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LGBTIQ+ List 2024: This year’s queer pioneers unveiled

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

The list is once again the centrepiece of IQ’s annual Pride edition, sponsored by Ticketmaster, which is now available to read online and in print for subscribers.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2024 – 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 fourth instalment comprises agents, promoters, venue directors, bookers, consultants, sustainability experts, talent buyers, managers and sound engineers from across the world.

In alphabetical order, the LGBTIQ+ List 2024 is:

Anna Sjölund, EU programming director, ASM Global (SE)
Ary Maudit, sound engineer/producer, RAK Studios/Strongroom/Saffron Records (UK)
Buğra Davaslıgıl, senior talent buyer, Charmenko (TR)
Caterina Conti, operations manager, 432 Presents (UK)
Chris May, general manager, BC Place Stadium (CA)
Dustin Turner, music marketing agent, music touring, CAA (US)
Emma Davis, general manager/agent, One Fiinix Live (UK)
Gwen Iffland, senior marketing & PR manager, Wizard Live (DE)
Jason Brotman, founder, Five Senses Reeling (US)
Joona Juutilainen, Booking Assistant, Fullsteam Agency (FI)
Luke Mulligan, director, Circa 41 (AU)
Paul Lomas, booker, WME (UK)
Pembe Tokluhan, production/founder/diversity consultant, Petok Productions (UK)
Priscilla Nagashima, VP of engineering, DICE (UK)
Rhys France, corporate & private events booker, CAA (UK)
Rivca Burns, acting head of music, Factory International (UK)
Ross Patel, green impact consultant & board member, LIVE/MMF (UK)
Sam Oldham, venue director, The O2 (UK)
Sam Booth, director of sustainability, AEG Europe (UK)
Zoe Maras, founder & artist services, Joyride Agency (NZ)

Throughout Pride Month (June), IQ will be publishing full-length interviews with each person on the LGBTIQ+ List 2024.

However, subscribers can read the full Pride edition now. Click here to subscribe to IQ from just £8 a month – or see what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below.

Check out previous Pride lists from 2023, 2022 and 2021.

 


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ILMC 36: The Agency Business

Leading agents offered an upbeat overview of the agency trade in 2024 and pondered the future of the model in the annual ILMC panel on the sector.

The Agency Business 2024 panel chair Anna Sjölund was joined by guest speakers Bex Wedlake (One Fiinix Live), Brian Ahern (WME), Tom Schroeder (Wasserman Music) and James Wright (UTA) to debate a range of topics.

“The great thing after the pandemic, [Brexit], and the general inflation of costs, we’re still having a strong touring business. The difficulty is costs, be that for artists, promoters or venue operators,” said Wright.

Asked how it was to be an agent in 2024, Schroeder said, “I bloody love it. I don’t disagree that there are problems, but they’re a bit like a jigsaw that we have to work out and I really enjoy that challenge. The fact is that artists are a lot more involved in their careers these days, and that makes things fun.

“The rules have changed and some historic templates have [been discontinued], and because social media plays such a big part in things now, artists have to be a lot more involved in their career and decisions about their career, so I truly believe this is the best time I’ve had in my career.”

“The appetite for live music is bigger and better than ever before”

Wedlake noted, “The appetite for live music is bigger and better than ever before, and there’s a bigger emphasis on women in music and LGBTQ issues, led by the artists, and it’s amazing to witness that levelling of the [playing field] and the evolution of our job. There’s no one-size-fits-all for either clients or us as agents, so the fact that big corporations and independent operations can happily co-exist is pretty healthy.

Ahern agreed, commenting, “I believe our company can provide a competitive advantage to our clients, but there are also bands and artists who simply want to tour, and therefore being at another agency is a better fit for them. I have a lot of respect for the indie agents and what they do – thankfully there is enough work for all of us.”

Discussing the reality of global deals, Wright revealed that he had chosen a lower offer for one of his clients because a higher offer would have meant unrealistic ticket prices for that act’s fans. And talking about the changing role of the agent, Schroeder said that while 15 years ago his job involved booking gigs, “What was 90% of my job is now just 10%, as I spend a lot more time working on strategy and creativity. And the best thing is I don’t know how I will be doing things in 18 months because the business keeps changing and I think the industry is all the better for it.”

