Interview | Emily Williams

ICMP’s Music Business and Entrepreneurship alumna tells all on her work in the live music events sector…



"We had a Netflix premiere for 'The Witcher' last night and the build took two days - so it was a big event…"

ICMP Music Business and Entrepreneurship alumna Emily Williams is unpicking her current role at Outernet London, one of the capital’s most dazzling new music venues. 

Located on Denmark Street, an area of London rich with music history, the venue has already been used by an exciting array of artists from Duran Duran to Jai Paul and more. Alongside her role at the venue as Backstage Manager and Artist Liaison, Emily's summer will also see her working at this year’s Wilderness Festival as a Gate Manager. 

We caught up with Emily to find out more about her job, her time studying with ICMP and experiences working in live events…

Congratulations on the role at Outernet. How have things been? 

I’ve just finished my studies so it was a bit hectic as I started at Outernet last November. It’s all been a bit wild. 

But I love what I do.

For me live music is where the magic is. Watching a room full of people being ecstatic about a live performance and being part of the process, that for me is the best thing."

I’m interested in artist management and I’ve also been booking artists into our smaller venue here. But the big scale events are what I love the most. It’s not something I thought I would get into but it’s weird how things work out. 


How did you find your way to ICMP? 

When I started at ICMP, I was on the Music Business course. I also write songs and perform and thought these studies would be a way of getting a wider understanding of the industry. It felt like that was why other people were on the course too, they were artists and wanted to get a deeper understanding of the industry as a whole. 

I would definitely say that through the course, learning about different sectors, you just naturally gravitate to certain parts. 

It was only after I got the job at Outernet, the live industry, that’s where I knew I wanted to be. It’s taken me a while to figure it out, it’s definitely a journey when you’re going through uni and you’re being exposed to all these different things. The industry is so broad, there are so many roles - it’s that combination of real-life experience and industry knowledge I picked up in the classroom that landed me where I am. 

How did you find the job at Outernet? 

I started behind the bar, then it was networking, putting my name in people’s minds and mouths. I had a few ideas on how we could run backstage a little better, I started as a runner, as an artist liaison. I moved my way off the bar and forced myself into this role. 

Then the more ideas I had, as it’s a new company, it's been a great opportunity to establish myself as someone who is passionate about the venue, music and can show how I can make a difference in the space. That’s how I got into it. 

How is it working there? And have there been any event highlights? 

Honestly, the tech is crazy, it’s festival grade equipment and brand new. It’s insane, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. 

We hosted the Jamal Edwards charity ball, events with brands like Chanel, Prada. We did a trainer launch with Skepta and that felt huge.

There’s so much history behind Denmark Street too while we also have a second venue, the Lower Third, for emerging artists. I love the balance that the company has between the big amazing space for the huge artists, yet they’re also keen to champion those about to break through. 


Have you any advice for those thinking about studying the ICMP course? 

Be open minded when learning about different things. I never thought this is the area of the industry that I wanted to be in.

I thought I wanted to be the person on the stage but now I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do, so be open minded, be proactive and go out and get your foot in any door."

I feel like people wait around for opportunities, but you need to force your way in. People love people with passion and they will recognise that if you’re proactive. 

How did you get the gig at Wilderness? 

My tutor Jamie Johnston helped me as he knows some people at Festival Republic and put me forward for a few different roles. 

My venue is fairly quiet over summer. As it’s festival season, I thought it’d be good to get some experience and work on a different side of things. 

I’ve never done festival work. I’ve been to a lot of them and I’m really excited for it, the whole team at Festival Republic have been so nice, they want everyone to come down the day before to get to know each other, it seems really exciting… 

As far as the future at Outernet, we’ve got some amazing events lined up. I’m very excited for what’s to come and I’m looking forward to starting running my own events too.

Visit Outernet for more information on the venue - you can connect with Emily on LinkedIn

Photos: Backstage at Outernet c/o Emily

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 Jim Ottewill
July 10, 2023
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