The New Bosses 2021: Flo Noseda-Littler, Paradigm
The New Bosses 2021 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 103 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs that make up this year’s list.
To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2021’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.
Catch up on the previous 2021 New Bosses interview Age Versluis, promoter at Friendly Fire in the Netherlands here.
Born in London’s Waterloo area, Noseda-Littler was brought up around jazz and soul music by a family of entertainers – her mum is a singer, granddad a pianist, and grandmother a dancer.
At university, where she studied civil engineering, Noseda-Littler started booking musician friends into venues and festivals around the UK, and after graduating she started working under the wing of her cousin at Academy Music Group (AMG), which also provided her with a chance to work at Wireless Festival.
An internship at Brixton Academy followed, before, in 2015, she found herself a job as general agency assistant at Paradigm, where for the last three years she has been on several committees and task forces to bridge the gap between support staff and agency management.
You come from a musical family. What’s the first gig you can remember going to – and when did you decide you should pursue a career in the business?
My first memory was at 8 when we went to Party in the Park, Hyde Park. It was a magical experience seeing live music, and going to a festival for the first time with thousands of people.
What set you on your path in the industry?
At university, I fell into booking my boyfriend’s band. I started a database of contacts and soon managed to get gigs at cool UK venues and festivals. Something ignited in me and I knew I had to do this full-time!
Do you think working on the venues side of the business has helped you in your career on the agency side?
Working at Brixton and AMG gave me the building blocks to understand live shows, from promotion and ticketing to backstage issues and settlements. I got to shadow lots of different staff, which showed me the practicalities of how much it takes to execute a show onsite. It was so useful to draw on those experiences when learning the agency world and routing shows together.
“It’s been vital for both agent and promoter to be transparent and flexible in order to protect the longevity of the industry”
We’ve heard a lot about the closer collaboration between agents and promoters during the past year. What’s your experience of that been, and how do you see it benefitting Paradigm’s clients as the business reopens?
Promoters are usually the first to take big financial risks on a tour, which has never been more to their detriment than in the past 17 months. During these ever-changing times, it’s been vital for both agent and promoter to be transparent and flexible in order to protect the longevity of the live industry. In demanding less from our promoters in the short term, it supports the recovery and prospects of our clients’ live careers. We are all in this together and just want to see the business thriving again!
You’ve become one of the go-to people for younger staff at Paradigm. What advice would you give to other young people who are trying to break into the live music business?
Festivals offer a range of volunteering roles so it’s worth checking them out to gain experience and meet people if there’s nothing music related on your CV. Internships often involve being thrown into the deep end, but you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions. What really gets noticed is an eagerness to learn and integrity of work.
“A bigger effort is needed across the industry to reduce waste, lower emissions, and protect the future of our planet”
Where would you like to see yourself in five years’ time?
Booking tours in an industry that has fully recovered and is booming once more!
The pandemic has been hard on us all – are there any positive aspects that you can take out of the last 17 months?
During furlough, I discovered a love of running and went on to complete my first half marathon. This new hobby has been a freeing and stress-busting tool for me, that I hadn’t been able to try in my old routine.
Mental health has been a hot topic during the pandemic worldwide which has filtered across the workplace. These unprecedented times have allowed us to make our well-being a higher priority and feel more comfortable in vocalising how we feel. I’m hopeful mental health will remain high on the agenda when touring returns to a normal pace. It’ll result in a healthier and happier industry!
As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live music industry a better place?
One of the most urgent issues is energy consumption. There are some great initiatives, like The Green Rider, but a bigger effort is needed across the industry to reduce waste, lower emissions, and protect the future of our planet.
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The New Bosses: Class of 2021 revealed
The latest edition of IQ‘s New Bosses goes live today, celebrating the brightest talent aged 30 and under in the international live music business.
The New Bosses 2021 honours no fewer than a dozen young executives, as voted by their colleagues around the world.
The 14th edition of the annual list inspired the most engaged voting process to date, with hundreds of people taking the time to submit nominations.
Our distinguished dozen this year comprises promoters, bookers, agents, entrepreneurs and more, all involved in the international business and each of whom is making a real difference in their respective sector.
