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AEG taps Chris Wareing and Paris Harding from SJM

AEG Presents UK has hired powerhouse promoters Chris Wareing and Paris Harding from SJM Concerts.

Wareing, who joins as SVP for global touring after 10 years with SJM, is a leading hip-hop, rap and R&B promoter who has worked with the likes of Stormzy, Dave, Travis Scott and Little Simz and founded the Gods of Rap tour.

In his new role, he will be responsible for expanding AEG’s hip-hop and rap presence globally. Wareing will work closely with Harding, who also joins the firm from SJM as a promoter. The duo are tasked with expanding upon the company’s existing offering as it continues its rapid growth trajectory and plans for development.

“Having worked alongside Chris for a number of years and admired his presence from afar, I couldn’t be more thrilled to have him join our team,” says AEG UK CEO Steve Homer. “He’ll be working closely with myself and my colleague Gary Gersh , [president of global touring and talent, AEG Presents] at an international level, to drive our footprint in these important genres forward. It’s rare to come across talent at the level he and Paris exhibit and I couldn’t think of a better way to close out a stellar year.”

“I admire the vision and work of the company and I’m looking forward to further driving their presence in the hip-hop and rap space”

Homer has overseen a revamp of AEG’s UK operations since taking sole charge of the company’s UK office at the start of the year following the departure of former co-CEO Toby Leighton-Pope, who has since resurfaced as MD of the newly formed TEG Europe.

“I’m excited to kick off the New Year with a new challenge booking globally with AEG,” adds Wareing. “I admire the vision and work of the company and I’m looking forward to further driving their presence in the hip-hop and rap space.”

Wareing and Harding’s appointments mark the latest step in AEG’s aggressive expansion plans. Just last week, it announced a handful of leadership appointments and recently named Lucy Noble, previously of the Royal Albert Hall, as its inaugural artistic director.

Last month, meanwhile, it hired Georgie Donnelly as its first head of comedy and previously confirmed the long-awaited reopening date of The Halls Wolverhampton.

 


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The New Bosses: Remembering the class of 2021

The 14th edition of IQ Magazine‘s New Bosses celebrated the brightest talent aged 30 and under in the international live music business.

The New Bosses 2021 honoured 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.

The year’s distinguished dozen 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:

Subscribers can read full interviews with each of the 2021 New Bosses 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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The New Bosses 2021: Paris Harding, SJM

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 with Anna Parry, programming manager at the O2, London, here.

Born and raised in Liverpool, Harding belongs to a family of musicians, artists and performers, with multiple generations of his family having a presence in and around the industry.

Influenced by the first grime wave, Harding learned to produce music and opened a small recording studio where he worked with local talent, and ultimately landed remix placements with the likes of Wiley, Sneakbo, Dappy, Steve Aoki, Iggy Azalea and others.

Stints as a club DJ introduced him to other emerging acts, prompting him to promote his own events and underground nights, which led to curating line-ups and securing talent for local festivals. His focus then switched to touring and concert promotion and in 2019 he began a new chapter at SJM Concerts.


What has been the highlight of your career, so far?
I’ve been lucky enough to have many, which have all been relatively important to where I was in life and what my goals were at that time.

I would say the present moment – even as we limp out from a global pandemic – feels like the highlight for me; the artists, tours and projects I’m able to work across on a daily basis whilst being such a fan and follower of the music and culture itself and be able to make a real contribution to it… incredible.

What advice would you give to anyone trying to find a job in live music?
Think laterally; your specialities and skillset can be used and will be needed in numerous ways. Try not to become restricted to the idea of only having one role or path. Say yes to opportunities that feel uncomfortable, pick up the experience and aim to become the nucleus.

“Think laterally; your specialities and skillset can be used and will be needed in numerous ways”

The pandemic has been hard on us all – are there any positive aspects that you and SJM are taking out of it?
With so much uncertainty and changes made throughout the industry, it has definitely forced us all to be more introspective and compassionate. We’ve had to collectively help each other navigate our way towards normality on a business and personal level, and there’s a much greater sense of unity as a result of this.

As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live music industry a better place?
In the immediate future, maintaining a fluid mindset to how we build our way back to normal. What we’ve experienced in the last 16 months globally means the scaffolding will very likely need to be rebuilt somewhat differently, and we all need to be on board and willing to do that.

“[The industry needs to] maintain a fluid mindset to how we build our way back to normal”

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I want to continue to help bring through new artists and play my part in building their live career experience with the aim of taking them to the highest level possible (with a few arena-level tours under my belt by that time.) I’ve always been involved in the creative process from production, visuals, to release campaigns, so I’d also like to bring those aspects to the table as an all-round offering.

What’s the biggest challenge for you and SJM now that the business is emerging from lockdown restrictions?
I think helping everyone regain confidence in attending shows, managing crowds, performing and travelling safely and successfully. From this, we’ll be able to better play our role in helping the industry thrive again. To achieve this we need patience and a solid end to the year, but things are already looking really positive.

 


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