meet the architects: James Arnold-Garvey

If you’ve seen the new Spider-Man movie, you’ll know that every superhero needs their “guy in the chair”. While Peter Parker is out crawling walls and saving babies, his main man is back at mission control feeding him info, steering him away from danger and pointing him in the right direction. If you haven’t seen the new Spider-Man movie, this next person will be very disappointed in you. This week, we want to introduce you to our guy on the home front pulling all the threads together, the voice of reason giving the rest of us the head’s up while we’re out in the field saving your babies. Please say g’day to our General Manager, James Arnold-Garvey.

AOE Blog: So who the fuck are you?

I’m James, General Manager of Architects of Entertainment. You can call me Jimmy if you want to but few people do.

OK, Jimmy, what was the first festival you ever attended?

Big Day Out, 2000. It was the start of my last year of high school and I don’t think I had any real concept of what a music festival was at that point, let alone something as large as Big Day Out. Chilis, Nine Inch Nails, Chemical Brothers, Foos and Basement Jaxx were there. So were 20,000 other people. I think it blew my little mind a bit.

How did you get your start in the music industry?

It’s a bit of a mixed bag, really. I fancied myself a musician when I was younger, studied audio engineering and got into recording and mixing, crewed on a few smaller festivals, ended up in music media for a while, did a bit of PR and marketing. Just sort of kept one toe in the pool, all while doing various other jobs and learning new skills to keep me afloat. And now I’m here, thanks to the good graces of our glorious benefactors.

And what have you been doing with us since then?

More of a mixed bag! From finance and accounts, contracts, policy and HR, through to IT, admin and socials. I’ve got a bit of a hand in everything. I manage, generally.

What was the biggest lesson you learned on your first professional gig?

Be ready to do whatever you can, because you’ll have to do something you never thought you would.

What do you do better than anyone else?

You know when you ask someone to fix your computer but, before they’ve done anything, everything magically works all of a sudden and you feel like a bit of an idiot? I’m that guy.

What artist, dead or alive, would you most like to see live?

Hmm. Kate Bush, Tom Waits or Talking Heads. Until Keith Richards dies, and then I’ll probably wish I’d have seen him.

Who inspires you and why?

Our team inspires me. Is that too corny?

A little.

Well, it’s true. We have two incredibly knowledgeable, experienced and hardworking leaders at the helm. We have an event manager ready for whatever comes his way. We have great support and a depth of passion from administrations and accounts. Crew on the front line at all hours of the day. All in service of bringing the music to the people. Surrounded by that, it’s hard not to be inspired.

What about me, your ever-loving blog?

You’re alright, I guess. A little needy.

So what are some big things you’re hoping to achieve in the next, say, 5 years?

I want to see AoE grow and flourish. I want to learn more about what needs to be done here and do it. I want to produce more of our own shows. I want to establish our Melbourne office. I want us to be recognised as industry leaders. And I want it to happen in two years, not five. Personally, I want to see more live music and support new talent however I can.

A minute ago you finished bump out on the biggest festival you’ve ever put together. What is your refreshing beverage of choice?

A nice bourbon, neat, please.

And what’s next?

I’ll probably post this blog.

James is currently posting this blog. He’ll be working across all upcoming AoE shows, but you might not even see him.

Feature Image: Rebecca Houlden

meet the architects: Amy Jessup

When you’ve been doing the same thing for a while, the fire can dim a little. It’s still there, still keeps you toasty and cozy, but maybe it doesn’t rage like it did before. Maybe you take it for granted, just a bit. And when you’re down to the embers, what you need is someone who’ll take a seat at the hearth and remind you that the fire’s still there, and you can always bring it back to life – it’s just gotta get stoked. Our youngest team member is the fuel to our fire, fan to our flames, and, frankly, fuckin’ fantastic. Please give your warmest of welcomes to the Little Boss: Amy Jessup, Administrations.

AoE Blog: So who the bloody hell are you?

Amy: I’m Amy Jessup, I look after Administrations here.

Hi, Amy! Let’s start with the first festival you ever attended?

Super Bock Super Rock was the first festival that I ever went to. It’s a 3-day camping festival in Portugal. The year I went it was headlined by Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, The Kooks and Arcade Fire!

Great lineup!

It was amazing!

So how did you make your move into the music industry?

I’ve always loved music! I’ve played piano since I was young, then I studied a Bachelor of Entertainment Management at the Australian Institute of Music. As part of my degree I did an internship with AoE and now I’m a fully fledged AoE team member!

The system works! So what have you been doing with us since you signed up?

It’s been busy! So far I’ve been a part of Fairgrounds in 2016, Lost Paradise over New Years, then FOMO and Laneway. I’ve been looking after AoE admin and socials, working on tour books and schedules for the Aussie Diplo and RL Grime tours, and seeing out our own BAD Friday gig over Easter. Then the big one that we just smashed was Splendour in the Grass.

What was the biggest lesson you learned on your first professional gig?

That even the smallest parts of the job matter and attention to detail is key. Whether it’s ensuring the right people have the right accreditation, updating schedules and contact details, to recording who has a radio – it all matters and makes sure the event runs smoothly and seamlessly.

Who inspires you and why?

The incredible women of the Aussie music industry inspire me! There are so many badass babes crushing goals, putting on awesome events and creating beautiful music. I have a bit of a girl crush on Nina Las Vegas actually – she is such a champion for the Keep Sydney Open movement and for women in the music industry. She kills it!

What do you do better than anyone else?

Well, I have been known to make the perfect cup of tea…

Do tell.

I think it’s the British side of me coming out – we’re very particular about our tea. None of this milk-in-first nonsense, and the brew time is crucial.

As you say, attention to detail is key. What are some big things you’re hoping to achieve in the next, say, 5 years?

Lots of learning ahead! A big goal is to become an Event Manager and be looking after and running events myself. Until then, it’s being involved in as many festivals, events and tours as possible, getting lots of experience and learning as much as I can.

Who would be your dream tour to produce?

Arctic Monkeys, for sure!

One for the road – a minute ago you finished bump out on the biggest festival you’ve ever put together. What’s your refreshing beverage of choice?

Kraken, dry and lime.

And what’s next?

Learning, doing, coffee.

Amy is currently kicking ass and taking names across all AoE shows. Drop in to the Big House and she might even show you how to make the perfect cup of tea. If you ask nicely.

Feature Image: Rebecca Houlden

Happy Birthday To Us!

It was on the all-too-familiar Pacific Highway between Sydney and Byron – en route to another Splendour in the Grass – the words “Architects of Entertainment” were first uttered. It’s hard to believe but it’s now been two years since AoE first opened its doors, and we’re back at Splendour, ready for our biggest show yet.

Since our two fearless leaders Haydn and Nathaniel teamed up in 2015, we have:

  • Cut the ribbon on our home at The Big House in Beaconsfield
  • Settled in to our central coast HQ, The Farm House (for all your asset storage needs)
  • Grown from a tiny team of two, to a blooming bunch of five (and counting)
  • Launched our partnership with the Australian Institute of Music, establishing the AoE ENGAGE intern program
  • Travelled thousands of miles across Australia and beyond to produce, design and manage some of the world’s best festivals
  • Presented our own show, BAD Friday, with our partners at The Music & Booze Company (stay tuned for details on next year’s show)
  • Smashed out this very website (sexy, no?)
  • And made countless new friends (some of whom we’re very excited to introduce you to in the coming weeks)

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more to come as we enter year three. Thanks to all of you who’ve shared this journey with us, and to those who’s helped us get where we are. So, yeah, happy birthday to us. Buy us a beer pls.

Feature Image: Rebecca Houlden