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Wasserman’s Penty talks Lewis Capaldi arena tour

Wasserman Music agent Ryan Penty has spoken to IQ about Lewis Capaldi’s 2023 European arena tour.

The Scottish singer-songwriter, whose second album Broken by Desire to be Heavenly Sent comes out next May, has announced a 31-date trek for January to March next year, with stops in the UK and Ireland (excluding London), Poland, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and Spain.

“We’re doing arenas right across Europe so it’s very exciting times,” says Penty, who represents Capaldi with Wasserman’s Alex Hardee.

Tickets for the UK leg cost £40-60. Capaldi broke internationally with his UK and US No.1 single Someone You Loved in 2019, while his debut LP Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent was the biggest UK album of both 2019 and 2020. His comeback single Forget Me topped the charts in the UK last month.

Back in 2020, Capaldi joined a select group of artists who have headlined arenas while still on their first album campaign. He also sold out two nights at London’s 20,000-cap The O2, which finally took place last month after being postponed twice due to the pandemic.

“I never thought I’d get to the point where I had two O2 shows and just wanted them to be out of the way so badly!”

“We announced them on the day of the 2020 BRIT Awards and sold them out in the first hour,” recalls Penty. “They were supposed to happen that year as the full stop of the campaign and they served in the end as the start of the new campaign. It was nice to tie it all up finally and have those shows done – I never thought I’d get to the point where I had two O2 shows and just wanted them to be out of the way so badly!

“The show has come on leaps and bounds. It’s gone from Lewis being on stage with great songs, a great band and great chat, to now also having really impressive production.”

Capaldi returned to the road over the summer for a string of UK festival headline shows at TRNSMT, Isle of Wight, Latitude, Lytham and Belsonic, as well as slots around the continent at Northside (Denmark), Rock Werchter (Belgium), Lollapalooza Stockholm (Sweden), Slottsfjell (Norway), Pori Jazz (Finland), MEO (Portugal), Sziget (Hungary), Live Festival (Poland), Frequency (Austria), Lowlands (Netherlands) and Zurich Openair (Switzerland).

“It was quite a struggle,” admits Penty. “We had that full festival summer, booked in for 2020, which we then moved to 2021 – which we then didn’t have the music ready for, so we moved it to 2022, which we still did that the music ready for – but we pressed on anyway and everybody was very accommodating.

“I’m just very excited about the future,” he adds. “We’ve taken it step by step, ticking off the boxes along the way, and I feel like we’re in a really, really good place.”

The full list of 2023 tour dates announced so far is listed below.


Sat 14th: Leeds, First Direct Arena

Mon 16th: Sheffield, Utilita Arena

Wed 18th: Manchester, AO Arena

Thu 19th: Liverpool, M&S Bank Arena

Sat 21st: Newcastle, Utilita Arena

Mon 23rd: Aberdeen, P&J Live

Tue 24th: Glasgow, OVO Hydro

Thu 26th: Birmingham, Utilita Arena

Fri 27th: Nottingham, Motorpoint Arena

Sun 29th: Belfast, SSE Arena

Mon 30th: Dublin, 3Arena


Wed 1st: Cardiff, International Arena

Thu 2nd: Exeter, Westpoint Arena

Mon 13th: Warsaw, Torwar – Poland

Tue 14th: Vienna, Stadthalle – Austria

Thu 16th: Berlin, Mercedes-Benz Arena – Germany

Fri 17th: Prague, O2 Arena – Czech Republic

Sun 19th: Hamburg, Barclays Arena – Germany

Tue 21st: Frankfurt, Festhalle – Germany

Thu 23rd: Antwerp, Sportpaleis – Belgium

Sat 25th: Amsterdam, Ziggo Dome – Netherlands

Sun 26th: Paris, Accor Arena – France

Tue 28th: Cologne, Lanxess Arena – Germany


Thu 2nd: Copenhagen, Royal Arena – Denmark

Fri 3rd: Oslo, Spektrum – Norway

Sun 5th: Stockholm, Avicii Arena – Sweden

Tue 7th: Zurich, Hallenstadion – Switzerland

Wed 8th: Milan, Mediolanum Forum – Italy

Fri 10th: Barcelona, Palau Sant Jordi – Spain

Sat 11th: Madrid, WiZink Center – Spain

Tue 14th: Stuttgart, Schleyerhalle – Germany

Wed 15th: Munich, Olympiahalle – Germany


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Tom Taaffe and Anna Bewers join Coda

Leading UK rock agents Tom Taaffe and Anna Bewers have joined Coda Agency.

