Meet the new MMF Board #3: VDM Music's Vicky Dowdall

Meet the new MMF Board #3: VDM Music's Vicky Dowdall

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) confirmed the election of first-time board members Kerry Harvey-Piper, Sumit Bothra and Vicky Dowdall at last month's AGM.

Earlier this week, we spoke to Red Grape Music's Harvey-Piper and ATC Management's Bothra about what they hope to contribute to the organisation in their new roles. 

Today, the spotlight shifts to VDM Music's Dowdall, who works with the likes of Nina Nesbitt and Foxes. 

"I’ve been so impressed with the MMF since joining and I now regret not joining earlier in my career," said Dowdall. "I don’t think I completely understood how helpful it would be. I never had a mentor or worked for anyone so I’ve learnt 'on the job'. 

"I would urge any manager out there to join no matter what stage you are in your career. There’s always someone new to meet or something new to learn. I feel passionate about helping up and coming managers and I want to help represent Independent women in music and as a new mum I want to show that you can still run your own business, have children and continue to be successful. I want to see more diversity and help promote equal rights across the music industry. It really is time…"

Here, in the last of our three in-depth Q&As with the new MMF board members, Dowdall discusses the likely long-term ramifications of the coronavirus crisis for the management sector...

What in your opinion have been the key challenges facing music managers during the crisis? And how are managers attempting to overcome them?

"I think the biggest impact to most will be the lack of live income so knowing there is less income coming in is a huge worry especially when you have staff to pay. As I’m a director of my own limited company, there has been no help offered from the government (apart from loans). Managers still need to keep going and provide a service to their clients. Campaigns are still running so it’s as busy as ever.

What do you think will be the long-term ramifications of coronavirus?

"I think on a positive note it shows businesses can be run successfully remotely and I do believe there will be a shift in the way 'office life' is moving forward. It has forced the Industry to find creative, cost effective ways of working so I believe that will continue."

What adjustments/changes have you needed to initiate in your own artists' campaigns?

"I think the biggest changes have been the lack of face time and getting used to 'Zoom' life. I’m personally quite used to working on my own or from home so that part of it hasn’t felt too odd for me. We took on Foxes just before lockdown so usually we would be spending a lot more time getting to know the artist and label with face to face meetings but we’ve had to do it all remotely but like anything it’s how you adjust with the changes and deal with the challenges. Both Foxes and Ella Henderson campaigns are running very well and shooting videos remotely has definitely been a new challenge. They have both been amazing and super proactive so I’m very thankful to work with such wonderful artists and labels during this time and they’ve certainly kept me busy!"

How important is the role of the MMF at this time?

"The MMF are super-important at this time. There are regular Zoom calls and opportunities to keep learning with workshops and just generally constant updates on all of the moving parts we face at the moment.  Also, it’s just so great to have a team of wonderful people you can go to for advice or even a good old moan if that’s what you need to do! Just a sounding board of supportive like minded people wanting to help the management community." 

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