Music industry events and marketing director and diversity consultant. Champion of women in music. Passionate about achieving greater equality in the music business.
London resident Lara is a music industry events and marketing director and diversity consultant. Previously a Director at the Association of Independent Music (AIM), Lara organises various music industry awards ceremonies, networking events, conferences and live events, most notably having founded the annual AIM Independent Music Awards, which each year shines a much needed spotlight on the wealth of talent in independent music. Lara is a champion of women in music and advocate for diversity, organising numerous conferences and networking events aimed at tackling the lack of gender equality and diversity in the music industry. She has sat on UK Music's diversity taskforce, co-founded the Music Week Women in Music Awards and is an ambassador for Love Music Hate Racism, and has been quoted in publications including Forbes, Marie Claire, Glamour, The Independent and The Guardian on music industry diversity.When not managing events, Lara can be found on Twitter enthusing about 90s pop, or in a muddy festival field with a nice cold beer.
I hope that we can now come together as an industry and ask 'how can we address this?'. If we are to have a truly thriving music industry, we need to promote brilliant people from every gender, race and background, and that can't happen until harassment and sexism are properly dealt with. It's time to break the pattern.
SXSW (or South By South West, to use its full name) is widely known by the music industry and music fans as the ultimate showcasing festival for new music. Each year in March the World's music industry decamps to Austin, Texas, for six long days and nights of BBQ, margaritas, tacos and live music. And this week, for the first time, I'm amongst them.
There were countless times in my first few years in music when I felt something we were doing should be done differently, that something wouldn't work, when I had an alternative view or idea. But I assumed other people knew better.
While festival bills in the UK and overseas have been criticised in recent years for lacking female musicians, this year Glastonbury's Emily Eavis has made it clear that they intend to lead by example and will be "strong on women". Where Glastonbury leads others follow, so perhaps the industry traditions are slowly beginning to crumble.
Last night saw the announcement of the nominees for this year's AIM Independent Music Awards, and as I watched our presenters reveal the labels and artists that feature in this year's nominees list, I felt great pride that I get to work with the people responsible for some of the best music in the world.
It's now less than four weeks until the third annual AIM Independent Music Awards takes place, and last night we were finally able to reveal this year's nominees. And what a fine bunch they are! Our judges have done a terrific job this year of shining a spotlight on the wealth and diversity of talent supported by the UK's thriving independent labels.
I have numerous female friends working in the music industry; bright, hard-working, late-20s women who are passionate about their jobs. In almost all cases they are finding themselves languishing in the same role year after year, passed over for promotions and pay rises, with their bosses blaming 'the economy'.
I am an absolute sucker for Christmas markets. Each year, drawn by the cute little huts, twinkly lights and festive music, I drag my (less enthusiastic) other half along to one of the UK's growing number of Christmas markets.
Since starting to work on the AIM Independent Music Awards a couple of years ago, it hasn't escaped my attention that every time a list of music award nominees is published, a large-scale debate and healthy amount of criticism and cynicism inevitably follows. I suspect this is because of the subjective nature of music; the concept of judging it is arguably flawed.