The LMI story begins with the coming together of two very different people with a shared vision, under rather unextraordinary circumstances.
In 2003, Chris, a recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Music at the start of a blossoming musical career, punched his arm through a window while sleep-walking and lost the use of two of his fingers, and with it his ability to play. Aged 22 he was suddenly faced with a blank where his future had been. But adversity is the mother of invention, and impatient to rebuild his career, within weeks a new plan was beginning to take shape. Chris had emerged from college with a deep love of music and an incredible ear for quality and detail, a wide circle of musician friends at the top of their game, and a business nous inherited from his father which he now decided to put to work. A couple of months later he appeared on GMTV Live, telling his tale to a charmingly astonished Piers Morgan and Fern Britton and announcing the birth of his new agency, CS Music.
In 2006, Ursula, a Lancashire-born music grad only a few weeks out of the Cambridge bubble, walked through CS Music’s door for her interview holding a 3-page redraft of the website text which she insisted “reads better this way”. Things nearly got off to an awkward start when it turned out Chris had written the original! As it turned out, this was the start of a business match – and soon a friendship – made in heaven. Ursula eventually recovered from her fear of Chris’s terrifying work ethic, coder-level use of Excel formulae, and perfect recall memory (no, really. Ten years on, name a client and he’ll tell you the date!) Chris eventually forgave Ursula for beating his typing speed and genuinely enjoying site visits.
As CS Music’s reputation and roster grew and its remit shifted from management to a wider agency role, in 2011 Chris and Ursula together launched Live Music International, later succinct-ified to LMI Live. A few years on, running the music for a huge Italian wedding, Chris narrowly averted disaster when he realised the production company had started unloading an hour north rather than an hour south of Rome(!) At this moment an idea was born which would soon transform into one of the world’s most groundbreaking technology companies. In 2013 Chris launched what3words, an app which divides the globe into 3x3metre squares and assigns a unique 3-word address to each, revolutionising how people everywhere talk about location. The company has since grown to more than 100 employees and has won countless awards, including Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Innovation. In 2018 Chris was named EY Accelerating Entrepreneur of the year and his what3words TED talk was viewed more than 1 million times. His ongoing deep involvement as non-executive director of LMI continues to underpin and inspire all of our work.
Meanwhile, in 2013 Ursula took the reins as managing director, assembling a crack team of event production superstars and music fanatics. Over the past ten years LMI’s roster has tripled in size, with a slew of incredible acts joining our books attracted by our reputation as the most discerning, obsessively organised and trustworthy agency in the industry. These values underpin every hiring decision, every roster appointment and every client conversation we have, and they always will. What sets us apart from the many agencies in this overcrowded space is the depth of our musical knowledge, intimacy with our own roster, and the sincerity of the advice we’ll offer. We know how live events work, we know what music works for them, and we know how to make that music happen.
Thank you so much for joining us on the LMI journey so far – we can’t wait to see what the future will bring!
URSULA, CHRIS AND THE LMI TEAM x