23 Lessons Learned in 2023

As we approach 2024, we spoke with a handful of Futures Forum community members to gain insight about how they overcame both personal and professional hurdles this year.

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As we approach 2024, we spoke with a handful of Futures Forum community members to gain insight about how they overcame both personal and professional hurdles this year.

Five individuals from across the international industry shared the biggest tips and takeaways from their year working in live music. From tackling imposter syndrome to staying adaptable, these professionals have provided valuable insight into their professional endeavours — and how they’ll carry it with them in the years to come.

A special thank you to our respondents Théo Quiblier, promoter at TAKK ab Entertainment; Mia Barrett, project coordinator at METHOD Events; Jasmine Loupidis, paralegal at AEG Presents/Europe; Flo Noseda, booker at Wasserman Music; and Gilbert Paz, vice president, entertainment business operations at Loud And Live.

SELF-EMPOWERMENT

1. This year taught me self-compassion. It was the trickiest time in my career, with juggling work and some unexpected personal circumstances. I learnt to be gentler on myself for not being able to tick off everything on the to-do list. As much as I love my job, life still happens around it which can be a challenge for us all to manage. It was important to communicate with my manager and I felt lucky to have a supportive team around me. – FN

2. Believe in your ability to bring your ideas to the table. Your unique perspective and diverse opinions can be invaluable to any team or project. I’ve personally been fortunate enough to work with people who value this diversity of thought and encourage open communication. I believe this exchange of ideas is key to success and a healthy way to approach business. – TQ

3. In 2023, I enjoyed the challenge of strengthening my own relationships with artists and managers. Imposter syndrome is a real thing for many of us, but, the more solo phone calls and face-to-face time I have, the more I realise how much my skills have grown and how much I’ve learnt over the past 8 years. – FN

4. Launching a successful country music festival in Miami was undoubtedly a triumph, but the initial resistance of taking country music to Miami from agents and managers in Nashville was a formidable hurdle. Despite initial hesitations from agents and managers in Nashville, I persisted in conveying the untapped potential for country music in Miami. Multiple trips, extensive conversations, and face-to-face meetings eventually led to a successful first year of Country Bay Music Festival that defied expectations. The lesson learned from this experience is simple yet profound: perseverance and belief in a vision can break down barriers. This year, I’ve come to appreciate the power of tenacity and the importance of fostering connections within the industry to make seemingly unconventional ideas a reality. – GP

WORKING WITH OTHERS

5. Next year, I aspire to work with even more people across the company. I love that the office has always had an open-plan format so you can pick up things and overhear other teams. Teaming up with other agents on artists has always been an encouraged aspect and also provides a more varied learning experience for both parties. – FN

6. As a team who is often crucial to most departments in the business, it means we are faced with ordering everyone’s priorities in the context of the wider business. I’ve learnt communication is key, and keeping everyone informed of the timelines of the work is very useful. People are very understanding and appreciative of an acknowledgment, any communication or a quick call, before full completion of the task at hand. – JL

7. There is nothing more frustrating than facing the same, totally avoidable issues on-site year after year. Your team will grow exponentially once you get to site, and you have to rely on the contractors you have appointed to ensure things run smoothly on the ground. Trust their expertise, and after the event, ask them for feedback! It’s important to empower your team and make sure they are heard, plus, you will always learn something that will ultimately improve your event moving forward. And most importantly — once you’ve debriefed — action it! It sounds simple, but it’s certainly something we can all get better at. If you can get this right, your success will only increase in the long run. – MB

8. I remember our Muse outdoor show, where the rain was coming down so hard it was like being in a car wash. Despite the downpour, everything was handled with huge professionalism by the team and crew. As soon as the band got on stage, the rain started pouring down with fury. It was a truly special situation, and though it created some of the most amazing live pictures I’ve ever seen, I can assure you that I was not laughing during the first 30 minutes of the show (and that’s saying something, considering I am always cracking jokes!). – TQ

9. I’d really like to expand my network outside of AEG and develop relationships in the wider music industry. I try and go to events (such as Futures Forum) for this sort of opportunity, but it will definitely be more of a priority for me in 2024. – JL

