Sandbox Returns for Venues Day 2018

Three Agents Join the Growing List of Music Venue Trust Patrons

Music Venue Trust is delighted to announce the return of The Sandbox, an interactive area at Venues Day 2018 which provides an opportunity for Speed Networking between the UK’s top Agents and Grassroots Music Venues.

Music Venue Trust has developed The Sandbox in association with seven of the UK’s leading live music agencies, ITB, CAA, X Ray, Coda, UTA, Primary, and ATC, with three key agents from those companies taking the opportunity to join the ever-growing list of Patrons of the Trust: Ross Warnock, Phyllis Belezos and Alex Bruford.

The Sandbox will provide information to venues about how to contact agents, what kind of acts are out there, and put names to faces so that venues have a better understanding of who is working in this sector. Grassroots Music Venue representatives will get the chance to spend ten minutes speaking directly with agents representing new and emerging artists, speed networking with the people who can help them get great line ups.

Mark Davyd, Music Venue Trust

Mark Davyd
The Sandbox is a fantastic opportunity for venues to meet with agents and talk to them directly about their venues right across the UK. We really appreciate how the industry has got behind the initiative to support this idea and build and develop it following last year’s event. We are delighted to launch this year’s Sandbox by expanding our own roster of Patrons who support our work.”

Ross Warnock is a live agent at United Talent Agency where he has worked for the past 17 years. Ross currently represents a wide range of talent across multiple genres including; City and Colour, Monster Truck, Richard Thompson, BABYMETAL and Slaves (MVT patrons).

Ross Warnock, United Talent Agency

Ross Warnock
“At United Talent Agency we are focussed on artist development at every stage of an act’s career and we believe those first steps at grassroots venues are vital. As well as playing a key part in the early career development of so many acts, smaller venues are often vital community hubs with an underrated cultural significance. In the UK, we are fortunate to have cultivated an extensive network of independent venues and these important institutions need to be protected and supported.”

Phyllis Belezos of International Talent Booking (ITB) has felt comfortable dealing with talent from all corners of the musical universe ever since she got her first job working in radio production in Boston, then moved to LA and worked at an entertainment law firm and the International dept at the William Morris Agency, before the lifelong anglophile made the move to London where she became an agent, working with artists over the years such as Sufjan Stevens, St Vincent, Emiliana Torrini, Bernhoft, Vintage Trouble and Evidence.

Phyllis, International Talent Booking

Phyllis Belezos
“My passion for music started at a young age in Boston going to see Echo and the Bunnymen, The Smiths, Duran Duran to Metallica, Guns ’n Roses and Motorhead. But there are so many amazing acts I got to see before they went big and that is because of all the cool, intimate venues that allowed artists to grow and develop and gain fans the best way – up close and personal. I’ve seen too many venues close down in the last few years. It’s our responsibility working in this business of music to keep those places going. Memories last a lifetime and we owe it to future generations of artists and music fans to continue and create new memories.”

After 10 years of touring internationally as an artist, Alex Bruford started work as an agent at Reprise Agency in London. Alex founded ATC Live Agency in partnership with ATC in 2011, and ATC Live now represent 300 artists including Mac DeMarco, Big Thief, The Lumineers, Shame and Sleaford Mods and books tours worldwide.

Alex Bruford, ATC Live Agency

Alex Bruford
Music Venue Trust is doing a fantastic job of supporting and championing grassroots music venues. My own touring taught me first-hand how important these venues are in developing an artist’s career – they are they crucial first step in building a fan base. A well-run grassroots venue that warmly welcomes the artist, provides good facilities and a great audience experience is something we should all cherish. Now as an agent it’s become clear to me that many of these venues are often single-handedly responsible for keeping local music scenes alive and are so important to the community. We must do all we can to support them.”

Venues Day 2018 takes place on Wednesday 17 October at Islington Assembly Hall in London and is the only national networking event for Grassroots Music Venues and related professions. The day features a full programme of panels, sessions, workshops, one-to-one advice and opportunities. Further information about the event will be available soon at

2018-10-16T09:38:55+00:00August 30th, 2018|

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