INDEPENDENT VENUE WEEK
THE VENUE GROUP
FEATURED ARTISTS COALITION
SYBIL BELL - INDEPENDENT VENUE WEEK
Sybil Bell is Founder of Independent Venue Week (IVW) and Independent Venue Community (IVC). She announced the launch of Independent Venue Week in November 2013, ahead for its inaugural first week in January 2014. Since then, she has spent years travelling around the country, and the world, meeting amazing people and organisations both within and around venues, many working with various community groups, often in communities that fall outside the mainstream.
“I’m incredibly proud to be announcing our new Independent Venue Week Board welcoming some of the live industry’s leading lights. Broadening our community with this board from various areas within the live sector, is vital to the ongoing development of IVW and our community and we’re over the moon to have so many great industry leaders joining our family.”
CLAIRE COURTNEY - EARTH AGENCY
Claire Courtney is co-founder, co-owner and Agent at Earth Music Agency, an independent Live and DJ booking agency established in 2014.
Claire has worked in the independent music sector since university where she started booking local bands as ents co-ordinator. Her career started in London as a radio plugger and after further experiences at recording studios, management companies, labels, a TV company and a moment in the dot-com boom/crash of the 90’s, Claire started working for an independent live music agency at the turn of this century.
“Great to be on board the board! Really looking forward to being part of the team in helping the event continue championing one of the best breeding grounds for new music – these very important independent venues.”
DOM FRAZER - THE BOILEROOM
Dom Frazer is the owner of the Boileroom, Guildford.
She regularly speaks in public and on panels and has appeared on BBC6 music, BBC Radio 4 Front Row, The Great Escape – Music Conference. BBC Radio 1 News Beat, BBC Radio 5 Live, Un- Convention.
Dom also sits on the advisory board for A.I.P (Association of Independent Promoters).
“As one of the 17 founding venues of Independent Venue Week back in 2014, I am excited to join the board. My journey with The Boileroom has allowed me to witness the incredible growth and impact of IVW over the years. This expansion from a small collective to a nationwide movement highlights the importance of supporting independent venues. As a board member, I look forward to sharing my experiences and dedication to this cause. Together, we will continue to champion the crucial role these venues play in our cultural landscape, ensuring their legacy perseveres for generations to come.”
NATASHA GREGORY - MOTHER ARTISTS
Natasha Gregory is a fierce advocate for mentoring and supporting women and parents in this industry. Most recently Natasha has agreed to one on one mentoring sessions at Abbey Road mentoring sessions; has taken both of her children to work/panels (Part of IDLES ‘Breaking The Top 5’ panel) and attends various meetings and festivals.
Natasha believes it’s important to, and continuously pushes companies to be more ‘parent’ friendly with simple actions, is consistently asking questions on what is / isn’t happening, and holds people and companies accountable with constructive suggestions on how to make parents lives easier. Natasha will only agree to do panels that will create positive change in the music industry in equality and fair rights, previously chairing panels that include: ‘Mind The Gender Gap @ IFF’ & Gender: Calm Down, What’s the Fuss @ ILMC with Emma Banks, Dame Helena Morrissey, Raye Metropolis, Folkert Skorpio.
Most excitingly Natasha has set up her own company ‘Mother Artists’ a Live Agency and Management Company. Launched in December 2020, alongside her brother Mark Bent, Mother Artists has been born out of a core aspiration and focus in creating a ‘truly equal’ workplace for all, with hard, passionate work and a no ‘bullshit’ approach for their clients, employees, and industry.
“Every Artist we build live from the ground up, starts with independent venues. It’s the ‘seed’ the ‘root’ for this industry’s growth and sustainability. If we don’t keep tending to the very core of what makes this industry thrive, we are in big big trouble. I am proud to be a voice in reminding everyone about the immediate importance to support in whichever way we can. I see the real heroes of this industry and am grateful for everything that Sybil and her team and the community of independent venues do daily.”
SARAH JONES - SONGKICK
Sarah Jones is the General Manager of Songkick, the leading concert discovery app, used by 140 million fans in 22 countries. Songkick enables music fans across the globe to track their favourite artists, discover concerts and buy tickets with confidence. Songkick’s industry mission is to create dynamic marketing tools for artists enabling them to build sustainable careers in Live Music.
Sarah joined Songkick in 2018 as Commercial Director, having spent over 14 years at the BBC working in global Business Development. She negotiated multiple high-profile deals with ticketing and digital streaming platforms, such as Ticketmaster and Spotify. She was soon promoted to VP of Songkick and then General Manager in 2022. Jones has been critical in driving Songkick to profitability in 2022 for the first time in its 15 years history.
Jones is focused on cultural transformation and has a passion for mentoring, coaching and empowering teams to perform at their best. She believes in breaking the glass ceiling and clearing the path for others. As an individual, Jones is a mother of two, a role model and a passionate inspirational leader; she’s worked hard to maintain a 50/50 gender split across the team, which is rare for a tech business.
“I am delighted to be joining the board of Independent Venue Week to support them in achieving their mission in 2024. I am personally inspired by the breadth and impact of the work that IVW do within local communities and across the music industry. It is a critical organisation that delivers long term sustainability for venues and I am excited to help shape their global impact strategy over the next year.”
