Announcing Pride in Music, a cross-industry network for the LGBTQ+ community, artists and allies working within British Music

East Creative partner with Pride of Music to find a new LBGTQ+ artist to perform at Mighty Hoopla


Simon Jones PR

LGBTQ+ people in the music industry continue to struggle to openly be themselves in the workplace. In order to help make positive changes in the music industry and to support change across all UK industries, a new network has been formed - Pride In Music - a collective working to create a cross-industry network for the LGBTQ+ community, artists and allies working within British Music.

In 2018 Stonewall revealed there are still issues in the workplace across all UK industries for those who identify as LGBTQ+. Statistics show that as many as 35% (rising to 51% for Trans) of staff hide the fact that they are LGBTQ+ at work for fear of being discriminated against.

Almost one in five have been the target of negative comments or conduct from work colleagues in the last year because of their identity. A similar percent also stated that when looking for work they were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Founded by David James Lennon, Guy Howes and Jamie Ahye with committee support from Blake Price, Mark Fabish, Simon Jones and Sophie Harley, Pride in Music is the first cross-industry network group, offering those working in the music industry a place to socialise and network, and will also provide peer support and employer education, with future plans to broaden the scope of help offered.

‘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.’ said Guy Howes (Creative Artists Agency).

Jamie Ahye from Atlantic Records adds ‘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.’

‘We are considerably lucky to work in a creative industry based on such rich and varied cultures and histories’ adds David James Lennon. ‘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’.

Pride in Music are already gaining support from companies in the community, including East Creative, the incredibly successful team behind Sink The Pink and Mighty Hoopla.

East Creative and Pride in Music will be working together to give a developing LGBTQ+ artist the opportunity to take to the stage at this year’s Mighty Hoopla festival on June 8th. The chosen artist will be included in all promotion for the festival, providing them with a great platform and huge exposure.

As part of this partnership, East Creative and Pride in Music will also be working to offer work experience placements to unprivileged LGBTQ+ youth; with opportunities including options to work as an Artist Liaison or Runner on the day of Mighty Hoopla, to give someone first-hand experience of what it’s like to work behind the scenes at a major music festival.

Other companies & brands bringing support for launch of this venture include The Music Managers Forum (The MMF), Pernod Ricard (Absolut), We Love Pop and live music venue, Omeara London.

Pride in Music founding members include people from BMG, Sony Music, Warner Music, Universal Music, Modest! Management, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), PRS, Kobalt, Mute, Concord Music and First Access Entertainment.

For more information on Pride in Music please contact


TITLE: Director of Marketing
ONLINE PROFILE: @cowboystyle
FIVE NOTABLE ALBUMS FROM THE PAST 5 YEARS: LP -’LP’, Mogwai - ‘Les Revenants’, Tegan & Sara - ‘Heartthrob’, Benjamin Ingrosso - ‘Identification’, Lil Peep - ‘Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. I’.
Growing up during the era of Section 28 I’ve always had or been surrounded by those who have struggled with a multitude of issues around of the subject of sexuality and gender identity. Whilst like some others on the Pride in Music team I have been lucky enough to have been widely open and accepted throughout my career, I identify that there is still considerable work to be done to break down stereotypes, to educate employers and fellow members of staff of issues the wider community faces, and as stated in the release I hope that ‘Pride in Music’ can provide a service to help those in need who may be less fortunate in dealing with mental health issues, anxieties, stigmas and the other consequences that arise within these topics and can provide a rich and varied community for networking, peer mentoring, social engagements & education within all areas of the workplace alongside overall visibility.

TITLE: Music Partnerships
COMPANY: Creative Artists Agency
FIVE NOTABLE ALBUMS FROM THE PAST 5 YEARS: Christine and the Queens ‘Chaleur Humaine’, Tame Impala ‘Currents’, The War on Drugs ‘Lost in The Dream’, Bonobo ‘The North Borders’, George Fitzgerald ‘Fading Love’
Whilst I have been lucky enough to always be open and accepted at work as openly gay I have found at times that the music industry can be intimidating place to break into if you don’t fit the mould. I hope that Pride in Music can be a network for people across the industry to meet and support each other as well as nurturing best practice where these is need for change.

