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Popular & Contemporary Programme Manager

Posted on 14 September 2017

Application closing date: 9am on Monday 2nd October 2017

Job Information

Job Title: Popular & Contemporary Programme Manager
Department & Team: Performance Programme
Location: Sage Gateshead
Working Hours: 36 hrs per week including occasional evenings and weekends.

Position in Organisation

Reports to: Director of Programming
Responsible for: Line managing PP Coordinators
Works in conjunction with: PP team; other departments as required
Budget accountability: c £2.5 million turnover per annum on P and C programme; joint responsibility with Director of Programming and P&C Operations Manager for delivering agreed contribution targets.
Salary: £25,000 to £30,000

About Sage Gateshead

Founded in 2004, Sage Gateshead has an international reputation as a new centre for music, combining performance, education and participation working across a wide range of musical genres and reaching a broad audience. It is also one of the region’s leading conference centres. Founded with a mixed business model, the charity’s turnover of £15m combines, box office, commercial, fundraised income with public subsidy.

Sage Gateshead runs:

  • A Performance Programme of events and festivals across musical genres (folk, classical, rock, indie, jazz, electronic) for 360 days of the year (1700, 600 and 300 cap venues).
  • Royal Northern Sinfonia, the UK’s only full time contract chamber orchestra.
  • One of the largest Music Learning and Participation Programmes in the UK.
  • One of the biggest conference and events businesses in the north.
  • A folk development agency, Folkworks.
  • An iconic visitor attraction, designed by Foster and Partners on the banks of the Tyne with a large pubic space, three auditoriums and 25 learning spaces.

In 2016/17 Sage Gateshead delivered:

  • 623 performance events
  • 16,045 courses, classes and workshops
  • 84 conferences
  • 22 premieres and commissions
  • 105 broadcasts

In 2014 Sage Gateshead completed its first decade. During this period the charity had:

  • 6 million visitors
  • 1.5 million participants
  • 1000 conferences
  • 4000 concerts
  • £283 million of economic benefit to the region.

About the role

Each year we welcome over 500,000 people into our building, 50,000 people attend live events beyond our building and 2 million people engage with our work via digital and broadcast content. Our audience is diverse and has both a high level of new attendees each year and a core of extremely frequent attendees.

We are 13 years old and have a new vision for the next phase of our life, working together with Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and 8 other venues in Newcastle Gateshead to increase cultural engagement, establish the region as a great place to be an artist and build social and economic value for the North of England.

In summer 2018, we will be part of the team to create a ‘Great Exhibition of the North’ which will be the major cultural event of 2018 in the UK.

We have also recently secured a capital grant towards installing a flexible seat removable option for our main hall, creating the opportunity to expand our programme and present a greater range of artists in our main space. Alongside this we have a new audience development strategy which aims to increase attendance particularly from younger audiences.

The role of Popular and Contemporary Programme Manager is to work directly with the Performance Programme Director to deliver a busy, coherent and high quality programme of events across all our main spaces, with a particular focus on managing our hires and co-promotions. The role requires a high level of negotiation and communication skills, great judgement, quick decision making, 100% financial accuracy and confidence with figures and a track record in contributing to achieving high income targets.

The role requires the ability to manage a range of existing clients and broker new relationships with the aim of growing our programme and developing our audiences. A keen interest in popular and contemporary music, an ear to the ground for new emerging artists and current knowledge of the UK music industry is essential. Availability to attend events, showcases, conferences and festivals evenings/weekends is desirable.

Overall purpose of the job

To work closely with the Director of Programming and P&C Operations Manager to plan, develop and deliver the Popular and Contemporary Performance Programme at Sage Gateshead. The post is particularly focused on negotiating hires and co-promotions with the aim of increasing and maximising sales/income, attracting new business and relationships with new promoters and developing new audiences.

