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VIP- News

premium ›› Vol. 132 ›› January 2011

McGowan’s Musings:

Welcome to our first News of 2011 and a

belated Happy New Year to you all! All of

the team shook themselves out of holiday

mode by attending the first industry event

of the year in a rain swept Groningen in

the North of Holland. This 25th edition

of Eurosonic Noorderslag certainly lived

up to expectations, and I’ve yet to hear

a complaint from anyone who attended

about both the Conference and the festival

and showcase programmes. I think

Dietmar Schwenger, editor of Germany’s

MusikWoche, summed it up perfectly

when he told me, “Those Dutch people

really know how to run a business event

– creating an easy-going atmosphere and

still giving the delegates good opportunities

for business!” We include further

comments in our report in this issue.

Although we came out of 2010 with some

trepidation about the new year, following

the release of worrying figures showing a

decline in concert tickets, particularly in

the US, but also to a lesser extent in Europe

and other territories, the overall atmosphere

amongst the assembled 2000

plus professionals was generally optimistic.

Even in the ‘Future of Record Compa-

Allan McGowan

nies’ panel, despite the early accusation

of a self publicising member of the Digital

business community that the panel members

were, ‘really down, and hanging in

their seats’, the label representatives assembled

by European independent labels

Association, Impala, were not displaying

suicidal tendencies and although wary

were adamant that independent record

companies would not disappear in 2011!

In the ‘Less Tours – Less Tickets’ session

based on Pollstar’s end of year figures,

the reaction from the Live sector panellists,

including Dutch based Mojo Concerts,

part of Live Nation, which had laid

off staff last year, was pretty much ‘business

as usual – let’s get on with it!’

In 2010 the weather in Groningen was

very cold and the streets were dangerously

icy, more than a few music business

types took a tumble, this year it was not

so cold but it rained, sometimes heavily.

The crowds attending the free concerts,

a Eurosonic Noorderslag gift to the

City that has been the event’s host for

25 years, didn’t seem to mind, the large

umbrella like structure over the audience

area in the Grote Markt. In return organisers

Peter Smidt and Peter Sikkema received

the Freedom of the City from Groningen’s


Talking of weather apparently the South

of France has been experiencing colder

nights than usually expected by the music

business types attending Midem in

Cannes, but as referred to in the News

this is as nothing compared to the recent

floods in Australia and elsewhere in

the World, so we should count ourselves


I personally had a very good, though

busy time in Groningen, having had the

pleasure to present the European Festival

Awards. There were many highlights,

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VIP-News is published by:


26 York Street

London W1U 6pZ

Managing Director:

Ronni Didriksen

General Manager:

Peter Briggs

Writer and editorial:

Allan McGowan


Manfred Tari

For advertising enquiries pls. contact

Peter Briggs

or +44 870 755 0092


Pekaye Graphics, Phuket – Thailand

but Leif Skov’s speech on receiving the

Lifetime Achievement Award stood

out, reminding people what a force for

good the gathering together of people

and the power of live music can, and

will continue, to be. (See report in this


These Musings may appear a little light

on humour but if you need a laugh at

any time get Serge Grimaux of Ticket

Pro in Prague, to tell you the story of

how one of his first jobs in the touring

concert business was having to get up

in the morning to screw the horns back

on the buffalo! (He’ll be at ILMC 23 – ask

him about it!) He told this along with

stories from Bob Lefsetz and Matt Mc-

Donald of CMJ at the ‘Off the Record

with a Smile’ session in Groningen. It always

reminds me that this is the ‘entertainment

business and there are great

stories to be told. If you’ve got any let

us know! – In the meantime Ladies and

Gentlemen let’s think positive thoughts

for a great 2011, and here’s the News...



Discussed in UK


Allan McGowan

The ever contentious issue of secondary

ticketing - or ticketing touting as

many still call it - was discussed in parliament

again later today as a private

members bill on the issue put forward

by Labour MP for Washington and

Sunderland West, Sharon Hodgson

last year got its second reading in the

House Of Commons on January 21.

Some in the live industry have accepted

that secondary ticketing has become a

fact of life, and that the real problem is

making sure that shares of the income

generated through the practice are fairly

allocated to all involved in the shows

involved. Others, Harvey Goldsmith

for instance, are still convinced that it

is a heinous practice that only harms

the perception and the future of the

live industry. Many consumer groups

have also joined in the criticism, but

the Government have so far thrown the

ball back into the live industry’s court,

claiming that it should take care of its

own regulating. However even those

convinced that secondary ticketing

should be banned say this cannot be

enforced without new laws.

Sharon Hodgson’s bill proposes a new

rule permitting promoters to stop

touts from re-selling tickets for anything

more than a 10% mark up. She

told UK tabloid the Daily Mirror, “Genuine

fans, particularly younger ones, are

being done out of the opportunity of

going to see their favourite artists by

a growing band of people looking to

make a fast buck. People - who are often

involved in criminal activities - are

making staggering amounts of profit

by manipulating the supply of tickets

and exploiting the demand. “Little, if

any, of that money ever finds its way

back to the people who worked for

it, or to the Treasury for that matter. I

don’t want to stop genuine fans sell-



VIP- News - January 2011

ing on tickets they can’t use anymore, or

buying re-sale tickets if they didn’t have

the chance to buy them when they went

on sale. But the current system is just not

working in their best interests, so I believe

that it is up to Government to ensure that

it does.” You can read more at:

If Hodgson’s bill were enacted, it would

mean that unauthorised retailers would

face a large fine if they advertised or sold

tickets at a price 10% above their face

value. But unless the bill gets government

support there’s little chance of it becoming

law. The bill has been re-tabled for on May

13th, but it is seventh on the list, meaning

that it is unlikely for further discussion as

parliamentary business at that time.

