TSF 12: Katie Dawson – Artist Liaison

Katie is 24 and lives in Leeds. She works for a company called The Needs Group. They are a one-stop shop for performers within the music industry helping with everything from arranging helicopters from show to show to being there when they arrive on a festival site to greet them.


Essential store cupboard ingredients?
Smoked paprika and Tabasco, everything’s better when it’s a little bit spicy.

What is your ultimate night in – or out?
My favourite nights are a little bit of both, my friend runs a cafe/bar that I always go for a drink at on a Friday then home for take-away dim sum and Netflix.

What’s your daily uniform?
We don’t have to wear uniform in my job however my wardrobe completely varies according to if I’m sat at my desk of if I’m in a field. In winter I live in heeled boots and jumpers, then when we get to festival sites it’s more likely to be a hoodie, jeans and a very cheap pair of trainers (they have to be a bit disposable because of the mud). For this season I’ve just got a pair of pink steel toe capped boots, can’t wait to take those out for a spin!

Why does your job matter to you?
From an early age I always wanted to work within the music industry, unfortunately my skills set didn’t allow me to excel as a pop star but I love being involved in events in an organisational role. There’s a massive sense of achievement when you’ve just pulled off a great event that I don’t think I’d be able to get in another job.

Was there ever a time in your career where you thought ‘I’ve had enough?’
Haven’t we all! There are definitely points where we’re getting towards the end of a 14 hour day and we’ve all had very little sleep where we think “I’ve had enough”, but it’s soon replaced by that “We’ve pulled off a great event” feeling I mentioned earlier.

If I didn’t do what I do… I would love to be a…
Nutritionist! Genuinely! I’d make a fairly hypocritical nutritionist but food has always fascinated me. I particularly like to read about the healing powers certain types of food has, it’s amazing! There’s definitely some science behind chicken soup as a cure for the common cold.

How did you achieve your current role?
I volunteered a lot at festivals while I was studying and as a consequence made quite a lot of contacts. By coincidence, The Needs Group were hiring at the same time I was finishing my degree and thought I’d done a good job on a few festival sites for them in previous years, so they asked me to come in for an interview and it all went from there.

What would you have told yourself five years ago?
Learn to drive while you still have spare time!! I just passed my test 5 months ago and I had to take two weeks off work and spend an absolute fortune on it. Should have just done it when I had the time like most people do!

Recently discovered restaurant?
For my birthday, I went to a lovely little restaurant in Leeds called Kendell’s Bistro. It’s a French restaurant and the walls are covered in chalkboards which have the menu written on them. The food is delicious!

Best way to wind down?
A bath! I’m about to temporarily move into a house without one and I’m not sure how I’m going to manage!

Favourite hotel?
We stay in quite a few hotels when we’re away at festivals, so when I go away myself, I tend to prefer an apartment. The best one I’ve stayed in with work was the Nhow hotel in Berlin, everything in there is pink!

Most used app?

Instagram without a doubt. I hate to admit it but the first thing I do on a morning is read instagram. It’s full of lovely looking healthy food and nice home decor! It puts me in a good mood for the day.

Wish list of trip destinations?
I want to go to San Francisco, I’m a massive lover of LGBT culture and the golden gate bridge looks absolutely amazing.

Best weekend activity?
Making soup! I love to make soup. I always make huge portions on a Sunday and freeze some for my lunches for the following week.

Best piece of advice you’ve received?
Don’t undervalue yourself. I think as a young woman in the industry that I’m in, it’s very easy to think that I’m just lucky to be here and happily see my work go by unappreciated. What I’ve learned is that regardless of who I am and what I’m doing, I’m still working extremely hard and I deserve recognition for that.

Best beauty buys?
Barry M Blink Precision Eyeliner. I’ve been in the market for an eyeliner that makes it easy to do cat eyes for quite some time and trailed a variety of expensive and cheaper products. This Barry M one is only £5 and it’s amazing! Try it!

Most treasured trinket?
My key necklace, my mam gave it to me for my 21st birthday, she said “this was once given to me by a man who loved me very much, and I can’t remember which one”… the sentiment is still there!

How can women help each other in the work place?
Sticking up for each other and not being catty. We’ve already got enough working against us without saying nasty things about each other.

What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
A vet, I now can’t think of anything less suited to me! I have a huge respect for the profession but it’s definitely not for me.

Music I’m listening to?
Currently Radio 1, they’ve got Nick Jonas in the live lounge, he’s my new guilty pleasure.