BIGSOUND: Five questions with Tom Windish, The Windish Agency
With an impressive roster than spans the full spectrum of genres on both sides of the Atlantic, The Windish Agency could be labelled a proud oxymoron; after opening its doors a decade ago Tom Windish (Founder and President)’s lifeblood has become arguably the biggest boutique booking agency in the world.
Windish left his post as Agent at Billions after seven years with the independent booker, he operated out of his apartment in Chicago with two other staff members and a healthy roster of 50 acts. Now, it’s grown into a company with six offices and a team of 55; more than 600 artists call Windish Agency home including Australian acts Chet Faker, Architecture in Helsinki, Cloud Control, Jagwar Ma, Courtney Barnett, Cut Copy, Last Dinosaurs and The Presets as well as New Zealand acts Lorde, The Naked and Famous and Broods.
Tom Windish is in the country this week for BIGSOUND, TMN asks him six quick questions about the music conference.
What’s the value for you in attending BIGSOUND?
It’s a great group of industry professionals and a fantastic line up of bands and it’s easy to get around. It’s one of my favorite showcase conferences in the world.
Who are you most excited to see, either speaker or live act?
I prefer to “take it all in” rather than single it out on one particular moment.
How important are conferences like BIGSOUND for upcoming artists?
It’s important and it’s not. It’s great for professionals from around the world to see new artists early on and potentially make a connection and work together. On the other hand, if an artist is truly making great music, it will find a way to get out there and be heard by professionals and fans alike and the pros will come flocking regardless.
What’s the consensus between yourself and your industry comrades about Australia’s live music and festival scene?
I would say we consider the music being made in Australia to be quite extraordinary. A good number of my clients are based there have done extremely well worldwide.
Do you remember the moment where you realised the business was lucrative?
I don’t think of this business as lucrative. I feel very fortunate to work with the amazingly talented musicians I represent and to have built a company where people passionate about music can work and flourish.