Spotlight on Chris Pentney
Tell us a little about who you are and what you do...
I'm Chris Pentney, a booking agent at Sharper Than. Sharper Than Agency is the only folk and traditional music booking agency in the North East of England, representing a number of acts from solo artists to bands, some from this region and some from far beyond. I find them concert bookings, largely in festivals, arts centres and folk clubs.
I also occasionally act as a concert promoter and put on folk gigs in local venues.
What does success mean to you, right now?
Success means having the freedom to have my own thoughts. Booking a gig into a venue. Creating an event that people buy tickets to come to see.
What do you love about what you do?
I work with something I am passionate about – folk and traditional music. I’m building on 20 years of experience gained through working for Folkworks and Sage Gateshead but now I have much more choice about what I do on a daily basis.
What do you find most challenging?
Keeping up with the timescales. Most venues are booking a year or more ahead and presenting information to them in the most timely manner is a constant challenge.
Working in the arts generally is challenging – with funding cuts and tight budgets in venues and constant battles to grow and keep audiences coming to see live music.
What's your biggest achievement(s) to date?
Surviving and growing!
I recently booked a 16 date national tour for two not-widely-known artists in a show about human slavery – everything else should be easy by comparison!
What are your hopes and dreams for future success and happiness?
To be established enough that venues and festivals approach me on a regular basis to check out who I am working with.
To help my artists grow and command bigger fees and attract larger audiences.
For my business to generate enough income for me to be comfortable.
Not to work Mondays and have enough time to spend in my garden to make that beautiful and productive.
What's your best piece of advice for others wanting to feel more successful?
Put in the time and ‘leg-work.’
Be positive and grateful.
Take opportunities to meet other small/micro business owners and share challenges and solutions.
And of course, join Julie’s Success Club as I have found Julie’s positivity, gentle coaching and tools to help me be accountable invaluable in underpinning my weekly rhythm.
Written by Chris Pentney
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