LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Remembering this year’s queer pioneers
This year, IQ Magazine launched the LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – the first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business.
The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, are individuals that have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.
The inaugural cohort comprised agents, promoters, COOs, CEOs, event producers, wellness specialists, tour managers and more, all of whom identify as LGBTIQ+ and, in the face of adversity, have made enormous contributions to their respective sectors.
“IQ received an unbelievable amount of heartwarming testimonials”
In no particular order, the LGBTIQ+ List 2021 is:
Steven Braines, co-founder, He.She.They (UK). Full profile here.
Sean Hill, director of tour marketing, UTA (UK). Full profile here.
Zoe Williamson, agent, UTA (US). Full profile here.
Will Larnach-Jones, managing director/head of bookings, Iceland Airwaves (IE). Full profile here.
Raven Twigg, promoter assistant, Metropolis Music/founder, Women Connect (UK). Full profile here.
Nadu Placca, global event & experience architect, The Zoo XYZ (UK). Full profile here.
Maxie Gedge, Keychange project manager, PRS Foundation (UK). Full profile here.
Mark Fletcher, CEO, Manchester Pride (UK). Full profile here.
Maddie Arnold, associate promoter, Live Nation (UK). Full profile here.
Lauren Kirkpatrick, promoter assistant, DF Concerts (UK). Full profile here.
Laura Nagtegaal, guitar technician and tour manager, MsGyver (NL). Full profile here.
Joanne Croxford, wellness + diversity specialist/ live touring/ tour assistant (UK)
James Murphy, chief operating officer North America, See Tickets (US). Full profile here.
Guy Howes, music partnerships executive, CAA (UK). Full profile here.
Doug Smith, SVP field operations UK & Ireland, Ticketmaster (UK). Full profile here.
Chris Ibbs, agent, CAA (UK). Full profile here.
Leigh Millhauser, coordinator, Wasserman Music (US). Full profile here.
Austin Sarich, director of touring, Live Nation (US). Full profile here.
Daniel Brown, event producer/programmer, Birmingham Pride (UK). Full profile here.
Rauha Kyyrö, head promoter, Fullsteam Agency (FI). Full profile here.
“I never imagined I’d be so thrilled to see my inbox soar into triple digits – that is until we opened nominations for the LGBTIQ+ List 2021,” says IQ staff writer Lisa Henderson, who guest-edited the Pride issue. “We received an unbelievable amount of heartwarming testimonials from across the business but, thanks to the help of our revered steering committee, we’ve ended up with 20 exemplary individuals who continually prove that diversity is the industry’s greatest strength.”
Subscribers can read the entire Pride edition (issue 101) of IQ Magazine now.
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All change at Keychange after Maxie Gedge’s exit
UK-based gender equality initiative Keychange has announced a series of new appointments following the exit of project manager Maxie Gedge.
Three current PRS Foundation members of staff are to expand their roles at the organisation, with Francine Gorman becoming Keychange project manager (UK), Aysha Hussain made Keychange coordinator (UK) and Alison Williams switching from part-time to full-time PRS Foundation communications coordinator.
In addition, Barnaby Duff has come on board as PRS Foundation grants coordinator.
“I am delighted to welcome Francine, Aysha, Alison and Barnaby to their new and expanded roles,” says PRS Foundation CEO Joe Frankland.
“Following the departure of Maxie Gedge, who worked across both Keychange as a project manager and our communications team as a part-time coordinator, it’s fantastic that both Francine and Alison are expanding their current remits with the organisation and Aysha steps into a wider role that epitomises the collaborative, Europe-wide ethos of Keychange.
“And following a period of record demand for our funds, Barnaby will play a vital role in making sure we maintain a pioneering approach to grant-making, efficiently reaching and helping many talented music creators to fulfil their potential as possible. The skills, dedication and knowledge in their respective areas will be a huge asset to the organisation going forward.”
“The impact of Maxie’s work at PRS Foundation over the past five years has been huge”
Frankland also paid tribute to Gedge, who has joined Secretly Group as European project manager.
“I and the whole PRS Foundation team wish Maxie the best in her new role at Secretly Group. The impact of Maxie’s work at PRS Foundation over the past five years has been huge and through Keychange she has really helped to move the dial for women and gender minority artists and innovators around the world,” he said.
