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The LGBTIQ+ List 2022: David Jones, AEG

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) this month.

The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster. 

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day. Catch up on the previous interview with David Davies, founder and head of live at Double D Live and head of experience at Catapult.

The series continues with David Jones (he/him/his), chief information officer at AEG in the UK.

David Jones is chief information officer for AEG, the global leader in sports and live entertainment. He heads up the AEG Global Technology division, and is responsible for the company’s technology strategy and solutions across the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

A digital and technology leader in the broadcast, entertainment, retail and real estate sectors for over 20 years, David is also executive sponsor of AEG’s Pride Employee Network Group which aims to drive change by giving LGBTQ+ colleagues a greater voice and foster a culture of inclusion.

Prior to AEG, David led the technology team at Virgin Radio and Ginger Media Group. He lives on the Isle of Wight with his husband Tony.

 


Tell us about a personal triumph in your career
I have recently been promoted to the role of global chief information officer. In my new role, I am leading a new division – AEG Global Technology – which brings together AEG’s talented technology staff in the US and Europe.

AEG’s technology teams were historically organised on a regional basis, and I used to head up the European team as Chief Information Officer for AEG Europe. I will continue to be based at AEG’s European headquarters in London, and I am proud to say that this will be the first time that someone in the UK will head up a global team in our company.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Seek out other LGBTQ+ people in your organisation or industry; build friendships and provide support to each other. Being part of the Pride employee network group at AEG has been a wonderful experience. I have made new friends right across the organisation, and our group has been a force for positive change in our company.

Name one thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place
Empower and support your LGBTQ+ colleagues. And that means more than simply ‘rainbowing’ your logos, venues and events in Pride month. If your organisation doesn’t have an employee network group then help your LGBTQ+ colleagues to establish one and support them to drive positive change.

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
I wouldn’t call it a mistake, but it wasn’t the ‘conventional’ decision. When I left university, I had an offer to join Andersen Consulting on their graduate scheme. I also had an opportunity to join the Virgin Radio sales team on a short-term contract as an assistant working on their customer databases.

Rather than join the safe world of management consultancy, I opted for media and entertainment. Within six months, Virgin Radio had offered me a permanent job as their Head of IT, which was wild, given that I was only 23 at the time. I’ve never regretted that decision.

Empower and support your LGBTQ+ colleagues. And that means more than simply ‘rainbowing’ your logos…

The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
Steps at Birmingham Pride. Even though they are performing on Sunday evening; I’m too old for such giddiness on a school night…

Your favourite queer space
In 2018, the Isle of Wight hosted UK Pride. Peter Tatchell spoke about how ‘local’ Prides were so much more important than those traditionally held in big cities, because it was important for LGBTQ+ people to be visible, embraced and happy everywhere, not just in places like London or Manchester.

I witnessed an enormous Pride flag paraded down the main street of my hometown, enjoyed drag queens in the cabaret tent on the esplanade, and then sang along with Conchita Wurst on the beach stage. My favourite queer space was the Isle of Wight on Saturday, 21 July 2018.

Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry.
I genuinely don’t believe I have encountered any professional challenges. I have been lucky to work for companies which were full of diverse, friendly and inclusively-minded people and I have never had to hide my sexuality from work colleagues.

However, I am a white, cis, middle-class man; I am in a privileged position. My experience will not be representative of everyone in our community.

A cause you support
In my younger days, I was chair of the British Youth Council. The British Youth Council is an organisation which promotes young people’s participation in decisions which affect them. They campaign on issues which affect young people, including climate change, child poverty and votes at 16. I am proud to be an alumnus and to continue to support them.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2022: Alexandra Ampofo, Metropolis

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) this month.

The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster. 

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day, starting with Alexandra Ampofo (she/her/hers), promoter at Live Nation-owned Metropolis in London, UK.

 


Tell us about a personal triumph in your career
Starting Women Connect was a personal triumph. I feel a sense of responsibility to give back, and the fact that I can tangibly do that with my resources is a win! With all the amazing women in my team and mentors who have donated their time along the way, we have been able to create a progressive community and safe space.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Take your time and trust the process. No matter how others make you feel, there’s actually no rush and plenty of room for us all to exist in the same space.

