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Backstage Star – Amy Field

Features
6 December 2019

As senior events and sponsorship manager at PRS for Music, Amy Field – winner of the Backstage Star award at this year’s Live Music Business Awards – is responsible for over 200 events and sponsorship activations each year. She organises PRS’s involvement at festivals such as Glastonbury, The Great Escape and British Summer Time. She also launched PRS Presents in 2015 where featured artistes have included    Kate Tempest, Kojey Radical and Idles.

What are your first live music memories?

“My first solo gig experience without the folks was at a local youth centre in Guildford, called Plantation. I was probably in year eight or nine at school at the time and I saw a pop-punk band called Fastlane. I had my first mosh, and it was the first time I felt like I found a community.

“But it was when I was in sixth form that a gig really impacted me. It was at a at the back of The Star [100] in Guildford. A local magazine called Spill Mag put on a night and one of my favourite bands at the time, Million Dead [now Frank Turner], performed. The room is so small and personal. I went mad in the pit and ended up jumping on stage with Frank. I felt so alive and, to this day, it’s one of the gigs I will never forget.”

“I studied art at uni but felt very lost with what to do with my life when I left. I did a quick course and became a PA and worked in Pall Mall, London, which is a super fancy job to have at 18/19-years-old. I learnt so much in that job in terms of organisation, managing time and spinning many plates. But it was lacking the music I craved to be around. ”

How did you get into the entertainment industry?

“I left my PA job and started as an admissions assistant at the Academy of Contemporary of Music [ACM] in Guildford. I was surrounded by music, students studying in business, tour management and performance, plus we had an industry team that connected students with the music industry. I realised my true potential at ACM and worked my way up to the Industry Link team. We put on gigs every week, hosted and ran stages at festivals and helped develop students to get into the industry too.

“I worked my way up to be brand manager at ACM which was a massive achievement for my age. It included doing lots of live work, also marketing and organising an many events and projects. It let me see the overall landscape of the music industry and meet and work with all the different sides and gain and overview.

“I also did some freelance events in my spare time which took me around the world to Los Angeles, Mexico and more. I worked on private events which included looking after artistes such as Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars and Katy Perry.”

What were your high and low points

“Working at PRS has led me to my biggest achievements such as founding and running PRS Presents, for which member artistes come into our offices and perform. I also run our Glastonbury activation, host over 200 guests, book over 25 bands and manage our venue, the build and all the suppliers, contractors and over 30 staff. I love this festival and being part of that community is so huge for me.

“I was proud this year to host a [PRS} Heritage Award presentation at the pub went to in sixth form days, The Star in Guildford. We invited The Stranglers back to perform and reveal a plaque to show that was where they first played.

“I have also had many low points of self-esteem and mental health is very important in this industry. We get can disillusioned and be on a high, due to the nature of what we do. I will admit I have been lost and low many times through my career. But I have always found a way back and that is due to friends and colleagues and staying humble and grounded.”

Where do you see the industry going?

“The live industry is so important and always will be, but venues are closing so we need to make sure we go to gigs and support our local community. These places are the starting point for most of the bands we all know and love.

“Sybil and Ward who run Independent Venue Week are doing so much work and support in this area, as is Mark from Music Venues Trust. These guys are what help keep the grassroots of the live scene alive.”

How do you unwind?

“Yoga is my release, being with my animals are my love, long walks and living by the sea in Brighton is the best thing I ever did.

“I would love to be a nomad and let go of what society thinks you need. Time is precious so I want to go see more of the world.

“I am also a crazy animal person and have a dog called Roxy, a cat called Loui. Also, I’ve always kept chickens. I’m known as a crazy chicken whisperer.

“My sister moved to Thailand for work, so now it’s like a second home to me and I love being with her.

“I’ve been with my husband Scotty since 16-years-old and I would be lost without him by my side.”

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