Estelle Wilkinson

20 April 2023

The Manager Spotlight offers a small insight into the heads of incredible managers.⁠ This week in the spotlight is Eleven Management's Estelle Wilkinson!

How long have you worked in Management?

Since 1992- 30 years … my first role was with Happy Mondays, Asst to Nathan McGeough, we were a two person team, it was alot! I did have an extended break from management after Coldplay from 2006 for 12 years…. Then was tempted back when I met Dan Smith in 2018.

Who do you manage now?

Bastille

Where did you find your first client and what inspired you to take them on?

I was in the ridiculous position of working with Coldplay as assistant to then Manager Phil Harvey, it was just the two of us and when he decided to take a break and do other things I was asked by the band to take over as manager for UK an ROW outside of USA – an incredible leap of faith by them that I’m eternally grateful for. It was a crazy 4 years, and 2 albums later I stopped working with them and Dave Holmes as co manager.

What’s a good/bad day at work look like for you?

The good days are when you are up to date with all projects and everything has moved along a satisfying amount – The best days are with the band doing some thing that you might have worked on for a while be it a special activation or gig and see it coming to fruition. Taking the time to enjoy it and the work you did to get it there is something as a younger manager I didn’t tend to do – too busy doing in the Coldplay days to fully appreciate what it was we were doing. Now I realise those moments are to be cherished and enjoyed as much as you can when they happen. I want the memories – I have forgotten so much of the amazing things I’ve seen or been involved with over the years as I was just too busy doing to take it in but now I try and take a minute to take it all in.

What has been the highlight of your management career to date?

The first time you sell out a gig or tour is particularly amazing each time. Headlining Glastonbury twice in the early 00’s with Coldplay was very special, as are playing iconic venues in USA like Radio City, Red Rocks and Hollywood Bowl. Those venues that have so much history and the band become part of that forever. Bastille playing the Pyramid stage a couple years back, and killing it, that was amazing!! Reading and Leeds last year with a ridiculous crowd, I felt so proud of the band – highlights for me seem to be around live I just realised writing this.

What do you think are the big challenges for a manager in 2022?

How to make the business side work – In this new era of higher costs from all angles the majority of managers I would say find this the biggest challenge. The breadth of what managers have to do across a campaign is more than it’s ever been and ever growing. With each record release we need to constantly adjust how we operate.

What music are you currently listening to?

I seem to jump between old and new depending on mood and time of day – I am an avid 6 music listener and on the old Depeche Mode has seeped into my social algorithms of late but my favourite new artists to follow are Ren, Palm Skin Productions, Robert, Michael Aldag, Inji.

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