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LGBTIQ+ List 2023: Christina Austin, UTA

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, starting with Christina Austin (she/her), a music agent at UTA in the UK.

Christina Austin is a music agent at the London office of leading global talent, entertainment, sports, and advisory company UTA. She currently works with several diverse artists on her roster, including Molchat Doma, Cheddar Gorgeous, Alina Pash and ZAND.

In addition to artist representation, she is a member of UTA Proud, the agency’s LGBTQIA+ employee resource group, as well as UTA’s women’s committees.

Christina joined UTA after working in music venues across London for seven years, starting out as a cloakroom attendant at Matter and going on to become part of a team at Brooklyn Bowl London, booking artists like The Bronx, Martha Reeves, and Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes in less than two years.

Tell us about the professional feat you’re most PROUD of in 2023 so far.
Signing the first drag artist out of the London office, the legend that is Dr Cheddar Gorgeous. My love for Cheddar pre-dates UK Drag Race stardom; their creativity and philanthropy are unmatched. I’m beyond proud to be working with such an icon alongside the most wonderful queer team.

Name one queer act you’re itching to see live this year.
One is not possible: ZAND, Christine and The Queens, and Rebecca Black, among so many others.

What advice could you give to young queer professionals?
Never alter who you truly are for the sake of someone else’s comfort. Or my recent favourites: “If it’s not going to matter in five years, it doesn’t matter now” and “I am a rich man.” Credit: Cher.

“There needs to be a new system put in place that’s not centred around a ‘CIS-tem'”

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
Saying yes to something WAY out of my comfort zone, and here we are, six years later.

In terms of challenges in the industry, what’s currently keeping you up at night?
The lack of opportunities for queer artists outside of the existing ‘check-mark criteria.’ There needs to be a new system put in place that’s not centred around a ‘CIS-tem.’

How do you see the live music business developing in the next few years?
Currently only 6.7% of women in the live industry are in senior executive positions. Getting this to 50% is the goal – tough but not impossible. I hope to see gender-balanced festivals and more female/non-binary people in the driving seat.

“I hope to see gender-balanced festivals and more female/non-binary people in the driving seat”

Name one thing you’d like to see the live music business change.
I want to see more young people given a platform. Fresh ideas and a nurturing environment should be the starting point.

Name one thing the industry could do to be a more equitable place.
Listen (in full!) to people, regardless of title, without interrupting. Everybody deserves to finish their sentence.

Shout out to your biggest ally in the live music industry.
He is now ex-industry as he chose the quiet life, but this one goes out to Moz.

Do you support any LGBTIQ+ causes?
The Outside Project


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