In alphabetical order, the New Bosses 2021 are:
- Talissa Buhl, festival booker, FKP Scorpio (DE)
- Jenna Dooling, agent, WME (UK)
- Emma Greco, promoter, AEG Presents (FR)
- Paris Harding, promoter, SJM (UK)
- Tessie Lammle, agent, UTA (US)
- Will Marshall, agent, Primary Talent/ICM Partners (UK)
- Arjun Mehta, founder & CEO, Moment House (US)
- Flo Noseda-Littler, agency assistant, Paradigm (UK)
- Anna Parry, programming manager, the O2 (UK)
- Theo Quiblier, head of concerts, Two Gentlemen (CH)
- Dan Roberts, promoter, Live Nation (UK)
- Age Versluis, promoter, Friendly Fire (NL)
As in previous years, full interviews with each of the 2021 New Bosses will appear online in the coming days and weeks. However, subscribers can read short individual profiles of each New Boss now in issue 103 of IQ Magazine.
Click here to subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:
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Loud and Proud: IQ pride playlist out now
The Pride takeover edition of the IQ New Music playlist, featuring a selection of tracks curated by major international booking agencies, is now live.
Launched last year, the playlist complements IQ Magazine’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agents. Click here to read the inaugural Pride edition of IQ now.
The Loud and Proud (July) playlist features contributions from CAA, ICM, ITB, Paradigm Talent Agency, UTA, ATC, WME, Mother Artists, Primary Talent International, FMLY and Hometown Talent, each of which have picked several tracks apiece, showcasing some of their best queer touring artists.
Listen to the latest selection using the Spotify playlist below, or click here to catch up on the June playlist first.
Separated by agency, the full track list for the Loud and Proud (July) playlist is:
|CAA||Jodie Harsh||No Sleep|
|CAA||MUNA||Number One Fan|
|ICM||Tayla Parx||Dance Alone|
|ICM||Amorphous, Kehlani||Back Together|
|ITB||Annabel Allum||ordinary life|
|ITB||Brandi Carlile||The Joke|
|ITB||Cherym||Listening to My Head|
|ITB||Dream Nails||Kiss My Fist|
|ITB||Hot Milk||I Just Wanna Know What Happens When I'm Dead|
|Paradigm||Pabllo Vittar||Modo Turbo|
|Paradigm||Lynks||This Is the Hit|
|Paradigm||Ezra Furman||I Can Change|
|Paradigm||Perfume Genius||On the Floor|
|Paradigm||girl in red||Serotonin|
|UTA||Jake Wesley Rogers||Momentary|
|UTA||Madeline The Person||As a Child|
|UTA||Princess Nokia||It's Not My Fault|
|UTA||Sam Lee||The Tan Yard Side|
|ATC||Joe & The Shitboys||Drugs R'4 Kidz|
|ATC||Beverly Glenn-Copeland||Ever New|
|WME||Maya Jane Coles||Run to You|
|WME||Jazmin Bean||Hello Kitty|
|WME||Carla Prata||Certified Freak|
|WME||Kim Petras||Heart to Break|
|Mother Artists||Joy Oladokun||sorry isn't good enough|
|Primary||Rina Sawayama||Chosen Family|
|Primary||Rufus Wainwright||Going To A Town|
|Primary||Marika Hackman||Claude's Girl|
|FMLY||Eliza Legzdina||Eat Your Greenz|
|FMLY||Ralph TV||4 U|
|FMLY||Du Blonde||All The Way|
|FMLY||Lazy Day||Real Feel|
|Hometown Talent||Jerry Paper||Cholla|
|Hometown Talent||Angel Haze||Battle Cry|
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Sustainability and diversity top of agents’ agendas
Discussing various big topics such as the post-Covid return to business and sustainability, the main discussion point arising from this year’s ILMC agency panel was diversity and how the business, in general, can be more open to attracting people from different backgrounds.
Session chairman Tom Schroeder of Paradigm Talent Agency admitted to guests Lucy Dickins (WME), Mike Greek (CAA), Sam Kirby Yoh (UTA) and Obi Asika (Echo Location Talent Agency) that prior to the panel he thought his passion, sustainability, would be the main takeaway from the panel, but instead it turned out to be diversity.