BEN LOVETT - THE VENUE GROUP
Ben is a Grammy Award winning musician who has been living between New York and London for the better part of the last 17 years.
Outside of Ben’s work with his band, Mumford & Sons, he is a well-respected producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. This year marks the 17th year of an independent company he co-founded in London called Communion: a multi-faceted music business promoting shows, releasing records and publishing songwriters.
Ben has also produced and participated in a number of movie projects including Austin To Boston, a documentary capturing the journey of 4 artists across America, which won many awards at international film festivals and was subsequently licensed to Netflix as part of their selective music curation.
tvg Hospitality is the latest venture and launched in 2016. tvg (The Venue Group) is focused on designing, developing and operating a range of new independent music venues across the US and UK spanning small listening rooms through to theatres and all the way up to projects like The Orion Amphitheater, an 8,000 capacity open room serving the Huntsville, Alabama market. In London, tvg operates beloved venues The Social, Omeara & Lafayette.
“I don’t think I can ever fully articulate how deeply I believe in the independent music industry. I don’t see it as a competition or challenge to the major or more corporate players, in fact I think they also need to exist and thrive. My point is that artists and fans should have choice and options about where and how we experience live shows and by doing that we will retain diversity across the arts. That’s so important. I’ve known Sybil for years and I think she’s continuing such a great thing, celebrating the people who dedicate their lives to creating and curating these magical spaces all over the country.”
DAVID MARTIN - FEATURED ARTISTS COALITION
David Martin joined the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) in November 2019. The FAC is the UK trade body representing the rights and interests of a diverse, global membership of music artists at all stages of their careers. David also sits as a Director at umbrella trade bodies UK Music and LIVE. and at the International Artists Organisation.
David has more than twenty ears of experience in the music industry with a particular background in talent booking, relationship development and event brand development. Most recently he was the lead booker and Director at Dimensions Festival, where he developed the globally recognised music programme from conception, developed the label, Dimensions Recordings and led the festival’s accompanying International Series. David has a particular passion for identifying and supporting talent and has always championed the role of artists within the industry.
David’s music industry experience comes alongside more than fourteen years working in UK central government, developing policy, and supporting and influencing some of the most senior figures of the UK’s Health Service and Members of Parliament.
“As IVW celebrates its 10th anniversary, it’s an honour to be joining the board alongside so many brilliant colleagues and in support of Sybil and the team. The UK’s independent venues are the engine room of our world class work music industry. These venues are where artists develop their craft, grow their fanbases and launch their careers. They are the nucleus of counter culture movements, community spirit and musical creativity in its purest form. Our industry is a interconnected ecosystem, which either fails as one or succeeds as one. I’m therefore proud to join IVW’s mission to support their important work.”
CHRISTINE OSAZUWA - SHOOBS
Christine Osazuwa booked her first show at 15 and spent most of her adolescence deeply entrenched in the music industry from running street teams to making a music documentary. She went on to receive an undergraduate degree in Music Business, followed by an MBA in Marketing and a master’s in data science. She combined all her passions into roles consulting and working with various music startups, venues, festivals, radio stations and labels bridging the gap between music, tech & business.
Originally from Baltimore, Christine spent 2 years in Stockholm as Head of Data & Insights for Universal Music Sweden before calling London home while working as the Global Marketing Director for Data & Insights at Warner Music Group where she helped to develop WMG’s global priorities. Upon leaving WMG, Christine joined as Strategy Director at Pollen, curating one-of-a-kind fan & artist-centric live music & travel experiences. She was also the UK Director of shesaid.so, which serves the global community of women, gender minorities, and allies in the music industry. Currently, Christine is the Chief Strategy Officer of Shoobs where she is instrumental in helping develop the company’s marketing & brand partnerships strategy while supporting organizers in executing experiential activations.
She’s also the founder of Measure of Music–part conference, part hackathon–to introduce others to the world of music & data while highlighting majority minority attendees and speakers.
“I grew up in Baltimore, an often overlooked market in the United States. If it weren’t for independent venues, I never would have met my favourite artists, landed my first jobs in music, or made lifelong friends. I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today. I joined the Independent Venue Week board because I want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to experience something so special. Having choices about where to go and where to perform is crucial for keeping music accessible, interesting, and dynamic. Sybil brings joy, determination, and integrity to this industry. The work that she and her team have done for a decade is unparalleled. It’s truly an honour to be able to play a part in shaping the next decade.”
ADAM WEBB - AL1 COMMUNICATIONS
Adam is an award-winning PR and communications specialist with his own consultancy, and over 20 years experience working across music, technology and public policy. His current clients include the Music Managers Forum, the Featured Artists Coalition, ATC Management / Driift and Attitude is Everything.
Since 2016, he has led the hugely successful FanFair Alliance campaign and delivered significant reforms to the highly controversial secondary ticketing market. Before leaping over to the darkside of PR, Adam wrote regularly for the likes of The Guardian, Music Week and Music Ally, and penned a well-received biography of the Beach Boys’ Dennis Wilson.
“What an honour to join the board of Independent Venue Week. This is an important organisation, celebrating the UK’s most important cultural spaces and everyone who performs, works in and enjoys them.”