Ben Ward has a long and distinguished career in the music industry, both in the spotlight, as frontman of London’s Orange Goblin, and behind-the-scenes, having worked in as a manager, tour manager and tour booker at United Talent Agency. Now he’s taken a bold step forward with the launch of a brand new booking agency, Route One Booking, to offer bespoke services to artists. His independent company has launched with Fu Manchu, Voivod, Discharge, Earthless, Shooter Jennings, King Creature, Mutoid Man, Royal Thunder and, of course, Orange Goblin, among its diverse, eclectic international roster.
“I’ve always wanted to set up my own booking agency and have the freedom to operate exactly how our artists want,” explains Ward. “I feel that given the current climate in the live music industry, that time is now.”
“Working for 25 years as an artist, a manager, a tour manager and a booking agent, I have the insight and experience that is needed and have seen this business from all angles. Alongside Jules [Chenoweth, the new company’s co-director] at Route One Booking, I feel that we have the right people and the right tools to start looking at new ideas and initiatives in this challenging time to ensure that our artists and bands continue to be creative and entertaining.”
“Our clients are our main focus, we work so that they can work and if they don’t work, then there is no business. Despite the uncertainty regarding a return to the live music scene as we knew it before the pandemic, this is an exciting time to be launching this new venture.”
Among its services, Route One Booking will also offer its clients transport options for touring, backline and links to digital music distribution company Route Note (www.routenote.com), a company of which Jules Chenoweth is also a board member.
“Route One Booking is born out of determination and enterprise at a time when the proverbial chips are down,” says Chenoweth. “In my experience of business these occasions are the perfect spawning grounds for a new dynamic business approach and a time to apply new exciting processes and ideas. With Ben Ward at the helm, Route One Booking will be dynamic and different, over time it will grow and become a leading independent booking agency carved out of the ashes of the now, to be the foundation of the future.”
Both men come with a wealth of music business experience. As well as 25 years fronting the globally successful Orange Goblin and spending five years as a booking agent at UTA, Ward previously worked at management company One Fifteen looking after the affairs of artists such as Pink Floyd, David Gilmour and Jools Holland.
In 2016 the singer gained national media coverage and widespread gratitude after initiating a fundraising campaign which raised money for the staff of music publisher Team Rock, who were made unemployed when the company was placed into administration. In 2017, Ward and his wife Sandie Soriano received a Metal Hammer Defender Of The Faith award at the Golden Gods in recognition of their efforts.
Jules Chenoweth manages King Creature, currently signed to Marshall Records, and preparing the release of their new album Set the World on Fire on November 6.
More information on Route One Booking can be found on the company’s website.