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LGBTIQ+ List 2023: João Pedro Viana, WME

The LGBTIQ+ List 2023 – IQ Magazine’s third annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – has been revealed.

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

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

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Check out yesterday’s profile with Areti Tziorta, marketing manager at TEG Europe in Birmingham and Bristol, UK.

The series continues with João Pedro Viana (he/him/his), music agent at WME in London, UK.

João Pedro Viana is a music agent at WME, where he has consistently prioritised the career growth of multiple queer artists. Viana now represents the acclaimed Jake Shears internationally, an artist who has had a remarkable impact in bringing queer culture to the mainstream. Viana also represents one of Brazil’s most streamed artists and queer icons, Gloria Groove, whose debut album Lady Leste reached the #1 spot of the Spotify’s World Top Album chart on release week. In less than a year, Groove established herself as one of Brazil’s most streamed artists with a triple diamond album and she’s now on a path to become a global success.


Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2023 so far.
I’m very proud of the work I have been developing with Gloria Groove. We just had her over for her first proper UK visit, which started on the mainstage at Mighty Hoopla and finished with an insane sold-out show at Heaven with everyone singing every single word. There’s huge interest coming from everywhere; we can see she will be a big star.

Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
Romy. I love her new tracks.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
For years, I believed that I would never have a seat at the table because I didn’t know how to hold a conversation about football. I’m extrovert and incredibly social, but my god… building relationships with the industry boys was difficult. I would find myself right in the middle of it, holding a pint and smiling with absolutely NOTHING to say. That isolating feeling had a deep impact on my confidence. There was nothing wrong with me or them, and the conversational topic ‘football’ is just a small example.

It felt indeed like a male/hetero-dominated environment, and the lack of diversity (and representation) was validating both perspectives, that they were the main story and that I was marginal. Today, the climate is slightly different; I believe there’s space for many main stories… At least, I’m finding space for myself, and it’s quite liberating. My advice to you is that you surround yourself with the people that enable you. Your talent is the combination of your imagination, patience, and resilience… but confidence is a different game. You need support and mentorship, and the biggest mistake is thinking that you will win alone.

“In my 15 years working in music, I have encountered ONE SINGLE trans person”

In terms of challenges in the industry, what’s currently keeping you up at night?
In my 15 years working in music, I have encountered ONE SINGLE trans person. It’s alarming. I suspect it’s correlated with the total lack of representation, and as a result, trans people don’t aspire to become music professionals. This is deeply problematic, and I feel people don’t care. What people said about gay people in the ‘80s during the AIDS epidemic, they’re saying now about trans people. It’s shocking! I strongly believe that an industry that profits from trans artists should be more vocal about protecting trans lives.

How do you see the live music business developing in the next few years?
The appetite for stadium shows is higher than ever. Demand and offer are rising, with ticket prices rocketing. And at the same time, we see a lot of festivals with stellar line-ups struggling to sell. People are looking for these experiences because they want to have the time of their lives, and I feel big stadium acts have been consistently offering that. It feels that festivals will probably need imagination if they want to compete. I think, in the next ten years, we will see a major creative shift on the experiential side of things.

Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.
72% of Billboard’s Power List 2023 are men – Fact! Representation matters – Fact! Do I need to connect the dots here?

Shout out your biggest ally in the live music industry.
Rob Markus, Lucy Dickins, David Levy, and Levi Jackson. These are the people that enable and encourage me every day. Couldn’t be more grateful to them.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

LGBTIQ+ List 2023: Areti Tziorta, TEG Europe

The LGBTIQ+ List 2023 – IQ Magazine’s third annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – has been revealed.

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

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

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Check out yesterday’s profile with Karim Siddiqui, senior booking manager at Live Nation in Beverly Hills, US.

The series continues with Areti Tziorta (She/her/hers), marketing manager at TEG Europe in Birmingham and Bristol, UK.

Areti Tziorta is a marketing communications pro with an entertainment industry background. Specialising in creating/executing marketing strategies for live events, venues, festivals, and productions, driving attendance and boosting brand awareness. Seeks innovative ways to engage audiences through exceptional social media and PR skills. With a knack for communicating event value and delivering results, crafting unforgettable experiences that surpass expectations. With ten+ years of proven success, dedicated to exceeding client goals through strategic marketing, event management, and impactful campaigns.


Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2023 so far.
I have had some incredible professional achievements in 2023. First off, I had the amazing opportunity to lead the marketing and PR campaign for the TEG Live Europe’s Dizzee Rascal 20 Years since Boy In Da Corner show at London O2. It was a blast working on the marketing for Burna Boy’s London stadium show as a client of Ticketek, too. And right now, I’m in the thick of it, working very closely with our TEG Sport for a Man Utd v Lyon showcase match in Edinburgh this June! These experiences have been absolutely amazing, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have contributed to their incredible success.

Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
Lil Nas X at Glastonbury! A truly ground-breaking queer artist who continually pushes the boundaries of music and self-expression. From his chart-topping hits to his fearless and unapologetic approach to his identity, Lil Nas X has become an influential figure in the music industry, and his live performances are known to be really energetic and full of surprises.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
My advice would be to embrace your authentic self and celebrate your unique perspective. Don’t be afraid to bring your whole self to the table, as your diversity and lived experiences can be a tremendous asset in the workplace. Seek out mentors and allies who can support and guide you in your career journey. Network within the LGBTQIA+ community and connect with others who share similar experiences and challenges. Remember to prioritise self-care and advocate for your needs in the workplace. Finally, believe in yourself and your abilities, as you have the power to make a significant impact and thrive in your chosen field.

