Future Leaders

Meet some of the 2023-2024 cohort of Future Leaders – aspiring industry leaders who we support via our Beyond The Music initiative.

We believe that the music and live events industry can only be accessible if people who are Deaf, disabled, neurodivergent or have long-term physical or mental health conditions can succeed in leadership positions.

We support eleven young people who are early or entering their careers in the music industry to develop their knowledge, skills and breadth of experience to support them to become industry leaders of the future.

If you’d like to speak to us about working with one or more of our Future Leaders, contact our Skills Development Manager Johann via [email protected].

Jess Ansell

Jessica is a disabled artist and performer best known for her role as lead vocalist in the fierce rock outfit Mallavora. They explore identity and social justice issues in their writing, namely disabled identity, and uses their platform to improve awareness of disability and to advocate for greater accessibility in the music industry. Jess plans to deepen her work with the industry to forge positive change for disabled artists and fans. 

Headshot of Maia Barker, smiling into camera, with midlength curly hair, black winged eyeliner

Maia Barker

Maia is a postgraduate researcher and live music accessibility advocate from the North West of England. Although first and foremost a musician, she has dedicated her career to making the music space more accessible, specialising in disabilities and neurodivergence that affect sensory processing. They are currently in the process of launching Accessibility All Areas, an online platform for music makers with disabilities and neurodivergence, and aims to operate accessible live music venues in the future. 

Fern Beard wearing sunglasses & high vis, crouching by PEEQUAL festival loos

Fern Beard

Fern is an experienced Creative Producer and Event Manager with a degree in Arts and Festival Management. She is a keen advocate for creativity and inclusion and strives to develop and deliver projects that mirror this.

She is currently working with PEEQUAL pioneering pee equality by delivering their award-winning, innovative women’s (and those that squat to pee) urinals at some of the most exciting festivals and events across the UK.

Fern has also recently finished her post with Stellar Projects as Creative Producer delivering Nightfall Light Festival 2023 to over 27,000 people across a five-night run.  

Headshot of Taylor Booth smiling into camera, midlength curly hair & full fringe, black winged eyeliner, lipstick, wearing tshirt & silver chains

Taylor Booth

Taylor has been volunteering as an access assistant and steward at festivals alongside putting on grassroots music events as a promotor. After finishing her Music Business and Event Management degree, she aims to pursue a career as an access manager at live music events.   

Taylor has also been assisting in production, stage management, merchandise management, and artist liaison to build event experience.

Louis sitting on wicker armchair strumming acoustic guitar. he wears a jacket, trousers, and Vans shoes. There's a tall vase with flowers on the floor beside him

Louis Cross

Louis is a composer based in Greater Manchester with over four years of composing experience in short films, podcast jingles, and video game music.

He was born with a condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth and wants to show people that it’s possible to pursue a career in music with a disability. 

Louis has currently been receiving tutoring from flamenco guitarist and music theorist Thomas Metcalfe. Topics have included modal mixture, symmetrical scales, melody development, and feedback to improve compositions further. 

Headshot of Anna (Ania) Jezewska, smiling into camera, with shoulder length hair & full fringe

Anna Jezewska (Ania)

From working in the care industry to starting her adventure in the music world Ania has always been focused on developing new skills and evolving. She is passionate about A&R and grassroots events. She is also a collage artist and thrives during the creative process. 

Ania aims to raise awareness about the importance of accessibility in the music industry and work towards empowering neurodiverse and disabled artists.

Headshot of Niamh McAnespie smiling into camera, long brunette hair & lipstick

Niamh McAnespie

Niamh is a recent graduate with an MSc in International Tourism and Events Management. She is relatively new to navigating a career in the live event industry. However some of her career goals include working in the event management of music events, as well as working in a role which helps to improve the accessibility of live music venues and events.

Music is also one of Niamh’s main hobbies. In her spare time she enjoys listening to many genres, attending concerts and collecting vinyl records. 

Headshot of Sakara Pritchard, smiling into camera, wearing galsses, necklace with her name on it, long straight hair

Sakara Pritchard

Sakara is a singer/songwriter with a passion for people and accessibility. She’s experienced in volunteering at festivals, organising local gigs and has a level 2 AIM award in music production. 

Alongside being an independent musician and working in graphic design and content creation, her particular areas of interest are events and live sound, with a strong desire to get more time behind a mixing desk.

Headshot of Dmytro Schebetyuk smiling, looking just past the camera, short hair, short beard & wearing a hoodie.

Dmytro Schebetyuk

Dmytro is a Ukrainian musician and songwriter, who embarked on a solo career after a life-altering injury in 2011.

He founded the nonprofit organisation Dostupno.UA, championing the rights of people with disabilities. After returning to music, the invasion by Russia once again reshaped his plans, redirecting his creative energy and time towards addressing the crisis. Dmytro then enrolled at the BIMM Institute.

He hopes to record and release an album in 2024 and to start performing in the UK. He goes by his former artist name, Unbelievable.