Women of Live Hall Of Fame: Sam Kirby Yoh

Partner & Global Head Of Music | UTA

Honors Award for Women of Live 2021 and Impact 50 2021-2023

KirbyYoh.Sam (was on impact 50 2023)

When Sam Kirby Yoh joined UTA Music in 2020 after spending 16 years at William Morris Agency/WME, the world was deep in the throes of COVID and questions about when, or if, live music would be able to return was at the top of everyone’s minds. She brought her roster – considered one of the best in the business which boasts Björk, Massive Attak, David Byrne, FKA twigs, Florence + The Machine, LCD Soundsystem, Lil Nas X, Rosalia, St. Vincent and more – and took on the role of co-head of UTA Music, alongside David Zedeck, after previously helming WME’s East Coast Music Division.

Kirby Yoh got her start while she was still a university student. She was enthusiastic about the DJ and club scene and she “met an agent at a house party in New York City and he was complaining about going to shows every night,” Kirby Yoh says. “All I wanted to do was experience the awe and community of shows, clubs and festivals as often as they did. He brought me along to one, and then many shows. I soon became his assistant.”

Now, Kirby Yoh holds one of the most impressive rosters in the music business, with highlights from this year including LCD Soundsystem grossing $1.6 million for two shows at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on Dec. 30-31, according to Pollstar Boxoffice reports. St. Vincent joined Red Hot Chili Peppers on their most recent stadium tour. Rosalía toured numerous festivals last summer including Lollapalooza Paris and Primavera Sound before stepping into arenas in Europe last fall. Her last U.S. dates took place in 2022, which included two sold-out nights at YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California, grossing $1.4 million.

Kirby Yoh has been at the forefront of advocating for diversity and inclusion. She co-founded “She Is The Music,” an organization that focuses on increasing female representation in the music industry and served on the board for the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

Kirby Yoh also co-founded Noise for Now, an initiative that she emphasizes is her true passion. The org helps enable artists and entertainers “to connect with and financially support grassroots organizations that work in the field of Reproductive Justice, including abortion access,” according to its mission statement. Among artists who have partnered with it includes Bob Weir and Caroline Polachek.

The shows Kirby Yoh enjoys the most are the “festivals that focus on discovery.” Kirby Yoh says she needs to give “an extra shout out to those that believe in Despacio,” a collaboration conceived by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and David and Stephen Dewaele of Soulwax and 2manydjs. They brought their show to III Points in Miami last October, and the experience is set to head to Belgium’s Wintercircus Gent March 16 and 17, with tickets already sold out.

As a mentor, Kirby Yoh makes sure younger agents at UTA learn how to support their clients. Those who work with her state she continuously backs her team and shows them how they can reach their professional goals.

“Sam’s fearless advocacy for her clients’ artistic goals is a daily inspiration to me and the rest of our team,” UTA Music Agent Scott Schreiber says. “We’re all fortunate to learn from and work alongside a true champion for artists, who also champions those around her to succeed.”