Earlier in the session, Schroeder had joked that UTA had been the most aggressive agency during the pandemic, so much so that they had a 50% market share of the panel guests, thanks to the 3 March announcement that the company had acquired Asika’s Echo Location operation.
“When everything comes back we’ll [either] return to being the same idiots or there will be some fundamental change”
And it was Asika who, in tackling a question about race and diversity, recounted a story from his youth where his mother, a sociology teacher, had urged him to read a book by Jock Young who wrote about labelling theory, opening Asika’s mind to the dangers of stereotyping.
“So I was aware from the age of 13 or 14 that I was constantly stereotyped by teachers at my school, by parents of the children, by school friends, and even maybe sometimes myself, because you end up, potentially, becoming that stereotype. It’s a seriously dangerous thing and it happens all over the world,” said Asika.
But he revealed that it was music at university, especially drum and bass, that first allowed him to think of himself as British, as he identified with the music. He added, “We all do it, but if you are judging somebody before you’ve given them a chance, think about how dangerous that can be. And on the other side of it, think about how powerful the industry we work in is – someone who felt that way, because of the love of music, is now sitting here and has just started as the head of the UK office of a global agency, having a talk with all you fine people.”
“The responsibility we have as an industry to become sustainable is something we haven’t thought about enough previously”
Addressing how the industry should approach its return to reopening, Schroeder stated, “There are two schools of thought: one is that when everything comes back we’ll return to being the same old idiots we used to be, or maybe there will be some fundamental change.”
Greek responded, “I do believe there will be fundamental change, but I do see there are certain elements of what we do that are going to end up being the norm again. Ultimately, the responsibility we have as an industry to become sustainable is something we haven’t thought about enough previously. Secondly, it’s important to note how loud our voice is as an industry when we collectively get together – that’s something we can hopefully see grow in the future.”
On a positive note, Dickins stated that she thought there would be a lot of silver linings to come out of the pandemic shutdown, not the least of which would be improvements to people’s life-work balance, and not being at every show, every night.
“We have to work together – not just agents, but also promoters and venues in regard to dealing with government and policy”
Noting that the industry is in a precarious position where huge number of tickets are being sold, Schoeder pondered, “When we get practical on this, how is it going to work? You’ve got festivals spending money on marketing, but no insurance system for the artist or for the promoters and tickets are being sold for events we don’t know are going to happen. At some point, the artist has got to invest some money to make a show to go on the stage, if anything is going to happen. It’s a jigsaw that confuses me every day.”
Greek agreed, stating, “I have sleepless nights about it as well because I’ve committed lots of my clients to lots of different events, but there’s no way of knowing without insurance and all other kinds of stuff… the conversations are about everyone around the artist trying to minimise costs they would incur in advance in order to make a decision as late as possible to do the show. It’s a big concern and some artists can afford to take the risk, while others can’t.”
Kirby Yoh commented, “We have to work together – not just agents, but also promoters and venues in regard to dealing with government and policy. But we can make it better for everybody – safer for the fans and the artists. In my mind, there is not a choice. It’s our responsibility to work together.”
“Just be careful. Make sure you’re not spending too much money unless you really have to”
Dickins noted that some of the problems around agreeing industry best practice involved the competition and legality issues. “But basically I think you have to conduct your business with empathy because every single person has had to go through this [Covid]. So it’s all about sharing information, talking people through each step, and listening to people. As regards different places opening at different times, that’s just something we’re going to have to work around and take on board because every single border is going to have a different issue.”
Indeed, in answer to a question from a delegate, Schroeder suggested that payment plans for advances were being discussed, although he admitted that these could become complicated.
And adding his advice, Asika said, “Just be careful. Make sure you’re not spending too much money unless you really have to. Hold back and focus on the areas that we know are looking positive. I honestly believe we will have shows in the UK this summer, but I have a policy of spreading my bets – I’m not focussing on any huge festivals this year, I’m spreading things across clubs to 5,000 to 10,000 all over the place and anyone who mentions exclusivity is told that I’m not interested.”
