Akum Agency has extensive experience across event production either as Festival Director, Coordinator, Programmer, Production Manager, Artist Logistics & Liaison and Marketing Manager, a select list of festivals and trade events that Jess White, Akum Agency director has worked on.
Music Director, Littlegig Festival (Cape Town, South Africa, 2017-18).
Littlegig is the world’s only 24-hour, everything included festival. It is a showcase of musicians, DJ’s, chefs, winemakers, artists, designers, and performers. The music experience at Littlegig is not about big headline acts but a collection of relevant and diverse musicians and DJs in 6 music areas that open and close as the festival journey progresses. There’s the Forest Day Stage with our favourite live bands in the middle of the food forest, the Night Stage - on a real basketball court – with our headline electronic acts; an Art Car playing the sundowner set on the island and then moving to a secret forest location after midnight. The Festival Fashion Concept Store has a dancefloor and a steady flow of champagne, the Island has DJs playing funk, Latin, soul and sounds from the continent, and the Gin & Whiskey Bar has late night live music.
Coordinator, Igoda (Johannesburg, South Africa 2016-17)
Igoda is a Zulu word that means “knot” or “to bind together”. Igoda is a unique and innovative concept that brings together the finest music festivals within Southern Africa to create one of the first touring circuits on the African continent.
Igoda is a partnership born out of the Firefest Route encompassing festivals from Mozambique, Swaziland, South Africa and Reunion Island including: Azgo Festival (Maputo, Mozambique), Bassline Africa Day (Johannesburg, South Africa), MTN Bushfire (Malkerns, Swaziland), Zakifo Festival (Durban, South Africa) and Sakifo Festival (Saint-Pierre, Reunion Island) as the founding members.
Igoda is an exciting development both for local and international artists, festival professionals and music fans from Southern Africa and across the world. The circuit presents an incredible opportunity for artists and fans to travel across Southern Africa, celebrating music and participating and strengthening the regions’s interconnected creative economies.
Jess was hired to setup Igoda as an entity.
Festival Coordinator, Azgo Festival (Maputo, Mozambique, 2014-17).
Azgo Festival is Mozambique’s finest international arts festival; bringing together a diverse and quality program of music, film, and dance to the city of Maputo across two days and nights. Azgo is a contemporary celebration of arts and culture, with a strong focus on artists from Mozambique and from around the continent of Africa.
As Festival Coordinator, Jess was responsible for all aspects of the festival from artist programming, marketing, production, site management and finance. Under his coordination, over this four year period Azgo made big steps in sustainability with growth in sponsorship and ticketing income, production and logistics becoming Mozambique’s finest international arts festival.
Azgo Dialogar runs workshops with international and national artists, managers and event producers. These workshops are a platform for; artistic and cultural development, music exchange between local and international artists, promotion of Mozambican cultural heritage and artistic life, and opportunities for the professionalisation of the music industry in Mozambique.
Artist' & Marketing Manager, AWME - Australiasian Worldwide Music Expo (Melbourne, Australia, 2012-15).
AWME provides a platform to foster stronger relationships between music industry associates by bringing together musicians, industry partners/representatives and festival audiences for four days of non-stop music, networking and conference sessions.
Attracting national and international music industry delegates and with a diverse public festival program, AWME creates opportunities for artists from the region to market their product to Australian and international buyers whilst simultaneously offering a platform for audiences to sample an incredible program of music.
AWME hosts two days of music industry conference sessions, receptions and workshops featuring expert Australian and international guest speakers from leading festivals, record labels, booking agencies, and arts organisations. AWME receptions and networking opportunities for local, national and international industry-related organisations can lead to career development opportunities including export, touring and management-related negotiations.
Since its inception, AWME delivered substantial benefits and outcomes to artists including: export, touring and festival opportunities; the development of international and national music networks; media coverage; recording, distribution and publishing; exposure to new audiences; and has succeeded in increasing the profile of roots music from the region.