International Women’s Day Manager Spotlight: Alex Weston

08 March 2021

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For the 8th of March, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day with a very special ‘8 on the 8th’ Music Manager Spotlight Series. Throughout the week we will highlight some incredible managers, here’s our chat with Alex Weston of Riverman Management.

Tell us a bit about yourself!

Riverman (myself and my business partner Dave McLean) started out back in 1989 as concert promoters.  We basically promoted all the grunge bands for many years prior to and post the explosion of grunge. Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine….  Etc etc.

Moved into artist management in 1995 with Placebo who we still manage today. Current roster also includes Wild Beasts, Deaf Havana, Colin MacLeod, One True Pairing (Tom Fleming), Tara Lee, PEAKS and Dougie Poynter. Previously managed Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, David Sylvian, Evaline (USA), Expatriate…

What is your greatest career success to date?

Career success?  Difficult to say but probably Managing Placebo for 25 years. Also managing the Roxy Music original reunion 51 date world tour. Producing a feature film ‘Schemers’ which was released in January this year.

What has been the most significant challenge you’ve encountered in the industry?

I think the move into a wholly digital world across all areas now. The pressure and knowledge now demanded of managers to be experts in all areas is ridiculous. New tech companies offering new marketing/promotion/streaming/creative/etc etc on a daily basis is mind numbing, time consuming and (for me) rather depressing. It’s probably highly exciting from the young managers now coming through but my passion was always about the music, devouring an album, artwork, credits…. not about technology and algorithms! The first question anyone asks now when you present a new artist is ‘what are the numbers?’ not, can I hear the music.

Who gets your Women’s Day shoutout?

The Riverman team. Dave, Angus and Ginny. We’ve been together for many many years and they’re the people I turn to and trust entirely.

If you could change one thing about how the music industry operates to improve the experience of women, what would it be?

I’ve never personally felt that I’ve been held back or undermined because I’m female and quite honesty I never really spent time contemplating the fact I was one of very few female managers. I just got on with the job and along the way I’ve made some amazing lifelong friends in the music world – both male and female. I’m a big supporter of women in every industry and will argue long and hard about women’s equality. I’m very happy to see so many more women enter the management world.  I think the changes are already happening but I’d certainly like to see more women heading up labels. Major or indie. Rebecca Allen is one of very few women who have achieved this. She’s a great example of why more women should be running these companies. She goes about her business with the right attitude and without fanfare and the need to flex muscles and throw her weight around.  Just gets on with the job. I think women are naturally more empathetic which is a great advantage in this industry, especially dealing with artists. I have actually found a fair number of artists in the last couple of years particularly keen to work with a female manager too which can only be a good sign.

Hopes for the future?

Same as above generally.

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