PANEL: The Festival Season 2019
With the 2019 festival season now wrapped-up, it’s time to take stock of the key issues, successes, trials and tribulations. As the festival market continues to consolidate and with fund-backed operators buying-up independents, what’s the impact on the ground for both bookers and agents? Organisers face new pressures to gender-balance line-ups while juggling rising costs and escalating fees, while on the agency side, the pressures of signing and retaining artist clients show no sign of reducing. It’s enough to question why we all do it… so how was 2019 for you really? This now-established IFF session kicks off the conference proper, setting the tone for many conversations that follow.
Greg Lowe, United Talent Agency (UK)
Greg Lowe is an Agent at the London office of leading talent and entertainment company United Talent Agency (UTA).
Specializing in underground indie and pop music, Lowe represents a wealth of artists in the electronic and indie spheres. His roster includes the Mercury nominated Glass Animals, Underworld, Crystal Fighters plus rising stars such as Phantogram and Low Island.
Lowe graduated from Southampton University in 1999, where he gained a Bachelor’s degree in English and History. He began his career as a journalist writing for dance music publications such as Mixmag, Muzik and Jockey Slut, then moved into PR working at Parlophone, Regal, Gut and Ministry of Sound records.
From PR he transitioned into the live side of the industry, working as an Agent at Elastic Artists as it opened its doors in the UK. Lowe spent eight years at Elastic and was key to the companies growth. He looked after acts such as Bugz in the Attic, Soul II Soul and The Nextmen before moving to United Talent Agency (formerly The Agency Group) in 2010.
Lowe lives in Walthamstow, London with his wife and daughter.
Guest Speaker Details…
Charly Beedell-Tuck, Solo Agency (UK)
Charly studied International Business Management at Queen Mary University of London for a year and then transferred for the last 2 years to finish the course at Cardiff University, where she graduated from in 2012. She went onto intern at various management companies, soon realising management wasn’t for her and the live space was where she wanted to be.
She started on reception at WME in 2013 and worked her way up to become Russell Warby’s assistant (working on Foo Fighters, The Strokes, Johnny Marr, Kaiser Chiefs, The Cribs, Miike Snow, The Avalanches and more). She Left WME to join Solo as an agent in January 2017, where she has been building her roster of emerging artists which is made up of Imelda May, Rothwell, Wild Front, Chinchilla, Paradisia, Cruel Hearts Club, The Compozers (to name but a few) alongside booking a number of artists with John such as Boyzone, James, Generation Sex, Ronan Keating etc.
Anna Sjölund, Live Nation Sweden (SE)
Anna Sjölund is the President Festivals & Concerts of Live Nation Sweden, overseeing the company’s touring, agency and festival divisions. In addition to promoting the first Lollapalooza Stockholm in 2019, Anna runs the company’s international department who yearly promotes more than 300 shows with international artists in Sweden and the Nordic region. Anna started with then EMA Telstar in 2000, and spent three years in Central and Eastern Europe as Head of Operations for Live Nation before returning to Sweden and her current role in 2012.
Stephan Thanscheidt, FKP Scorpio (DE)
Stephan Thanscheidt, born in 1977, is the CEO at FKP Scorpio and as Head of Festivalbooking also responsible for the program of over 15 major open air-festivals across Europe based at the headquarter in Hamburg, Germany.
FKP Scorpio Konzertproduktionen GmbH started its rise towards one of Europe’s leading promoters in 1990, when it was founded by Folkert Koopmans. Today, FKP Scorpio is not only one of the largest German organizers for tours and local concerts, but also the largest festival organizer in Europe with offices in seven countries with more than 200 employees. The FKP Scorpio festival repertoire includes Hurricane, Southside, Highfield, M’era Luna, Rolling Stone Beach, Rolling Stone Park, Metal Hammer Paradise, A Summer’s Tale, Plage Noire and Deichbrand.
On the international side, FKP Scorpio hosts Provinssi (FI), Sideways (FI), Greenfield (CH), Gården (SWE), Indian Summer (NL), Best Kept Secret (NL), Tuckerville (NL) among others. FKP Scorpio ́s artist roster includes musical giants such as The Rolling Stones, Blink-182, Ed Sheeran, Foo Fighters, Justin Bieber, James Blunt, Pixies and many more. In addition to tours, festivals, shows and local concerts, FKP Scorpio is also the owner of the gourmet variéte theater PALAZZO, which opens its doors in the winter season in various European cities. Be it music or entertainment: FKP Scorpio is constantly seeking new forms of creative and innovative entertainment.
Mikolaj Ziolkowski, Open’er Festival (PL)
Mikolaj Ziolkowski is an expert in promoting culture, music, art and entertainment. His interest in live music events evolved into Alter Art agency, one of Poland’s leading promoters in music and entertainment events. It organizes the most important music festivals in Poland: Orange Warsaw Festival, Kraków Live Festival and the biggest one – Open’er Festival with its 18 successful editions. Open’er has been acknowledged outside Poland, becoming a two-time European Festival Awards winner as Best Major Festival. On top of all the aforementioned success, the Alter Art agency was awarded the title of the Promoter of the Year during European Festival Awards 2016. Mikolaj Ziolkowski was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Poland. He was also included on the list of most influential people of culture in Poland by biggest weekly magazine in the country Polityka. Since 2016 he has been a board member of Yourope, the European Festival Association, founded in 1998.
Russell Warby, WME (UK)
In September of 1987 I moved from East London to Nottingham where I encountered a really vibrant local music scene that embraced all Indie music from the UK and US, and where the House scene was really starting to take hold. I started working at the bar in a new music venue called The Colourwheel – and at the encouragement of the venue manager Danny I began to promote shows in 1988. Having virtually no experience and an optimistic attitude with respect to the size of the relevant audience locally I rapidly lost a lot of money!
My passion at that time leant towards the fit-to-burst US underground alternative rock scene, I was fortunate enough to rapidly find a niche in which I could work pretty comfortably – along rolled Mudhoney, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Lemonheads and many other fine artists. I began booking across Europe and ultimately around the world. A number of years rolled by before I eventually drew a breath and explored a passion for electronic artists, working with Leftfield and early Warp artists, and in Hip Hop with innovators Mos Def and De La Soul. Incredible influential US and European artists followed; Foo Fighters, Elliott Smith, Pavement, Sebadoh, Royal Trux, Stereolab, Broadcast, Guided by Voices.
In January 2007, I was one of the senior agents who helped set up the music division of WME in London where I ultimately became a partner.
10:30 - 11:30
Greg Lowe, United Talent Agency (UK)