TITLE: Marketing Manager
COMPANY: Atlantic Records, Warner Music Group
IDENTIFIES AS: A Queer Trans Man
ONLINE PROFILE: @jamieahye
FIVE NOTABLE ALBUMS FROM THE PAST 5 YEARS: PVRIS ‘White Noise’, Taylor Swift ‘1989’, Bring Me The Horizon ‘ That’s The Spirit’, Justin Bieber ‘Purpose’, Lady Gaga ‘Joanne’
I’ve been a music fan as long as I can remember. Not only because of the music itself, but because of the escape it can give you and the sense of community you feel to be part of an artist’s fanbase. Growing up I connected so deeply with music and could only dream to one day be a part of it. Getting into the music industry can be a daunting thing for anyone, if you are then concerned about being accepted for your LGTBQ+ identity on top of that, it can seem deflating. My hope is that with the creation of Pride in Music, we can both support those already working within the industry and be an example to young LGBTQ+ people, from all walks of life, that there is a place for them within this industry. I’ve been lucky to work in companies that have always allowed me to come to work as my true self. Unfortunately, that’s not true for everyone’s story. Work is somewhere I have found friendship, support and opportunity. I hope we can offer that to others through PiM.

TITLE: Director of Artist Partnerships
COMPANY: Universal Music Group & Brands
FIVE NOTABLE ALBUMS FROM THE PAST 5 YEARS: MUNA ‘About U’, Carly Rae Jepsen ‘Emotion’, Angel Haze ‘Dirty Gold’, BANKS ‘Goddess’, Kelsea Ballerini ‘Unapologetically’
Consciously or not, I’ve been “out” since my earliest days as an intern at Sony. I’d always noted though that there were never any openly out LGBT executives in the companies that I worked at - or not that I knew of, anyway. That visibility is something I’m hoping to change with Pride in Music.

TITLE: International Marketing Manager
ONLINE PROFILE: @iamfabish
Janelle Monae ‘Dirty Computer’, Lorde ‘Melodrama’, Beyonce ‘Lemonade’, Years & Years ‘Communion’ and La Roux ‘Trouble in Paradise’
I spent the first two years of my career hiding the fact that I was gay. I was worried that I would be treated differently and that it might have a negative impact on my career. I am now very comfortable with myself, the people around me and the company I work for, and that’s why I wanted to be part of Pride In Music. I don’t want anyone to feel the way I did and I hope this network will help support those who are where I was 10 years ago’

TITLE: Founder of Simon Jones PR and Entertainment Publicist
COMPANY: Simon Jones PR
ONLINE PROFILE: @simonjonespr
Janet Jackson ‘Unbreakable’, The Greatest Showman Soundtrack, Madonna ‘Rebel Heart’, Haim ‘Days Are Gone’, Muna ‘About U’
I’ve been an openly gay man working in the music industry for 20 years now and I’m happy to say I’ve never hidden who I am. I know this is sadly not the same for many other people though. In this time I have seen a change in the way LGBT executives are viewed and treated. However, not enough. There are still very few LGBT people in top positions within the music industry, diversity is still a problem. I really wanted to get involved in setting up Pride in Music so we can help change this in the future.

TITLE: Office Manager
COMPANY: First Access Entertainment
FIVE NOTABLE ALBUMS FROM THE PAST 5 YEARS: Rihanna - ‘Anti’, Beyonce - ‘Lemonade’, Anne-Marie - ‘Speak Your Mind’, Lily Allen - ‘No Shame’, Ariana Grande - ‘Sweetener’, Mariah Carey - ’Caution
I remember how nervous I felt when someone outed me at work on a Friday night and I had to come in on Monday morning worrying all weekend that my colleagues would treat me differently and have felt that many times since when starting a new job and have to come out again. It took me many years to feel as comfortable as I am with myself today and that's why I want to be a part of Pride in Music to offer any support I can to help others who have been where I have many times before now.

January 22, 2019 3:00am ET by Simon Jones PR  

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