This time, for our Meet the Team interviews, we talk to CEO Professor Chris Kemp.

Chris set up MOM over 10 years ago. His passion and knowledge has grown the company into a very successful, world renowned crowd management consultancy.

He has blazed the trail of music and crowd management education, and has supported almost every conceivable crowded space and business environment from arenas and festivals to railway stations and retail centres.

We’ve put Chris under the spotlight with 5 quick questions about his career…

How did you start your career?

After leaving college, I had a few short-term roles in different disciplines but started my promoting career in a sport and arts centre in Oxford. Things took off there when I received a knock on my office door to find the agent from the band, Dr Feelgood. They had a single and an album in the charts at the time and were looking for somewhere for a warm-up gig.

After their sell-out show and after a few years learning the highs and lows of promotion, I moved on to start my own Rock and Indie club in Milton Keynes. With a series of larger venues to work in, promotions also included the Royal Shakespeare Company in a fourteen-performance touring run. I promoted rock and indie acts from across Europe and the US and became both the promoter and venue manager of one of the top five rock clubs in the UK at that time.

What drew you to the crowd management/events industry?

After a decade in the industry, I turned down the role of Pearl Jam’s agent and decided to go into education. I wanted to give back some of what I’d learnt, firstly as a lecturer and then eventually as a Pro-Vice Chancellor and Professor.

During this period, I was working at festivals and events and created the first music management undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

Then, working with Mick Upton and other luminaries from the crowd management industry, we created the first ever degree in crowd management and also founded the International Centre for Crowd Management Studies.

After I left my career in academia, I formed MOM and have worked with nearly 400 amazing clients across the world.

What would you say is your biggest achievement with MOM?

I suppose it is difficult to pick one achievement so I will cite five!

  • The first is having all eleven recommendations from the HS2 Euston Station Project implemented at the station.
  • The second is working through the risk mitigation strategy project with AEG Europe.
  • The third is working through a series of leadership programmes with 34 Senior Head Coaches, before the New Zealand and Tokyo Olympic & Paralympic Games.
  • The fourth is being the external project manager for the Wembley Steps Project.
  • Finally, the fifth was working alongside Pete Dalton for Codruta Vulcu in Romania. We worked on the crowded space management plan and implementation process for the Pope’s visit.

What has been your favourite part of working for MOM and why?

It has got to be my project last year for the England and Wales Cricket Board, tracking the rise of women’s cricket globally focusing on the Women’s Ashes Series in the UK.

It was such an amazing experience watching the women’s game which was supported with equal funding and gained rightful recognition as one of the UK’s fastest growing and most exciting female sports.

What is one of the funniest things that has happened at work?

This takes me back to my days as a promoter and venue manager when we were on the thrash metal touring circuit. I had a call from one of the agents offering me a thrash band from the states called Nuclear Assault. As one of the sell-out venues on any thrash tour, we kept getting bigger and bigger bands in our tiny club venue. As well as playing the Astoria and Edwards, we agreed to take the band as we were midway between London and Birmingham.

We sold out weeks in advance and they turned up late in the afternoon. The lead singer came into the venue and shouted, “No way are we playing this f**king dump.” To which the lighting tech replied down from the gantry; “As if we care, f**k off back home then.” The run up to the night was pretty inharmonious after that.


On the night, the place was heaving! There were kids everywhere – inside the venue, outside the venue, in the city – just everywhere. About 15% of the crowd had come from Europe to see the show and at showtime, everyone crowded in the venue.

When the band hit the stage, the crowd went berserk. I watched some of the show from the lighting gantry and it was full on! Bodies everywhere – on the stage, on the floor, in the pit, everywhere!

As usual, two songs from the end of the show, I got the signal from the tour manager to settle the fee and went up to my office. Just as we were chatting the door burst open and a deranged sweating, monster of a man, half naked screamed, “Best show we have ever had, what a place, what a crowd, we loved it” and then he ran out.

Yes, it was the lead singer of the band. The tour manager and I were at first totally speechless and then we looked at each other and just burst out laughing. Thrash Metal is a tonic that keeps me sane!

Mind Over Matter Consultancy

MOM are experts in crowd management and crowd safety. Find out more about the team here…