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
Even though it may sound crazy, I would say hiding my sexuality for the early part of my life. While it was a challenging and confusing experience, it ultimately led me to a profound realisation. Coming to terms with my true self and embracing my identity allowed me to experience a sense of freedom, self-acceptance, and genuine happiness. It taught me the importance of authenticity and living life on my own terms. Now, I am passionate about advocating for others to embrace their true selves from an early stage, so they don’t have to endure the internal struggle and uncertainty that I went through. Everyone deserves to live openly and authentically, without fear or shame, and I am dedicated to creating an inclusive and accepting environment where individuals can be proud of who they are.

“As a Cypriot woman, I witness first-hand the limited opportunities and recognition given to talented individuals from underrepresented backgrounds”

In terms of challenges in the industry, what’s currently keeping you up at night?
The gender gap and underrepresentation of ethnic minorities and people of colour (POC) in the industry is a pressing challenge. As a Cypriot woman, I witness first-hand the limited opportunities and recognition given to talented individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. It is crucial to proactively address these issues by promoting diversity and inclusion, breaking down systemic barriers, and amplifying the voices of underrepresented groups.

To create a more equitable industry, we must challenge biases, advocate for equal opportunities, and support initiatives that foster inclusivity. By joining collective efforts and fostering an inclusive environment, we can pave the way for a future where gender and ethnicity no longer hinder one’s potential for success. It is through our collective actions that we can create positive change and build a more inclusive industry for all.

How do you see the live music business developing in the next few years?
Technology will enhance the concert experience, with shows like ABBA Voyage showcasing cutting-edge visuals. We’ll also witness the rise of queer artists, leading to a more fluid definition of genres and how we consume music. Multi-genre mashups will become prevalent, and the industry will strike a balance between reflecting on its past and exploring innovative sounds. With technology driving change, the mainstream and underground scenes may further differentiate.

Additionally, sustainability will be a key consideration, with a growing emphasis on eco-friendly practices, reduced waste, and renewable energy sources. Festivals and club nights will strive to minimise their environmental impact and contribute positively to the communities they operate in. Overall, it’s a transformative time of endless possibilities where the live entertainment industry thrives by embracing diversity and adapting to evolving audience preferences.

Name one thing you’d like to see the live music business change.
One thing I would like to see the live music business change is to prioritise accessibility for all music lovers. Accessibility encompasses various aspects, including physical accessibility for people with disabilities, affordability of tickets, and representation of diverse artists and genres. It is important for the live music industry to create inclusive environments where everyone can fully enjoy and participate in live performances. This includes providing accommodations for individuals with disabilities, offering ticket options at different price points to make concerts more accessible to a wider audience, and actively promoting and supporting underrepresented artists from diverse backgrounds. By focusing on accessibility, the live music business can create a more inclusive and enriching experience for all music enthusiasts.

Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.
One thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place is to actively promote and prioritise diversity and inclusion at all levels. This includes diversifying the representation of artists, professionals, and decision-makers across genres, backgrounds, and identities. The industry should actively seek out and support underrepresented voices, providing them with equal opportunities for recognition, exposure, and career advancement. Implementing inclusive hiring practices, fostering mentorship programmmes, and investing in diversity training and education are crucial steps towards creating a more equitable industry. By embracing and celebrating diversity, the industry can foster a more inclusive and representative space that reflects the richness of talent and perspectives within the music community.

“One thing I would like to see the live music business change is to prioritise accessibility for all music lovers”

Shout out to your biggest ally in the live music industry.
Saffron Records is an incredible ally in the music industry, specifically focused on tackling gender inequality and disparity. As a non-profit organisation and record label based in Bristol, Saffron has been instrumental in creating safer spaces and opportunities for marginalised individuals in music tech. They address the underrepresentation of women, non-binary, POC, and ethnically diverse people in the industry. I had the privilege of joining their music production course last year, which was a transformative experience. Saffron’s commitment to advancing gender equality in the music tech sector is commendable, and I witnessed first-hand the impact they have in nurturing talent and fostering inclusivity. They are currently fundraising to secure their future, and I encourage everyone to support their cause.

Do you support any LGBTIQ+ cause(s)?
Terrence Higgins Trust is a leading HIV and sexual health charity in the UK, providing support, information, and advocacy for people living with or affected by HIV and promoting sexual health education. Stonewall is a renowned charity working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and providing resources to support inclusive workplaces, schools, and communities.

Mermaids UK is a charity that supports transgender and gender-diverse children, young people, and their families, offering advice, resources, and advocacy to help improve understanding and acceptance. The Elton John AIDS Foundation is a global organisation established by John to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic, funding innovative research, prevention programs, and support services worldwide. Switchboard is a helpline and support service that provides a safe and confidential space for LGBTQ+ individuals to discuss their feelings, concerns, and experiences, offering emotional support and information. These organisations play significant roles in advocating for the rights, health, and well-being of the LGBTIQ+ community, addressing important issues and providing support to those who need it.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

LGBTIQ+ List 2023: Karim Siddiqui, Live Nation

The LGBTIQ+ List 2023 – IQ Magazine’s third annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – has been revealed.

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

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

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Check out yesterday’s profile with Marie-Christine Scheffold, senior booking agent/manager at Selective Artists in Berlin, Germany.

The series continues with Karim Siddiqui (He/him/his), senior booking manager at Live Nation in Beverly Hills, US.

My name is Karim Siddiqui, and I’m from Southern California. I currently work at Live Nation in the Southern California local booking department. I book and work on shows on venues ranging from the Ace Theater to the Hollywood Bowl. In my free time, I enjoy going to the beach, to concerts, and spending time with my friends. Taylor Swift is my favourite musician of all time.


Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2023 so far.
Being a part of the booking process and show execution of the Willie Nelson 90th show at the Hollywood Bowl this year is a highlight. It was a project had been working on for months. It was an honour to work with some of the best promoters, agents, and managers in the industry along with the talented and influential musicians. Best part of the weekend was how excited each artist was to be there to honour and celebrate Willie Nelson’s career and legacy. Also, the Jonas Brothers show at the Ace Theater. I’ve been going to Jonas Brothers concerts since I was in junior high, and to get to work with one of my favourite bands was a really cool moment for myself.

Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
Kim Petras. I need to see her in her own concert setup. She’s the most popular artist in the LGBTIQ+ community, and I have yet to see her. Also, girl in red. I’m hoping she will tour on her own at some point this year.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Be confident in your own skin. When I began working in the music industry, I wasn’t sure if I felt comfortable being open about my sexuality, thinking I would get judged. After some time, I was more comfortable with who I am and [that] allowed me to express my true self.

In terms of challenges in the industry, what’s currently keeping you up at night?
Volume. There is so much out there right now. The touring industry is still recovering from the pandemic, and the volume of content is astonishing. We are putting up more and more shows every day, and consumers are still buying tickets. My fears are that the momentum will slow down, and the market is too saturated.

“The touring industry is still recovering from the pandemic, and the volume of content is astonishing”

How do you see the live music business developing in the next few years?
It will be interesting to see the effects of AI on the business from the booking, ticketing, marketing, and production side of a show. AI is developing rapidly, and it can potentially change the way a lot of us do our jobs in the live entertainment space.

Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.
Implement inclusive values and diversity programmes. If more companies do this and accomplish their goals, we will see a more diverse workforce from all around the world.

Shout out to your biggest ally in the live music industry.
Brian Smith. He’s my boss, and he is one of the most supportive and accepting people in my life. He embraces me for who I am and pushes me to be the best person I can be. I’m so lucky I have a boss who has created a safe, supportive, and comfortable work environment that has allowed me to be myself and grow my career. Not only is he a great guy but he’s one hell of a promoter!

Do you support any LGBTIQ+ causes?
The Trevor Project. It’s an incredible charity that supports countless LBGTQ+ youth across the country.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

LGBTIQ+ List 2023: Marie-Christine Scheffold, Selective Artists

The LGBTIQ+ List 2023 – IQ Magazine’s third annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – has been revealed.

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

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

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Check out yesterday’s profile with Roman Samotný, director at Queer Slovakia in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The series continues with Marie-Christine Scheffold (she/her/hers), senior booking agent/manager at Selective Artists in Berlin, Germany.

Marie-Christine Scheffold took the leap from fan and music collector to the professional side of the business in 2014. After moving to Berlin for an extended internship at Universal Music Germany, she decided against working for a label in order to discover the live business. She did her apprenticeship as an event manager and worked at Landstreicher Booking as an agent and promoter until the beginning of 2019. Since then, she has been part of the Selective Artists family, first as a booking agent and now as a senior agent and manager. Her roster is genre diverse – from indie songwriter to pop, dance, hip-hop, and electric guitars. Additionally, she is one of the founders of the queer feminist initiative fæmm, working towards equity and diversity in the music industry.


Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2023 so far.
Our managing directors Chris and Pese asked my colleague Anna and me to join them in the company’s management, and we have now formed a management board that collectively makes important decisions. Additionally, I am now responsible for people and culture in our company, which combines my passion for working together with people on solutions for a better work environment, with my job as an agent. I am very proud and happy to fill two important roles in our team and to put in the work!

Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
Ethel Cain! I am an absolute die-hard fan and will not only see her at Roskilde but am actually flying to Manchester for her headline show.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Please continue being yourself, and shine in all your colours. This industry needs young queer perspectives and people to help make it a more open and welcoming place. Connect yourself with other queer professionals, and build a safety network to fall back on if you come across any glass ceilings.

“The systematic problem behind sex offences, misogynistic systems, and queer-phobic people in power is a literal nightmare”

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
I decided against a job at a major label in my first year in the music industry and instead did an internship at a booking agency, which resulted in finding my job and passion!

In terms of challenges in the industry, what’s currently keeping you up at night?
TRIGGER WARNING. The systematic problem behind sex offences, misogynistic systems, and queer-phobic people in power is a literal nightmare keeping me awake at night. I am constantly overthinking and rethinking how we can find the first steps to reveal these misogynistic and dangerous systems in the industry and hold everyone in them accountable. I cannot accept that there is another exposure of misconduct that ends with a few headlines and slaps on the wrists of those responsible, and then they continue making money and have a voice that should have been silenced a long time ago. The time to act literally is now, and I know there are a lot of different people and great causes working on ideas, so I am hopeful we’ll provoke certain changes for the future.

How do you see the live music business developing in the next few years?
I have so much faith in the next generation. They are open minded, a bouquet of ideas, criticism, and so challenging. I think a lot will change regarding the endless hustle culture as the new generation is very protective of their personal time, mental health, and work/ life balance. I am honestly just curious and excited to see where we stand in five years!

“Stop the gatekeeping and find ways to open up job opportunities to young people of all genders, social backgrounds, and origins”

Name one thing you’d like to see the live music business change.
Out with the old, in with the new. I am so done with systems covering up misconduct, whether it is purely on the business side or when it comes to people’s business. Let’s please stop giving people with too many ‘-isms’ to name power and find a way to support and incorporate.

Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.
Stop the gatekeeping and find ways to open up job opportunities to young people of all genders, social backgrounds, and origins. Very often I hear from young people that they had no idea certain jobs, apprenticeships, or studies existed and therefore they studied something totally different that doesn’t help them find a job in the field they are actually interested in. We need more skilled workers and specialised personnel and have to start thinking more [about sustainability].

Shout out to your biggest ally in the live music industry.
My fæmm sisters! (fæmm is a German queer feminist initiative I co-founded) You ladies build me up, give me extra purpose, and help realise so many of my ideas. We started out in 2019 with the idea of a get together, and now we not only have an amazing following but also our own radio show, podcast, interview formats, and present different event formats. The work and the team give me a lot of strength and pride!

