Amy Lamé (Night Czar of London)

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Amy has a long and successful track record as a leader and collaborator in the cultural and creative industries. She is co-founder of the Olivier Award winning arts company and club night Duckie, and co-founded RVT Future, a voluntary LGBT+ community group campaigning to preserve the iconic Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

She served as Mayoress of Camden in 2010-2011, and spent her year highlighting the history and culture of live music and nightlife in the borough. Amy is a familiar presence on TV, in print and on radio. She broadcasted for a decade on BBC Radio London, and now hosts Sunday afternoons on BBC6 Music.

Her debut book, From Prejudice to Pride: A History of the LGBT+ Movement – the first LGBT+ history book for children – was published by Hachette in June 2017.

In 2018, Amy was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from University of East London (UEL) and appointed Honorary Professor at University College London (UCL). Originally from New Jersey, Amy has been a proud Londoner for over 25 years. She has served as London’s first Night Czar since 2016.

Kath Davies (Creative Economy Manager, Kirklees Council)

Kath Davies has been described as a story teller, door opener and bridge builder. She explores places and identity to generate ideas, partnerships and creative solutions. Since 1998, Kath has worked as a cultural development specialist and independent practitioner with experience ranging from creative and community action and health and wellbeing to visitor economy. From 2007 onwards, Kath has gone onto lead Local Government teams across cultural and creative economy strategy and policy, engagement and audience development, project and events management. Kath is also a qualified coach and values a collaborative leadership style. She is highly skilled in creative and systems thinking to support innovation, vision and ambition whilst also ensuring approaches are grounded in people and place. Currently, Kath is working with partners to create the conditions for music to grow and thrive in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, building towards a year of music in 2023.

DR Matthias Rauch (Cultural Urban Development, Mannheim Germany)

Matthias Rauch, Dr. phil., studied American Studies, Business Administration and Communications at the University of Mannheim. From 2007-2010, he was a stipend in the graduate program „Formations of the Global“ at the University of Mannheim and visiting research fellow at York University, Toronto, in 2010. He has been lecturing at the University of Mannheim, the SRH Hochschule Heidelberg & Popakademie Baden-Württemberg. Matthias Rauch has worked as a freelance journalist for print and online publications for over 17 years. From March 2013 until October 2014, he was head of press & public relations at the Clustermanagement Musikwirtschaft Mannheim & Region. From November 2014 until December 2016, he was head of the Clustermanagement Musikwirtschaft. Since January 2017, he has been cultural innovation officer and head of the cultural urban development department of the city of Mannheim. He was vice chairman of the association for music business and music culture research (GMM e.V.) from 2014 - 2018.

Ruth Pitt (Chair Leeds 2023)

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Recently appointed as Chair of Leeds 2023, Ruth has a wealth of experience across the media and cultural landscape and as a consultant she recently helped to shape Leeds City Region’s successful campaign to become the home of Channel 4’s new National HQ. Ruth runs mentoring networks that help develop next generation talent for Channel 4 and is also currently the Director of the Creative Cities Convention and a Trustee of Leeds Playhouse.

Originally a journalist and news presenter at Yorkshire Television, Ruth has run documentary departments for the BBC, Granada Television and Tiger Aspect Productions as well as her own independent TV production company Real Life. She was Advisory Chair of Edinburgh International Television Festival, Chair of the Nations and Regions Media Conference and previously Executive Director of Screen England.

Tom Riordan (Chief Executive, Leeds City Council)

Since becoming CEO of Leeds City Council in 2010, Tom has been an advocate and supporter for culture and the creative industries in Leeds. Tom was a key ingredient to Leeds’ bid to be European Capital of Culture by engaging and galvanising partners across the city to support the Leeds bid. Tom also played a vital role in keeping the momentum behind the Leeds 2023 project, which is continuing as an international, cultural festival. Recently, Tom has been instrumental in attracting Channel 4 to Leeds. This landmark decision to bring the national HQ and a major new Channel 4 News hub came from a successful campaign with the Leeds city region LEP and neighbouring councils.

