Opportunity in crisis: Music Managers Forum AGM plans for the future

17 June 2020

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  • Applications open for MMF’s ReBuild support fund for music managers
  • MMF board hits gender parity with the election of Kerry Harvey-Piper (Red Grape Music), Sumit Bothra (ATC Management) and Vicky Dowdall (VDM Music) Ellie Giles (Step Music Management) and Steven Braines (The Weird & The Wonderful) are reelected to the board
  • MMF Unite announced. A new monthly forum to tackle issues of discrimination and racial injustice
  • MMF membership swells to 900. 130 managers have joined since March 2020

Wednesday June 17th 2020

Following its online AGM this evening, the Music Managers Forum (MMF) has opened applications for ReBuild, the organisation’s fund for music management businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19 and unable to access government support packages.

Full details, including eligibility criteria can be found here.

In its first round, ReBuild will offer successful applicants one-off grants of up to £3,000 alongside resilience and sustainability workshops.

The deadline for submissions is 8am Friday 26th June.

The AGM also welcomed the election of first-time board members Kerry Harvey-Piper (Red Grape Music: Peggy Seeger, Hafdis Huld, Luke Concannon, Calum MacColl), Sumit Bothra (ATC Management: PJ Harvey, Katie Melua, Fink, The Boxer Rebellion, Nathan Nicholson) and Vicky Dowdall (VDM Music: Nina Nesbitt, Foxes, Ella Henderson, Olivia Sebastianelli, Robbie Jay).

Ellie Giles (Step Music Management) and Steven Braines (The Weird & The Wonderful) were both re-elected, while Brian Message (ATC Management), Paul Burger (Soho Artists) and Paul Crockford (Crockford Management) have stepped down after serving fixed three-year terms.

As a result, and for the first time ever, the MMF board is now equally split on gender lines.

The new-look MMF board can be seen here.

Now boasting a 900-strong membership, over 130 individuals have joined the MMF since lockdown began in March 2020.

During that period, managers have been able to participate in more than 15 weekly education and training events with MMF Associate Partners including YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Amuse, Facebook / Instagram, TikTok and Songtrust.

In acknowledgment of the critical issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement, MMF has also formally announced the launch of MMF Unite, a monthly forum to tackle issues of discrimination and racial injustice in the music industry and support our community to push for change.

Annabella Coldrick, MMF CEO:

“Through our weekly meetings with DCMS and as part of UK Music, MMF has been at the heart of lobbying efforts to push for sector-specific support for music. The devastating impact of coronavirus has been particularly pronounced on music managers, and many of our members have found themselves ineligible for Government support packages. It’s why ReBuild is such an important initiative. This fund could provide a genuine lifeline for a whole spectrum of management businesses and help avert an impending cash flow crisis. I would like to thank all those who have supported and made it possible.”

Paul Craig, MMF Chair:

“I am delighted not only to welcome Kerry, Sumit and Vicky to the MMF board, but also that Ellie and Steven have successfully stood for reelection. During this immensely challenging period, their collective expertise will be invaluable. I also want to extend sincere thanks to Brian Message, our former Chair, who has done so much to help modernise the MMF, and to Paul Burger and Paul Crockford who have served the organisation so fantastically over many years. The growth of the MMF’s membership is testament to their continued support and to the dedication of the MMF Team. This has been a punishing moment, but I’m proud that we’ve rallied to launch ReBuild and also MMF Unite as a forum to tackle issues of discrimination and racial injustice.”

Kwame Kwaten, MMF Vice Chair:

“The past few months have been tough but I do believe through crisis comes opportunity and hope. I know I am a born optimist and so it’s been truly heartening to see a brave new wave of managers and artists engage in what’s happening now. The MMF feels more relevant than ever, and new initiatives like ReBuild and Unite feel like just the beginning. A community showing strength coming together and pushing for change will ultimately help see through new solutions for this music business. Those solutions will help break the patterns of old and look forward to a new future. A new future that everybody can be proud of.”

In addition to formal business, the AGM featured a panel session on the subject of “Opportunity In Crisis” and a presentation from Ammo Talwar MBE, Chair of the UK Music Diversity Taskforce and CEO, Punch Records.

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