Forster Needs Space For New Challenges

Steve Forster stepped down as managing director of MAMA’s live music division because he wants to take on new challenges.

The former Academy Music Group operations director told Pollstar he’d reached the end of his three-year arrangement with MAMA, acquired by HMV a year ago, and his role had become “all consuming.”

“It really required all of my focus and attention, to the detriment of anything else,” he said.

He’ll continue working with MAMA on a consultancy basis and has recently managed to increase the capacity of its Borderline venue from 275 to 300.

He said he’s proud of what he achieved in his time at MAMA, which included opening new venues, such as the Edinburgh Picture House and Birmingham Institute, reopening London’s Garage and developing Heaven to the point it’s become one of the city’s “must play” venues.

“Each of the existing venues in the estate has been transformed to the extent that I think it can be justifiably said that the MAMA venues are among the best of their size and type in the UK,” he said.

“Smaller, genre-based venues such as the Jazz Café and Borderline have been returned to profit and their programmes entirely revitalised and major theatres such as The Forum and Apollo in London are now hugely different beasts that are both far more profitable and much better operated from both a customer and client perspective.”

He says he’s talking to a few organisations about helping them in a commercial and operational management role and is keen to act as a consultant on as broad a range of subjects as he can.