The pair’s move sees them join former United Talent Agency (UTA) colleagues Natasha Bent and Geoff Meall at the fast-growing London agency, which has also made a number of internal promotions.

Australian-born Taaffe was an agent and promoter before relocating to England to join ITB in 2008. Two years later, he joined the Agency Group (TAG), which became UTA in 2015. He has represented acts including Good Charlotte, Asking Alexandria, Julien Baker, the Menzingers, Hot Water Music, Amos Lee and While She Sleeps.

Bewers had been with TAG/UTA since 2006, starting as an assistant before being promoted to agent in summer 2013. Over the past five years she has developed artists from grassroots to arena level, working with bands including Nothing But Thieves, Architects, the Wonder Years and Pulled Apart by Horses.

Andy Clayton and Ryan Penty, meanwhile, have been promoted to agents after nine and seven years, respectively, as bookers for Alex Hardee. They are replaced as Hardee’s bookers by Holly Rowland and Eleanor Ashley, both formerly agent’s assistants.

Rebecca Bates has also been promoted to booker for Mike Malak, after formerly serving as his assistant.

“With all the knowledge they bring in their chosen fields, we know they will thrive here”

“I’m excited at the idea of growing my roster with this company and learning from some of the very best agents that work in this business today,” comments Taaffe. “Coda has a great reputation for discovering and growing what is current in every genre.”

Bewers adds: “I’m thrilled to be joining Coda Agency and to start the next phase of my career. The agency has a reputation for signing the hottest artists and I’m excited to work with some of the most innovative and dynamic agents in the business.”

James Whitting, Coda partner, says: “We are thrilled to be welcoming Tom and Anna to the team. With all the knowledge they bring in their chosen fields, we know they will thrive here.

“Congratulations also to Holly, Eleanor, Rebecca, Andy and Ryan on their promotions. We know they will excel in their new roles.”

Coda is 50% owned by US full-service powerhouse Paradigm Talent Agency, through which it has a strategic partnership with X-ray Touring.


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Introducing… the New Bosses 2017

Welcome to the new New Bosses 2017, the tenth outing for IQ’s annual spotlight on ten future live music industry leaders, as decided by their peers.

With the feature entering double figures, we’ve witnessed many past winners go on to actually become bosses – and this year’s crop already includes company leaders.

The selection process for this year’s New Bosses shortlist was fiercer than ever, but the calibre of young professionals who are helping to improve the entertainment industry around the world underlines the maturity of the live music sector in particular – and its ability to attract some of the brightest and the best.


Anna-Sophie Mertens

Promoter, Live Nation (UK)
Age: 30

Hailing from Hamburg, Anna-Sophie completed a BA in music, theatre and entertainment management at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) in the UK. During her studies, she also worked on projects including Rock am Ring and Rock im Park. She joined Live Nation UK in 2008 as a freelance promoter rep, but in 2015 became a promoter in her own right, working with talent such as Sigrid, Lewis Capaldi, Ariana Grande, John Mayer, Emeli Sandé, Ward Thomas, The Cadillac Three, Greta Van Fleet, Billy Lockett, Joy Crookes, Isaiah Rashad and many more.

Was it a difficult decision to move to London?
I didn’t have much of a choice. I stopped by Live Nation’s office for a coffee on Friday afternoon and next thing I know I was offered a temp role starting immediately. I went back to Liverpool, packed a suitcase and was living in London three days later.

What are you currently working on?
Wrapping up the last few tour on-sales for 2017 and plotting the next steps for acts like Sigrid… If 2017 is anything to go by, she is going to have an incredible 2018!

Would you encourage people to study at university before coming into the live music industry?
I had the best three years in Liverpool and you gain access to an incredible network of people. I continue to bump into alumni, and because you shared the same experience at LIPA they are more inclined to help you out, put you in touch with someone or point you in the right direction.