New technologies, such as tickets delivered

by mobile phone will, it is hoped by

many, make it more difficult for touts to

get their hands on large amounts of tickets,

although experience has indicated

that where there’s a will there’s a way, particularly

when large amounts of money are

involved. Companies like Viagogo claim

that they serve a social requirement by allowing

fans to resell a ticket that they cannot

or don’t want to use, but it is unlikely

that these companies would survive if that

element was their only market.

Sharon Hodgson



VIP- News - January 2011

24, 25, 26 March 2011

Tallinn Music Week is a showcase festival

and a music industry networking event that

started out in 2009, a year that was declared

the Year of Innovation in Estonia. Having

partnered up with Tallinn, European Capital

of Culture in 2011, and the country’s very own

brain child Skype, it is a music export platform

for Estonian and the neighboring countries’

talent, as well as a tool to encourage

professionalism and growth of our region’s

music business. Tallinn Music Week welcomes

around 100 international delegates to the festival

each year, to build professional contacts

with local industry and get acquainted with

the local artists and music scene.

At the third edition of Tallinn Music Week in

2011 we will present a lineup of around 100

bands and artists, so it is a perfect time to

visit early springtime Tallinn during a weekend

full of fantastic music in the best venues for

the most demanding tastes: from world music,

jazz and contemporary classical to punk, electro,

metal and anything in between.

“I thought the level of organization and hospitality Tallinn Music Week provided

was superb. Tallinn’s concert venues were great. It was one of the most enjoyable

conference showcase events I have been to (and I have been to a few!).”

Martin Elbourne (Great Escape, Glastonbury):

Come and join us in 2011, when Tallinn will be

the European Capital of Culture!

Delegates’ registration is open at

Contact us:



VIP- News - January 2011

Great Escape


First Bands

Allan McGowan

Katy B will perform at the Great Escape

This year’s event that brings a multitude

of music business people into

my hometown (they did ask permission),

The Great Escape will take

place on 12-14th May.

As well as the music business convention,

Brighton’s gig venues will

present more than bands. Amongst

the first to be announced are:

Warpaint, Katy B, Brother, Twin

Shadow, D/R/U/G/S, Becoming Real,

PVT, Dutch Uncles, Tribes, worriedaboutsatan,

Teeth, Visions Of Tree,

and Seams. Friendly Fires will perform

a special show at the festivals

main venue The Dome.

For more information go to:

AIF Membership Grows

For 2011 Festival Season

Allan McGowan

The UK’s Association of Independent

Festivals (AIF) started the year in very

buoyant fashion, looking ahead to the

2011 festival season and welcoming

seven new festival members into the

fold. These latest additions take membership

of the two-year-old organisation

up to 31.

Joining the likes of Bestival, Green

Man, Glade and Creamfields are:

- North Dorset’s End of the Road


- Festival Awards’ Best Small - Festival

2010 Winner, Kendal Calling

- Jersey’s Grassroots Eco Music


- Lancashire’s Beat-Herder Festival

- Deer Stalker Festival

- Reading’s three weekend long

Outside:Inside Festival

- Derbyshire’s family music festival

Bearded Theory

AIF, a not for profit body, was conceived

by Bestival promoter Rob da

Bank and Graphite’s Ben Turner, and

was set up in 2008. The association’s

founder members included Bestival,

Cornbury Festival, Creamfields, Evolution

Festival, Field Day/Underage,

Secret Garden Party, Summer Sundae

Weekender and WOMAD.

The aim

was to establish best practice for independent

festivals in a variety of areas

such as security, the environment and

beyond. Successes include its ‘twinning’

initiative, which sees members

linking up with like-minded festivals

across the world for mutual promotion

and exchange of information, the

Security Task Force, created to tackle

festival related crime, as well as a

groundbreaking marketing deal with

Visit Britain. The Association offers

these new members the benefit of

the organisation’s collective power in

promoting their interests to the wider

music business and government.

said, “We are happy to see the continued

growth of the AIF membership. It’s

a positive reinforcement of the Association’s

value, providing a voice that will

be heard for the independents. 2010

has seen a host of industry wide issues

come to light that will directly affect

independent festivals. The need to join

together for collective action has never

been more apparent.”

VIP-News asked Claire to specify a couple

of the issues she refers to and to illustrate

some of the moves planned to

tackle these in 2011:

Claire O’Neill: One of the key industry

wide issues that AIF and the event

industry as a whole is faced with at

present is the PRS LP and DP Tariff review.

The 31st Dec 2010 was the deadline

for interested parties to submit

their responses to the consultation,

which we have done. We now await

the announcement to come from PRS

in light of the submissions they have

received, and any necessary action will

follow. This is coming at a time of VAT

increases and a national financial low,

which makes forward planning and

having a group to talk to who are ‘in

the same boat’ very valuable.

Late 2010 also saw the police charge

guideline review, and also a consulta-

Claire O’Neill, AIF General Manager,

Claire O’Neill



VIP- News - January 2011

tion for review of the Licensing Act 2003.

These legislative or licensing decisions

can have impact upon festivals large and

small, and both sides of the fence welcome

a collective voice for their representation

in responding to such matters. In 2011 we

will also be working collectively towards

improved environmental management of

festivals and ethical issues, which are of

concern to our members such as secondary


VIP-News: - Do you envisage more crossover

work with some of the bigger festivals

that are not AIF members? Generally would

you say that your members are optimistic

about their fortunes in 2011?