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
At uni I sent a document of cons about a workplace to a potential employer instead of a friend. I still ended up getting the job and consequently changing some of those things.

“The music industry needs to listen, learn and be open to feedback from the queer community or nothing will change”

Tell us about a professional challenge you’ve come across as a queer person in the industry
Homophobia and queer representation are still massive problems in our industry. I have seen and heard all of the passive-aggressive comments passed off as jokes. One of the hardest things to deal with is when a line has been crossed.

One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place
The use of inclusive language needs to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. The music industry needs to listen, learn and be open to feedback from the queer community or nothing will change.

A cause you support
Exist Loudly create spaces of joy and care for Black LGBTQ+ youth through creative innovation.

The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
Arlo Parks at Somerset House… I think Arlo is incredible, I’ve seen her perform a good few times and she never disappoints. I will be supporting her all the way!

Your favourite queer space
Any event the Rêveur Collective organise is always a good time. They are creating safe spaces for all LGBTQIA+ people, from mass bowling events to club nights and live podcast shows. They never miss the mark.

 


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.

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022: Alexander Rastén Rydberg, Dansk Live

The LGBTIQ+ List 2022 – IQ Magazine’s second annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – was published in the Pride edition (issue 112) this month.

The July 2022 issue, which is available to read now, was made possible thanks to support from Ticketmaster. 

To get to know this year’s queer pioneers a little better, we interviewed each individual on their challenges, triumphs, advice and more.

Throughout the next month, IQ will publish a new interview each day, starting with Alexander Rastén Rydberg (he/him/his), head of diversity and talent management at Dansk Live in Denmark.

 


Tell us about a personal triumph in your career
In 2022, I was appointed vice president of the Nightlife Committee in Copenhagen by the mayor of culture. It’s been three long years fighting for queer and minority rights in nightlife that culminated in a position from where I (and the Copenhagen Club Commission) can actually make changes to the cultural system and introduce safer spaces, awareness policies and minority positions to conventional nightlife across the city.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
This is your world. You’re never alone. Trust your gut. The current most progressive initiatives in the Danish live industry are started by queer and minority communities. You’re a part of that generational wave. Don’t let the heteronormative structure tell you anything else.

One thing the live industry could do to be a more inclusive place?
Many cultural experiences only cater to a cis- and straight-oriented crowd. This is a fact, but it’s not totally acknowledged in the live industry. In order to act on this, we have to learn and listen to the minorities that are excluded, on many different aspects. Only then can we create more inclusiveness.

“The first dance floor on which I could kiss my boyfriend without getting comments was created by Ved Siden Af”

A cause you support
Together WE PUSH. In Denmark, we have some very sad and ridiculous integrations laws that result in women and kids getting stuck in deportation camps. Together WE PUSH is helping these refugee families – organising football games for kids and so on.

The queer act you’re itching to see live this year
Lil Nas X. I absolutely love how he provokes the whole heteronormative world just by being himself. Also, he is quite handsome…

Your favourite queer space
Ved Siden Af – one of the only queer-friendly techno venues in Copenhagen. The crew that runs it have played an important role in my life as a younger queer person. The first dance floor on which I could kiss my boyfriend without getting comments was created by Ved Siden Af, and they continue to challenge the conventional majority norms in the clubbing scene.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Joanne Croxford

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 Zoe Williamson, agent at UTA in the US here.

 


Joanne Croxford
she/her/hers
Wellness & diversity specialist/live touring/tour assistant
London, UK
Linkedin.com/in/joannecroxford
@joanne_does_It

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Volunteering with Girls Rock London and bringing the learnings around gender diversity and anti-racism in my recent work at the Tour Production Group (TPG) has been huge.

We recently had a production manager in the TPG give us the feedback that as a result of the space that production manager Keely Myers and I have co-facilitated, they feel comfortable to talk to their artists and clients about diversity in their crews, and that’s possibly one of the greatest achievements in my career to date.

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
There is a massive lack of queer talent in our industry and bringing other queer people with you is a chance to make real change happen. Be sure to identify active allies who are committed to getting more queer representation hired and feeling welcome in your work environment.

A cause you support.
3T is one that is very close to my heart as is Girls Rock London. Both programmes really address the issue of ethnic and gender diversity in the industry and offer genuine safe spaces for women, trans and gender non-conforming people of colour to learn about our industry and how to get into it (and thrive!).

