Rising Star: Meet the MMF's Fiona McGugan

Rising Star: Meet the MMF's Fiona McGugan

Each week, Music Week profiles the brightest new talents in the business. This week, MMF's Fiona McGugan tells her story...

How did you break into the music industry?

My music management degree at LIPA certainly went a long way towards introducing me to some pretty incredible people. One of them was Brian Message (Courtyard/ATC Management), who then introduced me to the wonderful Jon Webster who became my very good friend and mentor as I began learning the nuances and intricacies of this business. Between tour management, a bit of work for Sentric Music, and a bar job, I worked two or three internships for a good while. The MMF won out in the end. I find the work so endlessly fascinating and continue to learn every day.

What’s your proudest achievement so far?

It sounds a bit clichéd, but I’m genuinely proud of the work we achieve at the MMF every day, advocating for managers, the artists they work with and fans. On a personal level, a distinction in my Entertainment Law Masters was unexpected!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The people. Managers are some of the most conscientious, entrepreneurial individuals in the business. Working across every element of the business, from ticketing, to streaming, sync, brand partnerships, rights and investment... The list is endless. Working with some of the most forward thinking-technology companies in music is also very exciting. Creating change for the better, although sometimes slow, is so incredible. I consider myself very lucky to be able to do that.

What’s the biggest challenge?

Getting money out of managers! They need to pay their subscriptions for us to keep going. But they drive a hard bargain, which is what makes them exceptional at their jobs, I suppose.

What advice would you give to those looking to break into the biz?

You’ll only find out what you’re good at or enjoy by trying everything. Take as many opportunities as possible and once you’re offered them, make yourself so valuable to the business that they simply can’t let you go.

What’s your greatest ambition?

Well, I’m now studying a Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP law school, so I’d quite like to finish that in one piece. In the long-term, the fight for a fair, transparent industry is far from over, so winning battles on things like improving the state of the secondary ticketing market and modern contracts would be grand.


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