Claire: As in the case of the PRS review,

legislation, environmental issues etc, there

will always be some scope for festivals of

all sizes and styles to work together. This

is not about entertainment on site etc, but

the external influences that affect the industry

as a whole. With the exception of

one or two festivals who were sadly cancelled

in part due to hiked police charges

or land issues, the AIF membership enjoyed

a very healthy year with a great number of

sell out events. As a whole the independent

festival sector who are represented by

AIF are looking positively forwards to 2011

and beyond with some exciting projects

on the horizon.

Festival Awards Europe Winners Announced

Allan McGowan


The best European festivals, artists and promoters

of 2010 were revealed at a sold out

ceremony, which took place at Groningen’s

Stadsschouwburg in The Netherlands, on

the opening night of the 25th Anniversary

edition of Eurosonic Noorderslag.

Decided by a combination of public vote

and industry juries, Festival Awards Europe

is the only event solely dedicated

to recognising the contributions and

achievements of the event organisers and

performing artists that generate billions of

Euros for local economies and brighten up

the summer for tens of millions of festivalgoers

each year.

For the 2009 Awards Belgium did extremely

well, coming away with multiple prizes,

but this year Ireland led, taking 3, Poland

and Germany took two each. Muse also

took two awards, but were unfortunately

not there to receive them.

More than 350,000 votes were cast by

fans to decide the winners in the following


- Best Major European Festival:

Heineken Open’er Festival - Poland

- Best Medium-Sized European Festival:

Electric Picnic Music & Arts Festival -


- Best Small European Festival:

5 Tauron Nowa Muzyka Festival - Poland

- Best New European Festival:

Temple House Festival - Ireland

- Best Indoor Festival:

Rolling Stone Weekender - Germany

- Best European Festival Line-Up:

Oxegen - Ireland

- Best Newcomer:

Florence and the Machine

- Best Headliner:


- Festival Anthem of the Year:

Muse - Uprising

The following winners were chosen by an

industry jury, which included prominent

journalists, booking agents, managers,

artists and promoters:

- YOUROPE Green ‘N’ Clean Festival Of

The Year:

Boom Festival - Portugal

- Artist’s Favourite European Festival:

Melt! - Germany

- Virtual Festivals Europe presents

Promoter Of The Year:


- Yourope Lifetime Achievement Award:

Leif Skov

Stefan Lehmkuhl from Melt Festival Germany

was surprised to win the artist best

festival award saying “It was the greatest

honour” adding that “according to Noel

Gallagher Melt Festival looks like the inside

of Marilyn Manson’s brain”

Leif Skov, one of the pioneers of Denmark’s

Roskilde Festival was presented with the

Lifetime Achievement Award. In a moving

and inspiring speech on receiving his

award, he said: “People and music together

can move mountains and change opinions.

And through all of our work with our festi-


vals we have invented and defined for the

world a new set of values that lie above and

beyond a standard set of values that can be


James Drury, MD of Festival Awards Ltd,

which organises the Awards said: “With

over 350,000 votes and a 37% increase in

the number of events our second edition

demonstrated the breadth and strength of

feeling among fans and festivals across the

continent. This was a great celebration of the

world leading festival scene.”

Christof Huber, General Secretary

YOUROPE commented, “It was a major step

forward from last year’s awards. We are really

looking forward to the next edition and

are confident that they will continue to go

from strength to strength.”

There were performances on the night

from Alice Gold, Laura Jansen and Ben

L’Oncle Soul.

Leif Skov from Roskilde Festival received the

Lifetime Achievement Award in Gronningen

VIP- News - January 2011



VIP- News - January 2011

Australian Live Music Business

Weighs in to Help Flood Relief Appeals

Allan McGowan

I mentioned the weather at a couple of European

music trade events in the Musings,

however I realise that none of us have any

right to real complaints about the effects

of the weather when compared with the

extraordinary floods that have recently

decimated Queensland, Australia, with

three quarters of the state being declared

a disaster zone. The authorities and people

from all over Australia are involved in

helping the area in its recovery. The music

business is of course pitching in. Organizers

of Big Day Out have pledged$20,000

for Queensland’s flood-relief efforts,

and a recent concert held in Brisbane,

Float On...A Brisbane Flood Relief Benefit

featured live performances from Kate

Miller-Hedike, Hungry Kids of Hungary,

Little Scout, Custard and more with all

proceeds going to the Premier’s Flood

Relief Appeal. Also Industry heavyweight

promoters are discussing the prospect of

a benefit concert. Event producer Mark

Pope, promoter Michal Chugg, booker

Joe Segrato and promoter and label boss

Michael Gudinski have apparently met to

begin planning the prospect. The event

may be modelled on the Sound Relief

concerts, held simultaneously in Melbourne

and Sydney last year in the wake

of the Victorian bushfires, which raised

over $9million.

Hungry Kids of Hungary



VIP- News - January 2011



VIP- News - January 2011

25th Years of Eurosonic Noorderslag

– Successful as Ever!

Manfred Tari

Rather than writing a full journalistic report

there are occasions when it is better

to let industry professionals give their reactions

in their own words. Manfred Tari

took a wander around Groningen and

spoke to a variety of Eurosonic Noorderslag

delegates: This report reveals an unfiltered

chorus of opinions and covers a

spread of news items that concern all of

the industry, not just those that attended

the anniversary edition of a very successful

edition of the one and only Eurosonic

Noorderslag music convention in Groningen

in the Netherlands.

