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[MXD Networking @ SPOT] Meet ITB

Asbjørn Hæstrup

Once again this year, we are inviting several key international industry professionals to attend SPOT Festival. All of them will be joining us at the MXD Superball @ RADAR as part of the SPOT+ programme, but until the festival kicks off on May 4th, we will be bringing you brief introductions to them, including where they come from, what companies they work for, what bands they want to check out at Spot, and much more. We look forward to seeing Phyllis Belezos of ITB.

Name: Phyllis Belezos

Company: ITB

Title: Booking Agent

Based in: London

Can you tell us a bit about the company’s history and its roster?
London based ITB (INTERNATIONAL TALENT BOOKING) was started in 1978 by Rod Macsween and Barry Dickins. The roster boasts an array of artists ranging from Bob Dylan, Adele, Robert Plant, Beverley Knight, Kasabian and Biffy Clyro.

– and a bit about the acts you personally work with at this moment?
My roster is diverse, which matches my musical tastes – from r’nb Grammy nominated Norwegian act Bernhoft, to soul singer Beverley Knight, to Los Angeles based Vintage Trouble and #1 selling UK country act Ward Thomas.

What was the moment you decided you wanted to work with music?
I’ve loved music since I can remember. I started booking my friends’ bands in boston and had my first job at WBCN radio station – this really propelled me to want to work in music. I moved to Los Angeles, where I worked as an agent’s assistant at William Morris, also managed a couple of bands and then made my lifelong dream of living in London come true back in 2003. I love working with artists of every genre and I feel proud to be part of the development process in an artist’s career. The music industry has changed significantly in the past few years and will continue to evolve, but I try to consider that a positive and put my own spin on it – the live industry is thriving, which is great – it’s nice to know that people still enjoy seeing someone live and not just listening on Spotify and Apple Music. Nothing beats a concert experience and the memories you make with those special gigs.

Who are you looking forward to seeing at Spot Festival this year?
I’ve always been fascinated with acts outside of just the US and UK in general as I think it takes that bit more work to branch out and make yourself known internationally. For me, I’m really looking forward to seeing a random singer or band which will catch my attention – for me, it’s all about the songs and the performance so I’m coming with an open mind and open ears !

Best live show you’ve seen, hands down?
Way too many to list, but top for me would be Radiohead at Glastonbury, Massive Attack at Brixton Academy in London and Doves at the El Rey theatre in LA.