Greg Parmley

Greg Parmley
– Greg Parmley

Impact International: UK/Euro Honors

Greg Parmley

Managing Director ILMC

Speaking With One Voice: Greg Parmley Feels The Recovery Proper

The fact that the UK’s live entertainment sector only formed its own dedicated trade body this year is testament to how well this business has been doing on its own for so long, and just how big a threat the coronavirus pandemic has poised to the industry. LIVE stands for Live Music Industry Venues and Entertainment, and its CEO Greg Parmley says that “speaking with one voice has made a huge difference.” Whether it’s making sure the commercial music sector could participate in the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, or successfully campaigning for a VAT reduction on tickets, business rate exemptions for venues, or, to a more limited extent, a government-backed insurance scheme, LIVE has already made an impact. 

The UK has enjoyed several weekends of successful festivals, and the first arena shows are returning. “This feels like the beginning of the recovery proper,” Parmley says. “Pre-COVID I was pessimistic about the democratic process and felt that it was impossible to influence government. The last year has taught me that with the right help you can change policy or direction of travel.”

Parmley has been inspired by the spirit of collaboration that has emerged during the pandemic. Beyond coronavirus, the LIVE Touring Group, chaired by Craig Stanley of Marshall Arts, has been coordinating the industry’s response to Brexit. Other areas of focus include LIVE Green, chaired by AEG’s John Langford, which “is bringing together all the great sustainability initiatives that already exist into a single, coordinated industry vision,” Parmley explains.

Other individuals who’ve stood out include Stuart Galbraith (Kilimanjaro Live), Phil Bowdery (Live Nation), Melvin Benn (Festival Republic), Lucy Noble (Royal Albert Hall), Paul Reed (Association of Independent Festivals), Emma Banks (CAA), Dan Craig (Superstruct Entertainment), Mark Davyd (Music Venue Trust), Tom Schroeder (Paradigm), “and many others who know who they are,” Parmley says. “I have a huge amount of respect for the time and energy they’ve given for the business as a whole.”

Parmley is also the head of ILMC, which launched the smaller, annual International Festival Forum, a simpler, more focused meeting of agents and promoters. ILMC also publishes IQ magazine, an online and monthly print resource for the live sector. All his endeavors are driven by “a philosophy of wanting to support and improve the business.” He’s confident that “we’ll learn to live with COVID-19” and there’s “huge pent-up demand for live entertainment.”