VIP-News talked to some of the Eurosonic

Noorderslag visitors and asked them for

their observations of the event as well as

their expectations for business in 2011.

VIP-News: What’s your impression of Eurosonic

Noorderslag 2011?

Bernard Batzen - Azimuth Productions

in France: As usual very good. I saw some

exciting new bands. The new thing is that

you can also discover a lot of bands who

are not in the official programme. I think

it’s quite impressive because 400 bands

are playing during 4 nights and it’s just

incredible. I think it makes Groningen now

the new centre for Europe emerging talents.

VIP-News: Well, what were your favourite


Batzen: I’ve seen several very good acts. I

wouldn’t say musically politically correct

because Swiss guys playing Zydeco and

Cajun music and the Bavarian Ska Dub. It´s

not the next big thing but it is really good

and honest music, played by very good


VIP-News: What are the name of the


Batzen: Mama Rosin and LaBrassBanda

from Germany.

Stefan Reichmann, Haldern Open Air in

Germany says that he liked: “LaBrassBanda.

My favourite band, I love all kind of bands

that discover their roots - they’re completely

Bavarian and this comes across so

well on stage. Ben Howard was really good

but I think as usual the best thing about

Eurosonic is that you meet all the other

people to drink beer together in a relaxing

atmosphere. And to find out about who is

buying which acts…”

VIP-News: What do you expect for the business

year 2011?

Reichmann: I don’t know. I think everything

will work out. As a German saying

has it; the farmer says “it’s going deeper

and deeper”. I expect a wonderful year. “

Rob Challice

Rob Challice from Coda Agency in UK

said: “I think I am going back and for the

first time booking a German band and

one from Switzerland. LaBrassBanda and

Mama Rosin.” About the convention itself

Challice said: “Everything’s fine except the

weather, the rain. Some people say some

years are better than the others but it is really

about how hard you work, how many

bands you are going to see. I like to arrive

on the Wednesday, it really makes sense.

I am not sure if the European Festival

Awards were useful three hours of my life.

I rather prefer seeing bands and networking


VIP-News: What is your expectation for the

business year 2011?

Challice: I think its overseeing the issues

over the last year or two and some of the

things that took us by surprise like less attendance

on certain levels, but business is

in a very good position, festivals are even

in a great position. I think club promoters

and smaller promoters have adjusted to

the recession and basically I think the business

is in a good position.

»I think it’s an improvement

over the last 2 years.

The program was even better

and the surroundings were


- Roman Pitone

VIP-News also talked to Roman Pitone

who is the head of booking at the German

music magazine Visions: “I think it’s an improvement

over the last 2 years. The program

was even better and the surroundings

were improved. For journalists they

have this new media centre booth in the

Oosterport, this was really great.”

VIP-News: What were the most interesting

bands you have discovered?

Pitone: First of all the onethat impressed

me most which is probably one of the

festivals favourite because everyone was

chasing them was ‘Dry the River’ I think

from England I´m not too sure, and obviously

Kvelertak from Norway. What else?

The Joy Formidable’ and some Dutch

bands which I saw at ‘Ray’s Dutch Impact

Revue’ which were Moss and Laura Jansen,

which were both really good….

Everybody does interviews with Rob Berends,

chairman of Network Europe and

owner of Paperclip agency in the Netherlands.

So we thought it is about time to

start talking to his business partner Hilde

Spille as well.

VIP-News: What’s your impression of Eurosonic

Noorderslag 2011?

Spille: I had some very good meetings

during the day time about special projects

I am working on for Network Europe and

I’ve just visited a panel about Eastern European

festivals and found it very useful.



VIP- News - January 2011

I saw great bands last night and the night

before and I am amazed that it been running

for 25 years. So, congratulations to

Eurosonic Noorderslag!

VIP-News: What do you expect for the business

year 2011?

they’re brilliant, and Murder from Denmark

and that’s about it.

VIP-News: By the way, what is going on at


Schmidt: We will decide next week whenever

we will go on or not. But I am quite

hopeful that we can make it.

From Melt-Booking in Germany Stefan Lehmkuhl,

Alexander Kralitsch and others

attended Eurosonic Noorderslag. Lehmkuhl

who also accepted ‘The Artist Choice

Award’ for Melt-Festival at the European

Festival Awards presented in Groningen

on the Wednesday night, didn’t see as

many good bands as his company colleague


knew that these acts are just guys who created

their music on a computer and now

put it on stage. That was actually good.

VIP-News: Which acts did you like most?

Kralisch: I was really impressed by the energy

of Crystal Fighters, I really like their album

from last year and I was really happy

to see it come across so well on stage.

Hilde Spille

Spille: I have no idea what the future will

bring. We will just have to see. I think that

it will get a bit tougher for Dutch venues. I

see that some of them are booking fewer

concerts, in the recent months there have

been less concerts than in the years before.

So, competition will grow harder.

It will be more difficult for upcoming

acts. But in general I think it will still be a

healthy year.

Holger Schmidt from Rheinkultur-Festival

in Germany, a free event which suffered a

financial loss after the last edition was hit

by very bad weather and less visitors due

to the Football World Cup, said about Eurosonic

Noorderslag: “I had a very nice weekend

here actually. It was the first time I had

the chance to moderate a panel. We did

something about ‘Green’ events and I was

really surprised by the huge audience we

had there. We had about 80 people, usually

we discuss this subject before only 10

or 15 people. and it was a very, very fruitful

session. I again met all my colleagues

from the European festivals and this was

good as well. I saw a couple of bands, but

it’s always a gamble whether you see the

good or not so good ones. Anyway, I saw

Kvelertak, which I found very good. Yesterday

I saw Inspector Clouseau from France,

Lehmkuhl said: “It was nice as every year.

