Interview | Adam Anderson

We find out more about the experiences of our Music Business and Entrepreneurship alumnus and his new role at the Sugarmill in Stoke…



Our Music Business and Entrepreneurship alumnus Adam Anderson has landed a role with one of the UK’s best grassroots music venues, The Sugarmill in Stoke. 

The iconic live music space has provided a platform for plenty of acts to perform on their way to becoming global stars - Daft Punk, Coldplay, Elbow and The Libertines to name but a few. 

Now as promoter Adam is doing his bit to continue the venue's legacy for musical excellence and supporting emerging talent.

In our interview, he shares with us more about his musical journey, his role and what the future has in store…

What initially led you to ICMP to study?

I studied the Music Business and Entrepreneurship degree with a live event module as part of it with Tutor Jamie Johnston

I was recommended to ICMP through a previous student, went for an open day to look around and it just felt like a no brainer. Initially, I was super impressed by the amazing facilities at the university and the way in which all the lecturers are active in the industry was really appealing too, that clinched it for me. 

I'm from the north-east originally so started exploring music there, then decided to move to London.  

How was the move to the capital? 

It was exciting although it was right after Covid so during the first year I didn't really see too much of the city. It was still a great experience. 

Now I’m living in Stoke. I started the role in December and was travelling up from London but have now made the move to live there permanently. 

How did you use the course? 

I was really interested in the industry to begin with and, although I'm in a band, didn't want to pursue a music career as a songwriter or performer. I studied the business course and was just keeping my options open. Then through the modules I was learning, I started putting on my own gigs. 

I did put on gigs in Newcastle, in Camden in London too. We did a few tours as I’m in a band called Saint Clair. It's mainly been about trying to get as many gigs as possible at the start to get hands-on experience. 

I think you can learn a lot in a lecture but I also think you need to go and put what you've learned into practice in the wider industry to really benefit. 

How does your role at The Sugarmill work? 

Most of the bigger agents know how iconic the venue is and its legacy.

For new bands, there's a bit of a pitch in getting them to come and play as we're not London or Manchester. But I advise bands that they have to pass through Stoke on their way to other places, so they should stop here and do an extra date. This makes sense to them and when they arrive here, they love the place.

What were the most important things you learned when studying? 

Learning from someone like Jamie, who has been there, done it and is still doing it was brilliant. I learned a lot on how to present yourself, to network with people, he shared all his tips and advice from his time in the industry. 

The lecturers who were active in the industry was a main draw for me to come and study at ICMP. Learning from people who are where I want to be has great benefits." 

Have you any essential advice for anyone wanting to work in the live industry? 

If you're coming to university, then focus on making as many contacts as you can. 

Five to 10 years down the line, they will be in the industry as well and having those contacts as part of your network can be really beneficial. Taking what you learn from lecturers and applying that to your own music is great too.

So if you're a promoter and putting on gigs, putting artists in tours, apply what you learned and the lecturers will help you with that which is also great. Like I said, getting advice from those in the industry is crucial when starting out. 

Have there been any memorable gigs you've put on yourself? ​

So I organised a small UK tour for my band Saint Clair and another band called Match Fixing. That was a big achievement for me working independently. We did Newcastle, London, Liverpool and Sheffield. So not huge but to do it on my own felt like a big achievement. 

From The Sugarmill point of view, we had Circa Waves, then other acts like Malevolence, The Academic, Andrew Cushin, some great names. It's been amazing to apply what I learned at ICMP at the venue. 

Congratulations to Adam again on securing the role - visit for more information.

Equally focused on Music Business & Entrepreneurship

The music business is an incredibly competitive environment – and over the last 30 years, ICMP has developed and refined a cutting-edge degree that now focuses equally on entrepreneurship. We’re the first music school in the UK to recognise that you need to understand not just marketing, management, finance, digital, creativity and all the structures and quirks that make the industry unique, but also how to forge your own path, create your own job, and change the future for the better. With access to ICMP’s fully equipped music facilities, exclusive industry events, masterclasses and a peerless contact network, we have it all covered.

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, email our friendly Admissions Team at or call them on 020 7328 0222.

School of Music Business
by ICMP staff writer
February 12, 2024
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