MMF Masterclass Fiona McGugan Joey Swarbrick

Music Management Masterclass with the Music Manager’s Forum

12 Oct 2017

This post was written more than two years ago. The content or information below may no longer be accurate.

Our week-long series of masterclasses during Freshers’ Week at ACM Guildford closed with an important session with the Music Manager’s Forum.

The class was hosted by Dave Cronen, our Business Link Ambassador, who works alongside Industry Link and is constantly drawing from his network of top-tier contacts to bring the very best people and opportunities into ACM.

MMF MasterclassAmong the guests that Dave invited in for this Music Business masterclass were Fiona McGugan, the General Manager of MMF, Joey Swarbrick, the manager for Kate Nash, Rizzle Kicks and lots of other aspiring acts, as well as Joe Lever of the MMF and formerly of the band Young Kato.

The session opened with each guest telling the story of how they got into the music industry. Fiona explained that she followed a path quite familiar to the students present, in that she did a Music Management degree, and found work following that as a tour manager, booking agent, and worked for a record label, getting as much experience as she could. She started at the MMF as an intern, and has worked her way up from there.

Joey Swarbrick is a lesson in being multi-skilled, as he got ahead in the management companies that he worked for by being the go-to person for all kinds of technical and digital support. He now enjoys a wide variety of talent on his management roster.

Fiona explained what the MMF is to the class by first talking about UK Music to give them some context. UK Music represent the music industry to the government, and are made up of different organisations that represent different parts of the recorded music industry, of which MMF is one. The MMF has grown in recent years and now represents a huge number of managers and management teams across the UK, including Dave Cronen’s Trust Management. They were formed in order to fight the corner of managers and have important conversations with different parts of the industry on their behalf.

It’s important to have these bodies representing different interests because it’s quite difficult, when you’re working in music, to go out there and create change on your own. The MMF’s fight is to try and create an industry that’s fair and transparent, and to prioritise the relationship of the artist and the fan.”
Fiona McGugan, MMF

Much of the masterclass focused on the changing landscape of the music industry, and the impact that new technology has had on the work that music managers do. Some excellent questions in particular talked about the gap between the money coming in from streaming and the actual development of artists, and the need to find ways to develop talent in today’s market.

We’d like to say an enormous thank you to all of the panel for the Q&A, and to our students for the engaged discussions. It was a great session, and served as a useful reminder to our students that they need to maintain a proactive approach and link their academic studies with as many real-world projects and businesses as they can. For information on our Business Link provision at ACM, head to our Industry Link page.

If you’d like to study at ACM and learn directly from those in the music industry, like the Music Manager’s Forum, please call our Admissions Team on 01483 500 841 or visit to book a place on an ACM Open Day today.

Open Days