It is my eighth time now, I think. I have

not seen that many good band performances

this year but I met a lot of interesting

people. I think it is important as well

to meet people as well as to see acts here

in Groningen. But I noticed a trend; many

of the electronic acts are developing into

good live acts. Whereas previously many

of those acts appeared on stage with just

a laptop, they have now merged into real

bands in order to be booked and to play at

festivals. This goes for instance for Crystal

Fighters who have developed in to a real

electronic band within two years. I presume

that these bands do so in particular

to be attractive for festivals and I therefore

assume that festivals are also becoming

more important for these kinds of acts.

VIP-News: Who was your favourite this


Lehmkuhl: Crystal Fighters, James Blake


Differing from Lehmkuhl, Kralisch said,

“First of all a lot of good bands and surprises

from some I did not expect to be

so good.” But like Lehmkuhl Kralisch also

observed, “I found it very interesting that a

lot of bands which I just knew from the internet

and from the songs that I heard, that

were really electronic are now are able to

put on their music on stage like real bands,

that was really surprising. Bands like Crystal

Fighters, James Blake or Monarchy, you

Baris Basaran

Baris Basaran from Charmenko Music Organisation

in Turkey said of the business

event: “I think the variety of showcases

was better than before. They were richer,

from my point of view; compared to previous

years I was able to discover more interesting

bands. Also in my personal opinion

the panels were more approachable than

in recent years.

VIP-News: Any particular panel you’d like

to mention?

Basaran: I found the festival panel, chaired

by Nick Hobbs (of Charmenko) with people

from Exit Festival and Sziget Festival was

so far the most interesting panel for me.

VIP-News: Which were your favourite artists?

Basaran: A couple of favourite acts. One of

them was Frankie & The Heartstrings, but

also K-X-P, Mount Kimbie and SBTRKT

VIP-News: How do you think business will

be this year?

Basaran: I hope it’ll be up, because 2010

was a terrible year for Eastern Europe. It

needs to be better in 2011.



VIP- News - January 2011

The Dutch Impact at Eurosonic Noorderslag

Manfred Tari

Although the vast majority of Eurosonic

Noorderslag delegates enjoyed their trip

to Groningen there were some potential

obstacles for the business that caused particular

concern for the Dutch visitors to the

event. The biggest threat for the live music

industry in the Netherlands is the VAT increase

on tickets from 6 to 19 percent. VIP-

News spoke with Dick Molenaar of All Arts

Tax Advisors and others about this topic.

VIP-News: What do you think about this

years edition of Eurosonic?

Dick Molenaar: I like it very much. There

are a lot of people, it’s very international

and also Dutch, with interesting panels and

interesting people and a very nice atmosphere

in this city. Groningen is ideally built

for this conference and such a festival.

VIP-News: Do you think that the increase

of the VAT on tickets here in the Netherlands

is featured appropriately within

the conference programme of Eurosonic


Molenaar: Yes, I did a panel on this myself.

I was the chairman of the panel and it

was very good. Everyone was happy with

how we discussed it because, as one, we

have the option to challenge it under the

VAT directive of the European Union. It is

not in line with the VAT directive, that is

one thing, and we are going to do it. The

venues organisation decided to really go

for it and also Mojo Concerts will fight it,

so that is one thing. The second is everybody

still wants to lobby the politicians,

so it’s not over yet and the third thing is

Dick Molenaar

that we discussed how we are going to

deal with it if goes through, and there is a

mutual understanding of how to do it. So

I think there is quite a good chance that it

will not take place.

VIP-News: Do those various actors like the

VNPV and Mojo Concerts now get find it

easier to get together over something like


Molenaar: They already lobbied against

it in the last months and the cooperation

is good, but we have to fight a new government.

The tax increase was one of its

first proposals, so they were very strong

on pushing it through. If they hadn’t done

it, perhaps the cabinet would have fallen.

It was really a principle for them. So, we

have to be very clever and smart to keep

fighting it and there was a good understanding

in the audience and in the panel

about how to do it.

VIP-News: How will the lobbying take


Molenaar: The most important move at

this moment is to set up cases in which we

challenge the fact that it is not in line with

the European VAT directive, The Netherlands

is only picking out performances

and leaving film, museums and others at

the lower VAT rate. That is not in line with


the obligations of the European directive,

and that’s a very big thing.

VIP-News: Won’t it cost a fortune to get

rid of the tax increase in a legal way?

Molenaar: Yes, but the negative effect on

the shows will be more expensive.

VIP-News: How will this all take place?

Molenaar: I am also active in this, but there

is a tax advisor company in Amsterdam

who wrote a piece about it and they will

also take the lead. It will start next month

and we go to the European commission

and we will initiate cases here in the Netherlands

to see if the Dutch government is

right, I believe they are not right.

Willem Venema of Double Vee Concerts

ventures a slightly different and more

sceptical point of view than most other

Dutch people when answering questions

regarding this VAT increase and its effect

on ticket sales. In 1998 it went from 17.5

percent down to 6 percent, a rise to 19

percent on tickets, as well as a proposed

significant 20 to 25 percent cut back on

culture subsidies in 2013 does not bode

well for business.

