Star Staff: Adrian Kirkpatrick

Music Business degree Pathway Leader

Planning and implementing our brand new Music Business degree has given Adrian a very busy year. He’s managed a rigorous schedule of marketing, copyright law, event management and business for the students, as well as hugely increasing the recruitment number for next year’s intake.

Judging by his busy past in the industry, he'll have taken it all in his stride!

What was your earliest musical experience?
Despite working in the business side of music now, I actually studied classical guitar at the age of six.

Who/what motivated you to have a career in the music industry?
Metallica released ‘Master of Puppets’, and everything changed then! Now I am the Pathway Leader and Senior Lecturer in Music Business, so my career in music began at an early age.

How did your career develop?
After studying Music at Dartington College of Arts I worked for Time Warner, Sony BMG, BBC, and Nude Records quickly developing business skills whilst managing and touring on a national and international basis. I specialised in artist management, accountancy, event, tour and festival Stage Management (Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, T in the Park, Roskilde). Very quickly I gained a reputation for the ability to extend beyond normal boundaries to achieve results, a ruthless event and tour management reputation then followed, budgets never exceeded, events never cancelled, and no tour was a tour too far!

What is the best thing to have happened in your career to date?
My highlights include working with Metallica’s crew, sharing a roast dinner with the Foo Fighters (and not recognising them), watching the house lights go down on an audience of 50,000 wondering how I was going to get the production to Dublin on a boat in twelve hours time (we made it!) whilst at the same time researching language and aesthetics in popular music for the British Film Institute!

Also I remember feeling sorry for Snow Patrol before they released ‘Run’ and helping them carry an amp or two whenever our paths crossed, and politely declining the opportunity to work on the American leg of the Spice Girls tour.

How would you describe your biggest challenge in your role?
I have become an experienced innovative educationalist, and alongside my industry practices I've consulted on niche higher education curriculum writing degrees in the Music Business and related creative fields for University of Salford, Leeds Metropolitan University, and the University of Bolton. I was at Bolton when I wrote the first degree in Europe specialising in Urban and Contemporary Music, and was working alongside local and international figures in the music industry ranging from members of the Stereophonics to producers who have worked with Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson.
I've developed an entrepreneurial interest in the music industry focusing on innovation and strategic planning, so looking at music as a digital and social model, the relevance of record companies and new means of online distribution. I still advise within the music industry, and recently was the contract adviser for national and international acts for Sony Music Entertainment as well as consulting on kickstarter funding campaigns. It's also irresistible not to still have a hand in international tours and appearances. So everything has been challenging, but useful, interesting and exciting all the while.

What attracted you to coming to work at LCoM?
The opportunity to work with Leeds College of Music is really exciting; being asked to create the first Music Business degree in a UK conservatoire is a huge honour. The degree offers huge potential for students to be at the forefront of an ever changing area of business, a business that has more questions than answers, a business that can lead to new and exciting areas of the music industry. Most importantly it offers our students new routes for employment and innovation.

What project would be your dream to work on?
My dream - planning a world tour or festival appearances for bands that I love, and at the same time exploiting new moves in music business systems to generate a business model that allows me to work for myself!
What has been your greatest achievement?
Firstly my son – Luca, secondly – Having a roast dinner with the Foo Fighters without even recognising them!

Who is your greatest inspiration and why?
I get inspired by ideas so I have no greatest inspiration in terms of a person, if someone has an idea that inspires me that for that day they are my greatest inspiration. I am lucky enough both in work and my own activities to have this on a daily basis.
Where would you like to be in five years? 
Exploiting the above business model from a beach via a laptop!

Read more about our Music Business degree.

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"the first Music Business degree in a UK conservatoire offers huge potential for students to be at the forefront of an ever changing area of business..."

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