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Pride in Music is working to make the music industry more LGBT-inclusive

Leading figures from the world of music are teaming up to help give LGBT people their big break.

By Will Stroude

With artists like Olly Alexander, Jess Glynne and MNEK turning it out on the charts, there’s never been a better time for LGBT artists in the music industry – but there’s still plenty of work to do, both on and off stage.

With Stonewall reporting last year that as many as 35% of LGB people and 51% of trans people hide theirthe fact that they are LGBT at work for fear of being discriminated against, leading figures from the UK music scene are taking action.

Pride in Music is a new network designed to support LGBT staff, artists and allies working within the industry, offering a place to socialise and network, as well as providing peer support and employer education.

Founding members include leading figures at BMG, Sony Music, Warner Music, Universal Music, Modest! Management, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), PRS, Kobalt, Mute, Concord Music and First Access Entertainment – and the group has already teamed up with East Creative – the queer-friendly events agency behind events like Sink the Pink – to helo give young LGBT their big break.

Together, the organisations will help get a developing LGBTQ+ artist on the bill at this year’s Mighty Hoopla festival on 8 June, as well as providing work experience placements on the day for young LGBT people looking for a start in the music industry.

“As an industry we strive to promote and celebrate diversity with the artists and musicians we work with – yet we still have so much to do to address LGBTQ+ stigmas and encourage more diversity in the workplace,” says co-founder Guy Howes, of Creative Artists Agency.

Jamie Ahye from Atlantic Records goes on: “When thinking about setting up the network it became really apparent that we could work across so many different areas, not only to benefit our members but to help other LGBTQ+ charities, spaces and companies.

“Across 2019, Pride In Music will be fundraising for our key charity partner (more news to come soon), working alongside key festivals & promoters to encourage bookings of more LGBTQ+ musicians, hosting panels and by the end of the year, our goal is to have set up a peer to peer mentoring scheme for the members of the network.”

David James Lennon, Director of Marketing at Modest! Management, adds: “We are considerably lucky to work in a creative industry based on such rich and varied cultures and histories.”

“However in recent years it has become clearer that in comparison to our counterparts in film, television and media those of us driving the front-line output of these organisations behind the scenes still remain relatively underserved.

“I hope that by forming an organisation like ‘Pride in Music’ we can provide a service to help those in need who may be less fortunate in dealing with mental health issues, anxieties and other consequences that arise with these topics and provide a rich and varied community for networking, peer mentoring, social engagements, education within all areas of the workplace and encourage overall visibility.”