IMPACT INTERNATIONAL: UK/EURO HONORS
Senior Music Agent, CAA
Making The Most Of It
When hen a senior music agent like CAA’s Paul Wilson says, “The summer of 2022 was probably the most difficult summer I have known,” it carries weight. It was a summer filled with “so many fantastic shows, but also so many new issues and problems that didn’t seem to exist pre-COVID.”
Some highlights for Wilson’s clients in the past year include Sam Fender’s rise “from debut arena shows to first festival headline spots to instantly selling out debut stadium shows in ’23. I would urge anyone to check out an online clip from his triumphant slot Glastonbury this summer to see exactly what a coming-of-age live moment looks like.”
Dermot Kennedy played his rescheduled outdoor shows in June to 120,000 fans, headlining the 90,000-capacity Electric Picnic Festival, and is now gearing up for his first worldwide arena tour in 2023. Lianne La Havas is back with her first album in five years, performing a three-night residency at the reopening of the newly renovated KOKO in London, where she once played with Prince, followed by European festival and headline shows.
From the start of his career at Wasted Talent Agency to joining CAA in 2007, seeing artists “from the very start of their careers, and experiencing the moment they headline their first club, theatre, festival, and the moment they figure it out and know they are really doing something special,” has always been Wilson’s favorite part of the job, and he believes festivals and agents should always aim to become “better curators.”
He observes “some major structural changes both in the live event business and culture in general – everyone can feel the change, but no one really knows where this is going. A lot of our work now is trial and error, changing things up and being flexible and proactive. It is not a time to have too many fixed ideas or simple answers.” Only one thing is for certain in Wilson’s eyes: “People are starved of live experiences, so let’s make the most of it.”