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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.


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LGBTIQ+ List 2023: Meet this year’s queer pioneers

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

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.

The 20 individuals comprising the LGBTIQ+ List 2023 – 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 third instalment comprises agents, promoters, tour managers, marketing executives, consultants, founders and more – all of whom identify as LGBTIQ+ and, in the face of adversity, have made enormous contributions to their respective sectors.

In alphabetical order, the LGBTIQ+ List 2023 is:

Christina Austin, music agent, United Talent Agency (UK)
Hila Aviran, director of entertainment & tours, PixMob (US)
Johanna Beckman, senior creative curator and promoter, FKP Scorpio Sweden (SE)
Amy Greig, booking agent, Runway Artists (UK)
Adem Holness, head of contemporary music, Southbank Centre (UK)
Kane Kete, client development manager, Ticketmaster (AU)
Ippei Kimura, booking/marketing/tour manager, Creativeman Productions (JP)
Katherine Koranteng, marketing & campaigns manager, Festival Republic (UK)
Stefan Lehmkuhl, freelance curator & live entertainment consultant, BMG/Ruined My Rainbow (DE)
Lucy Mackenzie McNae, tour manager (Josef, Twin Atlantic), Two and a Half TMs (UK)
Saskhia Menendez, innovator at Keychange, board of directors at F-List Music (UK)
Dev Mistry, global internal comms manager, DICE (UK)
Frederik Diness Ove, founder, Queer Music Agency (DK)
Boyan Pinter (Boiadjiev), founder/director, SPIKE Bulgarian Music Showcase (BG)
Scott Robson, event manager, ASM Global (UK)
Roman Samotný, director, Queer Slovakia (SK)
Marie-Christine Scheffold, senior booking agent manager, Selective Artists (DE)
Karim Siddiqui, senior booking manager, Live Nation (US)
Areti Tziorta, marketing manager, TEG Europe (UK)
João Pedro Viana, music agent, WME (UK)

Throughout the next month, IQ will be publishing full-length interviews with each person on the LGBTIQ+ List 2023.

Subscribers can read the full Pride edition now. Click here to subscribe to IQ from less than £8 a month – or see what you’re missing out on with the limited preview below.

Check out 2022’s cohort of queer pioneers here, and 2021’s cohort here.