accessible to everyone and contribute to Istanbul’s vibrant cultural scene.

To make this vision a reality, we developed a website for an open call and curated a diverse program featuring talented local musicians from various genres. We sought unique locations such as ferry stations, islands, historical sites, new museums, and metro stations as unconventional venues to host the concerts. The project received widespread acclaim, strengthening the bond between the creative community and the city’s residents. Witnessing the joy on people’s faces and the positive impact it had on the community was truly heartwarming.

“Dubai’s business culture is like a rock ‘n’ roll rollercoaster, embracing innovation and new ideas with open arms”

And what about meeting new contacts in the business – are there any conferences, festivals or other events that you have attended that been useful for networking?
Networking is a vital aspect of the live music industry, and I actively participate in conferences and festivals to establish and maintain meaningful connections. Each year, I make it a priority to attend events like ESNS, The Great Escape, ILMC, and IFF. At The Great Escape and ESNS, discovering emerging artists is like finding hidden gems in a rock ‘n’ roll treasure hunt. And , ILMC is like an all-access pass to the heart of the industry, where we discuss trends, collaborate, and make epic plans for the future. Plus, IFF is like a superstar lineup of agents and connections for days! Networking is like a never-ending encore, and I love every moment of it!

You’ve been in Dubai for about 18 months now. What are the main cultural differences in business compared to Istanbul?
In Istanbul, the city’s established audience base and geographic advantage in being well-connected to Europe make it relatively easier to include the city in tour routing, especially with neighbouring Athens and Sofia. However, ticket prices have been a challenge, with the average being comparatively lower than in Europe due to ongoing exchange crises. To provide an example, in 2018, 1 USD was equivalent to 4.8 TL, whereas now it is 26 TL.

In contrast, Dubai’s live music scene is rapidly developing, with a strong economy and an emerging market attracting diverse expatriates from various backgrounds. Ticket prices in Dubai tend to be higher than in Europe, and logistics for touring may require more careful planning due to the city’s geographical distance from main markets. In navigating these differences, collaborations with colleagues from other cities like Istanbul, Cairo, or Tel Aviv have proven instrumental in creating viable and successful touring opportunities for artists in the region. One big difference is the diverse expatriate community, adding a unique blend of flavors to the audience. Dubai’s business culture is like a rock ‘n’ roll rollercoaster, embracing innovation and new ideas with open arms.

The tour circuit in the Middle East seems to be developing quickly. Is there a grassroots circuit where emerging talent can build local fanbases?
I think for international emerging talents, there should be more opportunities for them to play in different cities and venues in the region as part of a small tour. Bringing emerging talents all the way from Europe/UK for just one show can be financially challenging unless there is adequate support. However, we are always eager to find ways to showcase these talents, whether it’s by including them as support acts under headliners or taking calculated risks to organize one-off shows. Emerging talents play a crucial role in the live entertainment business, and it’s essential for the audience to experience new artists and discover fresh voices, enriching their knowledge and appreciation of the arts.

Are there any particular events or tours you are looking forward to this year or next?
Yes, There’s an electrifying lineup of events and tours on the horizon that’s got me pumped up like never before, which we will start to announce from September.

As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live entertainment industry a better place?
It would be to promote more transparency in the live entertainment industry Transparency builds trust, and trust is like the heartbeat of thriving partnerships with artists, agencies, and managers. When everyone involved is transparent, trust is built, communication is open, and partnerships thrive.

What would you like to see yourself doing in five years’ time?
In the next five years, I see myself embracing even more challenges and pushing the boundaries of my creativity. Despite global economic issues, my goal remains to promote shows that are accessible to fans while being profitable for the artists, and I hope to continue enriching the lives of our audiences and making a meaningful impact on the live music scene in Dubai and beyond.

 


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The New Bosses 2023: Katja Thalerová, LALA Slovak Music Export

The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous interview with Jamie Shaughnessy, a music touring agent at CAA. The series continues with Katherina Thalerová, an artist/production manager for LaLa Slovak Music Export in Slovakia.

