Dave Chumbley (1960-2017)

Dave Chumbley, director and booking agent at Primary Talent International, passed away on 22 August after a short illness.

In a statement Primary said: “Dave was a great man, a world-class agent, esteemed director and colleague whose dedication to his artists was unmatched. We are extremely lucky to have been touched by his unique humour, exceptional kindness and infectious joie de vivre.”

A charismatic and well-liked character, Dave left Warwick University in 1982 where he was cultural affairs officer, before working at The Agency Group and, briefly, Performing Arts Network. He later joined World Service before becoming one of the founding members of Primary Talent.

“I was a music agent for 20 years – but it was not until I met Dave Chumbley that I found out what a real agent should be,” says manager Terry Blamey, with whom Dave worked for years representing Kylie Minogue.

“Dedicated to his artists to a fault, Dave was responsible for many hugely successful careers in the world music industry. He was a talented, wonderful man taken from us way to soon. Lynn and I loved him like a brother, a dear friend, and we will miss him dreadfully. We had an amazing time together! Our hearts go out to Rom, Raph and Tom.”

Acts represented by Dave included Bloodhound Gang, Lana Del Rey, Dropkick Murphys, Rufus Wainwright, Gwen Stefani, No Doubt, Imogen Heap, Rebecca Ferguson, The Toy Dolls, and Tony Hadley.

George Akins, owner of DHP Family, describes Dave as a “great friend and supporter… He was instrumental in helping DHP family become the national promoter it is today, with key tours by Dropkick Murphys and Rufus Wainwright putting us on the map.” He adds, “A big hole is left in the music industry today. He was a true maverick who ripped up the rulebook and made sure he looked after his artists and supported the good guys. We will be forever in his debt.”

Primary co-founder and former MD Martin Hopewell says, “I’m in a state of complete shock – as hundreds of people around the world who knew Dave must be at the moment. He was such a larger-than-life character, and had such a massive impact on the live business, that this just doesn’t seem possible.

“I worked with Dave since the 80s when he joined the team at our old agency, World Service. Most people will know him as a tenacious and skilled representative for his clients, but those who were lucky enough to be among his many friends and colleagues will know that that big, booming voice of his was matched by an equally big heart.

“He was a generous, funny and intelligent man, but – most of all – for many of us he was a loyal and trusted friend. The live business is quite literally not going to be the same without him.”

Among those paying tribute to Dave are artists Tony Hadley, Imogen Heap, New Model Army, The Toy Dolls, as well as numerous professionals from the live music industry around the world, whose testimonials can be found at

Dave is survived by his wife, Romilly, and children, Raphaella and Tom.