VIP-News: Are Dutch artists and the domestic

music industry doing enough to



VIP- News - January 2011

fight against the new tax law and the

subsidy cut back for culture in the Netherlands?

the forthcoming elections in sight. That

is also why none of them is showing up

in Groningen.

Willem Venema: Apparently not

enough; I doubt very much if the industry

in full and in particular the individual

artists are aware of the negative

consequences of cutting governmental

money sources. There is a total misunderstanding

about the fact that the taxlaw

was changed by January 1 2011, but

it will only be delayed until July 1.

The right wing claims that ‘the market’,

‘private mecenas (patrons)’ and ‘industry

sponsoring’ will solve all consequences

and problems, forgetting that cutting

and losing jobs and possibly closing

venues will cost the government more

money in the end. Apart from the fact

private mecenas and sponsoring in music

industry has never reached a healthy

substantial level in Holland or guaranteed

continuity (check Parkpop, Lowlands,

Pinkpop etc). No healthy business

climate can survive without a lively

cultural infra-structure, a phenomena

that already takes books and writers to

unbelievable theories in terms of citymarketing

(Austin, New York etc). The

industry has had no real discussions

with the politicians or the government,

which is avoiding any discussions of the

subject to avoid endangering the stability

of their actual government with

VIP-News: Do you believe that this issue

had been covered appropriately within

this years edition of Eurosonic Noorderslag?

»Now it is almost a dead

issue, because everybody

thinks either the deed is done

or it is not going to happen,

whilst both are wrong«

- Willem Venema

Venema: “No, because the panel(s) don’t

get to the public and the Eurosonic debate

hasn’t reached the press. I have

accused the Seminar, its main financers

the Dutch copyright collection society

and its subsidiaries (Buma-Cultuur,

Sena etc) of not taking an official firm

stand and deliver a loud and clear statement

against the government. The idea

that Dick Molenaar is going to solve the

issue at EU-level is fantastic but is not

a good enough answer. The VAT issue

was a hot-issue as the new government

almost got into great trouble in the first

Chamber of Parliament. Now it is almost

a dead issue, because everybody thinks

either the deed is done or it is not going

to happen, whilst both are wrong.

Willem Venema



VIP- News - January 2011

European Talents and the Booking

Philosophy of Eurosonic Noorderslag

Manfred Tari

Robert Meijerink -is the one, the manager

of the artistic profile of an event

that is more than just a festival; Eurosonic

Noorderslag has its very own framework

which is unlike any other convention. The

European Talent Exchange Program was

and is a masterpiece that makes Eurosonic

Noorderslag unique, ETEP and therewith

the role of the Eurosonic Noorderslag as a

showcase event for the European music industry

requires a much different booking

policy than the majority of other festivals

or music conventions.

VIP-News: Are you from Live Nation?

Robert Meijerink: No, but I am still alive!

VIP-News: What about the share of UK artists,

is it increasing?

Meijerink: “I think it is the same as last year.

It is one of our jobs to keep the balance. In

the Netherlands we have the London Calling

festival in Amsterdam and Eurosonic is

not London Calling. Eurosonic is a festival

that searches for European music and of

course also UK bands. There are many talents

in UK and that is definitely also a part

of our job.

VIP-News: Willem Venema and also some

other players complained that there is lack

of awareness for Dutch talents at Eurosonic,

would you agree with this complaint?

Meijerink: “No, there aren’t so many changes.

I think one of the most important things

of Eurosonic is that we try to show people

an overview of European music and this

means that we, I and my colleagues in the

booking team need to keep the balance of

countries and promote and try to stimulate

the European bands from all territories

in Europe. It’s a European festival and it’s

organised in Europe with bands from Europe

and people like the music from whatever

where are they from, be it Croatia or


VIP-News: When it came to international

talents did you see any changes compared

to the previous years?

VIP-News: How was Eurosonic Noorderslag

2011 for you?

Robert Meijerink: I think it was a really successful

edition with good vibes and good

energy. So, we can be happy about it.

VIP-News: What is the feedback when you

talk to agents or promoters? Are they all

pleased so far?

Meijerink: I hope so. Based on the ETEP-

Meeting and those I spoke to, the festivals

and also other people, they told me that it

was worth visiting Eurosonic again to discover

new talents.”

Meijerink: No, not really, I think, if you read

the history of Eurosonic the last couple of

years and see the focus features we had so

far than you can see that we had an average

amount of bands playing within those

focuses. We discuss a lot what to serve and

not to serve, and we try to serve the export

ready acts. That is one of the main things

we are asked for, and we discuss it with

managers from these bands and their record

labels and we try to serve those bands,

to also make it easier for the professionals

that are ready to tour Europe.

VIP-News: Have you changed your booking


Meijerink: “Yes! There is a development going

on. I think some territories are getting

stronger and I noticed that there are more

and more bands with a higher standard of

quality If you look at Spain for example we

had a couple of bands in different styles

and I think they have a very standard. But

also from Czech Republic, Slovenia and

Estonia. There is something going on in

Europe. I think we live in a time where especially

young people are really creative in

making music and try to make music and

mix up styles with their own creativity. I

think they are not copying each other and

they do not copy from bands from America

or other countries.

VIP-News: Is Europe ready for more European

talents? Or should I say is Febosonic…

(Febo is the late opening fast food outlet in

the centre of Groningen where people meet

up after the various showcase to soak up

the beer and chat)

Meijerink: “Febosonic!?! What are you doing

there? There is no music in croquettes….”

Robert Meijerink

VIP-News: As Eurosonic Noorderslag is one

of the most important gateways to launch

careers for upcoming artists; I was really

surprised when I heard from some Dutch

people here that they are not happy with

the amount of Dutch artists or their results

gained out of Eurosonic. Do you think that

Europe is ready for more European talents?