Katherina Thalerová graduated with a Master of Arts at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. For the past five years, she has been leading partnerships and sponsorships of the SHARPE festival, an international showcase festival in Bratislava, which is the main project of the LALA Slovak Music Export office, where she works as a project manager.

Katja’s love for music is mirrored by her work as a booker and manager of several Slovak bands (including Tolstoys, Sam Handwich, God and Eve). As a production manager, she is involved in the indie regional Flaam festival and seasonally in the biggest Slovak music festivals, such as Pohoda, Grape, and Next. In addition to these projects, she occasionally collaborates with other festivals, cultural events and artists.

She is currently studying for a PhD at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (Theory and Dramaturgy of Music), where she also lectures on a number of subjects. Katja’s is also part of the emerging DJ duo Benefits with Friends.


When did you first realise you wanted to have a career in the music industry – and is anyone else in your family involved in music?
I realised I wanted to make a career in the music industry quite early on. My first realisation was when I was a teenager and I was fully influenced by the Slovak national radio station Rádio_FM (an alternative radio that played totally different music than commercial radios). This was one of the moments for me and then I found out that Pohoda festival exists. I think I was around 12 or 13 years old. The first time I went to Pohoda was when I was 16 and from then on there was no turning back (haha). Of course, all this could not have happened without my mother, who, although not from an artistic background, introduced me to music and art and built a lifelong love for them in me. My cousin plays in a smaller band, but generally family members around my age, we all have seven years of music education at elementary art schools and I studied piano and saxophone.

You and Michal Berezňák were behind the launch of the music export office. Can you tell us a bit more about it and some of the initiatives that it undertakes both in Slovakia and elsewhere?
LALA Slovak Music Export was established in 2016, I enthusiastically joined the team in 2018–2019. I have been working for LALA as a project manager for the last three years. Currently, we are running LALA together with my dear colleague Michal Berezňák. Our activities are focused on education (we love it when people learn about things that help them build a career) and the popularisation of work in culture. We actively hold networking events and our activities, especially, are aimed at connecting the Slovak music scene with foreign countries and presenting it to peculiarity. The biggest project of LALA is the international showcase festival Sharpe festival and conference, which we are extremely proud of. We also participate in its preparation with our dear Táňa Lehotská and a whole team of other great people.

Sharpe music festival and conference has been a big success in its first six years. What plans do you have to develop the event?
More than developing the event, our goal is to stabilise it in the form it is and how we see it working. We do not have the ambition to rapidly increase the capacity, we want the festival to operate consistently. We want to bring the best dramaturgy (we reached the number of 60 performers), and offer a stimulating and interesting conference part. Furthermore, we want to continue working with students more during the conference. An integral part of the development of the event is its partners, whether local or international. This is an important thing for us, on which we want and will work intensively. Our ambition is to retain visitors and attract new (curious) visitors who want to discover new fresh music from Slovakia and beyond.

“I would very much like people to respect each other’s work, to eliminate unnecessary rivalry and envy”

In terms of expanding your network of contacts, are there any events, platforms or forums you attend that you would recommend to others?
I am so happy that there are many things to be shared among the people! Sharpe music festival & conference, Pohoda festival, Flaam festival, Next festival, Grape festival, Sieť Anténa, Rádio_FM, LALA Slovak Music Export, Full Moon magazine (CZ), Ment festival (SI), Eastern European Music Academy (international) – a top online academy that delivers créme de la créme lessons from the top of the European music industry for 12 weeks. Together with Music Export Ukraine (UA) and Mastering the Music Busines (RO) we are part of this stunning project

As a New Boss, what would you like to change to make the live entertainment industry a better place?
I would very much like people to respect each other’s work, to eliminate unnecessary rivalry and envy. When people appreciate each other’s work, treat each other with respect, we will be able to progress better as a society and especially help each other. Related to this is the humility and modesty that people can exude.

It is important to inspire people and stay true to work in culture, because it enriches people, positively develops society, creates space for self-expression, encourages people to think out of the box, develops their mind and sensibility of perception of functioning in society and brings inspiration. Culture positively affects people’s lives and it is important that it does not disappear and remains here through various carriers.

