Gigrealm co-founder and AAA 30under30 member Reuben Narey discusses his career to date. After gaining his degree in Music Industry Management, Narey put his industry connections to good use by managing artists and touring as a drummer across both the UK and US. It was during this time that he identified key challenges in the live music space which grew his passion to protect and enhance the way grassroots gigs are organised.

Gigrealm, founded in 2019 by Narey and his cousin Tom Brady, provides an end-to-end solution for organising gigs where artists have direct access to venues, independent promoters and one-off event organisers across the UK.

When did you first know you wanted a career in live events?

I wanted to work in live events the minute I knew it was a real business. I grew up in an area where there just simply isn’t a lot going on, so you had to make your own fun. If that means having to put on your own events/shows so be it.

Is there anyone in the industry who has influenced or inspired you?

Growing up I was massively influenced by people like Alison Wenham [Chrysalis Records COO] and Mike Smith [Downtown Music Publishing global president]. I always read the music press to keep an ear on the ground. Being able to break down barriers and showcase your vision to the world is incredible. It’s still amazing to me that Alison sits on GigRealm’s board.

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome in your career so far?

Honestly, Covid. The uncertainty that it presented the entire sector was a very big struggle at the beginning. We initially launched in March 2020, so you can imagine it played a lot on my mind.

What’s the most memorable moment in your career?

Being able to give masterclasses to students and taking on speaking engagements like Liverpool Sound City. It is fantastic to be able to talk with the next generation of entrepreneurs and try and give what little guidance I can. The industry dies without innovation.

What would you like to see changed in the events industry?

I would love to see the next generation of talent start to make their way up the ladder so to speak. Obviously, there is a great learning curve, but I have met some fantastic people over the past few years that have amazing ideas that would really take off. The problem is getting them to those key decision-makers.

Does the industry do enough to support young event professionals and if not, what should and could be done?

I think this really comes down to the individual’s approach. When I first got into the industry, I barely knew anyone in events/music let alone in the UK in general. You must reach out to people you look up to in the industry and ask them for a coffee or something. 99% of the time they are willing to help and let you pick their brain a little bit, which is amazing.