Rising Star: Meet DHP Family's Kelly Bennaton

Rising Star: Meet DHP Family's Kelly Bennaton

How did you break into the industry?

I’ve been promoting DIY shows since I was 17, but I got my first official break working at the Association of Independent Music (AIM) whilst I was doing my MA.

I worked at AIM for three years, helping to organise the AIM Independent Music Awards and their Women In Music event.
 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given and why?

I saw Kanya King, founder of the MOBO Awards, do a talk at one of AIM’s Women In Music events and she was talking about the difficulties she’s faced as a woman in the music industry. Her advice was ‘don’t get bitter, get better’.

That resonated with me as I think it’s easy to become disillusioned with the industry at times, but if you work hard it’ll pay off.
 

What’s the one thing you’d change about the music industry?

There’s still a long way to go in terms of diversity within the music industry so I would love for it to be more accessible to a wider range of people.
 

How can more young people break into the music business?

There’s a lot of great opportunities out there now for young people to get into music and that’s made it more competitive for jobs.

I think getting experience as early as you can definitely helps to make you stand out from the crowd – whether that’s putting on your own gigs, managing your friends’ bands or booking tours for smaller acts.

Whenever I’m hiring I’m looking for people that have demonstrated a passion for what they do beyond just a desire to work in music.
 

What is the biggest problem facing the live sector?

I know it’s been talked about a lot, but secondary ticketing is still a huge problem. It’s incredibly frustrating working hard to put together a great live event only to have genuine fans priced out of attending.

What’s your biggest ambition?

DHP recently organised a charity festival in Nottingham, where we raised £100,000 for a local homeless charity, and it was one of the highlights of my career.

It was amazing to see bands, venues and the public come together to do something really positive and raise enough money to make a tangible difference in people’s lives.

I would love to do more work with charities and use music to mobilise communities.

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