Do you have a mentor, or anyone you rely on to bounce ideas off?
My mother has been my mentor throughout my life. She is a (voluntary) target of all my (crazy) ideas. My huge inspiration since my teenage years is Michal Kaščák from Pohoda festival. I can rely on my colleague Michal Berezňák, who also inspires me and of course on my partner.

What one thing would you like artists, fans, and other music industry professionals to learn about your country to persuade them to visit listen to some Slovak bands and artists?
Most of the artists of the alternative music scene are humble people whose expression is filled with pure love for music. Slovakia in general ranks among the smaller countries, but the tenacity and joy of playing is very great. A strong cultural community operates in Slovakia. It creates a feeling of lightness of being. And, Slovaks are very hospitable nation.

What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
My highlight has been that I am surrounded by great inspiring people, who spark me every day. Also, being a part of several Slovak festivals, such as Sharpe festival, Pohoda festival, Flaam festival, Next festival, MELA, Fest Anča, Febio fest, Grape festival and many other fantastic events. Yes, festivals are my passion.

 


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The New Bosses 2023: Jamie Shaughnessy, CAA

The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous interview with Holly Rowland, an agent at Wasserman Music (UK) here. The series continues with Jamie Shaughnessy, a music touring agent at CAA.

Jamie joined CAA in 2015, where he served as an assistant to several agents in the company’s music touring division in London, across a variety of clients and acts. He was promoted to coordinator in 2020 after completing CAA’s trainee programme in Los Angeles. Despite the trials brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, specifically within the live touring space, he was promoted to agent at the end of 2021 and has since built a roster of exciting artists from genres across the globe.

Jamie’s first stint in the music industry came after completing his A-Levels, when he secured an apprenticeship at Channel 4 working across music licensing and sync alongside their in-house agency, 4Creative. He then held a similar role at Princess Productions/Shine TV before joining Warner/Chappell as a music consultant within their production music team.


When did you first realise you wanted to have a career in the music industry – and is anyone else in your family involved in music?
No one else in my family is involved in music in a professional capacity but my earliest and fondest memories comprise of my parents playing the records of artists from all over the world – from reggae to rock and Motown, to acts like Orchestra Baobab and Bueno Vista Social Club. I think this is what really fired up my initial interest and passion in music. My family all have such a varied taste which really fed into the music I’d then go on to love.

Looking back…burning CDs, watching music videos over and over again when you could text in to make a request (shout out and R.I.P to Channel U) and weekly trips to HMV is when I really began to spend the majority of my time consuming music. When I discovered YouTube and iTunes it was a wrap, I’d be scouring the web for my next favourite artist for hours on end (but had to stop when my mum needed to jump on the phone and disconnect from the dial-up internet). At this point, the idea of working around something I love sounded great but I had no idea if it was possible or what roles were actually out there. For a long time, I thought being the tour manager meant you were just hanging out with the artist and partying all the time, not actually managing a tour…

Most teenagers probably don’t know that jobs in music licensing and sync, as well as booking agents exist. How did you find out about these career paths?
I think it was a combination of a little bit of luck and being inquisitive. My first job at Channel 4 as an apprentice came as a bit of a surprise. I was applying for any internships that had ‘music’ in the description via Gumtree and then looking for opportunities via the apprenticeships database. There was a role listed at a ‘National Broadcaster’ which involved ‘sundry tasks’ working with music rights and clearances. In all honesty, I had no idea what it meant and it didn’t sound the most exciting. I applied for the role, forgot I had done so, then had a phone call a month later asking to come in for an interview at Channel 4. I couldn’t for the life of me remember applying for the position so asked for them to resend me the job description so I could prep. I was rattled! Somehow, I landed the apprenticeship, it was one of the best experiences of my life and the perfect entry role into the industry. From there I moved around in similar positions within sync and licensing. I then realised I wanted to be in a role that felt a bit more hands-on while working closer to artists, I wasn’t sure exactly in what capacity that would be – the areas of A&R, management and live all sounded interesting and engaging to me. I then saw an assistant role at CAA advertised online – again, I had no idea who CAA were or what the role of an agent entailed but I thought I’d give it a go. There was definitely an essence of fake it until you make it…

“Having strong relationships across all sectors is integral to being able to do the job well”

In terms of expanding your network of contacts, are there any conferences, events, platforms or forums you attend that you would recommend to others?
Over the years I attended events that The Young Guns Network organised and always found them super useful for making meaningful connections and getting insights into different areas of the business, especially for anyone just starting off in the industry and who needs a bit of a guiding light. The Ultimate Seminar was really helpful for that too. Events like The Great Escape, ILMC, IFF, Venues Day and Eurosonic are always really beneficial to be at, especially for anyone in the live space. Other than that, I’d recommend getting down to gigs and showcases for new artists at the smaller independent venues.