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

LGBTIQ+ List 2023: Roman Samotný, Queer Slovakia

The LGBTIQ+ List 2023 – IQ Magazine’s third annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – has been revealed.

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

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

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Check out yesterday’s profile with Scott Robson, event manager at ASM Global in Newcastle, UK.

The series continues with Roman Samotný, (he, him/his), director at Queer Slovakia in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Roman Samotný studied journalism at Comenius University in Bratislava. After graduating, he worked as a screenwriter and dramaturge for various media. Since 2010, he has been a co-organiser of the Slovak Queer Film Festival. Roman is also the founder of Queer Slovakia, a platform producing queer parties and music events, as well as an online magazine. Part of the platform is Tepláreň, which started off as a party back in 2012 and later became a bar of the same name. However, the bar closed after a terrorist attack in 2022 and transformed into an educational and community space. Nowadays, Roman concentrates on the speaker’s role for the initiative Our Lives Are at Stake!


Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2023 so far.
I like to reminisce about the Tepláreň Kiki Ball vogue event, where many great and different people were able to get together and compete at a palace in the centre of Bratislava. This event was also held as a reaction to the terrorist attack on bar Tepláreň, as it took place on the same street where the attack happened. The goal was to show, that as a queer community, we are strong, and we are not going anywhere.

Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
This year, I am very excited to see Arca live at the Slovak music festival Pohoda. I am interested to see them perform and also to see the reaction of the Slovak audience.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
To believe in their dreams and set bold goals for themselves, but at the same time, to divide these goals into smaller steps that are more manageable one at a time.

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
I started playing as a DJ too soon without the necessary experience and knowledge, but because of the mistakes I have made, I have learned a lot, and it pushed my DJ career to another level.

“As a queer community, we are strong, and we are not going anywhere”

In terms of challenges in the industry, what’s currently keeping you up at night?
Many people consider concerts as an opportunity for a good selfie or Instagram story, and in doing so, they forget to make a real connection with the artist.

How do you see the live music business developing in the next few years?
I see a new trend in the pace of the concerts and how they become this fast showcase, and at the same time, the audience becomes more and more impatient. However, I have also noticed that the borders between musical genres are becoming mixed and blurry, which I actually enjoy seeing. I am very interested to see how the music genres develop and what kind of reaction they end up provoking.

Name one thing you’d like to see the live music business change.
I would like to see musical performances become less schematic and let people and the artist find time to enjoy experiencing them.

Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.
Become less competitive and remind artists that through their music, they can not only entertain but also encompass important values.

Shout out to your biggest ally in the live music industry.
Michal Kaščák, the director of the largest Slovak festival, Pohoda.

Do you support any LGBTIQ+ causes?
Inporadňa, the psychological, social, and law advisory service for the LGBTI+ people in Bratislava.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

LGBTIQ+ List 2023: Scott Robson, ASM Global

The LGBTIQ+ List 2023 – IQ Magazine’s third annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – has been revealed.

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

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

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Check out yesterday’s profile with Boyan Pinter, founder/director at SPIKE Bulgarian Music Showcase in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The series continues with Scott Robson (he/him), event manager at ASM Global in Newcastle, UK.

Scott Robson is a 34-year-old gay event manager from Newcastle, UK. Robson was originally a performer and after training in London and travelling the world he decided he needed a change and went back to university to study event management at the University of Sunderland before completing a masters in international marketing at Newcastle University. Robson now lives in the northeast with his partner of six years, their two dogs – Betsy and Dotty – and their cat Sylvia (named after the one and only Sylvia Rivera). They also host a weekly show on Pride Radio talking about queer art, politics, and pop culture.


Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2023 so far.
So, a main goal of mine since starting to work for the Utilita Arena Newcastle was to make it queerer. The great thing is, the team has been fully on board, and we have looked at many ways in which we can make our venue a safe space for everyone. Whilst working on Yungblud, I was asked to assist in providing a gender-neutral toilet. After looking at our space and assessing what the guests needed, I was able to provide 40 gender-neutral toilets for the event. This has then translated into drawing up plans and having gender-neutral toilets available as a permanent fixture at the arena. This may seem like a small win but for many of our guests, this opens the door to them feeling welcomed and loved. The signs look super cool, too.

Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
Janelle Monae would be amazing to see. Everything about her is amazing and they are a strong representation of what it is to be a powerful, talented, and inspirational member of the LGBTQIA+ community. There are a few other people I would love to see who don’t identify as queer, but their continued support doesn’t go unnoticed, Dolly Parton, Cher and Lady Gaga are of course queer icons in their own right and I would die if I got the opportunity (although I have already seen Cher a few years ago and quite frankly I’m still recovering).

“It’s probably not best practice to get drunk and apply for jobs, but here I am, almost two years later, in a job that I love”

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
I have a few pieces of advice that I like to think I keep in mind every day at work. Always be yourself. If people don’t like that, that isn’t a reflection on you. Take up as much space as possible; don’t be afraid. Be present. Give your heterosexual colleagues the space to ask questions. This also opens the door to a deeper connection and bonds. Additionally, you might be the key to opening their minds, and you might learn something, too.

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
This question really had me stumped. I have made a million mistakes in my 34 years. Some of them embarrassing, some funny, but all memorable. The one that changed my life the most was during Covid. Events were at a standstill, and I was on the job hunt; I was feeling a little insecure. Every job I looked at had the wildest job description, and I had anxiety every time I read them. So, one night I decided to have a drink or two – many of us have had a few wines and ordered things from the internet – but I got sidetracked and applied for each of those jobs. It’s probably not best practice to get drunk and apply for jobs, but here I am, almost two years later, in a job that I love! So, I think the best mistake was me thinking I needed ‘Dutch courage’ to apply for jobs I was clearly qualified for, because it taught me a lesson: never discount yourself, go for it, what’s the worst that could happen?