“While all at PRS Foundation and Keychange are sad to see her go, we will continue to connect and know that in this exciting new role at Secretly Group, Maxie will continue to shape a stronger, fairer music industry.”
Keychange recently confirmed that 500 music organisations have now committed themselves to achieve parity between men and women and non-binary people by signing its pledge.
The Keychange pledge requires signatories to achieve at least 50% representation of women and gender minorities in an area of their work.
Launched in 2017, Keychange initially focused on festivals – with signatory festivals pledging to book at least 50% of women for their line-ups – and now also includes record labels, broadcasters, venues, publishers, collection societies and orchestras in six continents among its supporters.
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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Maxie Gedge, Keychange
The LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – IQ’s first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the inaugural Pride edition (issue 101) this month.
The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, have gone above and beyond to wave the flag for an industry that we can all be proud of.
To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, IQ asked each individual to share their challenges, triumphs, advice and more. Each day this month, we’ll publish a new interview with an individual on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021. Catch up on the previous interview with Chris Ibbs, agent at CAA in the UK here.
Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
When I got promoted into this Keychange role, it felt like a really big step that brought all of my life experiences together for a bigger purpose. It was so rad to host a queer dance party on the terrace of the Southbank Centre pre-pandemic with Dream Wife, Romy XX, Lil’ C and more – it was hot and packed, and everyone was dancing all day. It’s a memory I’ve cherished during this event drought.
With Keychange, taking part in Women’s Hour and travelling to Tokyo to speak about PRS Foundation were both bucket-list moments. I’m very lucky that my day-to-day work is focused on supporting under-represented voices in the music industry, so seeing them triumph is the best thing.
What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Find your community. I’ve been very lucky that through good times and bad, my wife, band, friends, family and colleagues have been a safe space for expression, inspiration and motivation.
Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
My vibe is transmasculine, which is quite attached to my queer identity (For me, not for everyone!). So the unconscious bias or immediate assumptions people make are often super obvious. I’ve learned to be good at dealing with awkward moments, but the constant ‘coming out’ is challenging.
“The pandemic should be a reason to create an industry that works for everyone”
What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
There should be better processes and stricter rules for both representation and inclusion, so that there are more LGBTQIA+ (and traditionally under-represented) people in all areas of the industry, as well as processes in place to make those environments safe.
Causes you support.
There are lots of amazing organisations combatting abuse and harassment in the music industry right now, like the Musicians’ Union, Safe in Sound, and the work of SwiM. Pride in Music, the LGBTQIA+ work that Come Play With Me do, plus other positive action initiatives like Power Up and Girls I Rate, are all awesome. Heart n Soul is a really important and inspiring talent development organisation too.
What does the near future of the industry look like?
I hope there’s a move towards innovation and sustainability. Creating a collaborative ecosystem is essential, so every part of the music industry is valued and supported – and where that support is based on impact not income.
How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
The pandemic should be a reason to create an industry that works for everyone, not an excuse to lean on the old, exploitative, and discriminatory structures. We are losing talent and voices every day and we need to urgently work together to fix this broken system.
74 participants chosen for Keychange programme
Seventy-four artists and music industry professionals from across 12 countries have been selected from over 650 applicants to take part in the 2020 Keychange development programme.
Launching with a full network meet-up in Stockholm on 13 February, the programme aims to give the 74 female and gender minority participants the skills and opportunities needed to advance in their career.
The programme, part of the new-look Keychange 2.0 led by Reeperbahn Festival in partnership with PRS Foundation and Musikcentrum Öst, will benefit three cohorts of participants over four years. Keychange announced the initiative following a €1.4 million funding boost from the European Union’s Creative Europe programme in August.
Among the first group of participants are Estonian singer and violinist Marrja Nuut, Berlin-based lo-fi pop artist DENA and London alt-soul singer Anaïs.
Alongside meet-ups and mentoring sessions, participants will take part in ‘Creative Labs’ at one the 13 Keychange partner festivals, including Iceland Airwaves, BIME and Way Out West. The labs will offer showcase opportunities to artists, as well as workshops, seminars, studio sessions and masterclasses. Polish consulting company Chimes will oversee all training.
“We are pleased that a more inclusive approach to recruitment has resulted in a very diverse and exciting group of participants for 2020”
In accordance with feedback from the 2018 edition of the programme – which consisted of 60 participants – a percentage of Keychange funding will go towards participants’ childcare arrangements.