Main Responsibilities

  1. Work closely with the Director of Programming and Popular & Contemporary Operations Manager, researching, negotiating and booking and entering into systems, the high volume of Popular & Contemporary music events with a particular focus on hires and co-promotions, with the objective of maximising sales income and maintaining good client relationships.
  2. Working to the Director of Programming , develop new relationships and maximise existing relationships, particularly with promoters/co-promoters, to deliver agreed increased income in the 1718 – 2021 Performance Programme budget and with a particular focus on growing contemporary programme for younger audiences (18-44).
  3. Actively use and monitor the various planning tools for the Popular & Contemporary Programme including the activity budget, Artifax, Tessitura and Exchequer to ensure close attention to show costs, ticket sales and income targets
  4. Produce absolutely accurate figures for financially modelling high level show negotiations, show offers and settlements after shows
  5. Agree clear deal terms for shows and liaise with P&C Operations Manager over show set ups.
  6. Produce contracts for all shows for P&C team and liaise with P&C dept administrator to process
  7. Work closely with the Director of Programming and P&C Operations Manager to pay close attention to financial performance objectives for the year, particularly monitoring quantities of co-pro’s and hires against targets.
  8. Participate with Senior P&C team in preparation for monthly performance clinics to monitor team activity against business plan priorities, financial targets and KPI’s and audience development targets.
  9. Deputize for the Director of Programming where required particularly during busy festival programming times or production of shows/special projects.
  10. Work closely with Director of Programming , P&C Operations Manager and Event Coordinators to ensure show costs are kept within agreed budgets
  11. Line manages the Event Coordinators, including conducting regular 1:1s and annual PDR’s.
  12. Work closely with the P&C Operations Manager to monitor the function of this team.
  13. Attend performances at Sage Gateshead and elsewhere to ensure consistent high quality and smooth running of programmed artists/shows.
  14. Attend meetings with rest of Performance Programme Team, and cross-departmental meetings as required
  15. On occasion, work outside office hours

Knowledge, experience and skills required to do job

Essential (required):

  • Excellent and proven negotiating skills within the music/entertainment industry. (Minimum of five years experience required).
  • Familiarity and confidence with all standard types of deal terms within the music/entertainment industry. (Minimum of five years experience required).
  • At least three years experience of programming and/or negotiating/booking commercial events and tours.
  • Highly developed administrative capability
  • Able to work to deadlines and within budgets
  • Able to work effectively towards delivering a high income target, monitoring ticket sales and spend closely.
  • Multi-tasking and prioritizing deadline driven work.
  • Good working knowledge of IT including excellent knowledge of Excel for budget management.
  • Able to take responsibility, work both on own initiative and as part of a small and very busy team.
  • Line management experience.
  • Able to remain calm and clear-thinking under pressure
  • Commitment to vision of Sage Gateshead and the Popular and Contemporary Music Programme’s significance within it
  • Extensive understanding of Music and Entertainment Industry in UK, Europe and beyond and general interest in popular music and entertainment across genres.
  • Knowledge of UK Music networks, arts structures and venue networks

Desirable (optional):

  • Excellent existing contacts
  • Knowledge of Artifax, Tessitura, Exchequer software
  • Knowledge of UK event ticketing and working with ticket agents.
  • Availability to attend external events, showcases, conferences and festivals on evenings/weekends.
  • Current Driving Licence

Terms and Conditions

The salary banding for this post is SCP 32. Hours of work are full time, normally based on a 36 hour working week; this post may involve occasional additional hours or out of hours working to accommodate the needs of the role.

The holiday entitlement for this post is 30 days pa pro rata, increasing to 33 days pa pro rata after 3 years (including statutory holidays). Upon completion of the three month probationary period the successful applicant will be eligible to join the NMT non-contributory pension scheme.

This post is deemed to require a Disclosure Check – Enhanced Level with the Criminal Records Bureau. This is due to the fact that the post has access to children or vulnerable adults. Further information is available from

How to Apply

Applications must be made on a North Music Trust online application form. We regret that CV’s cannot be accepted. If you have any queries about your application please contact 0191 443 4624

Download the job description

Completed applications should be returned no later than 9am on Monday 2 October 2017.

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