Your path to CAA included stints in broadcasting and at a music publisher. Does that experience help shape any of the work you do as an agent?
In my earlier positions, I had to make sure I was always up to date with new artists and releases and have an understanding of what music would work to a certain brief, so I definitely think those honed skills and having that awareness have helped me as an agent. Another huge component of those previous roles and in my current role is relationships, as it is across the industry. Having strong relationships across all sectors is integral to being able to do the job well.

You had the chance to work in Los Angeles as part of CAA’s trainee programme. What lessons did you take from that experience – and is working at one of the company’s other offices something you’d like to do in the future?
I learnt to appreciate the London Underground! I had an incredible time in LA and forged some strong relationships with colleagues over there who are now close friends. I was reminded just how small the planet was and how important it is to not just build but maintain the new connections you form as you never know when you’ll need to call on them. I learned how to embrace challenges and new experiences that might seem intimidating at first but inevitably help you to become a more proficient person. I love travelling, meeting new people and seeing new places so would never say no to the opportunity of spending time in one of our other offices around the world.

Where is your favourite venue for checking out emerging talent?
I’ll always keep an eye out for the showcases and multi-act line-ups at the smaller intimate venues like The Lower Third, The Social and Paper Dress Vintage. Jazz Café always do a wicked job with their programming, especially with acts from around the world who might be playing their first show in the UK.

“[The industry] still doesn’t feel anywhere near enough reflective of both society and the music output we see”

How would you encourage other young people to pursue a career in the music industry?
For young people just getting started in the industry I’d always recommend trying out different areas within the sector. Even if you have the smallest inkling or interest towards one of the areas – whether that’s live, radio, A&R, management, PR, legal etc. – be curious and work out how you might be able to get some exposure within that space. I think it’s always better to try something out and find out it might not necessarily be for you, as opposed to looking back and wishing you’d given it a go. Work experience and networking are key to building a career within the music industry so I’d suggest trying to gain an understanding and familiarity of each field while meeting as many people as you can along the way as this is what will help you grow.

You have a growing roster of talent who you represent. Which acts do you think people should be keeping a close eye upon in the year ahead?
I feel extremely lucky and privileged to be working with an incredible roster who are all working really hard to hone their craft and breakthrough. SuperJazzClub are a collective from Accra and had a great run of shows earlier this year, their show at The Great Escape was absolutely rammed and a bunch of people couldn’t get in, which almost included myself – a good problem to have! Maeta is an amazing R&B act from the US and if you haven’t heard of Durand Bernarr please check out his Tiny Desk Concert, it’s incredible. Ama Lou, Cruza, Somadina and Femi Tahiru all have new music on the way which I can’t wait for people to hear. Yazmin Lacey is absolutely killing it, you have to check out her performance of Late Night People at Glastonbury. BXKS is making real waves in the UK rap/Grime scene. I’m really excited too about Naomi Sharon who is from Holland and recently signed to OVO. JACOTÉNE is from Australia, has an unreal voice (to put it lightly) and is ready to take on the world. Keep your eyes on LULU too…

As a new boss, what would you like to change to make the live entertainment industry a better place?
I’ve read this segment of this series for the last several years and I would’ve hoped I wouldn’t have needed to say what’s been said previously on improving the diversity of the workforce behind the scenes but there’s still so much work that needs to be done. It does feel in some regards that things are slowly getting better and that within some parts of the industry, you’re seeing more people from ethnic minority backgrounds in roles. However, it still doesn’t feel anywhere near enough reflective of both society and the music output we see across the board. If companies and institutions are actually serious about changing the industry in this way, I feel that a whole lot more needs to be done when it comes to outreach to schools and communities that might not be aware of the inner workings and opportunities within the industry. This would only be one part of making meaningful and positive change, there’s so much progress yet to be achieved in eliminating racial inequality within the sector and beyond.

