I am a music Lawyer, practising in Brisbane through Kenny & Co. Starting in Sydney in the mid-1970s, I was mentored by Sebastian Chase, who was then managing Dragon, Rose Tattoo and Cold Chisel. I moved to Brisbane in 1982 as part of an attempt to be selected for the Commonwealth Games athletics squad. I stayed in Brisbane after the Games and started Brisbane’s first music law firm in 1985. After the Fitzgerald Inquiry, I participated in the formation of QMusic, ran educational programs and a music business course at the Southbank Tafe. I am a life member of QMusic, having participated in the revival of the Brisbane music scene. I worked for about 20 years for Graham Hutchinson, then Queensland’s Principal Agent.
About a decade ago, I was fortunate to encounter Nichola Burton in her role as Principal, Director, Business Services Manager for The Pushworth Group. Both Nichola and her partner, Manny Kyriakidis, have been mainstays of the vibrant Brisbane Music Scene for 30 years. They essentially inherited the North Queensland touring circuit, perhaps the most extensive regional framework in Australia. Pushworth have fundamentally redesigned the traditional function of the Music Agent, not only in Brisbane, but throughout Australia, as follows:-
• the provision of a consultancy role to venues/festival promoters who are looking to develop long-range product – Caxton Street Festival;
• they are the Principal Agents for over 200 cover artists, offering a unique spectrum of educational services;
• they manage the Manick Record Label for emerging independent artists;
• they offer blended Management/Agency services, as well as advice on selected international touring artists.
Nichola, in particular, has carefully analysed a series of fundamental considerations for the music colony – career plans, mental health support, financial education and marketing support. Nichola has considered carefully the dilemma of artists who need to support themselves through playing a cover role, whilst trying to develop an independent, original music framework. Nichola, in particular, has facilitated this complex process in a practical and accessible manner.
The Queensland Government, particularly under the Labor Party, has played a signal supportive role for the music industry, principally, through Arts Queensland and the rise of QMusic, and programs such as BIGSOUND. Nichola has been a speaker and is fluent in local Queensland Government support for the Music Industry in Queensland.
Nichola conducts a Podcast service under the Brand, ‘The Music Real”, where she interviews music identities and influencers. She has produced and posted 120 episodes, evincing the particular story of her interviewee in a precise and engaging manner.
Nichola Burton speaks with a practised ease and is able to move freely between major industry stakeholders. She has focused on digital business systems within her agency, and is well versed in the administrative, compliance and governance focus required of a peak industry body in these times of extraordinary change and challenge in the live music industry. Nichola has the personal skills, digital acumen and engaging manner through a wide range of stakeholders, within a tangle of industry agendas. Her personal and brand marketing skills are superior.
I would be pleased to support these written comments by any request for further conversation.