Sarah Cole - Brighton Music Conference Amplified

Updated: Apr 24, 2019

Instrumental to the success of Women in Dance Music Collective are our ambassadors and partners. Conscientiously curated to represent the latitude of the industry each brings with them talent and an inimitable set of skills and experience to connect, elevate and inspire our collective. Essential to the success of our ambassadors and partners are the tenacious teams behind them.

As part of our commitment to amplifying women in the industry we are spending time within their organisations - connecting with their teams, highlighting culture and showing how our ambassadors and partners are encouraging and supporting women within the business.

Our Amplified Series continues at the UK's foremost electronic music conference Brighton Music Conference, talking to advisory board member Sarah Cole about her career path into the dance music industry and role as Director of Talent at AEI Group.

What do you do for AEI Group and Brighton Music Conference?

I am director of Talent at AEI and head up the events division in a board position. My role is primarily booking and curating the festival and event roster.  I have known the BMC guys since its inception and sit on the advisory board and have been hugely impressed with the growth of the conference.

What inspired you to want to work in the music industry?

When I was a teenager my Mum fostered and one of the guys used to go to raves such as Fantasia and Tribal Gathering, after hearing his stories I was determined to go to a rave. At 14 I went to see Carl Cox on Hastings Pier, at about 16 I started selling tickets and organising coaches for big events. I had a break from it all while at uni but as soon as a graduated I started promoting my own events which i built up into a company. For me it was escapism, being lost in music with like minded people, that has never changed. 

How did you go about getting your foot in the door?

When I started it was a different time, very few female and no role models, I literally just went for it. I took risks, stood up against people trying to make it hard for me and relentlessly worked.

What do you love about your job and working in the music industry?

Music is my passion and I love creating experiences, hence why promoting was my calling. As a booker I enjoy the hustle, negotiating and going through the complexities of creating an event and then getting to the end result. I also love being part of emerging music, when I started promoting in 2001 the music I booked wasn’t in the mainstream but I‘ve seen artists i booked back then in small clubs become figureheads of a scene. To be part of that is quite incredible.  What’s your favourite electronic dance track out at the moment?

Not sure I could say just one. I listen to music right across the board as I book quite a eclectic mix of stuff. Tunes / albums I am listening to currently are: Prayer by Prospa, Shy Fx new Album is a winner, really like the recent Camelphat tunes - Panic Room and Breathe,  Tribe, Chase & Status is my go to running track. 

Probably the most played is the Bugzy Malone album and my favourite track is Die By The Gun, we’ve just booked him at Detonate Festival which I am super excited about. 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced working in this industry? 

Where do I start? A promoters life is just one big endless challenge. I have lost chunks of money along the way, that hurts. Back in the day I had people putting cancelled stickers on my posters to try and stop me from promoting and in that time I have had threats as did my team. This is 15+ years ago when promoting was much more ruthless.  Best bit of advice for those looking to break into the industry and what to expect?Be tough, be honest and integral, take risks, face up to your mistakes, do it for passion not for money or status. Enjoy it!

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