Tom is currently overseeing a significant transformation of the city, halfway through a £10bn investment pipeline that has delivered Trinity and Victoria Gate shopping centres and the First Direct Arena. Plans are set to double the size and economic impact of the city centre through regeneration of public spaces and the South Bank, developing an Innovation District with the universities and teaching hospital and connecting HS2 to a redesigned train station. Tom has encouraged these transformations to have culture and creativity embedded at their core, which has seen Leeds become an attractive city to live, work and visit, as it demonstrated by Leeds being ranked as fifth in the Top 10 European visitor destinations (Lonely Planet 2017).

Tom’s top priority is for the city’s growth to be inclusive and felt across Leeds. Tom is leading work to ensure Leeds continues to support and attract good-quality jobs and investment. As part of the Inclusive Growth Strategy, Leeds has secured firm commitments from businesses and other stakeholders to offer their support to boost productivity, competitiveness and social inclusion. Leeds has experienced strong private sector jobs growth, above the national average, has one of the highest rates of business start-ups and scale-ups amongst UK cities, enjoys a high proportion of knowledge-intensive jobs and is a smart city. The Leeds economy is forecast to outperform the national economy over the next 20 years, increasing its output by an extra £9bn nationally, and at 77% its employment rate is higher than the UK average. Since 2010 Tom has also overseen £300m of efficiencies and savings across the City Council and also won MJ’s Council of the Year 2016.

In overseeing the delivery of Leeds’ Culture Strategy, Tom has helped to shape Leeds into a home for world class organisations, artists and events. From music, to dance, food, literature, theatre, shared public spaces and community festivals, Tom champions the role of culture across the city. Leeds has not only boosted its identity and profile around the world thanks to this investment, it has also seen culture flourish across every community in Leeds, bringing with it benefits to health, education, community pride and community cohesion. Leeds has a strong, unique identity thanks to its diverse cultures, which is also why Tom believes it is such a great city. Leeds also continues to be a host for world class sporting events, such as the World Triathlon Series and Tour de Yorkshire.

Tom has come full-circle from a North Yorkshire state education, via Oxford University, a Civil Service fast-stream career on international environmental policy and then leading the Regional Development Agency Yorkshire Forward. For his commitment to the region, Tom was awarded Yorkshire Man of the Year 2017. He is also a trustee on the Centre for Cities Board, a patron of St Gemma’s Hospice and the Council's mental health champion.

David McQuillan (Square Chapel Arts Centre)

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With a background in teaching and as an exhibiting visual artist, David joined Square Chapel in 2003 as a part time outreach worker, engaging young people in the arts. He was part of establishing the successful outreach programme that is at the heart of many of the developments at Square Chapel. As Development Manager (2008-2015) he was responsible not only for the successful Orange Box (£4m) and Cornerstone (£6.6m) capital fundraising campaigns, but also all revenue funding for Square Chapel and Orange Box. David was appointed as Director of Square Chapel in April 2016 following the retirement of longstanding Director and founder trustee Sally Martin.

Penny Blackham (Cultural Engagement Officer / Sheffield Music Board)


Penny Blackham is a music industry and events professional with extensive experience built up during her 30-year career. Penny has worked in all sectors of the industry from promoting, retail, label and artist management, performance and talent consultation, running venues, programming festivals, raising funding and mentoring young women to be confident and knowledgeable within the industry.  Penny established Secret Name Management, an artist management company with a client roster of Sheffield based bands including The Crookes, High Hazels and Leeds based Music producer Matt Peel.  She also successfully ran her own 2nd hand record shop, Forever Changes for 11 years. 