Schroeder courted controversy by stating that grassroots venues were no longer a part of the ecosystem for his roster of clients, although he acknowledged their importance. But Wedlake responded, “We all have a responsibility to feed back into the grassroots sector – that’s why I’m a proponent of using independent promoters.” She added, “My job as an agent is to ferret out promoters who understand my artists and with whom we can grow sensibly, slowly and creatively.”

Addressing concerns about agents signing too many acts to their rosters, Wright said, “We are opportunistic, but we have to believe in the artists we sign. It’s complicated and it’s hard work, but we don’t get paid straight away, so belief is a big part of it.”

“We need promoters to help us get to a point where touring becomes financially sustainable”

Underlining that point, Schroeder revealed that he has been working with Raye for eight years – “Six and a half years were a real slog, but I always had that belief and I stuck with her.”

Turning the discussion to the different ways in which agencies operate, Sjölund asked Ahern about WME’s territorial model, leading Ahern to dismiss some of the myths about the practice.

“We don’t simply hand off to someone who does not know what they are doing. We engage experts who have knowledge about specific markets, or who speak the local language, and who can advise me as the agent who can then use that information to make a decision. But the person who presents the artist always has that direct relationship – if I do not have that direct contact with my artist, I get fired.”

Schroeder also underlined the importance of the promoter in planning career strategies for artists. “If we choose a promoter that we trust, why would we not want their opinion in a meeting with the artist and management? They are the well informed gamblers that we rely on.”

He concluded, “We need promoters to help us get to a point where touring becomes financially sustainable.”

 


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Agent Bex Wedlake joins One Fiinix Live

Independent live music agency One Fiinix Live has announced the appointment of seasoned live music professional Bex Wedlake as its newest agent.

Wedlake, whose appointment is effective immediately, is based in the US but will work closely with company’s UK team.

Her roster includes Black Stone Cherry, Dance Gavin Dance, Dayseeker, Des Rocs, GWAR, Halestorm, Haru Nemuri, Hoobastank, K.Flay, New Years Day, SkyeChristy, The Subways and Tiny Moving Parts. She will represent these artists in international territories outside of North America.

“We are delighted to welcome Bex to our company,” says One Fiinix Live founder and CEO Jon Ollier. “Not only does she bring with her an incredible wealth of experience and a fantastic roster that aligns perfectly with our aspirations, but Bex has time and again spotted and developed new talent with a remarkable hit rate.

“We see Bex as a valuable addition to our team, someone who is incredibly well connected and whose skill set complements that of the existing team very well”

“We see Bex as a valuable addition to our team, someone who is incredibly well connected and whose skill set complements that of the existing team very well. We really feel like we are building something very special here and we are all so excited for Bex to be a part of that.”

London-headquartered One Fiinix Live, which added veteran US agent John Pantle to its ranks last month, was launched by Ollier in November 2020, following his departure from CAA. The UK-based global booking agency represents acts including Ed Sheeran, Ms. Lauryn Hill, 2Cellos, Calum Scott and Hauser.

“This industry is based on human connection and innovation, qualities embraced and celebrated by Jon and the progressive team at One Fiinix Live,” adds Wedlake. “In just three years they have built an agency that embodies expertise, professionalism and respect. I am thrilled to be joining such an exciting and forward-thinking company and I look forward to immersing myself and my clients in a culture of inclusivity and elevation.”

 


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Agency veteran John Pantle joins One Fiinix Live

Independent live music agency One Fiinix Live has announced that veteran US agent John Pantle is joining the company.

Pantle, who was previously a partner at live music specialist Sound Talent Group, will be based in Los Angeles, but will work remotely as part of the agency’s London-based team.

He brings 30 years of industry experience, including two decades as an agent, and has also served as an independent promoter and head of development for the club network division at House of Blues/Live Nation.

Pantle will continue to work with his existing roster of clients, which includes Hatsune Miku, Julieta Venegas, La Santa Cecilia, Natalia Lafourcade and Radwimps, among others.