“There have been massive leaps in accessibility over the years, but financial exclusion is still a massive issue”

In terms of challenges in the industry, what’s currently keeping you up at night?
Accessibility is a major concern for me; we have so many artists, icons, and performers pass through our venues, and not everyone has the opportunity to attend. There are many reasons – financial, accessibility, or distance – and I would love to work on a way to make space for these people to be part of it. I never went to a lot of live music events growing up because it was difficult for my parents to attend with both my sister and I. My sister has a genetic disorder, and so this makes the experience more difficult. There have been massive leaps in accessibility over the years, but financial exclusion is still a massive issue, and for those that live in rural areas and never get the chance to attend big events because of the cost and distance involved, if we could develop the technology or tailormade experiences (at a reduced rate and with buy-in from the promoters, artists and managers) for families with these experiences, I would sleep way better. No one should be excluded.

How do you see the live music business developing in the next few years?
During Covid, the events industry had to get creative, and it was amazing to see new spaces created in order for people to attend and participate in events. Once the lockdowns were fully released, the new spaces disappeared. But I wholeheartedly believe the future of the events industry is an amalgamation of both. The real-life experience can never be overruled by the digital one, but mixing both elements could see a massive growth in engagement for the audiences and allow new technologies to influence the guest experience. With the surge in VR, I think it’s only a matter of time until we are using this technology as a permanent fixture in our events. I mean, we have ABBA breaking records in London, as you read this, so who knows what could be next.

“We have seen major improvement in ticket reselling, but there is much more that needs to be done”

Name one thing you’d like to see the live music business change.
Ticketing. We have seen major improvement in ticket reselling, but there is much more that needs to be done. We have seen artists and management limit the number of tickets sold per person, but the problem is still rife. If there could be a way to monitor it more closely, our events would become way more accessible as people won’t be out-priced by people buying multiple tickets with no intention of ever using them.

Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.
There are many things we need to do, but sometimes the most basic act can be the most beneficial. We need to keep talking, learning about each other, our struggles, our aspirations, and hopes and fears, will inevitably create more understanding. If we do this in our venues and places of work, this culture will expand. Sure, we can make policies and practices, but if we don’t believe in it, realistically, it’s just a bit of paper with writing on it. We need to make the change happen on the ground. Learning about someone makes us care, and if we care, we will be proactive in the change. Treating someone equitably regardless of job title or position, learning everyone’s names and a bit about them. So, supporting each other, in my opinion, will create the connections and conversations, which will inevitably create the space for a more equitable environment for all.

“Utilita Arena Newcastle see my queerness as my superpower and not an affliction, and honestly, I would have to agree”

Shout out to your biggest ally in the live music industry.
My biggest ally in the live music industry is the team at Utilita Arena Newcastle. Starting a new place can often be scary, but when you’re queer, there is the added stress of whether there will be someone there who doesn’t ‘get you,’ and this can be a massive issue. About a month after I started, I missed out a full block of seats. I was mortified and upset about the whole situation. Upon arriving at work the next day, our electrician, Mark, saw me visibly upset. He took me to one side and gave me the space to explain why I felt the way I did, and he gave me the pep talk of all pep talks. This gave me the strength to pick myself up and move forward. There was no judgment in that moment; he didn’t care that I was queer; all he knew is that a member of his team was upset, and he needed to help rectify the situation. [The team at] Utilita Arena Newcastle have always been supportive of me. I’m free to be as gay as I want! Their support influences my work, and they see my queerness as my superpower and not an affliction, and honestly, I would have to agree.

“Suicide doesn’t care about sexuality, and the people at this charity are so supportive and passionate about people”

Do you support any LGBTIQ+ cause(s)?
Northeast Social Group is based in Newcastle, and they create spaces for queer people to meet up, communicate, and share without judgment. Cat is a powerful human with a heart of gold. Cat and the team work endlessly to make sure they create spaces for all. They also work and support many other queer events, charities, and networks in the region.

Pride Radio is a queer-run media centre and radio station based in Pelaw, based out of the Pride Media Centre. They support the community by creating queer docuseries and starting queer conversations, as well as housing many queer businesses and providing space for trans people to change into more comfortable clothing outside of their home environment.

Lastly, If U Care Share Foundation. They are a suicide prevention, intervention, and support charity based in Chester-le-Street. Suicide doesn’t care about sexuality, and the people at this charity are so supportive and passionate about people and making sure you’re supported in a time of need and after. They work so hard all year around and operate from donations, so any help would be greatly received. These causes really make a difference in the region, and without them, the region would be a less special place.

 


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LGBTIQ+ List 2023: Boyan Pinter, SPIKE

The LGBTIQ+ List 2023 – IQ Magazine’s third annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – has been revealed.

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

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

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Check out yesterday’s profile with Frederik Diness Ove, founder of Queer Music Agency in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The series continues with Boyan Pinter (he/him/his/they/them/theirs), founder/director at SPIKE Bulgarian Music Showcase in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Born in Bulgaria, educated and matured in the US, Boyan Pinter (Boiadjiev) has been working in the music industry for over 20 years. He is a college-educated musician, linguist, music manager, and soon-to-be solicitor.

Boyan has worked with the Lotus World Music Festival in Bloomington, IN; Sofia Music Enterprises (Live Nation); and as a freelance production specialist and promoter for a number of concerts at the Antique Theater Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Their current roles include A&R for Believe Music in Bulgaria; director at SPIKE Bulgarian Music Showcase; booking and production at the Green Futures Field at Glastonbury Festival; and as a promoter with PanHarmony/Blue Hills Events.


Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2023 so far.
We are breaking new ground for the Bulgarian music industry, and I am happy to have brought a good number of “firsts” in terms of opportunities and contacts to the local community. I am quite proud of the success we’ve had with SPIKE over the course of the three years it has been in existence. We try to tackle many issues under the blanket of ‘showcase festival and conference’. Much like peeling layers of an onion, it can be unpleasant to get to the core, and it comes at a cost, but in the end, we are able to both deliver on what the local music industry needs and converse about the difficult issues that contemporary society is facing. Tolerance and inclusivity of the queer community in the local industry being one of the focus points. Thanks to the connections made at SPIKE, this year we were able to facilitate the first professional songwriting camp for one of Bulgaria’s best and brightest pop stars. Songwriters from Sweden, Latvia, Romania, and Bulgaria wrote the material for her upcoming album in a little under a week. Another positive “first” for the local industry.

Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
Oh, there are so many. If it must be just one, then it will have to be Lil Nas X on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival this year. I also heard that our friends at Block 9 have got something special planned, so I am itching to see that. I am also excited to see the artist Satch perform at Brighton Pride this August. Locally, I am excited to see the band IVA. They have been growing in leaps and bounds.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Even though it may be difficult, find the space where your authentic and creative self can develop and thrive, and make that space your own. Learn to trust your instincts and strive to be fair and balanced in your judgements. It may surprise you, but you are very much not alone in this, so don’t hesitate to reach out to anyone whom you can trust for advice or just a chat. You will also do well to erase the abbreviation “FOMO” from your lexicon. Especially the word that starts with “f.” We can’t be physically present in two places at once, so learn to enjoy every interaction at every event you will visit as a professional. Be in the moment and immerse yourself in experiences. You’ll be pleasantly surprised in the connections you make this way.

“I keep reminding myself that lasting, and hopefully meaningful, change takes time to seed, sprout, and take up roots”

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
The best mistake I made was to manage artists whom I strongly believed in, as early as possible in my career. Evidently, things didn’t work out as I hoped they would, but these experiences taught me to cope with the feelings of disappointment and frustration, which unfortunately come with the territory. This was a way to build resilience and to keep one’s head above water. Once you become familiar with your authentic self and you are aware of your own methods and approach to the work you do, it becomes easier to say “yes” or “no” to engagements.

In terms of challenges in the industry, what’s currently keeping you up at night?
I am frustrated that change is slow to take place. However, I keep reminding myself that lasting, and hopefully meaningful, change takes time to seed, sprout, and take up roots. That viral dance hit from last year came and went very quickly, but the message in the songs of k.d. lang, Tears for Fears, or Leonard Cohen have grown stronger with time. There are many things that worry me on a local and global level. In my trips, I still see a reluctance to innovate and integrate new approaches and practices into our work routine. The arts are in a constant state of refinement and experimentation, so we have to allow for this to spill over to the professional side of the industry. We must meet the artist halfway and not shy away from getting our hands dirty. There is a lot of lofty commentary about it, but at the end of the day, someone will have to get things done.

How do you see the live music business developing in the next few years?
I can already see a palpable change in the industry. A new generation of artists and music consumers has arrived in the Balkans, which is driving productivity, music consumption, and of course, revenue. I am also incredibly grateful to have many mentors today, legendary movers and shakers that were agents of change in the past have embraced this new role in the industry and are helping us navigate the new business landscapes by taking a page from their books. Their knowledge is worth its weight in gold.

“In creating a closed group that services a particular echelon in our industry, we seem to be moving away from understanding”

Name one thing you’d like to see the live music business change.
This is a very difficult question to answer because the layers of our industry, in my mind, work like an ecosystem. Changing one factor will inevitably cause a ripple effect down the line. I think we need a change in recognising the value of diversity and the multiple intelligences that our fellow professionals bring to the table. This would create an internal system of checks and balances that would prevent problems with communication, increase transparency, move toward a healthier life-work balance, and ultimately increase the financial and human resources we can all partake in.

Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.
We could refocus our efforts on inclusivity, rather than exclusivity. In creating a closed group that services a particular echelon in our industry, we seem to be moving away from understanding, relating, and communicating with the diverse pool of fellow professionals we have and toward an exclusive, closed group, for members only. I see this as being contrary to the values that we aspire to defend and nurture. I realise that many of my fellow professionals feel that “it’s our time now,” and we are in a better position to make decisions about our present and future in the industry. However, with this newfound power comes even greater responsibility. We must not lose focus on the fact that we fought to have an equal standing in the industry, and once that door is opened, we must keep it ajar for those who wish to follow in our footsteps.

Shout out to your biggest ally in the live music industry.
I must note that I wouldn’t be able to do what I do and be myself in the industry without the support of my partner. I would like to give a shout-out (with much gratitude) to Sandy Graham, Peter Åstedt, and Anca Lupes for being amazing. I want them to know how much I value our friendship. We are stronger together!

Do you support any LGBTIQ+ causes?
I support and make frequent donations to Allout.org.

 


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LGBTIQ+ List 2023: Frederik Diness Ove, Queer Music Agency

The LGBTIQ+ List 2023 – IQ Magazine’s third annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – has been revealed.

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

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

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Check out yesterday’s profile with Dev Mistry, global internal comms manager at DICE in London, UK.

The series continues with Frederik Diness Ove (he/him/his), founder of Queer Music Agency in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Frederik Diness Ove is the founder of Queer Music Agency, which is an agency that aims to create more diversity in the music industry by representing queer artists and DJs whilst also fostering a strong community for queers and creating a safer space for minority groups.

Frederik studied marketing management and has had several C-level positions within different industries. In 2019, he established an association called Diversity Pop-Up, which organises events with the aim of creating more safe spaces and diversity and this led to him starting Queer Music Agency at the end of 2021.


Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2023 so far.
When I established Queer Music Agency (QMA) in 2021, the aim was to be a global company in the future, but of course, you need to start in one place. Since I live in Copenhagen, Denmark was the home market we started to focus on, which resulted in more than 150 gigs in Denmark during 2022. At the end of 2022, QMA got an intern based in London with the goal to organise our first concert abroad, and in March 2023, we held a queer concert there with great success. We were so grateful for all the support we received, and it showed us that there is a need for what we are doing worldwide, and now we are planning to organise a queer concert in Berlin, and more cities will follow.

Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
I am attending Roskilde Festival soon, and I am itching to see Lil Nas X live for the first time. I think and hope it is going to be an amazing queer concert, and it is so important to have big queer stars who can be an idol for the all the upcoming queer artists out there. I just wish for the future that queer artists will be able to become big stars as queer artists, instead of waiting to announce they are queer until after they have become stars.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Fight for queer artists and queer music, because we still need to put in a lot of effort to change the status quo with the lack of diversity in the music industry. Maybe it is not the most mainstream music at the moment, but I think queer music and artists will become more mainstream in the future, so keep fighting for what you like even though it is a niche now, but who knows maybe you will end up with the queer lottery coupon one day.

“Fight for queer acts… we still need to put in a lot of effort to change the status quo with the lack of diversity in the industry”

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
Not to make a business plan when I started QMA. I studied marketing management and wrote a thesis about business planning and development, and I am quite sure that my conclusion would have been: do not start Queer Music Agency because in general the music industry is very tough and competitive. But sometimes you just have to follow your heart and passion and don’t think return on investment or how rich you can get. I have definitely not done this for the sake of money but because I want to create positive changes in the world, even though it means less travel, restaurant visits etc. Most important is that I am proud of what I am doing.

In terms of challenges in the industry, what’s currently keeping you up at night?
When we have events that need to sell tickets because the live industry is such a competitive market, which often makes it very difficult to sell tickets, especially when you are representing upcoming artists and DJs with a very small fan base. You know it demands a great effort, and you learn not to stress about it because you need to accept the fact that you are always in a quite uncertain field where a lot of factors can affect sales. Maybe you could do more, but it is already not a lucrative business working with many upcoming artists, so don’t calculate your salary per hour. It also means that at some point you need to stop doing more, because you have other things to do as well.

How do you see the live music business developing in the next few years?
I think we will see a tendency for festivals etc to become more specific in relation to their target group in terms of branding and programme. We see festivals with more than 30 years of experience shutting down and new festivals with a better concept, branding, and promotion [are becoming] popular instead. As an organiser, you really need to be able to offer a great overall experience, so everything from the programme, location, logistics, food, atmosphere etc need to be something people would like to spend their time and money on or else they will just choose another festival instead.

“I think we will see festivals become more specific in relation to their target group in terms of branding and programme”

Name one thing you’d like to see the live music business change.
I would love if more festivals had a greater variety in their programme; way too many festivals are booking the same mainstream artists. Of course, it is okay to book popular artists that people like to listen to, and it sells tickets, but in my eyes, festivals are also about experiencing new music, and I think festivals could better help upcoming artists. There could, for example, more often be a smaller stage close to a big stage, where upcoming artists could play. Also, radio and media could also be better at introducing “niche” music to people instead of the intense focus on mainstream music, and I think it would be very appreciated. We need more influential people with power in the industry to make some choices and try to change the music industry in a more diverse direction.

Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.
Just STOP DISCRIMINATION, please! It should be so simple, and it would make the music industry a more equitable place to be and invite more people to be a part of it. Analyses made by the association Another Life is unfortunately showing that approximately 50% of all queers in the industry have experienced discrimination and that number is way too high in 2023. In the industry, I hope that more people that are privileged will make an effort to help make changes, because we still really need them, and you need to make an active effort to make it happen.

Let me mention an example from Denmark where an association for music practice rooms some years ago discovered that 98% of their members were white cis males, which is so crazy. Luckily, they thought so as well, and they started to make an effort to change their membership composition, which over some years has become more diverse. Every aspect of the industry needs to make an effort, but also schools, which contain the musicians of the future. The right support and influence for minority groups and also women, in general, can change who wants to follow a path of music, so it will be easier in the future for festivals etc to create more diverse programmes.

“In the industry, I hope that more people that are privileged will make an effort to help make changes”

Shout out to your biggest ally in the live music industry.
It must be my very dear friend Camilla Trodyb who is head of PR and marketing at All Things Live. She was the first one I pitched my idea about Queer Music Agency, and she has been a fan and very supportive from the beginning and made me believe that I should definitely give it a go. In this matter, she was a much better support than a business plan will ever be. Before Queer Music Agency, I was not a part of the music industry, so it was very important for me to have an ally in her who believed in my project and who could help me open some doors, especially in the beginning.

Do you support any LGBTIQ+ causes?
Our main cause is to support as many queer artists as possible, so we struggle each day for that matter, and we hope that many more queer artists all over the world in the future will be able to make music a way of living. And believe me it is a struggle, so we ourselves need more support from funds etc to help us realise more of our projects. As a booker or a company or even as a private person, the best way to support upcoming queer artists is to book them and pay them a nice well-earned salary, so always feel free to reach me at [email protected] or +45 53531087 if you want to book a talented queer artist or DJ.

 


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LGBTIQ+ List 2023: Dev Mistry, DICE

The LGBTIQ+ List 2023 – IQ Magazine’s third annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – has been revealed.

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

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

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Check out yesterday’s profile with Saskhia Menendez, Keychange innovator & board of directors at The F-List Music in London, UK.

The series continues with Dev Mistry (he/him/his), global internal comms manager at DICE in London, UK.

Dev Mistry started his career in communications just under ten years ago, working across automotive, entertainment, and tech industries. Working predominantly within communications roles, he also championed DEI within his work and personal life, ensuring practices and processes were amended to be more equitable, creating safe spaces and forums, and more recently, championing diverse representation in live performance spaces – both on and off stage.