As a concert promoter Penny spent 10 years as the live music manager at the Students Union in Sheffield booking and delivering live music in 4 venues from the 1600 capacity Octagon Centre to the intimate 100 cap Raynor Lounge.  She developed ‘Fuzz Club’ a highly successful and influential weekly club night at the SU featuring the cream of new band talent. Penny has been an independent promoter in Sheffield City Centre since 1991 focussing on the DIY touring scene and running many gigs in a variety of Sheffield based independent venues as well as a series of all dayers and weekenders. Penny has performed in many DIY bands including recording a Peel Session.   

In her current role as Cultural Engagement Officer at the University of Sheffield Penny has developed a brand called Sheffield Makes Music which aims to showcase the broad variety and quality of music made in the city and to inspire young people to form their own groups, bands, ensembles by getting an early taste of performance on a public platform. Penny is currently a representative member of the Sheffield City Region Music Board.   



Stewart Baxter (The Warren Youth Project / Warren Records)

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Stewart has been involved in music for over 20 years cutting his teeth playing in various bands within the British underground scene. This gave him a great understanding of producing and releasing music alongside extensive touring and merchandising, skills that he later brought to The Warren Youth Project where he set up the Warren Records project. 

Since 2005 Stewart has worked with young people at The Warren managing a free recording studio and rehearsal space alongside a record label, talent development programme and events team, which engages and mentors young people through music and helps them enter the industry. During this time he has delivered work in partnership with – Independent Venue Week, UK Music, BBC Academy, BBC Introducing, PRS, PRS Foundation Talent Development Partnership, The Joe Strummer Foundation, Hull Trinity Festival, Humber Street Sesh Festival and Freedom Festival and has also set up and delivered the 53 Degrees North Music Industry Conference supported by Hull UK City Of Culture 2017 working with organisations such as - Festival Republic, Spotify, Tunecore, Music Glue, Amazing Radio, Musicians Union, Bandcamp, AIM, Help Musicians UK and many more.  

Stewart also plays drums for the BBC 6 Music Play-listed band LIFE, who have been Hull’s greatest recent export racking up huge press and radio plays alongside their debut album Popular Music and touring constantly with bands such as SLAVES, Nadine Shah, IDLES and more. 

Cath Hurley (mostdeffo / Liverpool City Region Music Board)

For a number of years Cath worked in Online PR, Digital Marketing and Social Media Management for an extremely varied roster of brand new acts through to established artists, such as Ellie Goulding and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Her work with new bands and artists often focused on helping them get the attention of labels and to build their fanbase. She would often be the first industry professional working with the band and would build their release strategy.

She then moved on to become Product Manager at Rough Trade Records, leading on the releases for the likes of Parquet Courts, SOAK and Girl Band. This involved overseeing all elements of album releases and working closely with acts to realise their vision.

She moved up to Liverpool in 2016 and spent two years leading on the marketing for a number of organisations in the wider arts, alongside this she continues to rack up many hours lecturing at LIPA, helping the students to ready themselves for a professional life in music.

In 2018 she launched artist management company, mostdeffo. She now works with a lovely roster of bands and artists, including International Teachers of Pop – who recently released their critically acclaimed debut album. She continues to lecture at LIPA and also mentors a number of management students.

Cath is a proud member of the newly formed Liverpool City Region Music Board.

Alan Miller (Night Time Industries Association)

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Alan Miller started his career staging international events in the music business. He is the co-founder of London’s Old Truman Brewery cultural business center a 10-acre site in London with over 200 companies, ranging from recording studios to art galleries, entertainment spaces, restaurants, bars, cafes, fashion, film companies and retail. It has helped regenerate a significant area of London, creating a new cultural quarter. For almost 20 years Alan was CEO of The Vibe Bar which closed in Nov 2014 and whereupon he co-founded The Night Time Industries Association with colleagues from around the UK.

The NTIA represents bars, clubs, festivals, DJs, Artists, labels, security and others who work and make things happen in the night time and throughout the day. NTIA campaigns nationally and it has have brought together members of the public together with the music industry and venues to champion issues, such as #SaveFabric, #WeLoveHackney, #SaveBussey, #Save24KitchenStreet #SaveThekla and many more. Through the ongoing campaign of #SaveNightlife messages go out to local councillors while lobbying behind the scenes consistently at every level locally and nationally.

