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Live professionals talk diversity in next IQ Focus

Continuing the weekly series of IQ Focus virtual panels, Beyond Rhetoric: Race in Live Music will look at the problems of systemic racism within the live business and discuss what needs to be done to make the industry a more diverse place.

The session, the eighth in the IQ Focus series, will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube on Thursday 25 June at 4 p.m. BST/5 p.m. CET.

Earlier this month, Blackout Tuesday brought the industry to a standstill and thrust the topic of diversity in the music business back into view.

So just what challenges do black promoters, agents and managers face, and what’s needed to counter systemic racism both within the business, in performance spaces and touring markets?

Live Nation’s David Carrigan will lead this timely discussion to ask how changes can be made, and the current momentum can be maintained over the months and years ahead.

Joining Carrigan on the panel are Ammo Talwar MBE, CEO of music and arts agency Punch and chair of UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce; Kiarn Eslami, a promoter at Metropolis Music;
Lucy Atkinson from Earth Agency; Sumit Bothra of ATC Management; and ICM Partners’ Yves Pierre.

All previous IQ Focus sessions, which have looked at topics including management under lockdown, the agency business, the festival summer, grassroots music venues and innovation in live music, can be watched back here.

To set a reminder about Beyond Rhetoric: Race in Live Music session on Thursday head to the IQ Magazine page on Facebook or YouTube.

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UK Music hires new diversity taskforce chairman

UK Music has announced Ammo Talwar, founder of touring and artist management firm Punch, as the new chair of its equality and diversity taskforce.

Talwar replaces Keith Harris, who has chaired the body for the last three years. The co-chair of the taskforce remains Paulette Long.

Established in 2015, the quality and diversity taskforce works with the music business, the British government and other stakeholders to boost inclusion and diversity across the industry. It includes representatives from the UK live music industry, as well as major and indie record labels, music publishers, trade organisations and collection societies.

In 2016, UK Music undertook the first industry wide workforce diversity survey, focusing on gender and ethnicity. The latest survey was published in 2018.

“I feel hugely privileged to chair this taskforce”

“I feel hugely privileged to chair this taskforce,” says Talwar. “UK Music has made real inroads around diversity and inclusion. We are global leaders in music-making and I’m confident that the UK’s music sector will continue to move at pace, reflecting the ever-changing landscape of community, music and genres.”

Outgoing chair Keith Harris adds: “Having headed the UK Music equality and diversity taskforce for three years, during which time we have seen the industry inching towards a more balanced and diverse workforce, I am delighted to be handing over to Ammo Talwar.

“His energy and enthusiasm will help to make sure that the momentum is not lost and his perspective from outside the London environment will drive the new initiatives needed make sure that we have an industry which fairly represents the whole music community.”

In a further change, UK Music’s Rachel Bolland will succeed Felicity Oliver as the umbrella organisation’s head of diversity.


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