“This business was built on creative ideas, entrepreneurship and personalities and John has all these attributes”

“This business was built on creative ideas, entrepreneurship and personalities and John has all these attributes,” says One Fiinix Live founder and CEO Jon Ollier. “The passion, drive and work ethic that John possesses is just incredibly infectious and added to his experience in this industry, makes his arrival an incredibly exciting prospect for us.

“John will continue to be based in the US but will work remotely as part of our London-based team and his diverse roster of clients, most of whom he already books internationally, will further extend the global reach of our company.”

One Fiinix Live was launched by Ollier in November 2020, following his departure from CAA. The UK-based global booking agency represents acts such as Ed Sheeran, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Calum Scott, Hauser and 2Cellos.

“In the short span of three years, Jon and his team have transformed the concept of the booking agency into a dream scenario – a team of individuals that infuse intelligence, focus, and flexibility to the modern-day challenges of the musician and creator,” says Pantle. “Our future requires a deep understanding on innovative concepts, and this opportunity to spread the gospel onto another continent couldn’t be passed up. We are all excited about this new path forward.”

 


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Local promoters hail record Ed Sheeran sales

Local, independent promoters have spoken to IQ about how they’re breaking ground in their markets with record ticket sales for Ed Sheeran’s 2024 European tour.

The European leg of Sheeran’s + – = ÷ x (Mathematics) Tour is due to kick off on 8 June 2024 in Italy, making 20 stops at a mix of stadiums and festivals across the continent.

The first stadium stop on the AEG Presents promoted-outing will be at Ta’ Qali National Park (cap. 30,000), marking the 32-year-old’s first-ever concert in Malta.

According to one of the show’s local promoters, Nigel Camilleri at NNG Promotions, the 26 June 2024 concert has broken “all records” in the island country.

“The number of tickets in an hour, total number of ticket sales in one day, as well as total gross amount of ticket sales in an hour and in a day,” lists Camilleri, who is promoting the gig alongside AEG and Greatt.

“Hopefully, this will open more doors which were previously closed or only ajar”

“The adrenaline rush when the ticket sales opened was indescribable,” he continues. “It’s not often, at least in Malta, that one gets to promote a concert of an artist who appeals to such a wide-ranging audience.”

Camilleri says hosting a star of Sheeran’s size helps to put Malta – which is isolated from mainland Europe – on the map for other blockbuster tours.

“It is a great triumph for us because we have proven that the Maltese market can sustain an A-level artist such as Ed Sheeran,” he adds. “We have been working towards and building up to this moment for many years and admittedly there was an element of luck with the stars aligning for it to happen.

“As a company, it is a major feather in our cap and hopefully, this will open more doors which were previously closed or only ajar.”

Bulgarian promoter FEST Team is also hoping the success of Sheeran’s show at Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia (31 August) will be a calling card for other A-list artists.

“[We hope] more prominent artists will acknowledge Bulgaria as a substantial market with tour potential”

“Our aspiration is that the success of this event will encourage more prominent artists to acknowledge Bulgaria and the Balkan region as a substantial market with tour potential,” FEST Team’s Stefan Elenkov tells IQ.

The Sofia-based full-service promoter sold all 60,000 tickets to the Bulgaria date in the first 24 hours of the on-sale. It beat the previous record set in 2009 by Madonna who sold 19,000 tickets in the first 24 hours for a 55,000-capacity show.

“This indeed is a truly remarkable achievement,” says Elenkov. “It is important to mention that a show of this magnitude hasn’t taken place in Bulgaria since 2009.”

Staging the biggest-ever concert in Bulgaria, which is yet to be included in the Schengen Area, hasn’t been without its challenges but Elenkov says his team has been “excited to embrace them”.

“After dedicating eight months to negotiations and detailed planning, we managed to successfully overcome various infrastructural and logistic challenges associated with the venue,” says Elenkov.

“Ticket Station Bulgaria is handling a show of such magnitude for the first time and has met the tour’s criteria”

“Anticipating Bulgaria and Romania’s inclusion in the Schengen area, we expect even fewer logistical challenges, making future tour planning considerably more structured. The routing Budapest – Bucharest – Sofia – Athens—would essentially become practically borderless.”

