Ivy Ofori is a bookkeeper, project manager and event manager who, in addition to running his own booking and management company Pink Ivy Management, works at the internationally renowned culture house Mejeriet in Lund. She has previously worked at festivals such as the Roskilde Festival and the Malmö Festival.
Today you work at Mejeriet and run your own company, do you want to share a little of the trip there?
– 2010 and I was new in Lund, and also fairly new in Sweden, with a master’s degree in communication science in my pocket and suddenly found myself in a situation where I could not use my main professional tool – my mother tongue German. I then started working in the logistics and supply chain sector and seemed to have some kind of talent for this sometimes quite tough and stressful transport industry. But that was not what I was going to do with my life. In addition, I started working as a volunteer at the Dairy in Lund where I learned a lot about how the live industry works. Eventually, my responsibility within the organization grew and it provided new opportunities. One can say The dairy has been my door opener who made me understand that I wanted to be active in the music industry.
– Since then, I have had slightly different roles in both The dairy, Popkollo Malmö, Roskildefestivalen and other festivals and has built up a large network. I have had very and very close contact with different artists and eventually the idea was raised to start my own management and booking company where I put the artists’ individual needs in focus. Now I only work with female and non-binary artists under Pink Ivy Management as these are exactly the artists I want to put my time and energy into. So you can say that I have done myself a favor with this – there are plenty of cis-men who work with cis-men elsewhere in our industry.
What does a normal working day look like for you?
– Right now, or rather since March, it is quite different because of the corona. It’s a bit unglamorous to say the least right now but usually I keep a lot of balls in the air at the same time as one hand must always be free of anything else that comes up. I work part time The dairy with various projects and administration, runs companies and I am a mother of small children.
– Usually during a day I have contact with many different people such as artists, agents, press, guests, rehearsal space bands, authorities … you name it. Some days I do not feel challenged at all while other days I wish the day had several hours. It is important to adapt and step up when it comes to crunch. With my own company, however, it is important for me to keep the workload at a reasonable level, not least for “my” artists – I always strive for a sustainable way of working.
Can you share some tips and tricks that you have learned over the years?
– I myself find it easy to throw myself into the hustle and bustle and ignore a little about how others do. It may sound obvious but most people copy others. Do not do it but find your best way and you also have a chance to find the job, the record company or the collaboration that suits you. Dare to ask for help and have personal meetings. Ignore sending an email and call the person instead, I can recommend. Have experienced that many are not comfortable with calling when they can email or text instead, but I usually think it works better with phone calls.
– When it comes to bands and artists who are looking for bookings or booking companies, I personally think it’s fun when they dare to be niche.
What qualities are most important in someone who works with project management, booking and management?
– I think it is important that you share when you work in teams and delegate responsibility to colleagues – to actually let go of control and let others own certain pieces of work instead of conducting micromanagement. Then it is very important with communication, to be clear with your message and absolutely not use ruler techniques. Flexibility is also important, you must be prepared to discard ideas and find good alternatives instead. And last but not least, honesty is essential – no one can and does know everything, work with other experts and give others a chance to shine.
To someone who would like to do what you do, what is a good first step to take?
– I think it depends a bit on what background you have, but in general it is never wrong to contact your favorite venue and hear if they need help. Setting up or doing the little extra usually pays back is my experience. Throughout my career, I have furthered my education alongside music law, music history, music management and for me it is an ongoing process. It’s just getting started!
Pink Ivy Management
The Monday interview is a series where @Lotta Fahlen interviews interesting people about various topics in music creation, and is published every other Monday.