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Wasserman hires veteran agent Shannon Casey

Wasserman Music has appointed Shannon Casey as SVP of fairs and festivals, to expand the agency’s reach in the business area.

Casey will start at Wasserman on 1 October, based in the agency’s Nashville office.

The veteran agent joins Wasserman after more than two decades at CAA in Nashville, representing some of the most notable live performance talent in the music business.

“I look forward to working with some of the most passionate and respected agents in the business,” says Casey.

“I can’t wait to reconnect with all the fair and festival buyers, with whom it has been my pleasure to work over the years”

“I can’t wait to reconnect with all the fair and festival talent buyers, with whom it has been my pleasure to work over the years, and I’m excited about creating new touring opportunities for a dynamic roster of talented artists.”

Wasserman SVP, Lenore Kinder, added: “The addition of Shannon to Wasserman Music brings irreplaceable experience and expertise in a rapidly evolving economy in fairs and festivals.

“She has cultivated decades of meaningful relationships with her buyers, and I have no doubt they’re just as eager to get back to business with her as we are!”

Today’s news follows the appointment of veteran agent Brent Smith as executive vice-president and managing executive, in July, and five new agents, earlier this month.

The appointments follow Wasserman group’s acquisition of Paradigm’s North American live music business.

 


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Wasserman announces five newly appointed agents

Wasserman Music, the new booking agency formed following Wasserman group’s acquisition of Paradigm’s North American live music business, has announced five newly promoted agents.

The new agents include Amanda Ilgunas, Paige Maloney and Lauren Marker, as well as brand partnership agents Edenized Perez and Mallory Smith.

Additionally, Wasserman has appointed Stephanie Gherini and Mika Posecion as tour marketing directors.

“We take great pride in developing strong careers for our colleagues, as well as for our clients”

“We take great pride in developing strong careers for our colleagues, as well as for our clients,” says Wasserman Music EVP and managing executive Lee Anderson.

“Amanda, Paige, Lauren, Edenized and Mallory have grown into outstanding professionals, and we’re honoured to welcome them to our agent team.

“The addition of Stephanie and Mika to our exceptional tour marketing team represents a big step forward in Wasserman’s ability to empower and guide our clients’ touring careers.”

Today’s news follows the appointment of veteran agent Brent Smith as executive vice-president and managing executive, in July.

 


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The LGBTIQ+ List 2021: Rach 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.

 


Rach Millhauser
They/them
Coordinator, Wasserman Music
New York, US
rmillhauser@teamwass.com

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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Wasserman Music appoints veteran agent Brent Smith

Wasserman Music, the new booking agency formed following Wasserman group’s acquisition of Paradigm’s North American live music business, has appointed veteran agent Brent Smith as executive vice-president and managing executive.

Smith started his career at Ian Copeland’s Frontier Booking International (FBI), a prominent New York-based talent agency that represented seminal rock acts such as the The Police, R.E.M., XTC, The B-52’s, The Go-Go’s, The English Beat, The Bangles, and Nine Inch Nails.

Following the agency’s closure, Smith went to William Morris Agency (later William Morris Endeavour) where he spent more than two decades and eventually became a partner. His roster at WME included Kendrick Lamar, Adam Levine, Mark Knopfler, Frank Ocean, and Tyler, The Creator.

In a statement published on Variety in October 2020, WME said that Smith and the agency had “mutually decided to part ways, following an investigation based on complaints of bullying behaviour by the agent”.

“We have come to know Brent as a smart, genuine, professional team player who always puts clients first”

The news came a month after Smith’s suspension for “behavioural issues,” first reported by Deadline.

“As many of you know, the senior leadership team and I have been spending time with Brent Smith, and today I am pleased to share that he is joining Wasserman Music as EVP and managing executive,” founder and CEO Casey Wasserman wrote in a note to staff.

“We have come to know Brent as a smart, genuine, professional team player who always puts clients first and is ready to embrace the Wasserman value system and culture.

“I am really proud of our team and the discipline and insight they brought into this process. We are committed to quality, clients and teamwork and this is just one more win for Wasserman Music as we grow together,” he concluded.

