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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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Raven Twigg, Metropolis 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 Doug Smith, SVP field operations UK & Ireland, Ticketmaster here.
Tell us about a personal triumph in your career.
Whilst I was a student in Manchester, I bagged myself a casual job working on the customer service desk at Manchester Arena, igniting the bug in me to be at as many live shows as possible. I was able to meet people, prove my hard-working nature and be offered a position programming the venue, as well as other arenas and theatres across the UK. I don’t think any of us knew then that I’d end up in London then booking talent into the venue myself, but I’m extremely grateful to those who offered me an opportunity back then. I feel extremely proud of myself for my journey.
What advice could you give for young queer professionals?
Seek out inclusive spaces such as networking collectives, queer talent nights, etc… It’s only once you’re around like-minded people that you can access your full potential.
Tell us about a professional challenge you often come across as a queer person.
I’ve never felt any challenges with Metropolis Music, personally. We’re a very diverse and inclusive team and I’m very grateful for that. I have been told in other work environments that I ‘don’t look gay’. I’m not sure what gay looks like, and it took me a long time to even identify with that word.
Once colleagues become aware of your sexuality, some folx will look at you differently and can never ‘unsee’ your queerness. I’ve also had my sexuality and relationship discussed like office gossip, and that set me back significantly as I struggled with understanding why others found it such a big deal, and felt extremely othered and vulnerable.
“To change the discourse of seeing the same white, cis-gendered male, indie bands littered all over line-ups, it starts with us”
What one thing could the industry do to be more inclusive?
Seek out queer, trans and non-binary talent, whether that’s on an artist front or for your employment opportunities. We need to give marginalised groups a foot through the door where we can. To change the discourse of seeing the same white, cis-gendered male, indie bands littered all over festival line-ups, it starts with us. By becoming more inclusive with our Spotify streaming habits, the demands shift and marginalised groups are given a platform.
A causes you support.
London Friend. They’re an LGBTQ+ voluntary counselling service and they helped me masses over the past year in terms of “coming out” to my family and friends, accepting myself and being in a same-sex relationship. It’s safe to say that without them and my counsellor, specifically, I wouldn’t be writing this so publicly for you today.
Women Connect. I have to plug our collective, of course. We are a femxle-forward collective creating safer, all-inclusive spaces, good fortune and equal opportunities for women, non-binary people and gender-fluid folx working in the creative industries and beyond.
The collective was birthed from a place of passion and the undeniable need for women in the creative industry to come together organically. We’re entirely self-funded and we aim to create a safe environment for our community.
“I can already see the [post-pandemic] differences when communicating with agents and venues”
What does the near future of the industry look like?
Hopefully, very busy! The pandemic has affected our industry like no other. With the opportunity to grow and educate ourselves whilst working from home (I appreciate this isn’t the case for everyone), we’ve had more time to focus on ourselves and I truly think the industry will bounce back to a stronger and kinder place.
I can already see the differences when communicating with agents and venues, we all understand the difficulties each of our areas of the industry has bear witness to and it feels so much more united.
How would you like to see the industry build back better, post-pandemic?
I hope that the industry, post-pandemic will be a more forgiving place and make space to look after one another better. Our industry can be exhausting, my personal record is four gigs in one night. We need to create boundaries and practice saying no – we physically can’t be at every live show and it shouldn’t be looked down upon if you’re taking a night off to go home, cook yourself a hearty meal and put your feet up.
Our mental health is the most important thing, let’s try to approach situations with compassion. Always say please and thank you and let your employees and colleagues know that you appreciate them. It’s easy to forget that even the busiest of humans, are still humans and a thank you can go a long way.
Out and proud: Read IQ Magazine’s Pride edition
The first-ever Pride edition of IQ, the international live music industry’s favourite monthly magazine, is available to read online now.
The historic edition (issue 101) marks Pride month by giving the floor to a spectrum of queer voices from across the international live music business.
Issue 101’s marquee feature, the LGBTIQ+ List 2021, pays tribute to the business’ queer pioneers who wave the flag for a more diverse and inclusive industry.
This year’s top 20, as nominated by our readers and verified by our esteemed steering committee, share their challenges, triumphs, advice and email addresses with us.
In Pride and Prejudice, Lisa Henderson hears from artists and professionals who risk their lives to help change attitudes in intolerant nations, and learns of the true power that live music can play in their activism.
As well as celebrating how far our industry has come, this issue also demonstrates how far it has to go
Elsewhere, world-renowned agencies including Paradigm, UTA, ICM and Primary Talent, among others, cherry-pick their queer headline acts, banishing any excuses for pale, male and stale (and cishet) line-ups in the process.
As well as celebrating how far our industry has come, this issue also demonstrates how far it has to go via Laura Nagtegaal’s undeniable testimony of sexism, transphobia and toxic masculinity and Lotje Horver’s instructional guide on how to be an effective ally.
As usual, the majority of magazine content will appear online in some form in the next four weeks. However, if you can’t wait for your fix of essential live music industry features, opinion and analysis, click here to subscribe to IQ for just £5.99 a month – or check out what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below:
IQ subscribers can log in and read the full magazine now.
This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.