BURNOUT & SELF CARE

10. Remember that taking care of yourself is just as important as working hard and pursuing your goals. Don’t be afraid to take a step back and prioritize your well-being. By focusing on self-care, you’ll be better able to tackle whatever challenges come your way in the future. Keep pushing forward, but always remember to take time for yourself and prioritize your mental and physical health. – TQ

11. Your mental health and well-being should be your number one priority, right alongside the well-being of your team. Try and make sure to check in and look out for each other! – MB

12. It’s a marathon. Not a sprint. – TQ

13. In our industry, especially when working on-site, you’ll often find yourself putting in long hours to get the job done. After a few consecutive sleepless nights, burnout becomes a real risk. It never ceases to amaze me how much more efficient and well-prepared I am to handle real-time pressures after a proper night’s sleep. Although it may feel impossible to step away at times, it’s crucial to remember to prioritise. Most things can wait until you are in a better headspace. – MB

BEING ADAPTABLE

14. Always be ready to adapt and be quick on your feet! There are lots of things going on in the industry, whether it is work-related, dealing with different people or adapting to suit a variety of workstyles — there isn’t space to be rigid in this environment! – JL

15. Reflecting on this year, a crucial lesson learned was the importance of adaptability. The ability to embrace change swiftly and seamlessly has become a cornerstone of success in the live music industry. As we move forward, staying agile and responsive to the evolving landscape will remain a priority. – GP

16. Being an in-house lawyer means you have to be particularly adaptable to the various working styles and requirements of workstreams coming from a lot of different teams. Things coming from venues can vary to the work received from our touring and festival teams, and sometimes depending on who the commercial lead on a project is, you have to think with a ‘venue’ hat or a ‘promoter’ hat – especially when it is an AEGP show at an AEG venue! I have certainly learnt that adaptability in this industry is the key to success in all areas. – JL

17. My advice for anyone starting out would be to show keen interest. Not all aspects of the industry are as glamorous as they might appear and a lot of junior roles are very admin-heavy, but, asking questions and showing eagerness to learn will go a long way and get noticed by others. – FN

18. Due to the vast nature of AEG, you never know what could land on your desk at any given moment! Sometimes it can change your entire week, and sometimes it requires a completely different skill set or thought process to other pieces of work you have been focused on beforehand. Occasionally it is vital to do background research before being able to effectively work on a task, so I have definitely expanded on my quick thinking, research skills and the ability to decipher what are the key things to deduce to get the ball rolling on any task. – JL

The industry

19. There needs to be space to enjoy our work amidst all the pressure. Sometimes, stress can become overwhelming, making you forget why you’re here in the first place. Our industry is amazing — we get to work with some of the wildest people and impact thousands of guests, giving them an experience to remember. Sometimes we need to be reminded to enjoy it too! – MB

20. Make lots of connections, go to lots of events and enjoy the industry you’re in! There is nothing that encourages you to get out there and do well with your career more than true enjoyment and seeing your work come to fruition. – JL

21. For those embarking on a career in the live music industry, my best piece of advice is to cultivate genuine relationships. In an industry driven by passion and collaboration, building authentic connections with artists, agents, managers, and industry professionals is invaluable. Networking not just for transactions but for fostering meaningful partnerships can make all the difference, opening doors to new opportunities and creative endeavors. – GP

22. With rising costs and ever-growing budget pressures, organisers face the need to find efficiencies in their budgets every year, so that the show can go on! It’s crucial to invest long-term in suppliers who you can trust to help you keep costs down while still providing the best service. This kind of relationship only comes from longer-term, open, and honest communication with your supply chain about what is reasonable and what is unavoidable. If you help them, they will help you! – MB

23. Navigating the ever-evolving landscape of fan preferences and keeping up with trends posed a considerable challenge. By leveraging data analytics, we were able to better understand the audience preferences better, allowing us to tailor our events to meet their expectations more effectively. In the realm of Latin music touring, breaking into new markets and overcoming cultural barriers proved to be a complex challenge. We overcame this hurdle by conducting thorough market studies, collaborating with local influencers and media to ensure a direct connection between the artist and their local audience. – GP

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