VIP- News - January 2011

Meijerink: “I think so. As long as radio

station or web radios play new music and

people want to buy tickets for concerts,

Europe is ready for talents. I think it is always

a matter of do you like an act or not.

That is the main question. I think music is

a personal matter and you can’t say that

Europe isn’t ready for its music. There are

so many bands, so-called one hit wonders

that succeed and tour all over Europe just

based on the success of one hit single.

So, as long as the people like these songs

they buy the tickets of these bands. It’s

the power of music!”

As Maurice Spijker of Mojo concerts observed

the interview with Robert, VIP-

News asked him: Are you happy with


Maurice Spijker: I think he’s one of the

best programmers in Holland and he is so

valuable for something like Eurosonic.

VIP-News: What do you say regarding the

complaint that Dutch talents are neglected

within Eurosonic Noorderslag? Would

you agree?

Spijker: “No, specifically this year I totally

disagree with this complaint. Of course the

focus was on the Netherlands but in general

I would say that Eurosonic Noorderslag

picked exactly the right artists which

have the potential to go abroad.

VIP-News: Vat increase on ticket sales in

the Netherlands. What do you expect for

the business year 2011?

Spijker: “I actually think that this will make

quite an impact and I specially think it will

affect the smaller shows of upcoming bands

which are very sensitive for ticket sales and

low ticket prices. People will start to make

choices but I do not see that this will have a

big effect on the big sure shots where people

have to pay like 65€ or 70€ for tickets or

85€ or 90€ for acts such as Lady Gaga. I do

not see any differences on this level, but I

do expect that people making choices for

the new and small upcoming stuff where

they have to pay instead 12€ or 13€ and will

now have to pay 15€ or 16€.”

VIP-News: Robert, what is your point of

view on this one?

Meijerink: “I think Maurice is right. I think

it will have an effect on the investment for

new artists. Everybody is complaining right

now. I’m the booker of the venue in Nijmegen

and I really believe in the people who

go to the clubs. I believe that they will still

want to come if the VAT on tickets will be increased.

But they start doubting and that’s

a big issue that´s what I’m worried about. I

think people make up their minds and they

think twice before they buy a ticket. Everybody

is angry about this topic.



VIP- News - January 2011

Business News

Manfred Tari

FKP Scorpio Expand into the Northern Europe

Festival Market

A top item of news discussed between delegates

at Eurosonic Noorderslag 2011, was

the move to expand his business activities

into Sweden and Denmark made by FKP

Scorpio MD, Folkert Koopmans.

FKP Scorpio currently employs a team of

60 people and promotes 12 festivals including

Hurricane and Southside, Mera

Luna and Area4. According to Koopmans

the festivals business segment contributes

one-third to the total gross of FKP Scorpio.

The company belongs to the CTS Eventim

group of companies, but since last year

Koopmans again holds the majority share

in his company.

VIP-News: What is your impression of Eurosonic

Noorderslag 2011?

Koopmans: “Briefly, very good as always.

Loads of nice people and new bands, very


VIP-News: Which were your most favourite

bands here?

Koopmans: Dry the River was the favourite.

VIP-News: Everybody is aware that you

have expanded your range of business

activities into the Northern European festival

market with the purchase of Hultsfred

Festival. What made you decide to do this?

Koopmans: Well, I had a look at when

I found out that this festival had gone

bankrupt. Everybody was saying that this

festival won’t happen anymore. But then

I got the opportunity to bid at the official

receiver auction for the brand rights and

the domain, which I got. After that I went

to the city council and did a long term deal

with them; we have set up a 3 year plan to

re-establish the festival.

VIP-News: How did you get Gunnar Lagermann

on board?

Koopmans: I’ve known Gunnar for more

than 20 years. Actually he, Leif Skov, Klaus

Mack and I, among others, belong to

the group that founded Yourope, which

Christof Huber is still running today. Gunnar’s

been out of business for a while. He

wanted to do something different so I

gave him a call and he was very interested

in getting back in.

VIP-News: What will Gunnar’s position be

at the festival?

Koopmans: “We have a production team

and this team will work on Hultsfred

now as well, but as it is in Sweden I need

somebody to run the office in Hultsfred,

so this will be done by Gunnar. Regarding

the booking I will mainly do it, but also in

conjunction with the expertise of Gunnar,

who has the local knowledge. For everything

else, we have a production team. At

the moment we do not have a festival on



VIP- News - January 2011

that weekend. So, I can take up most of my production team to Sweden, when

it comes to producing the festival.”

VIP-News: Will you also promote Hultsfred through your promotion channels

in Germany?

Koopmans: I don’t think so. I mean not particularly as I believe there are

enough festivals in Germany for people can go to. Hultsfred was one of the

leading festivals in Sweden and I would love to make it the leading festival

again. I know that there is some more competition right now but I think this

site is beautiful. I still think that the brand is really strong, everybody knows

the area and the festival name, so I think it must be possible to re-establish

the event.

VIP-News: What is your relationship with Brian Nielson? (MD of Skandinavian

in Denmark)

Koopmans: “We have a long term relationship, because we have been working

together on some acts for a long while and he came up with the idea to

found a new festival in Denmark which I got involved in. This festival we are

really building from scratch, so last year we did 5000 people with local acts.

This year we will have some international acts and we are aiming to reach

10000 this year.”

VIP-News: What’s the name of this festival?

Koopmans: Northside Festival.