IQ New Music playlist spotlights ILMC 33 showcase artists
The latest edition of IQ’s New Music playlist goes live today, showcasing the exciting new acts, handpicked by major international agencies and music export offices, that are set to perform at this week’s 33rd International Live Music Conference (ILMC).
Launched last summer, the playlist complements IQ Magazine’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agents.
The March playlist features contributions from ITB, ATC Live, Paradigm, UTA and Primary Talent, as well as UK Sounds, Hots (Hungarian Oncoming Tunes), Soundczech and Why Portugal, each of which have picked up to 12 tracks apiece showcasing some of their hottest touring artists.
Listen to the latest selection using the Spotify playlist below – or click here to catch up on the February 2021 edition first.
Separated by agency/export office, the full track list for the March playlist is:
|ITB||Bernhoft, The Fashion Bruises||Lookalike|
|ITB||Bernhoft||All My Loving|
|ITB||Conrad, Pablo Nouvelle||Living For The Weekend|
|ITB||Kapil Seshasayee||The Gharial|
|ITB||Kapil Seshasayee||The Item Girl|
|ITB||Mobs, Goldhouse||Big World (Goldhouse Remix)|
|ITB||Nature TV||Only One|
|ITB||Nicole Slack Jones, Guéna LG||I Am Free (Acoustic by Johan Czerneski)|
|ITB||Nicole Slack Jones, Guéna LG||Give You My All (Acoustic by Johan Czerneski)|
|ATC LIVE||Fenne Lily||Top to Toe|
|ATC LIVE||Fenne Lily||For a While|
|ATC LIVE||Los Bitchos||The Link Is About to Die|
|ATC LIVE||Los Bitchos||Pista (Great Start)|
|ATC LIVE||Pillow Queens||HowDoILook|
|ATC LIVE||Pillow Queens||Gay Girls|
|ATC LIVE||Rueben James||So Cool|
|ATC LIVE||Rueben James, Col3trane||My Line|
|ATC LIVE||The Goa Express||Be My Friend|
|ATC LIVE||The Goa Express||The Day|
|Paradigm||Ritt Momney||Put Your Records On|
|Paradigm||Ritt Momney||Something, in General|
|Paradigm||TV Priest||Press Gang|
|Paradigm||JP Saxe, Julia Michaels||If The World Was Ending|
|Paradigm||JP Saxe||Hey Stupid, I Love You|
|Paradigm||Christy||Dancing With Air|
|Paradigm||Christy||On My Mind|
|Paradigm||Upsahl||People I Don't Like|
|UTA||Nubya Garcia||The Message Continues|
|UTA||Nubya Garcia||Lost Kingdoms|
|UTA||Peach Tree Rascals||Mariposa|
|UTA||Peach Tree Rascals||Mango|
|UTA||Skullcrusher||Song for Nick Drake|
|Primary Talent International||BVDLVD, Lil Darkie||Punk!|
|Primary Talent International||BVDLVD||Adderall|
|Primary Talent International||Deema, David Armada||Hash Brown|
|Primary Talent International||Deema, Kish!||Maddie|
|Primary Talent International||Joesef, Loyle Carner||I Wonder Why|
|Primary Talent International||Joesef||The Sun Is Up Forever|
|Primary Talent International||Katy Kirby||Juniper|
|Primary Talent International||Louisahhh||Chaos - Wax Wings Remix|
|Primary Talent International||Miloe||Winona|
|UK Sounds||Cherym||Weird Ones|
|UK Sounds||Gengahr||Before Sunrise|
|UK Sounds||Lady Nade||Ain't One Thing|
|UK Sounds||Lady Nade||Complicated|
|UK Sounds||TrueMendous||That Don't Mean|
|UK Sounds||Dead Pony||23, Never Me|
|UK Sounds||Dead Pony||Sharp Tongues|
|UK Sounds||HMS Morris||Poetry|
|UK Sounds||HMS Morris||Babanod|
|UK Sounds||Elles Bailey||Medicine Man - Acoustic|
|UK Sounds||Elles Bailey||What's the Matter with You|
|HOTS||Jazzbois, Kid Absrakt||Live & Direct - Live|
|HOTS||Wun Two, Jazzbois||Interloop|
|HOTS||Platon Karataev||The Season of Singing|
|HOTS||The Devil's Trade||Dead Sister|
|HOTS||The Devil's Trade||The Iron Peak|
|Soundczech||Lazer Viking||Waiting for the End of the End of the End|
|Soundczech||Lazer Viking||Everyone But U|
|Soundczech||Please the Trees||Missing Feeling Nothing|
|Soundczech||Please the Trees||A Song Is It's Own World|
|WHY Portugal||Whales||Big Pulse Waves|
|WHY Portugal||Lina, Raül Refree||Medo|
|WHY Portugal||Lina, Raül Refree||Cuidei que tinha morrido|
|WHY Portugal||Dream People||People Think|
|WHY Portugal||Dream People||Caroline|
The full ILMC showcase schedule is available from the ILMC 33 website.