Another source of pride for FEST Team is the reported absence of tickets for Sheeran’s Bulgaria date on Viagogo.

“This demonstrates our success in implementing stringent security measures, ensuring that only real people have bought tickets for the show,” adds Elenkov. “This marks an important milestone – Ticket Station Bulgaria is handling a show of such magnitude for the first time and has precisely met the tour’s criteria.”

Sheeran’s team has long taken an aggressive stance against the secondary ticketing market, opting to use 100% mobile digital ticketing technology to keep tickets in the hands of fans.

The tour’s local promoters in Lithuania also have a lot to celebrate after sales for Sheeran’s two 2024 dates in the country broke “all previous entertainment sales records” across the Baltic states.

“By selling the most tickets of any artist in the Baltics, Sheeran has set yet another record”

According to L Tips Agency – which is organising Sheeran’s concerts in the Baltics for the third time – the first concert sold out in just over 24 hours the second is already more than 50% sold out, nine months in advance.

Provided both dates in Lithuania sell out, Sheeran will perform to 90,000 fans across the 3 and 4 August at Darius and Girėnas Stadium in Kaunas.

“In 2019, he set the record for the most visited international artist show of all time in Latvia with an attendance of approximately 50,000 people,” says Gints Putnins, owner of L Tips Agency. “Now a new record has been set for the whole of the Baltics!”

The Agency, which is one of the largest independent promoters in the Baltic States, is promoting the concert alongside FKP Scorpio.

Folkert Koopmans, founder & CEO of FKP Scorpio, adds: “By selling the most tickets of any artist in the Baltics, Ed Sheeran has set yet another record. We’re proud and happy to be promoting the shows and couldn’t have done so without the support of all local stakeholders and our partner agencies. L Tips Agency’s work has been invaluable in making the second-ever music concert in Kaunas stadium possible. We’re already looking forward to seeing everything coming together in August 2024!”

The 32-year-old’s forthcoming Dubai concerts could become the best-selling shows in UAE history

Sheeran’s record-breaking streak doesn’t stop at independent promoters, nor does it stop in Europe. As previously reported in IQ, the 32-year-old’s forthcoming Dubai concerts could become the best-selling shows in UAE history, according to All Thing Live Middle East CEO Thomas Ovesen.

The British singer-songwriter is due to play the Sevens Stadium from 19-20 January 2024 in what are being called the largest open-air concerts ever to take place in Dubai.

The dates, which will see Sheeran perform “in the round”, will be his first in the Middle East since playing at the city’s Autism Rocks Arena in November 2017, which attracted a sell-out 23,272 crowd.

Last month, Sheeran concluded the North American leg of his Mathematics tour, with the final date on 28 October at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sheeran is represented by Marty Diamond and Ash Lewis at Wasserman for US and Canada, and Jon Ollier at One Finiix Live for the rest of the world.

 


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One Fiinix Live hires booking agent Rob McGee

Jon Ollier’s One Fiinix Live has appointed booking agent Rob McGee.

McGee brings with him acts including Food House, freekind., Honeyblood, ĠENN, Ladyhawke, Shelf Lives, Sløtface, THUMPER and more.

He joins One Fiinix from FMLY Agency – a global talent agency, festival programme consultancy and artist management company based in Brighton – where he spent almost three years as an agent.

Prior to that, he spent just over two years as a booking agent at Bristol-based global talent agency, The Empire Agency.

“Rob joining One Fiinix Live is a coup, he oozes passion and drive”

“Rob joining One Fiinix Live is a coup, he oozes passion and drive and added to his commitment and energy, he deserves to go all the way,” Ollier tells IQ. “Exactly the kind of person we are keen to come on this journey with us. It goes without saying we are very excited to welcome him to the company.”

The One Fiinix team is completed by agents Sean Goulding, Jess Kinn and Emma Davis, as well as Sean Denny, Phil Wimble, Gaby Domanski and Joe Shacklady.

“Joining Jon, Emma, Jess, Sean and the team at One Fiinix is a dream come true,” says McGee. “I’m honoured to be joining a family of passionate and dedicated people who are committed to helping artists achieve their dreams. I have never been more excited to be working in the live industry and look forward to starting on my new path here, with the legends of One Fiinix Live.”