 


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LGBTIQ+ List 2021: This year’s queer pioneers revealed

IQ Magazine’s highly-anticipated LGBTIQ+ List 2021 – the first annual celebration of queer professionals who make an immense impact in the international live music business – can now be revealed.

The landmark list is the jewel in the crown of IQs first-ever Pride edition, which was published on Monday (28 June) and followed by our Loud and Proud agency-curated playlist.

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.

The inaugural cohort comprises 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)
Sean Hill, director of tour marketing, UTA (UK)
Zoe Williamson, agent, UTA (US)
Will Larnach-Jones, managing director/head of bookings, Iceland Airwaves (IE)
Raven Twigg, promoter assistant, Metropolis Music/founder, Women Connect (UK)
Nadu Placca, global event & experience architect, The Zoo XYZ (UK)
Maxie Gedge, Keychange project manager, PRS Foundation (UK)
Mark Fletcher, CEO, Manchester Pride (UK)
Maddie Arnold, associate promoter, Live Nation (UK)
Lauren Kirkpatrick, promoter assistant, DF Concerts (UK)
Laura Nagtegaal, guitar technician and tour manager, MsGyver (NL)
Joanne Croxford, wellness + diversity specialist/ live touring/ tour assistant (UK)
James Murphy, chief operating officer North America, See Tickets (US)
Guy Howes, music partnerships executive, CAA (UK)
Doug Smith, SVP field operations UK & Ireland, Ticketmaster (UK)
Chris Ibbs, agent, CAA (UK)
Rach Millhauser, coordinator, Wasserman Music (US)
Austin Sarich, director of touring, Live Nation (US)
Daniel Brown, event producer/programmer, Birmingham Pride (UK)
Rauha Kyyrö, head promoter, Fullsteam Agency (FI)

“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.”

Full profiles of the individuals on the LGBTIQ+ List 2021 will appear online in the coming weeks. However, subscribers can read the entire feature in the Pride edition (issue 101) of IQ Magazine now.

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:

 


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Wasserman revels in branding opportunities for artists

New live music power player Casey Wasserman believes his company’s experience in working with brands will be the number one opportunity for its many new artist clients, following its multi-billion dollar acquisition of the Paradigm Talent Agency’s American assets.

As chairman and CEO of Wasserman Media Group (and the president of the Los Angeles Olympic organising committee), which includes newly rebranded Wasserman Music, he said buying Paradigm at a time when there is no live music was an easy gamble. “To be able to buy an agency that had scale, like Paradigm’s US business – and the UK business is not far behind for us – was a unique opportunity,” Wasserman told delegates at Pollstar Live! yesterday (17 June).

“Timing is luck. We didn’t buy a music business because we could get it cheap. We bought a music business because we believe in the music business – and we believe in it for the next 20 years – and opportunity to own a business with a great group of people and a great set of clients fits with how we think about the world.”

Appearing on stage alongside Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke and C3 Presents’ head promoter and talent buyer Amy Corbin, during the conference’s final keynote conversation (Reviving Live, What’s Next?), Wasserman said adding close to 50 music agents to his company’s existing 130 sports agents was a great deal.

“On the work we do for our brands, music is a big platform – it’s artist driven, it’s event driven, it’s festival driven, it’s building driven,” he stated. “The science behind what makes dollars valuable in the sports world and the music world and the cultural landscape is very similar, and we think one of the big opportunities that we have is that we are amongst the leaders in helping brands spend their dollars. I think it’s the biggest single opportunity for artists from the connectivity inside our company. Our ability to understand what the brands want and what the artists will do, and bring those two together, will create a lot of value for the artists.”

Noting the company’s strengths in data analytics, Wasserman added, “As our team likes to say, ‘the world is drowning in data and starving for insight.’ We think the insights we can offer on top of the data that everyone spews is as valuable to an artist as it is to an athlete or it is to a brand, and we’ve already started to do that. Most of the time I’ve spent with our agents is in thinking about brand connectivity and brand relationships, and for us that always starts from the data.”

