Fitz & The Tantrums’ Noelle Scaggs to Lead Tuesday’s ‘Diversifying The Live Industry’ Roundtable

Diversify Livestream

This Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT Pollstar cover subject Noelle Scaggs, founder of Diversify The Stage and brilliant co-lead vocalist for Fitz & the Tantrums, will moderate a livestream roundtable on the crucial topic of diversity in the live industry with six prominent figures in the live business. The panel boasts Tobi Parks, co-head of NIVA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity and owner of xBk Live; Brandon Pankey of Live Nation Urban, which last week released the Black Tour Directory; Jerome Crooks of Diversify The Stage, who is the founder of online employment portal and the production manager for Nine Inch Nails; Sooner Rae Routhier, an award-winning designer, producer and director; Lance “KC” Jackson, co-founder of Roadies of Color; and Joe Schaffner, a legendary tour manager who worked on tours with Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and the Jacksons. 

Go to for the full livestream.
In Pollstar’s “Diversify Our Stages Now!” cover story Scaggs explained how she came up with the idea for Diversify The Stage: “It just seemed like one attack after another on people of color and people who shared my melanin tone,” Scaggs said. “I was really having a rough go of it for three or four weeks and I finally just got fed up with feeling powerless and like I couldn’t do more than talk on my social media and provide resources and things like that.” 

Cover Of Pollstar Oct. 19, 2020
– Cover Of Pollstar Oct. 19, 2020
Nine Inch Nails tour manager Jerome Crooks and Fitz And The Tantrums’ Noelle Scaggs of Diversity The Stage

Scaggs subsequently tapped into her network of industry associates developed over her 20-year career, including the last 10 spent touring with Fitz And The Tantrums. Among those she contacted was Malcolm Weldon, Pink’s production manager, who in turn introduced her to Jerome Crooks, the longtime tour manager for Nine Inch Nails. He is the creator of Never Famous, an online resource for hiring seasoned touring pros including sound, lighting and tech crews and particularly people of color. The two quickly established a partnership.

Inspired, Scaggs set about developing the idea for Diversify The Stage to include not only hiring opportunities but an educational component as well, to bring in young people and get them trained and mentored by industry pros and provide internships so they can learn on the job.