ILMC 33 takes place this week, from 3 to 5 March. A limited number of tickets are still available – click here for more information.
Ex-Paradigm staffer launches Field Booking agency
Brendan Biesen, ex-assistant to Erik Selz and Tom Windish at Paradigm Talent Agency, has launched Field Booking, the latest independent booking agency to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Chicago-based agency will focus primarily on booking and tour management for musical acts, but will also provide promotional and image cultivation services for artists looking to expand their audiences.
Field Booking’s current roster includes Peter Oren, Half Gringa, The Slaps, Fast Preacher and Logan Farmer.
“The idea for Field Booking came from paying attention to the shifts and trends in the industry, and how it’s been adapting and reacting to the pandemic,” says Biesen.
“Field Booking came from paying attention to the shifts and trends in the industry, and how it’s been reacting to the pandemic”
“I felt that, with my time in the industry and the relationships I’ve managed to build in that time, I could forge a new path with Field and help give artists a chance at the success they deserve.
“I want to foster an inclusive environment at Field Booking that puts emphasis on the artists and their growth. I think it’s important to recognize that while I may be the agent, we are all in this together as a team to make this industry better as a whole.”
Biesen spent five years at Paradigm and its former incarnation The Windish Agency where he managed day-to-day booking duties for the rosters of Windish and Selz and helped expand the reach of the A&R department.
Field Booking follows the launch of Arrival Artists, Mint Talent Group and TBA Agency in the US, as well as Marshall Live Agency, Mother Artists, One Fiinix Live, Route One Booking and Runway Artists in the UK and Rebel Beat Agency in Spain, in 2020, amid a wider fragmentation of the global agency sector in response to the coronavirus shutdown.
Mother Artists recruits James Tones as agent
Mother Artists, the new artist management and live agency launched by siblings Mark and Natasha Bent, has hired James Tones as an agent.
Tones follows Natasha from Paradigm Talent Agency, where he worked as her booker and assistant for the past four years. Prior to that, the pair briefly worked together at UTA.
At Mother Artists, Tones will continue to work with Natasha on her roster – which includes Idles, Amy Macdonald and Foster The People – alongside building his own.
“James is basically superman,” says Natasha. “Not only to us, but to our clients, his peers and all industry professionals. He leads with kindness, empathy, extreme efficiency and a go get attitude. We have no doubt that James will be running the company within a year. Like all our team, he starts as an equal and we, and our clients are so lucky and excited to have him with us. Let’s go!”
“Having worked with Natasha and Mark on Idles, I have seen first-hand what they can achieve as a team”
Tones says: “I’m so excited to join Mother Artists and start the next chapter of my career as an agent with Natasha, Mark and the team. As a mentor, I am so grateful to Natasha for teaching me invaluable skills and for giving me opportunities to keep progressing over the past four years, but also to grow as a person and treat everyone with respect and kindness, and lead by example.
“Having worked with Natasha and Mark on Idles, I have seen first-hand what they can achieve as a team. Mark has already built an incredible reputation for Mother Artists, so with Natasha joining on the live side, the sky’s the limit. I’m looking forward to building my own roster as well as being able to continue working closely with Natasha and everyone at Mother Artists. Exciting times ahead!”