One Fiinix Live was launched by Ollier in November 2020, following his departure from CAA.

The UK-based global booking agency represents acts including Ed Sheeran, Years & Years, 2Cellos, Calum Scott and Tessa Violet.

 


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UK gov urged to outlaw resale of tickets for profit

Some of the UK’s leading music companies have joined a fresh campaign against industrial-scale online ticket touting.

Led by FanFair Alliance, the campaign is urging MPs to introduce new legislation to “protect British consumers from unscrupulous and exploitative traders who operate on controversial websites such as Viagogo and StubHub”.

WME, CAA, ATC, 13 Artists, Kilimanjaro, FKP Scorpio and One Fiinix are among the parties to back FanFair Alliance’s three pro-consumer measures regarding legislative action, tech action and industry action.

The first proposed measure is new laws making it illegal to resell a ticket for profit, bringing the UK into line with countries such as Ireland, France, Australia and Italy, which have introduced legislation to ban or restrict resale for more than face value.

The second calls for platforms like Google and YouTube to stop promoting touts, and help direct consumers towards legitimate sources of tickets. And the final point rallies the live music business to make capped consumer-friendly ticket resale visible and viable.

“We’ve seen many other countries adopt strict anti-touting legislation. It is high time that the UK caught up”

The fresh campaign comes a few months after the Department of Business & Trade rejected a series of recommendations aimed at strengthening existing laws around ticket resale in order to protect consumers, published by the Competition & Markets Authority.

But on Monday (11 September), at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse in the House of Commons, the music industry seized on the opportunity presented by the next election to call for a “reset” in how politicians, regulators and the music business look to tackle ongoing problems in this market.

“Over the course of the next year there will be a general election in the UK, the outcome of which will define the music industry for the rest of the decade,” said Tom Kiehl, the interim chief executive of UK Music, an industry body.

“It is vital as we approach this pivotal moment that policymakers secure a fair deal for music lovers by ending rip-off secondary ticketing practices.”

Adam Webb, campaign manager, FanFair Alliance adds: “When the FanFair campaign was established in 2016, online ticket touting in the UK was out of control. There was little enforcement of consumer law, and fans were systematically misled and ripped off by the dominant secondary ticketing platforms. Despite substantial progress to improve this situation it is now clear we need a reset. We need fresh legislation and fresh thinking – ending once and for all the parasitical practices of online ticket touts, while doing more to proactively promote capped consumer-friendly ticket resale. The UK is rightly proud of its live music culture, and this is an area we should and could be leading the world.”

Sharon Hodgson MP, chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ticket Abuse, comments: “Since I introduced a Private Members Bill in 2010 that attempted to outlaw the resale of tickets for profit, we’ve seen many other countries adopt strict anti-touting legislation. It is high time that the UK caught up. Every week we continue to see thousands of ticket buyers fall foul of predatory and unlawful practices in the secondary market. I wholeheartedly support FanFair Alliance’s three common sense goals which would provide audiences with far greater protections, while helping to boost one of our country’s most important cultural industries.”

Companies and individuals backing FanFair Alliance’s three pro-consumer measures include:
13 Artists
John Rostron, Association of Independent Festivals
Alex Bruford, ATC Live
Brian Message, ATC Management
CAA Music
Paul Crockford, Crockford Management
Stephen Taverner, East City Management
Adam Tudhope, Everybody’s Management
David Martin, CEO, Featured Artists Coalition
Daniel Ealam, FKP Scorpio
Stuart Camp, Grumpy Old Management
Harvey Goldsmith
Alec Mckinlay & Marcus Russell, Ignition Management
Sybil Bell, Independent Venue Week
Richard Jones, Key Music Management
Stuart Galbraith, Kilimanjaro Live
Harry Magee, Modest! Management
Mark Bent & Natasha Gregory, Mother Artists
Annabella Coldrick, Chief Executive, Music Managers Forum
Music Venue Trust
Paul Craig, Nostromo Management
Jon Ollier, One Fiinix
Phantom Music Management
Angus Baskerville & Hayley Morrison, Pure Represents
Tom Kiehl, Interim CEO, UK Music
Gareth Griffiths, Director Partnerships and Sponsorship at Virgin Media O2
Ian McAndrew, Wildlife Entertainment

 


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IFF ’22: The new kids take centre stage

The teams behind the multitude of new companies and events to launch post-Covid took the spotlight on the final day of this year’s International Festival Forum (IFF) in London.