“We think the insights we can offer on top of the data that everyone spews is as valuable to an artist as it is to an athlete”

Leading the panel, Oak View Group’s Francesca Leiweke-Bodie congratulated C3’s Corbin on selling out 450,000 tickets for Austin City Limits in record time. Corbin admitted that working from home was akin to being “in an isolation chamber,” unable to bounce ideas off her team, making the challenges of organising this year’s event considerable. “We had no idea that we would sell out in just three hours. The appetite was insatiable, and that’s promising for our industry.”

She added that with such C3 events as Lollapalooza to organise, amidst a tour landscape that will be the busiest ever in 2022 and 2023, her team are already working on festivals well into the future. “The traffic I’m seeing in 2022 is pretty crazy, so we’re being forced to get out ahead of it and at least secure the headliners… the sooner we can get started the better.”

Meanwhile, with seven arenas due to open in the next 18 months, Oak View Group’s Leiweke revealed they will announce “about ten more” in the near future. And with Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena set to open in October, Leiweke took the chance to speak about the sustainability challenge that the music industry is facing.

“We have about a ten-year window where if we don’t solve our planet and sustainability, and what we’re doing to ourselves, the whole Earth is going to disappear one day,” warned Leiweke.

Applauding Amazon chief Jeff Bezos for coming up with the idea of a carbon-neutral arena, Leiweke continued, “Climate Pledge [Arena] is the first step; UBS Arena will also be carbon neutral, but will take more time as we have existing utilities we have to deal with. But we are committed ultimately now to make sure that for our industry we are a platform and we’re going to invite everyone up in October so we can share with you everything we’ve learned about how we can be carbon neutral, how we can help make this Earth a little bit better, and how we can lead the charge at making everyone understand that we have a few years to change this and if we don’t, we’re going to lose this battle.”

On a more upbeat note, Leiweke concluded that the industry’s recovery from the pandemic lockdown looks like it could be phenomenal.

“The amount of content that’s going to be out there is going to be spectacular and the amount of demand is the best we’ve ever seen,” Leiweke noted. “There’s new leadership and a new direction on how we ultimately maximise the value of touring for an artist by thinking outside the box. I think we’re now living in the golden age for live entertainment.”

 


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Wasserman Music, Twitch launch livestream series

Wasserman Music has partnered with Twitch, the Amazon-owned livestreaming leader, to launch There is Light, a new virtual concert series and music discovery platform.

Kicking off tonight (4 May) with a performance by Perfume Genius at the Lodge Room in Los Angeles, There is Light will present 20 shows from independent music venues in the US and UK across the summer. Other confirmed headliners include Best Coast, Jade Bird, Cautious Clay, Creeper, Orla Gartland, JpegMafia, Porches, the Snuts, and Two Feet, with more to be announced.

The There is Light concerts, all of which will be free to view, will take place on Tuesdays at 8pm ET/5pm PT in the US and Sundays at 8pm BST in the UK, concluding on 28 September.

Each live stream will run for 90 minutes, with a 30-minute pre-show featuring an opening act followed by the headline performance. Following the headliner’s set, there will be a moderated Q&A where artists will engage with their fans and the Twitch community.

No live, in-person audiences are planned, though this is subject to change based on local Covid-19 conditions and protocols, according to Wasserman Music, which launched last month following Wasserman’s acquisition of Paradigm Talent Agency’s North American music division.

Sam Alpert, SVP of marketing at Wasserman Music, says: “In creating a branded series, our goal was to find turnkey opportunities for artists within the livestreaming space, while also creating a destination for the indie music community to hear some of their favourite live acts and discover new ones from all over the world. With the launch of the There is Light channel, Twitch is providing the perfect medium for artists to engage with their fans and the Twitch community, and we are looking forward to building it with them throughout this series and beyond.”

“Twitch provides the perfect platform for artists to showcase new material in the absence of live opportunities”

“Independent artists have created some of the strongest and fastest-growing communities on Twitch,” says Will Farrell-Green, head of music content at Twitch. “These artists deeply understand the impact of building and connecting with a loyal fan base. Our partnership with Wasserman Music will give indie artists a dedicated home on the service where they will have the opportunity to introduce their music to Twitch’s global audience and interact with fans on a more personal level.

