Lucy Dickins, Co-Head of Music, WME

Lesley Olenik

Lucy Dickins

Co-Head of Music, WME

Lucy Dickins joined WME UK in 2019, during what had been her busiest year yet. She got promoted to co-head of WME’s music department alongside Scott Clayton and Kirk Sommer in the summer of 2020, and even though touring had already come to a standstill by that point, things only got busier.

Part of Dickins’ job in recent months has been to find revenue opportunities for clients in the absence of touring. The two most important pillars were the formation of WME’s Virtual Appearances Group, and collaborations with the non-touring departments at the agency. Throughout 2020, the Virtual Appearance Group organized hundreds of ticketed virtual events for clients including Dua Lipa, Lindsey Stirling, Dawes, The Revivalists, Third Eye Blind and Ingrid Andress. Dua Lipa’s “Studio 2054” livestream in November 2020 shattered attendance records for a paid livestream, and according to Dickins, “reset the industry standard for virtual experiences.” Two highlights from WME’s cross-departmental work include “our work with Grammy Award-winner Lizzo, closing a first-look deal for the performer at Amazon Studios, while Kendrick Lamar’s team closed a groundbreaking deal for a collaboration between the artist’s creative agency, pgLang, and Calvin Klein.”

Despite the looming uncertainties around a return to live music, Dickins is “hopeful that the increased rollout of vaccines will support the industry’s comeback. Specifically, I’d like to think that shows will begin to restart in 2021 with full recovery by 2022, along with a surge of concertgoers and interest in tours.”

WME’s confidence in a return of live is exemplified by its high-profile artist signings and partner hires announced during the pandemic, which include Father John Misty, Shakira, Charlie Puth, Andy Grammer and TOKiMONSTA. As far as the team is concerned, Aaron Tannenbaum joined as partner in Nashville, bringing along artists such as Luke Combs and Brantley Gilbert. In early 2021, Caroline Yim and Zach Iser joined WME from CAA as partners and co-heads of the hip-hop/R&B team, which Dickins says “solidified our position as the market-leader in the genre.”

WME has strong female representation across its music leadership team. In addition to Dickins and Yim, Becky Gardenhire continues to serve as partner and co-head of the agency’s Nashville-based country music division, while Stephanie LaFera heads its electronic dance music division. WME’s music group is comprised of several founding members of Endeavor PROUD, WME’s LGBTQ+ network for employees.

The agency, however, is far from resting on its laurels. “The importance of inclusivity and diversity in music cannot be understated,” says Dickins, who is “committed to advancing these ideals throughout the music department and our agency at-large.”

WME and Endeavor Content, for instance, partnered with Michael B. Jordan and Color of Change to implement the #ChangeHollywood initiative in summer 2020, “aimed at supporting Black creatives, below-the-line employees, and creating pipelines for diverse talent.” As part of the initiative, WME’s music division has worked with select colleges to recruit students from underrepresented backgrounds, in addition to committing to over 30 actions dedicated to supporting Black voices both internally and externally. The division played an integral role in Endeavor’s virtual Summer Series program created last year to help students maintain career trajectories despite pandemic-related internship cancellations.

Dickins is a member of WME’s D&I working group focused on holding the company accountable for commitments made over the summer, which also include anti-bias training for senior leaders, increasing the starting wage for entry-level employees and a $5 million pledge over the next three years toward programs and initiatives that empower communities of color.

Dickins said the camaraderie and friendship at WME was one of the key factors in getting through this turbulent year – in addition to her “incredibly supportive family.” Like all working in this industry, she can’t wait to “have some live interaction and to feel some energy around me. I can’t wait to go to as many of our artists’ gigs as possible. I can’t wait to take my son to a football match, to take in the most fabulous musical in town. I can’t wait to go to a pub with my friends and find a new undiscovered artist. I’m so looking forward to hearing the sound of people finally living life to the full again.”