Mark and Natasha launched Mother Artists in December last year with Mark’s wife, Lucy Bent (co-founder and director), and Liam Sexton (management assistant). The news followed Natasha’s departure from Paradigm.
Natasha spearheads the company’s live division with Alex Amor, Amy Macdonald, Benjamin Booker, Cate le Bon, CMAT, Darwin Deez, Do Nothing, Electric Guest, First Aid Kit, Foster The People, Gotye, Heavy Lungs, Idles, Kills Birds, Laura Misch, RY X, The Antlers, The Magic Gang, The Teskey Brothers, Thomas Headon, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Violet Skies and Westerman.
While Mark heads up the management side – continuing his existing company Mother Artist Management under the pair’s new guise – with Idles, Heavy Lungs and Avaera & Daffodils and the newly signed Magazines.
Natasha Bent leaves Paradigm to launch new venture
Paradigm agent Natasha Bent is leaving the agency after four years to launch a new independent management and agency business with her brother, Mother Artist Management (MAM) boss Mark Bent.
Bent, who works with acts including Idles (managed by MAM), Chvrches, First Aid Kit and Amy Macdonald, joined Paradigm (formerly Coda Music Agency) in 2016.
Prior to that, she spent eight years at The Agency Group (later UTA). She joined in 2006 from her own company, The Village Agency, and became VP of the business in 2014.
Over the course of the last decade, Bent has worked with Foals, The Knife, Chvrches, Foster the People and Amy Macdonald and has become well known for her commitment to fair working practices across the business.
Over the course of the last decade, Bent has worked with Foals, The Knife, Chvrches, Foster the People and Amy Macdonald
She is also an Arthur Award recipient, scooping Agent of the Year (aka the Second Least Offensive Agent) in 2018, and was named Tomorrow’s New Boss at ILMC 22 in 2010.
“Regretfully, we are announcing that Natasha Bent has resigned from Paradigm after four years of service to form an independent management company with her brother. We wish her the best of luck in her new venture,” says Paradigm’s Tom Schroeder.
Bent is the most recent Paradigm agent to go independent, and the first in the UK, with former employees from the US offices breaking off to establish Arrival Artists, Mint Talent Group and TBA Agency.
The past few months have seen a flurry of activity in the agency world on both sides of the Atlantic, with the likes of Route One Booking and Runway Artists in the UK, and Rebel Beat Agency in Spain all having launched this autumn following cutbacks at the major agencies.
Most recently, Ed Sheeran agent Jon Ollier announced his new booking agency One Fiinix Live, following his recent departure from CAA.
The New Bosses 2020: Madie Cavilla, Paradigm Talent
The New Bosses 2020 – the latest edition of IQ’s annual celebration of the brightest young talent in the live business today, as voted for by their peers – was published in IQ 93 this month, revealing the 12 promising promoters, bookers, agents, and A&R and production experts that make up this year’s list.
To get to know this year’s cream of the crop a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2020’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success. Catch up on the previous New Bosses interview with Jolien Augustyns, a junior promoter at Live Nation Belgium here.
The next New Boss in the spotlight is Madie Cavilla (28), a senior account manager at Paradigm Talent in the UK. Following work experience at Marshall Arts Talent during her penultimate year at school, Cavilla hastily finished her final year and returned to take on a full-time job, before joining The Agency Group. She then took a break to go backpacking, and on her return to London, Dave Hallybone at Paradigm offered her a six-month contract, which quickly turned into a permanent role.
What are you working on right now?
Summer 2020 has predominantly consisted of working with promoters/festivals on the funds for rescheduled and cancelled shows. Throughout, it has been imperative to keep funds in the eco-system and shows in the diary. While this is still an ongoing task, I am also working across some streaming projects and enjoying learning something completely new.
What are some of the highlights of your career to date?
I was given a gold disc after a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis tour a few years back (not something I would ever have expected). Being part of the background operations, recognition comes in different ways. Seeing the London show gave me chills and I felt so emotional knowing all of the hard work the team had put in to get them from their first ever show to that moment.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt working in live music?
What you put in you definitely get back out. Those rewarding “pinch me” moments are really worth it.