Moderated by IQ‘s Lisa Henderson, the New Kids on the Block quickfire presentation session heard from the key new festival and agencies to have emerged in the last 18 months.

The panel featured FKP Scorpio MD Stephan Thanscheidt, Mother Artists co-founder Natasha Gregory, Barbara Hexges of Goodlive’s Superbloom, Runway Artists founder Matt Hanner and Jess Kinn and Emma Davis from booking agency One Fiinix Live.

Thanscheidt discussed the success of the debut edition of FKP’s new open-air festival Tempelhof Sounds, launched with DreamHaus and Loft Concerts on the grounds of Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport in June. The event was headlined by Florence + The Machine, Muse and The Strokes.

“We had strong media partners and huge media reach, so the brand got established really quickly”

“We announced it last October, and four weeks later Omicron kicked in,” sighed Thanscheidt. “But we had a fantastic premiere. We had 40,000 people per day, which made us really happy because we were pretty much restricted because of Corona in Germany until this April. So the first edition went  really well and we had strong media partners and huge media reach, so the brand got established really quickly. The city of Berlin also welcomed us with open arms, which was fantastic for us.

“It was cool to book our new festival because most of the festivals we do were booked the second half of ’19 and then got postponed and postponed and postponed. So we had to wait until this year and there were a lot of bands who couldn’t get the slots at other festivals, so we had a fantastic line-up that was fresh and was really well received by the audience.

“We had a very good audience that was also interested in all of the topics that are part of the philosophy of this festival, like diversity, gender equality and all these kinds of things. We had a huge sustainability programme, and we set ourselves clear goals from the very start.”

Gregory, meanwhile, spoke about the progress of artist management and live agency called Mother Artists, which she launched in 2020 with her brother, music manager Mark Bent. The agency represents the likes of Idles, First Aid Kit, Amy Macdonald, Bombay Bicycle Club and Foster the People.

“It’s just about being honest with each other and realising that you’re dealing with humans”

Detailing the firm’s patented  “no-bullshit” policy, Gregory said: “It’s just about being honest with each other and realising that you’re dealing with humans. When we’re talking about festivals and budgets, we’re having an honest conversation [with promoters] and we come to the same number – there isn’t this working against each other.

“The pride I have in teams like Idles is that I don’t feel like I’m going to lose my job every day and I hope that the promoters feel the same way. We are all the same team, you leave your egos on the side. We’re all in it for the same reason, and there is zero tolerance for bullying. If someone writes a shitty email to someone in my team, we don’t accept it, I support them… That sounds like a great place to work.”

Hexges reported on the two-day Superbloom, which finally launched in Munich’s historic Olympic Park in September after two postponements due to Covid-related restrictions. Calvin Harris, Macklemore, Megan Thee Stallion, Rita Ora, Skepta and David Guetta were among the acts that performed across 11 stages during the event.

Alongside live music, the festival delivered a multi-faceted programme of art, culture, diversity, lifestyle, society, research and development, sustainability and science, with the aim of “redefining the music festival concept”.

“We had 50,000 visitors per day on a huge, historic location in the heart of Munich”

“We had 50,000 visitors per day on a huge, historic location in the heart of Munich,” said Hexges. “It was our first edition and we sold out. It had eight stages, including three main stages – one indoor – and the concept includes 50% music and 50% experience. We had 11 experience areas and it was a tough ride to be honest, but it worked and I was surprised at how well it went.”

Former ATC Live agent Hanner recalled taking a leap of faith and setting up Runway in spring 2020, having been made redundant shortly after the onset of Covid-19. The company made Steve Backman, formerly of Primary Talent International, its first agent appointment last year and expanded its team with four new hires in early 2022.

“The pandemic forced my hand,” he said. “I had a choice to make at that stage. And having spoken to a few artists and knowing that they’d come with me to be part of a fledgling roster, I was made redundant on the Friday and I think Runway began to exist in some form the following Monday. So it was a pretty swift turnaround.”