I definitely don’t have the answers, but I feel collectively we all sincerely need to be working towards a more sustainable and greener way of operating otherwise we won’t have a live entertainment industry to improve. As the saying goes, there’s no music on a dead planet.

 


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The New Bosses 2023: Gilbert Paz, Loud And Live

The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous interview with Dylan Cherry, senior promoter at Endeavour Live (NZ). The series continues with Gilbert Paz, vice president of live entertainment business operations at Loud And Live (US).

After stints in the Latin division at WME and at the James L. Knight Center in Miami, Gilbert Paz joined Loud and Live in 2019. Paz’s contributions have been instrumental to the company’s live entertainment business, specifically focused on growing the company’s touring and live events presentations. His leadership helped cement a record year for Loud And Live, and positioned the company as an industry leader and one of the world’s top promoters. In his role as VP, live entertainment business operations, Gilbert has been an invaluable contributor, overseeing worldwide tour offers, routing, contract negotiations, ticketing and venue relationships, resulting in some of Loud And Live’s most successful tours to date.

Tours that Gilbert has led include top global artists, such as Ricardo Arjona, Carlos Vives, Camila, Sin Bandera, Reik, Melendi, Ruben Blades, Servando y Florentino, Fito Paez, Carlos Rivera, Farruko, Juan Luis Guerra, Ricardo Montaner, Roberto Carlos, Silvestre Dangond and Camilo’s first Arena Tour, collectively resulting in sold-out tours across nearly 400 shows in 2021 and 2022. He also successfully led the talent booking for Miami’s first premier country music festival, Country Bay. This inaugural year, the Country Bay Music Festival will take place on November 11 and 12, and includes some of the world’s biggest country artists, such as Thomas Rhett, Sam Hunt, Chris Young, Lainey Wilson and Lee Brice among many others.


Your career path before Loud and Live involved experience across a range of sectors. How has this experience helped you in your day-to-day work, through understanding the challenges faced by people like agents, venue operators, and even musicians?
My previous experience working on the agent side and as a venue operator has undeniably been invaluable in my current role as a promoter. The insights gained from being on the agent side of the business have given me a profound understanding of different deal structures and negotiation tactics. I know where to initiate discussions and how far I can push to achieve the best possible outcome for both parties involved. I also understand effective tour routings and how they can affect an artist’s profitability on tour. Having come from the agent side, I have a deep understanding of agency dynamics, which is valuable in my day-to-day conversations as a concert promoter with them. Having previously worked as a venue operator, I have honed my skills in maximizing and formulating venue deals. This experience has provided me with a keen understanding of the venue’s perspective, enabling me to negotiate and secure advantageous terms for our events. Furthermore, my ability to create accurate event proformas stems from my time on the venue side, where I had to prepare financial projections and budgets for events on a regular basis. My most valuable skill learned from the venue side was probably my daily involvement in ticketing.

“I firmly believe that the Latin Music genre has yet to reach a plateau”

Having gained a deep understanding of ticketing from A to Z from my time at the venue has allowed me to take that skill to make informed decisions regarding pricing, promotions, and ticket distribution strategies for our shows. With my experience as a musician, I have learned skills that aid in handling unexpected situations as a concert promoter. My familiarity with the logistics and dynamics of live performances gives me an advantage in foreseeing potential issues and making contingency plans. My understanding of artist expectations and audience needs enables me to make informed decisions when facing last-minute changes or challenges. Additionally, my ability to adapt and improvise on stage as a musician translates well into managing unexpected situations with composure and creativity as a concert promoter. Overall, my musical, agent and venue background, has equipped me with a unique perspective and problem-solving abilities that are essential in this fast-paced and dynamic industry.

We’ve seen an explosion in the popularity of Latin American acts in recent years. Do you think there is still room for more growth, or have we reached a plateau?
I firmly believe that the Latin Music genre has yet to reach a plateau and instead holds boundless potential for exponential growth. The genre continues to transcend language barriers and captivate diverse audiences.

