Impact International: UK/Euro Honors
Ready To Deal With It, Beckie Sugden Faces Her Biggest Test Yet
As an international agent with a predominantly U.S.-based roster that includes the likes of Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, T-Pain and Noname, Beckie Sugden is navigating a touring world fragmented by varying restrictions. “There is so much more to consider beyond the complexities of putting a tour together normally,” she explains. “There are now vaccination and testing requirements, scenarios such as a crew member becoming ill on tour, lockdowns being implemented, fluctuating tax rates and much more. Ultimately though, agents are problem solvers. The pandemic is certainly our biggest test yet, but a test we are all very much equipped and ready to deal with.”
This summer, Sugden joined ICM Partners, which she describes as “a company on top of its game with some of the best people in the business representing some of the biggest talent in the world.” “Plus, given how multi-dimensional an artist’s career now is, ICM is unrivaled in what they can offer an artist beyond simply touring,” she adds.
Another major draw for Sugden was how ICM addressed gender parity, surpassing the goal of a 50/50 staff balance. “This needs to be the norm and not the exception,” says Sugden. One upside to the pandemic has been the way it improved the bond between agents, promoters, and managers.
“We’ve all been fighting for survival, and the understanding, kindness and compassion we’ve all shown each other has been heartwarming, and it’s important we continue to act this way,” Sugden says. “I think we have all done a lot of growing in lockdown and I hope we don’t forget these personal life lessons.”
Another lesson she took from recent months: “Focus only on what you can control. Don’t waste your energy wishing things differently. My sister is an athlete and she taught me this a long time ago but never has the need to follow this philosophy been stronger.”
Sugden also realized “how much of a social being I am and how much I love being around people, how important being active is for me and how much of an outdoors person I am! Plus, how creative I am, I have spent a lot of the worst of the pandemic sewing outfits.”
She also qualified as a volunteer vaccinator (“If you told me I would be administering injections even a year ago I would have laughed you out of the room!”) and helped her husband set up his own food businesses. Says Sugden, “I am the kind of person that is always looking for challenges so there is always something in the pipeline.”