“We try to get involved building careers, for artists in meaningful ways, not just for the ones who are going to make us a bit of money next week”

He continued: “We are very independent, and we work with a lot of independent managers, a lot of independent artists and that is broadly what ties a lot of our roster together, even more so than stylistically. It also means that we’re pretty involved with our artists and our teams. We like to think of ourselves as boots on the ground, part of a core artist team.

“We try to get involved building careers, for artists in meaningful ways, not just for the ones who are going to make us a bit of money next week, but hopefully the ones that are going to make us some money maybe in eight years’ time. It also means that we’re growing our team organically. We’re not able to throw money at things.”

Booking agency One Fiinix Live was launched by Ed Sheeran agent Jon Ollier following his departure from CAA in late 2020. Davis – who served as Ollier’s assistant at CAA – joined the company from its inception, with ex-Paradigm agent Kinn coming on board in February 2021. The duo debated the benefits of working for a growing independent company.

“One of the most important is that we kind of make the rules,” suggested Davis. “The job is the same and you’re working with the same people but we have the power to go the way we want to, which is exciting.”

“It is also making sure we’re not just putting an artist out there for the sake of it and really sticking to the strategy of only touring at the right time, especially now,” adds Kinn. “Being able to pick and choose helps.”

 


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One Fiinix Live taps senior agent Sean Goulding

Jon Ollier’s independent agency One Fiinix Live has made a statement of intent with the hiring of experienced agent Sean Goulding from UTA.

New Yorker Goulding, who will continue to be based in London, has worked with artists such as Post Malone, Waterparks, Princess Nokia, Che Lingo, Denise Chaila, and Illenium. It is yet to be confirmed which of his existing clients will join him in his new role.

One Fiinix Live, which represents the likes of Ed Sheeran, Years & Years, 2Cellos, Calum Scott and Tessa Violet, was founded by Ollier in 2020 following his departure from CAA.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of building a progressive and innovative new company with Jon and the team”

“I’m thrilled to be a part of building a progressive and innovative new company with Jon and the team,” says Goulding. “Being surrounded by people courageous enough to venture out independently is precisely where I want to be. That’s the type of energy that will enhance the services provided to our clients as we move forward.”

Goulding joined The Agency Group, which was later absorbed into UTA, in 2006.

“I cannot express how excited we are to have Sean joining us. Sean is a real thoroughbred veteran of our game; he is incredibly experienced and knowledgeable but at the same time as hungry and passionate as anyone I have met,” says Ollier. “We share a vision for the future of business in general and I think this collaboration makes a real statement of intent for both parties.”

One Fiinix made its first hire in early 2021, recruiting ex-Paradigm agent Jess Kinn. Kinn recently spoke to IQ about her first year with the firm.

 


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Ed Sheeran planning to tour in an electric campervan

Ed Sheeran says that he’s planning on touring in an electric campervan for his + – = ÷ x (mathematics) stadium tour, which kicks off in the spring.

Speaking last weekend as a guest on Today’s Sunday Sitdown, Sheeran said his ambition is to be “as electric as possible” in regards to his travel.

“We’re going to try and [travel] on the train or I’m talking to VW about an electric campervan,” he said. “I want to travel to every show as electric as possible.”

Sheeran also recently talked to BBC Radio London about his commitment to environmentalism and plans to “rewild as much of the UK as I can”.

“I feel like I am going to get my head bitten off anytime I say that, as my job is not a hugely sustainable job as I go and play in cities, but I am trying my best,” he added.

“I want to travel to every show as electric as possible.”

The mathematics tour, which kicks off in April next year, will see Sheeran play shows across the UK, Ireland, Central Europe and Scandinavia.

Dates for Asia, Australia and America will be announced in due course, according to a recent IQ interview with Sheeran’s live agent, Jon Ollier of One Fiinix Live.

Sheeran is the latest superstar act to discuss greener touring plans after Coldplay announced a groundbreaking eco-friendly stadium tour. The band’s agent, Josh Javor of X-Ray Touring, told IQ he hopes the tour will become a blueprint for other artists of the same calibre.

 


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