What made you decide to move into the promoting side of the business? And were there any lessons from the other roles you have done that promoters would benefit from (and vice versa)?
With a deep passion for music, I enjoy being part of the music industry, but I made the switch to the promoting side because I wanted to have an active role in creating memorable experiences for both artists and fans. As a promoter, you play a crucial role in fostering meaningful connections between artists and their audience through live performances and concerts. In addition, as a promoter, I thrive on the rush that comes with taking risks. The excitement of planning and executing events, anticipating their success, and overcoming challenges along the way fuels my passion for the role.

“Launching the country music festival in Miami was undoubtedly a bold and innovative move for the company”

Are there any particular events or shows you are looking forward to this year or next?
I am beyond thrilled for Miami’s first premier country festival happening this November 11-12 which Loud And Live is producing. The lineup is absolutely amazing, featuring incredible artists like Thomas Rhett, Sam Hunt, Lainey Wilson, Chris Young, and Lee Brice, among many others at the historic Miami Marine Stadium site. This festival is a dream come true for country music lovers like me and especially in Miami!

What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
Being an integral part of the team at Loud And Live in a record-breaking year where we produced nearly 400 live events within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Latin America. Our determination led us to secure and manage the tours of many of the world’s biggest Latin artists and resulted in us being ranked as one of the world’s top promoters.

Launching a country music festival in Florida is a bold move. Are you looking outside the box to do similar things elsewhere: country music in Mexico? A metal festival in Nashville? Perhaps you can talk a bit about your research process?
Launching the country music festival in Miami was undoubtedly a bold and innovative move for the company. Although traditionally known for its association with American culture, we saw that country music has surprisingly found resonance within the Hispanic communities in Miami. This can be attributed to the growing influence of second and third-generation Latin-Americans who have embraced country music, creating a surge in its consumption and popularity in the region.

With our marketing expertise and in-depth studies, we will continue to identify untapped markets for the Latin community within the United States, paving the way for Latin artists to reach new audiences. For example, we took Ricard Arjona to Nashville, TN this year which was an untapped market, and it was the highest-grossing Latin show Bridgestone Arena has ever had. We will leverage this momentum and continue to open doors to unexplored market opportunities.

“The Latin live entertainment concert industry has a pressing need for growth and support for developing artists”

At our company, we also own and create IP and continuously strive to identify and seize opportunities to meet unmet needs in the market. While we have several exciting projects in the pipeline, we are thrilled to announce one of our latest ventures: Christmas Wonderland in Miami. This groundbreaking event will revolutionize the traditional Christmas experience by offering a modern-day take on the festivities. With immersive experiences, captivating live performances, interactive zones, exhilarating rides, and thrilling games, we aim to provide an unforgettable holiday season. We anticipate over 300,000 attendees during the 8-week event.

Do you have a mentor, or people you can trust to bounce ideas off?
Working under the guidance of our esteemed CEO, Nelson Albareda, has been an inspiring journey for me as he has become not only a mentor but also a true role model. His visionary leadership, unwavering support, and invaluable insights have significantly contributed to my professional growth. However, it’s not just the guidance of one person that makes our company exceptional. We are fortunate to have an incredible team of creative individuals who come from diverse backgrounds, each bringing a unique perspective to the table. Together, our collective expertise and creativity form the backbone of our success, driving us forward as a united force within the industry.

As a New Boss, what one thing would you change to make the live entertainment industry a better place?
The Latin live entertainment concert industry has a pressing need for growth and support for developing artists. To address this opportunity, a powerful solution could be the creation of a dedicated platform and concert series exclusively tailored to supporting emerging musicians. This platform would serve as a steppingstone for these artists to gain exposure and recognition within the industry. By curating events that showcase a diverse range of talent, the series would provide a unique opportunity for developing musicians to connect with larger audiences and industry professionals. By nurturing the talent of Latin artists and giving them a chance to shine on a grand stage, this initiative can contribute significantly to the growth and evolution of the Latin live entertainment concert scene, ultimately enriching the music industry as a whole.