What would you like to be doing in five years’ time?
More of what I am doing now!


Zoe Swindells

Programming manager, The O2 (UK)
Age: 25

Zoe Swindells, The O2, New Bosses 2017

Zoe’s love of music led her to the University of Salford in the UK, where she graduated with a first-class honours degree specialising in music production and music business. Directly after her degree, she moved to London, where she landed a position managing recording studios. At The O2, Zoe started out as programming assistant, gradually taking on more responsibility until she was promoted to programming manager in October 2016.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to find a career in the live music industry?
If you can’t find someone to give you experience, make it yourself! Organise a gig, produce a band, network and make friends with as many people as possible. Just put yourself out there.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Witnessing the growing buzz of the crowd, from when they walk into the arena to the point the house lights dim and the show begins. Nothing beats the power of that one song bringing the artist and audience together – it’s such a ‘goosebump’ moment.

What do you see yourself doing in five years’ time?
As long as I’m happy and still working in music in five years, that’s all that matters to me!

Is there any practice that you would like to introduce to improve the way the business is done?
I really like the ReBalance project, aimed at female musicians and audio engineers. I’d love to promote and encourage similar initiatives across the whole of the music industry.

Where is your favourite small venue and which dream act would you like to see playing there?
It has to be Islington Assembly Hall and my dream act to have seen there would have been Jeff Buckley. However, Portishead might be more of a possibility!


Ryan Penty

Agent, Coda Agency (UK)
Age: 27

Ryan Penty, Coda Agency, New Bosses 2017

Ryan graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK in 2011 with a degree in music and entertainment industry management. He joined Coda as an intern and worked his way up to join Alex Hardee’s team in 2013. Since then he has been working with the likes of London Grammar, Sean Paul, Clean Bandit, John Newman, Mika, Hurts and Ella Eyre, as well as hotly tipped newcomers Mullally, Lewis Capaldi and Billy Lockett.

What made you decide to get into the agency side of the business?
I originally wanted to be a promoter, but there is a lot more strategic planning involved in being an agent. I love being completely hands-on with the direction of an artist’s career.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned to date about being an agent?
Get the money in early!

How competitive is it being an agent?
You need to be on acts really early now. Being an agent is becoming more and more about scouting new talent and that’s definitely a strength of Coda.

Who do you turn to for advice?
There is no better mentor than Alex Hardee. He’s done it all, seen it all, told some terrible jokes and still come out on top.

If you had to choose one highlight from your career, so far, what would it be?
I’m really proud of how I’ve helped Coda to become the company it is today. It is forward thinking, constantly
adapting to the changing industry and a real testament to all the hard work everyone puts in daily.


Andrés Guanipa Figueredo

Marketing social media manager, Move Concerts (AR)
Age: 28

Andrés Guanipa Figueredo, Move Concerts, New Bosses 2017

Born and raised in Maracaibo, Venezuela, in 2010, Andrés graduated with a degree in marketing and public relations. For two years, he worked as a production assistant at agency/promoter Tresymedio, before moving to Argentina in 2013, where he became a marketing assistant and social media manager at Move Concerts.

Was it a difficult decision to move to Argentina?
I knew the decision was the right one. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t tough to leave my family, friends and my comfort zone, but if I had to choose, I’d do it again.

What would you like to be doing in five years’ time?
Hopefully, I’ll be back in Venezuela bringing international shows and entertainment to big venues again. We need a change of government ASAP, and when it happens this will be an option.

What one thing would you like to see happen in Argentina to improve the live music business there?
More quality venues. There are few venue options for a country that receives so many great talents, and none of them offer the whole package when you organise a big concert.

As a New Boss, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to become involved in the music business?
Never say no to an invitation; don’t stay at home. Opportunities are real and come from real people. Only by communicating will you get results.

What is the biggest challenge about working in Argentina?
Everybody knows everybody. So, when I arrived, nobody knew who I was, and the challenge has been making a good impact on everyone I’ve worked with, because once you make a mistake everyone will remember you for that.


The remaining six New Bosses will be profiled in future editions of IQ’s Index newsletter. Alternatively, read it in full now in the digital edition of IQ 73: