Dedicated to the Business of Contemporary Live Music

Backstage Star – Charlotte Harris

27 August 2019

Charlotte Harris is a third-generation partner at Harris & Trotter, one of the UK’s leading firms of accountants to the music industry. The firm has been running for almost 80 years and has worked on tours with Two Door Cinema Club, Years & Years and Lewis Capaldi. Harris is personally working with John Mayall, with whom her grandfather worked with during his time at the firm.

What are your first live music memories?

Since my dad was in the industry, I often went to see his clients perform. My first memory is sitting on the floor of a large venue where Curiosity Killed the Cat were performing and watching everyone else on their feet singing and dancing.

How did you get into the entertainment industry?

I trained as a Chartered Accountant at Deloitte and did corporate tax work for multinational companies like Chanel and Timberland. It made me certain I wanted to work with music artists as it is so much more rewarding helping them, so I moved to Harris & Trotter LLP as a manager.

How did your career path develop?

When you work on tours every day for years and years you can’t help but get to know the ins and outs. The fact that different promoters in the same country will tell you different things about the local taxes helps to keep you on your toes!

What were your greatest low and high points?
I’ve worked with some very talented bands that have never made it in the way I thought they should have. I’ve since learnt that talent isn’t all it takes…

On the upside, seeing a client perform at a big venue like the O2 when you recall seeing them at some tiny venue a few years before gives you a great sense of achievement even if you are only a very small part of that. I’ve had that feeling with Ellie Goulding, TDCC and Kygo and it’s very special.

Where do you see the live music business going?

The live music industry will continue to get stronger and will be ever changing – Brexit will bring its own challenges as well as forex fluctuations and the changing PRS deductions on settlements… there will always be something new.

How do you unwind?
I can usually be found at Frame or Pyscle if I have any free time doing a dance or yoga or HITT class. I have already run one marathon and would love to do another sometime.

I am married with a 9 year old daughter called Isabelle and a 7 year old son called Mylo.  Despite them wanting pets, I don’t think I could cope with anything else to look after.

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