The NTIA has helped to ensure cities such as London and Manchester have Night Time Ambassadors, named Czars or Advisers and others such as Glasgow, Bristol and many more have Night Time Commissions and are looking to put representation in place. Working with Business Improvement Districts, Police, Councillors and all Stakeholders, the goal is to help curate cities and towns across Britain ensuring music and nightlife is at the heart of making them special, culturally and economically.

Alan writes and appears on the news, tv and radio nationally and globally and sat on The Arts Council’s UK London Arts Board for several years. He produces and directs, having started in music videos and on to produce documentaries including Eroica! (director) and Beware of Mr Baker! (producer) as well as feature film including Beijing-New York (one of the earliest examples of Chinese-American co-productions). Currently he is involved in a project involving Space, Virgin Galactic and Lady Gaga.

In the last couple of years, Alan has spoken to audiences in Mumbai, Sydney, Melbourne, New York, Berlin, Amsterdam and Toronto and Miami as well as regularly across the UK. As well as being a published author he continues to write fiction as well non fiction and commentary internationally across most media.

Katie Hill (Leeds Music History Project)

Katie Hill is a design researcher, lecturer and musician who has been hanging around the art school and music scene in Leeds since the late 90s. After spending many years listening to tales (in the Fenton) of the old art school bands such as Gang of Four and The Mekons through to Soft Cell and Kaiser Chiefs, in 2011 she decided it was time to do something to bring all of these stories together in one place and put on the Leeds Music History Exhibition in the basement of Leeds Town Hall with friends Mike Jolly (of Cloth Cat), Rich Higgins and Andie Mills. A long term Hyde Park resident, Katie has continued to collect stories about the Leeds music scene and is thinking about how we can collect and keep a record of the rich and diverse history of music in Leeds.

Cluny Macpherson (Chief Officer Culture and Sport, Leeds City Council)

Cluny has been Chief Officer for Culture and Sport at Leeds City Council since 2013. His responsibilities include the city’s venues such as Leeds Town Hall, nine museums, and 15 leisure centres. He also oversees major events such as Tour de Yorkshire, Light Night, the World Triathlon Series and Leeds2023. Although other people do most of the actual work tbh. Previously he was a Director of Arts Council England, the development and funding organisation for the arts. His career includes jobs as market trader, youth worker and a professional musician. He wasn’t a very good musician though, which rather explains the subsequent career direction.

Oliver Morris (UK Music)

Oliver has worked in a broad range of educational settings, formal and informal, with a variety of learners since 2001. Before taking up his role as Director of Education & Skills with UK Music he had been lecturing in education and human geography at Aberystwyth University and undertaking doctoral research. His educational experience encompasses widening access to HE programmes, undergraduate tutoring, community education, schools, and youth work with a creative focus (as musician, composer, deviser and performer). He was also extensively involved in the voluntary sector in his home-county of Ceredigion in mid-Wales both as community worker and trustee with the County Voluntary Council and his local Communities First partnership. He is currently trustee of Creative & Cultural Skills and on the advisory board for Live Music Exchange. He has played music since his teens in a variety of bands and composed and performed for theatre and TV. For a number of years he was drummer for a lion dance troupe and has also been long-listed for the BBC Fame Academy Award and was a finalist in the John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry in his native Wales.

Claire Heap (Visitor Economy Manager, Visit & Conference Leeds)

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Claire has over 10 years’ experience within the Visitor Economy across both leisure and business tourism sectors and within the last 12 months has seen Leeds welcome over 29million visitors per year and rise to 4th most popular UK conference destination. Targeting key national and international audiences, one of Claire’s priorities in her role at Visit and Conference Leeds is to increase the economic impact and associated benefits that the Visitor Economy can generate for the city.