Welcome to the debut interview of our series, ‘Leading in Live Entertainment.’ At Ticketmaster, we believe in celebrating the diverse voices and remarkable journeys of women who are shaping the entertainment industry. In this series, we aim to shed light on the invaluable contributions of women like Kerrie Shakeshaft, Head of Premium Sales and Partnerships at Sheffield City Trust. Join us as we explore Kerrie’s extraordinary career path, highlighting her passion, resilience, and unique perspective on navigating the ever-evolving landscape of live entertainment.

Through these interviews, we strive to amplify the voices of women in the industry, inspiring future generations and fostering a more inclusive and equitable environment for all.

What did you dream of doing when you were younger?

Since the age of 13, I always knew I wanted to work in the glamorous world of events, I just wasn’t sure at this age which role I wanted in the industry as there were so many pathways to choose from.”

How did you get started in live entertainment?

My journey started by completing a HND in Travel and Tourism Management, with a specific module on Conference and Event Management, where I fell in head over heels in love with the events industry.
After college, my first job at 21 was as a Wedding and Special Events Co-ordinator for Marriott Hotels, I honestly thought I was Jennifer Lopez from The Wedding Planner!

After three years, I moved onto be a Senior Account Manager for Magna Science Adventure Centre, where I experienced my first taste of programming and creating premium experiences. We hosted gigs for Pulp, Sugababes and the Arctic Monkeys, it was exhilarating, and I knew then that live entertainment was my calling.
After Magna, I worked for Marketing Sheffield, the City’s Convention Bureau for three years, which gave me the opportunity to be involved in some incredible live events such as the Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
For the past 13 years, I have worked for Sheffield City Trust, programming and delivering World Class Business, Sport and Entertainment Events across our portfolio of venues. I have been immensely lucky to be involved in 1000’s of events, the most recent been the 26th Annual MOBO Awards, Filming of Gladiators and hometown gig for Bring Me The Horizon.”

Can you share a memorable moment in your career that has had a significant impact on you?

There are so many memorable moments, however if I had to pick one, it would be the Arctic Monkeys. From hosting the band at Magna, then been part of the team who created premium experiences when they played the Don Valley Bowl, to delivering four sold out nights at our Arena. The significant impact this had on my career was, been part of over 15 years of this bands journey and seeing what can be developed every step of the way from grassroots venues to a sold-out Arena.
I now look at every event we host with the same approach, how can we help grow, develop, inspire, encourage, innovate and play our part in the events journey.”

What advice would you give to young women who want to enter the entertainment industry?

Do it! Go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you imagined, my favourite statement by Henry David Thoreau.

If you are prepared to work hard, work as a team, but also on your own initiative, put in the long hours, go above and beyond every day, enjoy dealing with customers and love, live entertainment then this industry is for you.”

In your opinion, what are the key qualities that make a great leader in live?  

Trust your gut feelings and judgement, as I found it always to be right no matter the situation you are faced with. Always be yourself and tell the truth, own any mistakes you make and learn from them. Celebrate the successes, the wins no matter how big or small. Understand everyone’s role within the venues and empower the teams to realise just how integral their part is in delivering outstanding live events.”

Is there a particular female figure that inspires you?

All women inspire me, I am delighted to be part of the sisterhood.”

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve had in your career and how did you overcome them?

My glass is always full, so I never approach anything as a challenge, I prefer to see any curve balls that come my way as an opportunity to turn negatives into positives.

I would say though, that the best way to overcome anything is to talk, pick up the phone, arrange a meeting virtually or in person as we are a people industry and by doing this, it makes everything more personable.”

How would you like to contribute to the evolution of the live entertainment industry and what impact do you hope to leave behind as your legacy?

I have over 20 years of experience in the industry, and I would like to do more with this as I look forward to the future. I don’t see work as a job, it is a lifestyle, a hobby, I get to do what I love and do best every day and I would like to pass this ethos onto my team, colleagues, fellow industry professionals, friends and family.

I hope to be involved in trail blazing projects and initiatives that future proof the industry through sustainability and legacy for the next generation.”

What is your proudest moment in your professional and your personal life?

My proudest moment is seeing the teams I work with, who are not just colleagues, but friends deliver day in and day out, always with passion and enthusiasm to the highest levels, going above and beyond, they literally are exceptional, and I am proud to be part of the Dream Team.  

My proudest moment personally is running a marathon and raising over £2500 for Prostate Cancer UK in honour of my hero, my Dad.”

Follow the Leading in Live Entertainment series on LinkedIn here.

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