“[We need to stop] assuming it is the responsibility of marginalised groups to teach others how to correct the inclusivity issue”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
Having to come out every time I meet someone new at work, or the side-eyes that I receive when people realise my partner is indeed a woman. I have noticed that doors close for me and opportunities have been taken away because I didn’t welcome, nor encourage, the male gaze.

Being sexualised as a heavily tattooed queer woman is tiring! And let’s not even get started on the challenges I have experienced when working alongside members of the trans community in this industry – trying to justify how a colleague decides to live their life to a room full of cis men is literally one of the most frustrating things I have had to do.

Followed by having to continually correct people when they misgender someone. This kind of toxic masculinity is really unpleasant and certainly makes for a seriously unhappy workforce.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Not assuming it is the responsibility of those from marginalised groups to teach others how to correct the problem around inclusivity. We all need to dig deep and take a very good look at the culture we have in our industry.

What does the future of the industry look like?
Many of the new and younger artists and crew that I have been working with during this time are talking about introducing things like inclusion riders into their list of demands for live shows – as well as introducing Safe Space Agreements backstage where people can work with no worry of harassment. This is the future, and I am so excited to be a part of it!

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Zoe Williamson, UTA

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 Austin Sarich, tour director for North America at Live Nation here.

 


Zoe Williamson
she/her/hers
Agent, UTA
Brooklyn, New York, US
[email protected]

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Working on and announcing Arlo Parks’ North America headline tour for this fall was a huge highlight. Seeing how much love there is in the US validated the incredible work that Arlo has poured into her music and into building an authentic and organic relationship with her fans.

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Ignore the people trying to tell you to act or behave a certain way to succeed. If we’re going to make a shift in the industry, I would encourage any young queer and/or trans professionals to help break the mould of the traditional perception of ‘leaders’. We are the new leaders, and so anything we do is what leadership looks like.

“I would encourage any young queer and/or trans pros to help break the mould of the traditional perception of ‘leaders'”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
I’m sometimes put in situations where I’m asked to work with someone for the sole reason that they’re in the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s disappointing because at times it can feel as though I’m being paired with someone because of my identity, not because of my hard work or skillset.

Industry professionals often misgender and misunderstand sexuality, and we have to take time and energy to educate, which can be exhausting and daunting. I’m all about patience, but it’s hard to work in an industry that has been saying for years it’s going to do the work, yet year after year that work falls on us to do.

“I want [the LGBTQIA+ community] calling the shots; not just having a seat at the table but having a say in the decision making”

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
During the pandemic, I am proud to have been a part of the launch of Justice Now, a task force within UTA’s music department that aims to reverse systemic racism in the industry through four pillars of education, mentorship, empowerment and fearless imagination.

I feel lucky to work at a company that celebrates and embraces the LGBTQIA+ community, but I want to see more of my community in the industry. I want us calling the shots; not just having a seat at the table but having a say in the decision making.

Causes you support.
For The Gworls, The Okra Project, Marsha P. Johnson Institute, The Center, Trevor Project.

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
We need to create a space for industry professionals within the LGBTQIA+ community to not feel targeted, isolated, neglected, and unsafe. Accountability means nothing without consequences. Basically, if we don’t start telling people “You are not above consequences for your actions” and actually walking the walk on that, I don’t see this industry changing at the rate it needs to.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Austin Sarich, Live Nation

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 Raven Twigg, promoter assistant at Metropolis Music in the UK here.

 


Austin Sarich
he/him
Tour director – North America touring, Live Nation
Los Angeles, US
Linkedin.com/in/austin-sarich-193a2265

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
It was a true privilege to be a part of Oprah’s 2020 Vision Touring Team. It was meaningful to me to help successfully grow a project that aimed to inspire people through personal growth and self-discovery.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Your sexual orientation will always be a part of your identity, however, it doesn’t have to be what defines you. Let your work, passion, and drive be your great impact on the industry, regardless of your sexual orientation.

“Your sexual orientation will always be a part of your identity, however, it doesn’t have to be what defines you”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
Working in a male-dominated industry, I would often find myself internalising that my sexual orientation would put me at a disadvantage when I first began navigating the relationships I was making.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Leading through empathy – knowing everyone has their own personal and professional challenges, which could help unify us as a whole.