VIP-News: So, taking both new business relations into consideration that

means that you are expanding your business into non-German speaking


Koopmans: “Yes, but I think there is not such a big difference between Germany

and Scandinavia. I guess it will be much more difficult to go into Eastern

Europe and promote events over there. I think that Scandinavia is quite simple.

I am relying on good partners as well, like Brian Nielson and Mats Soerenson

from Beatbox, who is partly looking after the booking for the festival

in Denmark.”

VIP-News: You even bought back one percent of your company from CTS Eventim...

Koopmans: No, I didn’t, that’s not true.

VIP-News: Why? But CTS...

Koopmans: Well, you’ll find out later. But yes, CTS gave away their majority on

FKP Scorpio, so that the only thing that I can say on that at the moment….

artist avails ››

Adler’s Appetite

Territory: Europe

Period: 31/8/2011 - 31/12/2011

Agency: ARM Entertainment

Agent: Dana Strutz

Phone: +1 651 483 8754




Territory: Worldwide

Period: 2011

Agency: Georg Leitner Productions

Agent: Nina Pernica

Phone: +43 1 914 8615



Within Temptation

Territory: Worldwide

Period: March 2011 and onwards

Agency: X-Ray Touring

Agent: Paul Bolton

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7749 3500



Groove Armada

Territory: Europe / Worldwide

Period: Worldwide 2011

Agency: WME - William Morris Endeavor


Agent: Steve Hogan




Territory: Europe

Period: March - August

Agency: Vox Artist

Agent: Eivind Brydoy



Martha Reeves and The Vendellas

Territory: Europe

Period: 15/02/2011 - 30/03/2011

Agency: Sport Star Management ApS

Agent: Carsten Hilding Larsen

Phone: +45 4071 7722



VIP-News: What are your expectations for the business season 2011?

Koopmans: You never know but I think it will be the best year ever. We have

scheduled festivals now with the Foo Fighters, Arcade Fire, Blink 182, and we

have tours on with the Foo Fighters, Blink 182, James Blunt, the Gaslight Anthem,

Within Temptation, so I expect it is going to be a good year.

More Artist avails on:

Post your Artist avails on:



VIP- News - August - January 2005 2011

Monthly featured Artist ››



Faroe Island


Hardrock & Metal

Tour period: 2011




Jan Z Management


Jan Zachariassen


Phone: +45 2932 1703


“Dynamic, trippy, fast, outraged, rhythmical, tight… Those are

some of the words I’d use in order to describe this album.” – ROCK


“What more can I say about these mates? They kicked the living

shit out of me and I just can’t stop listening to their debut masterpiece!

If this is their first full-length effort, what the fuck will they

release next? Guys take a close look at these guys, because as it

seems we will be seeing them a lot in the future.”


“This is a highly enjoyable and strong debut, full of promise, and

it will be exciting to see how they manage to build upon it.” – THE


The first and only impression we had was an energetic band who

are truly enjoying their show on stage. With members jumping

around the stage, head banging their dreads non stop, they were

giving it all.” – METALRAGE.COM






LIVE ACTIVITY (Highlights)

• February - May 2009:

1st European Tour / 47 Live Shows in total: Opening act for HATE-

SPHERE (26 dates) / Headliners in the U.K. (15 dates) and Norway (6

dates) / Opened for GOJIRA twice during the tour

• June 2008:

Performed at Sweden’s Metaltown Festival

• Countries Visited: Faroe Islands, UK, Iceland, Greece, Germany,

Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, The Netherlands,

Switzerland, Slovenia, Slovakia, The Czech Republic.



VIP- News - January 2011

Member presentation ››

In this section we offer members of some space to present their company to VIP-News readers.

If you would also like to present your company please contact Peter Briggs at

Big Star Promotion Ltd.

Nick (Loris) Loridas established DIDI Music in 1984 as a record label.

In 1987, with the cooperation of NANA TRANDOU, Big Star Promotion

was created as a department of DIDI Music, specializing in

concert promotion. Gradually, the record release department of

the company has been surpassed by the growing agency sector.

DIDI MUSIC / BIG STAR PROMOTION has made the breakthrough

in the local market, organising events and hosting artists of international

importance. The company is also the exclusive booking

agent for two of our nation’s best selling pop/rock bands arranging

for both bands to tour abroad, something that local groups

rarely have a chance to do. Since 1997, we successfully organise

the ROCKWAVE Festival attracting thousands of people, featuring

great acts and a plethora of other activities. Our festival has always

been devoted to promoting social awareness, having stands

on site giving out brochures and information leaflets concerning

AIDS and the HIV virus, Greenpeace and Amnesty International.

ROCKWAVE Festival, no doubt, contributed in the last few years

to change our country’s image, making it an equal member of the

global music entertainment scene.

BIG STAR PROMOTION is a member of YOUROPE, the most important

union of European festival promoters. Ms Nana Trandou, our

managing director, has been elected in the Board of Directors of

YOUROPE, as well as, leader of the workgroup on the Performance

Royalties Society (PRS). We are also represented in ILMC, the International

Live Music Conference. DIDI MUSIC is established in the

Greek market as the provider of high quality services that guarantee

safety and top the most demanding performing requirements,

through our efforts, commitment and high investments in

exclusive technical and stage equipment.

We are currently developing our company image to strengthen

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About Our Company

VIP-Booking’s core product is the Internet’s oldest and largest database

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developed as a tool for industry professionals. Since it’s

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Today VIP-Booking offers a range of tools for the industry – including

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Please visit for further information.

Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated.




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