“During what continues to be an incredibly difficult time for the music industry, we are thrilled to offer new ways to support music artists as well as the reopening of several prominent indie venues.”

Twitch is known for its dominance in the videogame livestreaming space, hosting 91% of all gaming streams, though its concert streams grew exponentially during last year’s lockdown, shooting up 385% in April 2020 alone.

Anna Bewers, agent for Creeper and Orla Gartland at Paradigm Agency in London, says: “The livestreaming space can present complex logistics, and we wanted to create a seamless solution that allowed artists to reach new audiences globally when touring hasn’t been possible.

“It’s so important, but increasingly difficult, to keep musicians active, but Twitch provides the perfect platform for artists to showcase new material in the absence of live opportunities.”

The initial There is Light headliners and venues is as follows

4 May: Perfume Genius, Lodge Room (Los Angeles)
11 May: Best Coast, Lodge Room
18 May: Two Feet, Lodge Room
25 May: JpegMafia, Lodge Room
15 June: Porches, Sultan Room, New York
27 June: Jade Bird, Lafayette, London
29 June: Cautious Clay, Sultan Room
25 July: Creeper Lafayette
1 August: Orla Gartland, Lafayette
8 August: The Snuts, Lafayette

 


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Wasserman Music launches in the US

Casey Wasserman, chairman and CEO of US sports representation giant Wasserman, today (21 April) announced the launch of Wasserman Music, the new booking agency formed following the completion of its acquisition of Paradigm’s North American live music business.

Wasserman Music will operate as a business unit of the wider Wasserman organisation, led by Casey Wasserman; his existing executive management team; and senior ex-Paradigm execs Marty Diamond, Jonathan Levine, Jackie Nalpant, Sam Hunt, Corrie Martin, Lee Anderson and Matt Rodriguez, who will oversee the business on a day-to-day basis. Tom Windish, Joe Rosenberg and Lori Feldman, also all formerly of Paradigm, will round out the team, providing business development and operational and marketing support.

The new company launches with more than 130 employees and a healthy balance sheet, with plans to “expand assertively as the live entertainment business rebounds in 2021 and 2022”, according to a launch announcement.

“I have worked side by side with this remarkable group of people to build a blueprint for success and I am continually impressed with their tenacity and care for both their clients and the business,” comments Casey Wasserman (pictured). “But most important is our shared commitment to cultivating a culture of forward progress so this new business appropriately reflects the artists and fans we serve.

“This is a dynamic opportunity to create new collaborations between the family of brands and talent that Wasserman currently represents in a meaningful and impactful way, and I am excited to get started.”

“This is a dynamic opportunity to create new collaborations between the family of brands and talent that Wasserman represents”

Artists on Wasserman Music’s roster include Kenny Chesney, Coldplay, Billie Eilish, Imagine Dragons, the Lumineers, Dave Matthews Band, Janelle Monáe, Kacey Musgraves, Old Dominion, Phish, Ed Sheeran, Lorde, Sturgill Simpson, Black Pumas, Brandi Carlile, Tyler Childers, Kaytranada, Normani, Run the Jewels, Tash Sultana, Diplo, DJ Snake, Flume, Jack Harlow, Odesza and Skrillex.

Launch focuses for Wasserman Music include a new partnership with the organisation Color of Change, which works to promote greater diversity in the live music industry, and the establishment of a ‘music-meets-method’ model which supports artists’ touring, content, partnerships and enterprise plans with the company’s in-house analytics and insights platforms.

The music unit also presents an opportunity for Wasserman, which works with some of the world’s biggest athletes and sports stars, to connect brands with its new roster of music clients. “The result will be a turbocharged consultancy that delivers perspective to brands considering an investment in the high-return touchpoint of music,” says the company in a statement.

“The combination of music, sports and lifestyle representation will serve to propel Wasserman’s existing signing, servicing and selling capabilities and opportunities,” it adds.

 


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