A cause you support.
Today, I’m Brave, which is an organisation that focuses on empowering underserved youth to be brave and unlock their best potential.

“Leading through empathy – knowing everyone has their own personal and professional challenges”

What does the near future of the industry look like?
An industry filled with gratitude and prosperity. After a year of uncertainty, I confidently believe we are all grateful to have live events back, with fans who have more of an appetite than ever to see their favourite acts live in concert.

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
I would hope that post-pandemic we can all operate efficiently with patience, kindness, and appreciation for each other and the hard work we commit to.


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Doug Smith, Ticketmaster

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 Rauha Kyyrö, head promoter at Fullsteam Agency in Finland here.

 


Doug Smith
He/him/his
SVP field operations UK & Ireland, Ticketmaster
London & Manchester, UK
[email protected]

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
The sad truth is that so many LGBTQ+ professionals go back into the closet when they begin their first job. My advice is to find a place to work where you can bring your whole true authentic self. Being exactly who you are at work, day in, day out, is fundamental to a happy life and the key to fulfilling your potential.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Recognise that diversity and inclusion is important all year round, not just for one month. Leaders need to talk to their LGBTQI+ employees, regularly. Give them a voice, look at setting up an employee resource group and be an active supporter of it. Being an inclusive employer and an ally isn’t something you can simply tick off your list during Pride month, it’s an ongoing and evolving commitment.

“Recognise that diversity and inclusion is important all year round, not just for one month”

A causes you support.
It’s an absolute scandal that anyone is homeless in our society. I support two charities who both provide support to young homeless people – Centre Point and Albert Kennedy Trust. The latter provides support to LGBTQ+ young people who are facing homelessness or are living in a hostile environment.

What does the near future of the industry look like?
Busy! Very, very busy! The pent-up demand from artists wanting to play and fans wanting to make real-life connections again is colossal. We’re gearing up for a huge outdoor season and then straight into an intense on-sale season, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Rauha Kyyrö, Fullsteam Agency

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 Daniel Brown, event producer/programmer at Birmingham Pride, UK here.

 


Rauha Kyyrö
she/her/hers
Head promoter, Fullsteam Agency
Finland
[email protected]

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
I definitely can’t take the credit for any of the production work required to make it happen, but in 2018 we built a 60-metre stage and a 30-truck production for the most popular Finnish artist, Cheek, on top of a lido located basically in a deep pit at the bottom of a ski-jumping stadium, and let’s just say that it was not uncomplicated. But the artist got what he wanted, and we sold out 60,000 tickets.

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
When you notice a problem in your workplace, whether it is racism, discrimination or inequality of any kind, cis/heteronormativity, assumed monogamy, or anything that you are not comfortable with, speak up and ask for change. And if they don’t want to listen to you, start your own company – or come work for us!

“Hearing ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ these days makes me almost as sick as ‘Dear Sirs’…”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
I think people often have challenges with what they don’t understand. For example, they might judge you for your life choices and therefore not treat you with respect or give you what you deserve even if what you are doing has nothing to do with your work. When someone takes the risk to be open about their gender identity, sexuality or number of partners, etc., in an environment with so many fucked-up norms, it is usually not a phase.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
To start with, we could easily stop using binary and cisnormative language in all our communication. Hearing ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ these days makes me almost as sick as ‘Dear Sirs’. And what’s the deal with binary toilets still around at festivals and venues? Just make all the toilets unisex, that’s the easiest thing you can do to be more inclusive to trans people, and it helps with queues too!

“Make all the toilets unisex, that’s the easiest thing you can do to be more inclusive to trans people, and it helps with queues too!”

A cause you support.
Questioning norms.

What does the near future of the industry look like?
Busy.

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
In my experience, people in the live music industry have been nicer, more understanding and more patient during the pandemic. Let’s keep that up. Nobody should have to be intimidated because of a gig.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Daniel Brown, Birmingham Pride

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 Rach Millhauser, coordinator at Wasserman Music in the US here.