What do you see yourself doing in five years’ time?
In five years, I envision myself continuing to play a pivotal role in the growth of Loud And Live, helping take it from doing 400 shows to 5,000 shows a year. I am excited about the prospect of diversifying the genres we work on touring and expanding our footprint around the globe. I see myself spearheading strategic initiatives and being a part of driving the company’s success.

 


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The New Bosses 2023: Dylan Cherry, Endeavour Live

The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous interview with Daniel Turner, an agent at Earth Agency (UK) here. The series continues with Dylan Cherry, senior promoter at Endeavour Live (NZ).

I started DJing when I was 16 in high school on a fake ID. I didn’t charge the club until I was 18 as I was terrified they would find out I had my 19th birthday there three years in a row. They worked it out eventually. I started a weekly live band night when I was 18 called REKKIT which was hosted in a bar in central Auckland that showcased local acts. I eventually started programming club shows for bigger bands like Badbadnotgood, Slow Magic, Hayden James, King Tuff, Mini Mansions, Kaytranada, Unknown Mortal Orchestra etc.

I then joined the Red Bull team and worked on the New Zealand leg of Sound Select for two years as well as somehow found myself hosting the day show on Kiwi FM and DJing at festivals with some friends such as Hollywood DJs. I was booked to perform at Rhythm and Vines which led me to get to know Hamish Pinkham, the founder and programme director. He brought me on board to work on the festival as well as their other company Endeavour Live.

I’ve programmed five Rhythm and Vines with Hamish, including a kiwi-only pandemic edition and we have also created the festival brands Spring City, Gardens, BreakOut (soon to launch in London) and the Golden Run series. We’ve toured Fatboy Slim, Groove Armada, Angus and Julia Stone, Netsky, Wilkinson, Crooked Colours, Set Mo, Basement Jaxx and many more including some of the biggest electronic shows in the world during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Your DJing exploits sound fascinating. What advice would you give to anyone who is trying to find a job in live music?
Start your own club night! There’s lots of amazing talent everywhere, find it and grow together.

Where is your favourite venue for discovering new talent?
The Tuning Fork in Auckland. I’ve seen everyone from IDLES to Billie Eilish during their early touring years and have loved using it to showcase local talent like Harper Finn and NO COMPLY.

What events, tours or festivals are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?
I’m really looking forward to a festival we do in Auckland called Spring City. It’s in the Auckland Domain and when the sun sets with the Auckland Museum in the background it’s all time. It’s a really beautiful historic piece of land and last year we successfully debuted Spring City with Groove Armada, Channel Tres and Kiwi legends Ladyhawke and Zane Lowe.

“Our audiences are passionate, engaged and at some points extremely rowdy”

Being in such a remote country must prove challenging when it comes to booking international acts. Are there any particular events you collaborate with to try to entice talent to NZ?
We are fortunate that New Zealand is an incredibly beautiful place to visit and most people relish the opportunity to tour here. Not to mention it’s an important part of building your audience across the Australasian and Asia Pacific regions. Our audiences are passionate, engaged and at some points extremely rowdy. Plus, throw in a visit to Hobbiton and you’re good. We are blessed to have some great friends and partners in Australia that throw amazing festivals so it’s not too difficult to get a good and appealing run together across the region.

You are a big champion of homegrown talent. Are there any young Kiwi acts you work with that you think people overseas should be keeping an eye on?
I am constantly impressed with drum and bass duo LEE MVTTHEW’s. We did a six-hour show at Spark Arena where they DJ’d the whole time and it’s something I’ll always be proud of. I love what SACHI is currently doing bringing back free club shows, I think EMWA is going to be the next Skrillex, Elliot and Vincent are one of the best bands in the world and I love what Beccie B is doing both with DJing and with her Sugar and Spice collective. She’s a bonafide legend.

“We are blessed with some incredible superstars in our backyard including BENEE, L.A.B, Montell2099 and The Beths”

The pandemic gave Kiwi acts a unique opportunity to grow their fanbases. Has that process continued post-Covid, or are international artists still dominating ticket sales?
It’s nice to have the ability to showcase international acts again after a long stretch of Covid isolation but we will always heavily feature local talent. We were lucky to still be able to hold large events including our festival Rhythm and Vines in New Zealand to bring that much-needed escape. Plus, we are blessed with some incredible superstars in our backyard including BENEE, L.A.B, Montell2099 and The Beths to name a few and honoured to have them on our lineups.

