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Emma Hudson join the Kilimanjaro Live promoter at his local beer garden for a chat about the future of music, the travesty of venues closing and why he loves taking his mum to gigs.

Junction Tavern

101 Fortess Road, NW5 1AG
2x Guinness……………….£7.50
2x Camden Hells……….£7.00

I got a degree in history, but I was knew that I wanted to work in music. I had no background in promoting shows – I’d only gone to a lot of shows. I was chatting to my mate on MySpace who was working for The Barfly at the time, and he said I should come do some work experience. I started making cups of tea and just threw myself into it and got to know everyone. Within a couple months I was booking shows at the Enterprise in Camden.

My mum loves going to gigs, she goes out all the time. She and my dad came to my first gigs at Brixton Academy; I’ve taken my parents to see Vampire Weekend at the Forum. My mum loves it, she loves music – I think that’s where I got it from.

My parents never thought I was doing nothing; they saw that I was working hard and that I was putting in the effort. There’s a lot to be said for that.

People want to work with someone who they can rely on to do a good job and look after their artists, and I think that’s the key. If you can have a drink with someone and have a laugh, that opens up a few doors.

It was my 30th birthday on the Friday of Glastonbury. I had Bastille playing, as well as Jess Glynne, The Lumineers and Låpsley. I’m over running around to 10 or 12 festivals. I know 30 isn’t even old but you get to a point where you want to have a bit of balance in your life and not spend every weekend in a field. 

We’ve got a really good team at Kilimanjaro – you’d think that we’d all be chasing the same acts, but I can’t believe how rare it is that we’ll all be going for something. We’ve got a really good ethos of helping each other out, and we’ll all chip in to make sure that Kili gets the acts.

There has been quite a lot of venue closure. When I was 17 or 18, I used to go out to Panic, White Heat, Cheapskates, Moonlight and Trash – I could go out every night of the week and go to a different indie club. Now there’s none of them – I think only White Heat still exists.

When the Astoria closed, I still think that’s an absolute disgrace that they closed that place down.

I watched this documentary about West Ham the other day – I don’t even support them, but Boleyn Ground is going to get knocked down and turned into flats. It was pretty heartbreaking. There are so many people who live off that match day experience. There’s a guy who sells pie and mash, and he said he sells 200 pies a day during a normal week, but on match day he sells 800. I just think that’s indicative of how we live today; the powers that be just seem to neglect what people actually want and are just happy to turn everything into flats.


This feature originally appeared in the June issue of Access All Areas.