From working alongside Emma Banks at CAA to overseeing the programming of venues at TEG Live Europe, Lottie Bradshaw has had a varied and colourful career in the live music business. Here, the freshly appointed Futures Forum council member tells us how she got her foot in the door, what an average working day looks like and why she wouldn’t be where she is today without Emma Banks.
Your career in live music started on the agency side, why did you switch to promoting?
I wish it was a more interesting story but the reality was my circumstances changed. I had been living in London for eight years and absolutely loved it and LOVED being at CAA but I met someone and decided to move to Bristol. I was lucky enough to find a position quite easily at a local Bristol promotions company and took the job.
How did you make the leap from Emma Banks’s assistant to venues programming manager at TEG Live Europe?
My first role in Bristol was that of promoter assistant. Quite quickly into the role I began to see gaps in the venue programming where I could consolidate a lot of the work myself, helping to support the entire team. I started to implement my own system and took ownership completely of programming and promoting within the venue estate. I took advantage of the gaps I could see and created a new role for myself and one the company hadn’t had before. It’s been a lesson in creating opportunities for myself, I’ve helped build a department that otherwise didn’t exist before.
What does an average working day look like for you?
I always start my day looking at how the venues performed the night before and settling any shows that had taken place. From then on it’s a variation of meetings, phone calls, emails and routing tours. Somedays are more strategy-focused and others more admin, but no two days are the same.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Being part of a team. I absolutely love the people I work with and to get to share successes with them is something else. Attending a show that you’ve put on no matter how big or small will never get boring to me and I love to share those moments with the people around me.
What is the biggest challenge your job has presented you in 2023?
It is no secret that venues are struggling across the country. For the team and I, it has been an uphill battle to keep the venues performing and turning a profit. We’ve really had to drill down into the granular details to work out where we can save, improve and capitalise. It’s been a real learning experience and one that keeps evolving.
Tell us about some of your professional triumphs this year.
I had my first sold-out show at KOKO with The Aces, it was a truly special show and something I will remember forever. Watching the venues team successfully launch XOYO Birmingham. While this wasn’t a personal triumph, I was so proud of all the people involved. I’d say my proudest moment has been my promotion to promoter, this has happened in the last couple of weeks so it’s all very new but I’m excited to hit the ground running.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Building on the experience I have gained to work on more tours, meet new agents and collaborators and continue to celebrate success with the team. I’d also love to get the opportunity to be part of a team programming festival lineups. And personally I hope I get to travel more, making new connections along the way.
Do you have a mentor or anyone you rely on to bounce ideas off?
I have so many people who give me advice, clarity and encouragement in a single day that is hard to name drop a few. Trying to answer this has really shown me what a collaborative environment I work in because I speak to people in every department and they all give me such valuable advice and creative ideas.
What I will say is that working for Emma Banks really taught me so much about this industry, without those years spent sat alongside her, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
What advice could you give to someone hoping to get their foot in the door of the live industry?
Don’t give up if it doesn’t happen straight away and never assume that you have to have a music degree or an equivalent qualification. I got my foot in the door through a finance role at Primary Talent… something that I would never have expected to lead me to where I am today. And most importantly you don’t have to be young to work in this industry. My career has taken many twists and turns and I feel I am only just getting going and I’m in my mid-thirties!
What’s the one thing or person you’d like to see at Futures Forum 2024?
I’d like to see an even bigger turnout than last year. The FF in 2023 was by far the best day of the ILMC conference for me. It’s exciting, engaging and a great way to network, so I am really hoping this year more people are given the opportunity to come!