As a New Boss, what one thing would you do to make the live music industry a better place?
Magically cheapen international freight.

 


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The New Bosses 2023: Daniel Turner, Earth Agency

The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.

To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.

Catch up on the previous interview with Chloé Abrahams-Duperry, artist & promoter relations manager at Ticketmaster, UK, here. The series continues with Daniel Turner, an agent at Earth Agency (UK).

After completing his mathematics undergrad, Daniel Turner jumped head-first into the music industry. After some experience on the ground at the newly opened Phonox in Brixton, London, he landed a role at Earth Agency as an accounts assistant. It swiftly became clear that his meticulous attention to detail and fluency with numbers could be combined with his desire to work more closely with artists in an agent’s assistant role.

Working with experienced agents Claire Courtney, Mike Deane, Naomi Palmer and Lucy Atkinson over a three-year period brought with it swathes of eclecticism, experience and an understanding of the many aspects of agenting. Now representing a wide-ranging roster of artists himself, including Amaliah, Coco Em, JADALAREIGN and Jordss, Turner champions the more underrepresented intersections of the industry, placing them in positions to thrive and disrupt.


You studied maths at university. Does that background help you at all in your day-to-day work as an agent?
Most definitely. Statistics and interpreting data are things I do every day as an agent so there’s definitely crossover.

Before you started in music, did you know about the roles of agents? If so, how did you find out? And if not, likewise, how did you discover that such jobs existed?
I didn’t know specifically what being a booking agent would entail before getting into the industry but I could hazard a guess. Once I left university, I sent out hundreds of CVs and cover letters to anyone in the industry who would accept them just to get a foot in the door – not thinking specifically about the job that I wanted. The concept of agenting wasn’t something I thought about until I joined Earth initially.

You’re obviously enjoying learning about the business a your career progresses. How would you encourage the next generation to choose the live music sector for their chosen career path?
If you’re passionate about music then there are so many roles within the industry where you can feel like you’re playing a part in something that you love. When I left education, I wasn’t 100% sure about the career that I wanted so I chose something that I had a real passion for in music and went all in on trying to make something work. It ended up being a great decision.

“I sent out hundreds of CVs and cover letters to anyone in the industry who would accept them just to get a foot in the door”

As a New Boss, what one thing would you change to make the live entertainment industry a better place?
We need to continue the progression of, and the conversations around, representation in the industry. Change is happening slowly but there are still not enough faces that look like mine or womxn of colour, represented generally or in positions of power. It’s deflating going to industry events and only seeing a handful of people that look like me. Every facet of life is enriched by diversity. The music industry is no different.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I just want to see the amazing artists that I work with progress and stay happy in their careers. As well as bringing in new and exciting artists who buy into what I want to do as an agent and the strategies I have for them. As long as my roster and I are progressing, year on year, I’ll be happy.

What ambitions do you have for your artists over the next 12 months – and who should we all be looking out for?
My ambition for my artists is to put them in the best possible positions to thrive and shine. Not wanting to single out names as everyone has exciting things coming…but Amaliah, Coco Em & Tom VR all have new music coming out in the next six months or so!

“I only work with artists that I would like to see live as a punter”

You represent artists that other agents might turn down. How do you go about creating strategies for them to expand their fanbases?
Well firstly, I only work with artists that I would like to see live as a punter. It definitely makes it an easier job working with people you actually enjoy their music! When I speak with prospective artists, strategy is key. I speak with them about the best places for them to be positioned to prosper, the network that I’ve created to get them there and link it with their own aspirations as an artist.

Do you have a mentor, or anyone you rely on to bounce ideas off?
I don’t have a specific mentor to shout out but there have been lots of colleagues at Earth throughout the years, some that have moved on and some that are still here now, that have helped me tremendously. There are people that I work closely with that I know would give up their time to help me with any issue and that’s a really valuable thing to have and one that I’m really grateful for.

 


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