Now at DICE, Dev not only co-chairs the #Pride365 employee community group, but he also consults on LGBTQ+ projects across the business, as well as being an active performer in London’s queer cabaret scene.


Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2023 so far.
Helping to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ members at DICE, to encourage debate, conversation, and community. We’re in our early stages, but it’s been refreshing to see people actively want to get involved and drive conversations on topics, which range from queer pop culture to legislation and human rights. It’s important to me that people from across DICE globally have this space to share how they feel but also feel seen, heard, and included.

Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
Tom Rasmussen! I’ve already seen them, so this is technically cheating, but I’d been wanting to see them for so long, and their music and stage presence are insane. The setup was so simple, but the execution was perfect – you could hear the passion in their voice, and the crowd lapped it up.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Believe in your work and yourself. Your identity is a strength, giving you a unique insight and lens on the world and that should be championed. We’re so often pigeonholed into how we should look and behave in the workplace – which is often based on outdated stereotypes, and actually what’s overlooked is what we actually bring to the table. I’ve worked on that through my career, with the help of mentors and friends, and now I use my identity as a strength, the power of self-understanding goes a long way.

“I once called my former COO ‘hun’ in a meeting by accident…it opened a conversation that I never dreamed of happening”

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
I once called my former COO ‘hun’ in a meeting by accident. It was mortifying at the time, but it opened a conversation that I never dreamed of happening. We spoke more about LGBTQ+ experiences, about being our authentic selves at work, and also about how corporate workplaces are often subconsciously designed to be daunting to anyone who isn’t a cis white straight man.

In terms of challenges in the industry, what’s currently keeping you up at night?
The appropriation of queer culture, communities, and aesthetics, without the reinvestment into the LGBTQ+ community and also the creation of safe spaces and policies for LGBTQ+ people. There have been countless examples of this in 2023 so far alone, and it’s something that needs to be addressed across the industry. Mighty Hoopla festivals are a great example of teams who are getting this right – creating safe spaces that are enjoyable and engaging.

How do you see the live music business developing in the next few years?
DICE’s mission has always been ‘to get people out more,’ and I don’t think that will change, people will always be drawn to live music as it continues to bring people together. I think the way we see people come up through different platforms will shake up the traditional ways in how artists and venues are discovered and championed.

“Physical accessibility is one obvious way in which venues and artists could do better”

Name one thing you’d like to see the live music business change.
I’d like it to be more accessible from a number of angles. Physical accessibility is one obvious way in which venues and artists could do better, but also when we look at accessibility to live events as a concept – what are the barriers that are holding people back from attending live shows, and how can we help remove them?

Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.
Find ways to combat secondary ticketing touting and remove dynamic pricing as a concept. It’s unfair to fans and prices people out of seeing their favourite artists, almost immediately.

Shout out to your biggest ally in the live music industry.
I can’t pick one – it takes an army, but I’d like to give a shout out to all of the venues in London that are becoming safe spaces for queer people, as many queer venues have unfortunately had to close in recent years. Training their security and staff, allowing queer people to enjoy live music and entertainment freely, and being supportive of queer rights and lives.

Do you support any LGBTIQ+ causes?
There are too many to mention, but off the top of my head, I’d say: London Trans Pride, The Bitten Peach, First Brick Housing, The Cocoa Butter Club, and The Royal Vauxhall Tavern – London.

 


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LGBTIQ+ List 2023: Lucy Mackenzie McNae, Two and a Half TMs

The LGBTIQ+ List 2023 – IQ Magazine’s third annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – has been revealed.

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

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

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Check out yesterday’s profile with Stefan Lehmkuhl, freelance curator & live entertainment consultant at BMG/Ruined My Rainbow in Berlin, Germany.

The series continues with Lucy MacKenzie McNae (she/her/hers), tour manager (Josef, Twin Atlantic) at Two and a Half TMs in Glasgow, Scotland.


Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2023 so far.
Giving The Ironworks in Inverness the sendoff it deserved with Twin Atlantic before it closed in February was both a really proud moment and also bittersweet. Despite being from Glasgow, I feel like I grew up in that venue, going from being a touring merch manager there back in 2008 through to TM’ing one of the last shows was quite an experience. As a production, we really wanted to lay everything we could on the table for Caroline and the Ironworks staff, who have always made that venue feel like coming home, no matter who I was on tour with, so going back to close out The Ironworks was important to us all.

Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
Peach PRC.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Just be yourself; get stuck into whatever is going on; be helpful; learn how to lift properly; and always have a sharpie.

In terms of challenges in the industry, what’s currently keeping you up at night?
Costs and expectations? Can I say that? Because it feels like everything is going up except the fees and guarantees.

“It feels like everything is going up except the fees and guarantees”

How do you see the live music business developing in the next few years?
I think there will come a point where it starts to even out again soon; live music has become so expensive from all angles that unless we do everything we can as an industry and public to support independent venues, we are going to lose a lot of soul and the training grounds where most bands and crew learn their crafts.

Name one thing you’d like to see the live music business change.
Touring can be rough, the hours aren’t conducive to being able to keep relationships, and at the lower levels, they are so mentally, physically, and financially draining that it can really shut out a lot of people from being able to continue. More support, both financially and also holistically, would really make a difference to crew, sessions, and artists across the board.

Shout out to your biggest ally in the live music industry.
It takes a team to pull everything together so I can’t name just one. Alison Lamb at Modest! Management, Ross ‘Falcon’ Morgan that I started Two and a Half TMs with, and Ross and Sam from Twin Atlantic have all been instrumental in their own ways. And, of course, Cameron Brisbane for being the best photographer I know (not just because he takes photos of the crew).

 


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