 


Daniel Brown
he/him
Event Producer/Programmer, Birmingham Pride, Nightingale Club, Hare & Hounds, Hooker Club, Disco P*ssy, Glittersh*t
Birmingham, UK
https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-brown-676ab3187/

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
A personal triumph for my career was becoming the programmer for Birmingham Pride in 2018. Seeing your plans and ideas that you created in your mind in real life: there’s nothing like it.

Being able to make Birmingham Pride one of the most diverse lineups in Europe is the goal for me and I think we are getting there, seeing all these amazing queer artists being their true authentic selves and seeing the reaction of the crowd, in awe that they finally have people that represent them on stage.

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
If you see a gap that needs filling, don’t wait for someone to fill it. Get your friends together and create that space that you need, you will be so surprised how many people feel the same as you. But also keep at it! The amount of parties and events I have created that have had 20 people attend – if you take it personally, it can knock your confidence. But your next event could be your best, always remember that.

“Get your friends together and create that space that you need, you will be so surprised how many people feel the same”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
Being taken seriously, especially in heteronormative environments. Many people stereotype the sort of work you can produce or want to produce just because you are queer. I’ve spoken with events and venues in the past, who, when I mentioned collaborating, basically laughed in my face. But it lit a fire under my arse to make sure I will prove them wrong!

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
More grassroots nights taking front and centre! I think people now will be so much more excited to see local talent! A more community-based vibe is what I want to see post-pandemic!

A cause you support.
Emerge, in Birmingham, is a youth group for 13-19-year olds who are trans or questioning their gender, identify as trans and/or non-binary. Young people are offered the unique opportunity to support and be supported by their peers. They provide a safe space for conversation, learning and support.

“Many people stereotype the sort of work you can produce or want to produce just because you are queer”

Rainbow Migration supports LGBTQI+ people through the asylum and immigration system. It provides practical and emotional support for those seeking asylum to help improve their confidence and self-esteem and reduce isolation. It also provides legal advice and information to LGBTQI+ people who want to live in the UK with their partners.

What does the near future of the industry look like?
I’m excited for the future, I feel like people are slowly becoming more switched on and understanding about what is needed by an event, especially queer events. I feel another summer of love coming!

How would you like to see the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
More grassroots nights taking front and centre. Events slowly became so much about big names before the lockdown! I think people now will be so much more excited to see local talent. A more community-based vibe is what I want to see post-pandemic.


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Leigh Millhauser, Wasserman Music

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 Guy Howes, music partnerships executive at CAA in the UK here.

 


Leigh Millhauser
They/them
Coordinator, Wasserman Music
New York, US
[email protected]

Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
I spent many years leaving a lot of myself at the door when I walked into the office or a show. While far from easy, deciding to walk 100% of myself through the door has been a profound relief and quite rewarding – both professionally and personally. Now I feel a strong sense of responsibility to use my voice to push for more opportunities for trans and gender-nonconforming people, both onstage and backstage.

What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Be yourself. No career opportunity is worth compromising your identity for. One of my favourite words of wisdom came from Lenore Kinder – “There’s going to be very few people that hold the door open for you in this business, so you just gotta swing the fucker open and walk through.”

“No career opportunity is worth compromising your identity for”

Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
Going to shows and meeting people face-to-face for the first time can be a wildcard scenario: sometimes I’m not quite what they imagined on the other end of that email address. While some moments have stung, I move right along and let my work speak for itself.

What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
We still have a long way to go when it comes to truly including and uplifting marginalised communities. How many queer people of colour work at your company? The answer is usually not great.

Causes you support.
Trans Lifeline and The Okra Project. Personally, I’m committed to donating to trans people who need financial assistance with healthcare via crowdfunding websites and cash apps. The financial barriers the trans community faces when it comes to healthcare is astonishing.

“Promoter versus agent mentality has to go out the window…”

What does the near future of the industry look like?
Promoter versus agent mentality has to go out the window. Currently, in the US, the floodgates have opened but in a patchwork way, making it trickier to route a several-week tour months in advance. We’re responding to differing local regulations in real-time, putting shows on-sale with much shorter windows and facing avails that are few and far between. At the same time, live music has never felt more precious and meaningful.

How could the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
Sustainable touring and climate change need to be at the forefront. No one needs to be an expert to make an impact. Carbon offsetting has never been made easier and there are many exciting new ways to approach concessions, catering, merch, fuel and so much more. Shout out to Reverb for leading the charge on this!


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