The announcement comes as the number of signatories to the Keychange pledge of achieving a gender-balanced line-up by 2022 surpasses 300. Norwegian organisations Talent Norge and Norsk Tipping, as well as the UK’s Musicians’ Union have recently joined the movement as sponsors.
“The Keychange talent development programme lies at the core of the initiative,” says Christina Schäfers, Keychange lead and head of Reeperbahn Festival’s programmes in arts, word and film. “While the pledge encourages organisations to book diverse talent, we’re helping the talent get to their stages.”
“We are particularly pleased that a more inclusive approach to recruitment has resulted in a very diverse and exciting group of participants for 2020,” says Schäfers, noting that the programme represents “many more gender minority participants and a diverse range of ethnicities, genres and career levels” this year.
“We can’t wait to host this incredible cohort at the full network meet-ups in Stockholm and at Reeperbahn Festival.”
FR launches International Women’s Day event
Festival Republic has announced ReBalance Celebrates International Women’s Day, a networking event for women across the live music industry, as part of the promoter’s gender equality programme, ReBalance.
The event is taking place at the 900-capacity Union Chapel in Islington, London, on Sunday 8 March, the day dedicated to recognising the movement for women’s rights worldwide.
Last year’s International Women’s Day saw pop star Dua Lipa speak at the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) in London, who illustrated the struggle faced by young female artists trying to break into the industry.
Festival Republic is looking to combat this, with a daytime programme aimed at introducing those who want a career in the industry to women working within it. Professionals from Festival Republic, Live Nation, PRS Foundation, Academy Music Group, Sony Music, MAMA, Melody VR, Metropolis Music, the BBC, National Merchandise and Safe Gigs for Women will be in present to offer advice and deliver educational talks.
An evening performance from singer Nilüfer Yanya will follow the networking event, as well as appearances from Martha Hill and Tamzene, two artists to have come through Festival Republic’s ReBalance programme.
“We are incredibly proud of what ReBalance has achieved, so it only made sense to take the scheme further”
Launched in 2017, ReBalance is a six-year programme combatting the gender imbalance within the music industry. It offers five day’s studio time to one core female-identified band and artist each month, as well as a slot of a Festival Republic or Live Nation festival.
So far, 300 nominations have been made across six rounds, with 19 finalists performing live at The Great Escape, Wireless, Latitude and Reading and Leeds Festivals.
“We are incredibly proud of what ReBalance has achieved, so it only made sense to take the scheme further by hosting an event on International Women’s Day for those who want to meet women in the industry,” says the ReBalance team.
“Aimed at newcomers or if you’re just curious, this event is the chance to learn from the brightest stars and pick up some tips. Lack of female representation in music is an industry-wide issue, and we want to level it.”
Day tickets for ReBalance Celebrates International Women’s Day can be purchased for a £2 charity donation to Safe Gigs for Women, with evening tickets priced at £17.50. All tickets are available here.
Photo: Paul Hudson/Flickr (cropped) (CC BY 2.0)
Keychange 2.0 unveiled at Reeperbahn Festival
Artists Kate Nash and Peaches revealed details of the next phase of music industry gender parity project Keychange at Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg today (19 September).
A presentation, hosted by Kate Nash and Peaches alongside Pitchfork editor Puja Patel, laid out the foundations for the next four-year stage of the project. A new management structure, headed up by lead partner Reeperbahn Festival, was also announced.
The news follows the recent announcement that the gender balance initiative received €1.4 million in funding from the European Commission.
Keychange 2.0 will support 216 music creators and industry professionals – 74 each year – from countries including Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
The participants will take part in a talent development programme of showcases, panels, workshops, training sessions, networking events and creative labs at 13 festivals across Europe and Canada, including two full network meetups in February and September.
A global database will list all participants and the more than 250 signatories to Keychange’s 50/50 gender-balanced line-up pledge, as well as a mentoring scheme, Keychange conference, online resources, ambassadors and an expanded management team.
“Its encouraging to see all these organisations involved with Keychange because it means that things can finally start to change,” says Nash. “Music is about feeling part of a community and feeling included – it’s about being seen and heard.”
“Its encouraging to see all these organisations involved with Keychange because it means that things can finally start to change”
An open call for Keychange 2.0 participants will launch in October 2019 through the initiative’s website. “Innovative and boundary-pushing” applicants from all partner countries are encouraged to apply. Six participants will be selected per country – three artists and three industry professionals.
Reeperbahn Festival, alongside other leading festival partners from each country – Iceland Airwaves (Iceland), BIME (Spain), Oslo World (Norway), Tallinn Music Week (Estonia), Ireland Music Week (Ireland), Way Out West (Sweden), Linecheck (Italy), Liverpool Sound City (UK), Spring Break (Poland) Mutek (Canada), BreakOut West (Canada) and MAMA (France) – will each host six to twelve international Keychange participants.
“With Keychange 1.0, we have been addressing the necessity of gender equality in the music business since 2017,” comments Reeperbahn chief executive Alex Schulz.
“Phase 2.0 not only extends Pledge 2022 for balanced line-ups in festivals to other organisations and music sub-markets, but also expands our mentoring programmes and workshops as well as the European database, so that our innovators and artists can implement the transformative power of Keychange in the best possible way and carry it out into the world.”
Reeperbahn will work closely with Keychange founder PRS Founder and Sweden’s Musikcentrum Öst to lead Keychange 2.0.
Good news for Keychange as EU pledges €1.4m
Gender balance initiative Keychange has received €1.4 million in funding from the European Union’s Creative Europe programme.
Launched in 2017 by music charity PRS Foundation, over 250 music organisations and festivals have signed up to the Keychange pledge to achieve gender-balanced line-ups by 2022.
With the new funding, the programme is ready to enter into its second phase, which will span from September 2019 to 2023.
Details of ‘Keychange 2.0’ will be presented at Reeperbahn festival by the event’s chief executive and Keychange co-founder Alexander Schultz, along with programme ambassadors Kate Nash and Barbara Gessler of the European Commission on Thursday 19 September.
Reeperbahn, which takes place form 18 to 21 September in Hamburg, Germany, will lead the next phase of Keychange, working closely with PRS Foundation, Sweden’s Musikcentrum Öst, Iceland Airwaves, Tallinn Music Week / Shiftworks in Estonia and BIME Festival in Spain.
“The transformative power of Keychange is visible and increasing”
New partners include Oslo World festival in Norway and the Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music (SACEM) in France.
Christina Schäfers, head of programming at Reeperbahn and project lead for Keychange, comments: “The transformative power of Keychange is visible and increasing. Within the next four years we will focus on concrete aims and measures to keep on creating a better, more inclusive music industry.
“Since culture has always been a source of inspiration for necessary change, we look forward to inspiring and be part of the future of our society.”
In November 2018, Keychange released its manifesto for change at the European Parliament in Brussels, with the aim of increasing the representation of marginalised genders in the music industry.
Primavera Sound and Iceland Airwaves are among the music festivals to have already fulfilled their Keychange pledge.
PRS Foundation appoints new CEO
UK-based music development charity PRS Foundation has appointed Joe Frankland as its new chief executive, effective 22 July.
Since 2015, Frankland has held the position of senior grants and programmes manager, leading grant-making and partnership programmes.
He previously worked in talent development at Newcastle-based music development agency Generator.
“I am incredibly excited and honoured to have been offered the role of PRS Foundation chief executive,” says Frankland.
“I am incredibly excited and honoured to have been offered the role of PRS Foundation chief executive”
“I am proud to work with such an enthusiastic team and board and look forward to collaborating with partners and the industry to support the UK’s most exciting music creators and pioneering organisations.”
PRS Foundation chair and managing director of Bucks music group, Simon Platz says he is “delighted” with the new appointment.
“Joe’s years of experience delivering targeted support and developing talent will be a huge asset as he leads the Foundation into its third decade,” comments Platz.
Frankland takes over the role from Vanessa Reed, who held the top position at PRS Foundation for eleven years. Reed says she has “no doubt” that her successor will “do an excellent job”.
PledgeMusic demise prompts industry support for artists
A group of industry organisations has launched an impact assessment survey to determine the severity and breadth of financial damage to artists affected by the demise of crowdfunding platform PledgeMusic.
Reports have circulated for close to a year that PledgeMusic was failing to pay artists who raised funds through its platform. Following the platform’s collapse, many artists remain deeply out of pocket.
The UK’s Musicians’ Union is hosting the survey, which closes on Tuesday 25 June, and is to be completed by individuals and businesses alike.
The survey is promoted collaboratively by UK Music, who last month called on competition watchdogs to investigate the beleaguered PledgeMusic, Music Managers’ Forum (MMF), the Association of Independent Musicians (AIM), PRS Foundation and International Showcase Fund partners including the Music Producers Guild (MPG) and Music Support.
