Each week, Rising Star profiles an up-and-coming music excecutive making a splash in the industry. Here, we meet Renae Brown, festivals coordinator at Vision Nine...
How did you break into the industry?
I went to a festival for the first time when I was 15 and it blew my mind. I went home that night and told my mum I didn’t want to be a teacher anymore and that I was going to work in music. Within six months, I arranged for one of the bands from that festival to play a lunchtime gig at my school. From there, I went to hundreds of shows, volunteered and worked at loads of festivals and landed an internship – which then turned into my first full time music job – when I was 18. Fast forward a few years and I moved to London from Australia and worked at AIF (Association Of Independent Festivals) up until January this year. Now I’m working with Vision Nine as festivals coordinator, focusing on NASS and Boardmasters, and I still get that same feeling of excitement about festivals as I did when I was 15.
Why choose the live sector?
As you can probably gather, I like to spend my free time and any holidays at concerts and festivals, so to be able to also call that work is very nice.
What are the biggest problems facing the live industry?
Major players having a monopoly on talent isn’t good for the artists or consumers. Having one person in charge of all the toys makes for a very boring party. Secondary ticketing also really grinds my gears, to put it lightly. Viagogo, to pick the worst of a bad bunch, ruins the live music experience for so many people and faces no repercussions. It’s disappointing that this still hasn’t been properly addressed.
What should young people entering the industry be aware of?
It can be easy to get a bit caught up in it all and burn yourself out. Looking after yourself both mentally and physically is how you’ll stay sane. Put your phone on airplane mode for a few hours a day, it’s great!
Who has been the most important person in your career so far?
My first music boss Graham ‘Asho’ Ashton. He really took a chance on me and taught me the ropes of the music industry in Australia, as well as how to do your job and not be a dick about it.
How do you see the biz’s future?
I think festivals in particular have been addressing some really important issues recently and I only see that continuing. Sustainability initiatives, wellbeing programs and areas, sexual assault and harassment awareness and prevention and drug testing – what the The Loop are doing is fantastic – are the main things I’m excited to see develop over the next couple of years, as well as more gender-balanced line-ups.
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