Did you always want to work in the agency business?
Not at all! I wanted to be a solicitor as a young teenager, however, after a stint of work experience which involved going to court and listening to a very sensitive case I realised it was not for me. The following year I did work experience at Marshall Arts Talent and everything went from there.
“We’re great at having conversations about equality, but the actions aren’t always consistent with what we’re saying”
What impact has Covid-19 had on your job?
As strange as this may seem, I’ve enjoyed some of the difficult moments over the past few months. It’s made me realise I’m a lot more resilient than I thought and that I’m capable of any task thrown at me.
Do you have a mentor in the industry?
Gillian Park, MGR Touring, is a true angel. She has taught me so much and is never too busy to help when I’m stuck. She’s also taught me how to laugh through the madness: if we weren’t laughing we’d have most definitely been crying!
What does the live music industry do well, and what can we do better?
Equality. We’re great at having conversations about it, but the actions aren’t always consistent with what we’re saying. There’s no singular answer — from the festival bills down to staffing — but by creating an inclusive culture across the board we’ll eventually achieve and consistently improve.
“Be available to learn whatever you’re given the opportunity to, you never know where that will take you”
What advice would you give to someone who’s new to the business?
Be available to learn whatever you’re given the opportunity to, you never know where that will take you and the people you’ll meet along the way.
What are the biggest challenges you’re facing currently?
I’ve been working from home since mid-March, a home that didn’t have a specified office space and other than the odd day here and there (pre-Covid) hadn’t been used as a workspace. I’ve got into the rhythm of working from home and I really quite enjoy it now – saving 15+ hours a week on travel has improved my quality of life 10-fold.
However, staying engaged and motivated every single day has been a challenge, equally as challenging though is learning when to switch off my laptop/stop picking up my work phone and remembering that it’ll all still be there tomorrow! I think it’ll be challenging the other way too. When we go back to the office that’ll be a real adjustment again.
Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Prior to 2020, I felt somewhat certain about the future. That changed this year. I’ve had the opportunity to learn elements of the business that wouldn’t typically land on my desk, so I’m interested to see where that will take me. Ultimately, I know I’ll be happy, successful and have accomplished more than I ever thought possible when I walked into my first job in this industry more than a decade ago.
Live Nation, AEG, OVG and more form US coalition
Behemoths of the live music industry, including Live Nation, AEG Presents and Oak View Group, have formed a coalition to petition the US government for relief for live events workers and musicians who have been financially impacted by the shutdown of the live events industry in March.
The Save Live Events Now coalition, which also includes major agencies such as CAA, UTA, and WME, is calling on the US government to expand the Save Our Stages act – a US$10 billion grant programme designed to provide financial support for live venue operators, promoters, producers and talent representatives in the US – to include live event workers.
The bipartisan Save Our Stages act passed through the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on 1 October as part of the wider, revised $2.2 trillion Heroes Act coronavirus stimulus package, but has now stalled after president Donald Trump announced he is walking away from further talks until after 3 November’s presidential election.
“Live entertainment and in-person experiences play vital roles in stimulating our culture, communities, and local economies and venues are the centres that host and make that possible,” says Brad Mayne, CEO at International Association of Venue Managers.
“We need to extend the same [support] to the millions of workers who are just as critical as venues to the future of events”
“Many venues are publicly owned because our society has recognised the important role they play, and now we need to extend that same acknowledgement to the millions of workers who are just as critical to the future of events.”
According to the coalition, 90% of the 12 million industry workers employed by venues and businesses don’t qualify for support under Save Our Stages and it’s estimated that 77% of live event workers have lost 100% of their income.
The coalition is calling for a number of measures including $600 a week in compensation for affected employees for the duration of the shutdown; employer retention tax credits; healthcare subsidies, including an expansion of COBRA to ensure that live events workers do not lose medical coverage; and changes to unemployment insurance to make life easier for live event workers.
More than 20 companies have joined the coalition, to date, including Music Artists Coalition (MAC), Feld Entertainment, Rhino, TAIT, Endeavor, Paradigm, SAG-AFTRA, Bandit Lites, Fullstop Management, Universal Music Group and more.