The group hopes that information provided through the survey will illuminate the scale of the fallout from PledgeMusic’s collapse and help the industry to ensure artists and businesses receive the support they require.
In a joint statement, the industry bodies behind the survey wrote:
“As organisations who want to see the music industry thrive, we are deeply disappointed that PledgeMusic has announced its bankruptcy leaving artists and fans out of pocket and with little communication or advice on how to deal with campaign disruption.
“We are deeply disappointed that PledgeMusic has announced its bankruptcy leaving artists and fans out of pocket and with little communication or advice on how to deal with campaign disruption”
“The failure of PledgeMusic to appropriately ring-fence artist and fan money has the potential to damage artists’ careers and their relationships with fans and fellow creators if they can’t deliver on stalled campaigns.
“Individually, each of our organisations has been working hard to support our members during this difficult time. However, in order to consider collective action we have launched an industry-wide survey to assess the impact of the PledgeMusic closure.”
The survey has received artist support from UK band Jesus Jones, who used PledgeMusic to fund the release of their album Voyages, and has spearheaded the artists community’s reaction to the platform’s collapse.
“It’s really gratifying to see a strong industry-wide response taking place,” comment the band.
“As artists, as fans, as people who’ve come to realise the potential strength of crowdfunding, it’s vital that we all stand together, and rebuild confidence – and also seek to ensure that Pledge are held accountable for betraying such a vital bond of trust.”
Vanessa Reed appointed president, CEO of New Music USA
Vanessa Reed has been appointed president and chief executive of New Music USA, following eleven years as chief executive of PRS Foundation, a UK-based funder of new music and talent development.
During her time at PRS Foundation, Reed has multiplied resources for diverse organisations, composers, songwriters and artists by devising an array of national and international programmes.
Initiatives include the Momentum Music Fund, created in partnership with Arts Council England, New Music Biennial which began as a programme of commissions for the UK’s Cultural Olympiad and Women Make Music, which was set up in response to the gender gap in music.
Reed was chair of the diversity panel at this year’s International Live Music Conference, leading the discussion on the importance of ensuring women reach the top of the industry.
Under Reed, PRS Foundation has awarded over £26 million to more than 4,100 new music initiatives. Major partners that Reed has introduced to the foundation include Spotify, BBC Music Introducing, the European Commission’s Creative Europe programme and the Arts Councils in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.
“Vanessa has been the power house behind the force that has transformed the foundation in recent years,” comments Simon Platz, chair of PRS Foundation and managing director of Bucks Music Groups.
“Her passion and energy has been infectious and the strategic partnerships she has struck up between the foundation and all kinds of major funders, music organisations and national bodies like the BBC will be her enduring legacy.”
“Vanessa has been the power house behind the force that has transformed the foundation in recent years”
Reed is also known as the founder of the Keychange initiative, an equality campaign that has committed over 150 festivals and conferences globally to achieving gender-balanced line-ups. Reed will continue to support the international Keychange programme in a voluntary role as honorary chair.
The former PRS Foundation chief has been recognised over the past six years with awards from the Royal Philharmonic Society, Leeds College of Music, Music Week and the BBC.
“I believe that music, like every art form, deserves specialist resources and advocates that offer support, build new connections and create a better future for its creators, practitioners and audiences,” says Reed.
“That’s why I’ve loved every minute of my time at PRS Foundation in the UK and why I’m excited to be taking up this post at New Music USA which plays a crucial role in supporting and connecting America’s many talented and diverse new music communities. I look forward to joining the New Music USA Board and team in New York later this summer.”
New Music USA chairman Frederick Peters says the board is “profoundly grateful” to have sourced “such an extraordinary woman to lead our organisation in the future.” The New York-based organisation supports and promotes new music in the United States, providing financial support and useful connections.
“Vanessa’s deep knowledge of the field, her boundless energy and fountain of transformative ideas, and her collegial approach make her the perfect leader for New Music USA’s next phase,” adds Peters.
Reed will be based at New Music USA’s offices in New York. She replaces former chief executive Ed Harsh, who has left the organisation after 17 years to work as a senior staff member at the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music and to take on an independent book project.
Interim chief executive Deborah Steinglass will continue to serve in that role until Reed’s arrival.