“It’s bigger, more ambitious and has a wider scope of industry debates:” An interview with NTIA/NTE CEO Michael Kill
Nightlife. It’s a precious thing. It’s where we make memories, witness once-in-a-lifetime gigs, discover the artists of tomorrow and have a blinder of a time. Whether it’s stadium capacity super shows or unforgettable nights in low-ceiling sweatboxes, you’d be hard-pressed to find a music lover without a favourite venue or club night.
But, there are challenges. While the events industry is set to boom in 2023, the recent pandemic and cost of living crisis have made it difficult for everyone involved. We’ve seen venue closures, job losses and cancelled events over the recent years. That’s why it’s crucial for promoters and people engaged with nightlife to have a space to come together, share ideas and build community.
Enter the Night Time Economy Summit. Launched in Bristol in 2022, this year’s edition will take place on the 9th and 10th of February at London’s E1, seeing the event grow in size and featuring high-profile keynote speakers in Harvey Goldsmith MBE and Irvine Welsh. Joining them are a range of experts in data, sustainability, inclusivity and more, with the summit shaping up to be a valuable asset for independent promoters and event industry enthusiasts alike.
The minds behind the summit are the Night Time Industries Association, which started in 2016 on the back of Fabric’s licence loss. The campaign was supported by the then-fledgeling NTIA, which led to the Police getting back involved and eventually, the club regained their licence.
Ahead of the summit, we caught up with the NTIA CEO Micheal Kill, discussing his thoughts on the event, the first-of-its-kind UK Electronic Music Report and more. Scroll down to read the interview.
The NTIA was established back in 2016. What challenges at this time prompted the forming of the association?
“The association was formed on the back of Fabric losing its license, with hundreds of thousands of people pushing for the landmark venue to reopen and a campaign supported by the fledgling association which drove the Police to come back to the table. It was formalised when the founding members, made up of business owners and night-time economy advocates, felt that there was no support for the late-night economy in particular.”
This year’s Night Time Economy Summit is fast approaching. What qualities did you look for in speakers when putting together content across the two-day event?
“We have always strived to balance the broad range of core topics and current challenges with lifestyle speakers or industry characters in speakers and panelists, who can engage not only on strategy but also with people just starting out in our sector. The summit this year was about progressing from our initial event in Bristol, with speakers that could bring expertise and knowledge both domestically and internationally. We wanted everyone to take something away from this summit to better the industry.”
We’re really looking forward to Vibelab’s ‘Measuring The Night’ panel, which panels would you recommend to promoters and why?
“There are four panels/speakers which I am looking forward to, Irvine Welsh will be without a doubt a talking point, the launch of our Safeguarding Nightlife training platform, the Electronic Music Report which will be the first in the UK and the launch of the National Promoter Society which I think is going to make a huge difference to grassroots promoters.”
How exciting is it to have Harvey Goldsmith CBE and celebrated writer, Irvine Welsh as keynote speakers at this year’s event?
“Both of these people stand head and shoulders above many in our industry. Harvey has such a wealth of experience and I am sure there are so many stories to tell about the industry both personally and through business. Irvine is a huge character, with such a creative view of our industry through the decades, which is clear in his writing.”
How will this year’s summit differ from last year’s?
“It’s bigger, more ambitious and has a wider scope of industry debates taking place with initiatives and reports which will become the benchmark for the industry.”
What would you like promoters to take away from the summit?
“I would want independent promoters to walk away [with] the knowledge that they have a huge community of like-minded people, challenged with the same issues, but we are building a collective voice and support mechanism for the future.”
You’ve collaborated with the groups like shesaid.so, what was it about their work that excited you?
“We have a huge range of partners as part of this summit, in particular the Shesaid.so community has led the way in terms of the discussion and debate around women and gender minorities in the music industry and by extension, the night time economy, which we have felt had to be an important part of this year’s summit.”
Can you give us an insight into how the UK Night Time Economy Report and the UK Electronic Music Report will help promoters?
“The key to these reports is that they will help substantiate the true value of the NTE both culturally and as a wider proportion of out-of-home leisure experience. The electronic music report is the first of its kind and was born from discussions with DCMS, highlighting the lack of understanding of the sector, particularly its value economically, community and culturally.”
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