Phil Nelson has been an Artist Manager since 1988 and his clients have included The Levellers who headlined Glastonbury before starting their own 15,000 capacity Festival Beautiful Days (which Phil set up), and The Longpigs. Current clients include 2016 Grammy-winning Matt Hales / Aqualung and Duke Special.

He was the Vice Chair of the Music Managers’ Forum from 1997-2007. He co-founded The Great Escape Festival with Martin Elbourne and Jon McIldowie and dreamed up the Breakers’ Chart for Music Week. He is currently Music Industry Ambassador – (Music Cities Liaison and Student Industry Research Projects) at BIMM (British & Irish Institute of Modern Music) London, Brighton & Bristol. This role includes talking to the Music Industry to find Real World Projects for Dissertation Students to do on its behalf, thereby solving problems for the industry and hopefully making the students more employable.

One of these projects is a thorough mapping of the music provision of various cities and regions of the UK which is being carried out with the co-operation of UK Music, BPI, Music Venues Trust, Brighton & Hove City Council, and others. He is in the process of setting up a Student-run Record Label, Pool Valley Recordings.