MMF reveal new board members and launch a new AI Guide for music managers at 2023 AGM

14 September 2023

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) is delighted to announce the results of our board elections following yesterday’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at 21Soho.

  • Ray Black (Craft Management: Mogwai, The Twilight Sad) is newly elected to the MMF board. Ellie Giles, Kerry Harvey-Piper, Sumit Bothra and Vicky Dowdall are re-elected.
  • Following our second Manager Summit, the MMF publish an all-new Music Managers Guide to AI – providing essential advice to managers and encouraging them to protect their clients’ rights.
  • The organisation now represents more than 1,500 UK-based music managers

Thursday 14th September 2023

The Music Managers Forum (MMF) is delighted to announce the results of our board elections following yesterday’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) at 21Soho.

We can today reveal that Craft Management’s Ray Black is newly elected to the board. Widely recognised as one of Scotland’s most influential managers, Ray founded his business in 2014 and currently oversees a roster of globally-recognised acts including Kathryn Joseph, The Twilight Sad and Mogwai. The latter were recognised as Pioneers at the 2021 Artist & Manager Awards. Ray has also been actively involved in the MMF’s Dissecting The Digital Dollar project, and helped lead the Scottish Commercial Music Industry Taskforce during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Ellie Giles (Step Music Management), Kerry Harvey-Piper (Red Grape Music), Sumit Bothra (ATC Management) and Vicky Dowdall (VDM Music) were all re-elected to the board, while Steven Braines (The Weird & The Wonderful) has stepped down.

Paul Craig, Chair, Music Managers Forum:

“What Ray has achieved in Scotland with Craft Management is astonishing, as is his enormous contribution to Scottish music. We’re absolutely delighted that his knowledge and expertise will now be heard at the MMF board table, and also that we’ll retain such influential figures as Ellie, Kerry, Sumit and Vicky. Incredibly, the MMF’s membership now stands at more than 1,500, and there is a real appetite to support and provide a service to all these entrepreneurs – whatever stage of their career. Finally, a huge thank you to Steven Braines, who has been such a positive advocate for the music management community.”

The full MMF board can be seen here.

Ahead of yesterday’s AGM, more than 130 MMF members joined a special Manager Summit focussed on the current and future applications of Artificial Intelligence in music and what it means for the businesses of artists, songwriters and producers. The event included panels and presentations from experts at C4DM, Casperaki, Deviate Digital, Legendary GmbH, Redburn Atlantic, Simkins LLP, TikTok and TwoShot.

AGM Attendees also enjoyed a keynote interview with VDM Music’s Vicky Dowdall, covering her experiences with AI and technology, while, as part of our Dissecting The Digital Dollar initiative, the MMF launched our all-new AI Guide For Music Managers.

Written by CMU’s Chris Cooke, the guide provides a succinct, easy-to-read breakdown of the main talking points surrounding these new and emerging technologies, as well as the key legal and commercial implications that all managers should be aware of.

The guide includes a template letter, developed by the Council of Music Makers, that managers are encouraged to send to future and existing partners to ensure their client’s rights in relation to AI are being recognised and respected.

The AI Guide For Music Managers can be downloaded from the MMF website.

Annabella Coldrick, Chief Executive, MMF:

“It felt incredibly timely to precede the MMF’s AGM with a day of debate and discussion focussed on the implications of AI on the livelihoods of artists, songwriters, producers and other creative talent. Within all the conversations surrounding these exciting technologies, we feel too little time has been spent on the dynamics between music makers and their partners in the recording and publishing sectors. As with other parts of Dissecting The Digital Dollar, we hope this new guide and the CMM letter will help managers navigate some of those conversations and ensure they are asking the relevant questions of all the companies they work with.”

AGM attendees were also provided with an update of the MMF’s work over the past 12 months, including:

  • Growth in membership and Associate membership – The MMF currently has 1,557 members, representing artists, songwriters, producers and talent from every genre, as well as 35 Associate business members
  • Working with these Associates and other partners, the MMF has delivered 36 workshops and training events – These have included Manager Meet Ups across England, Wales and Scotland, as well as events at national and international conferences
  • The Accelerator Programme celebrated its 5th anniversary – The groundbreaking grants and training programme, delivered in partnership with YouTube Music, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Music Industry Association has now supported 115 independent managers
  • The MMF became an Arts Council England, National Portfolio Organisation and launched a “membership boost” with Creative Wales – Both recognise the MMF’s professional development services, and our ability to build new national networks
  • The MMF’s Educational & University Associates Programme has grown – The organisation now has 9 partnerships in place with universities and specialist colleges around the UK

About the MMF:

Since its inception in 1992, the Music Managers Forum (The MMF) has endeavoured to educate, inform and represent UK managers as well as offering a network through which managers can share experiences, opportunities and information.

Our membership currently stands at more than 1,500 managers of artists, producers and songwriters, mostly based in the UK with global businesses.

Current MMF initiatives include:

  • The Accelerator Programme for Music Managers – a groundbreaking funding and training initiative launched in partnership with YouTube Music, Arts Council England, Scottish Music Industry Association and Creative Scotland
  • Digital Burnout – sharing managers experiences and recommendations to help improve how artists deal with social media and digital marketing pressures
  • Dissecting The Digital Dollar – a series of publications to help artists, songwriters, producers and their managers better understand the streaming business including the $ong Royalties Manifesto
  • LetTheMusicMove a joint campaign with the Featured Artists Coalition to push the government to tackle the new bureaucracy and costs for touring the EU post Brexit
  • The FanFair Alliance campaign to reform the UK’s secondary ticketing market

The MMF is a founding member of UK Music, the European Music Managers Alliance (EMMA), LIVE and the Council of Music Makers (CMM).

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