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premium ›› Vol. 127 ›› AUGUST 2010

McGowan’s Musings:

Like many of you – although I know a lot

of you are workaholics and rarely take time

off from your efforts of achieving live music

industry domination (!) -. I have been

on holiday, and were you able to see me

you would I’m sure be impressed by my

suntanned and relaxed good looks, but

you’d have to make it quick – the pasty

white chap with the harassed demeanour

will be back in this seat soon! The holiday

was great, I thoroughly recommend the

joys of the Greek island of Ikarea, but not

so the Athens Metro where some light fingered

bastard lifted my wallet on the very

first day!

Oh, and while I’m having a moan - the

seagulls, yes you remember Shitty and his

crew, have been dive bombing people,

and are now a recognised menace as far

inland as London – I’m not making it up,

it’s in the newspapers! I tried to warn them,

but would they listen – These screeching

raptors live on rubbish and refuse and use

newly washed cars as toilets, so this is an

ideal world for them! (Calm down!- Ed.)

Anyway, back to the wonderful world

of live music; for years now many have

Allan McGowan

warned that increasing ticket prices for big

name artists would eventually backfire on

the live sector, though it never quite happened,

now it seems that the chickens have

come home to roost and the US live industry

is struggling this year as a result of ever

increasing ticket prices combining with

the continued impact of the recession. As

a result the giants of the concert industry

are contemplating emptier pockets, their

own, their investors and those of the ticket

buyers. But they are not the victims of pickpockets

on crowded Metros, according to

Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino a drop in

ticket sales is hitting all segments of the

market, “The bottom line across all business,

whether it’s a club or an amphitheatre,

was fewer tickets per show - as you can

tell from Ticketmaster’s industry number,

for them to be down 15-16% across an industry,

that would tell you it would have

to hit all segments of the industry.” Rapino

also warned that the second half to 2010

could be slow. Cheaper tickets seem to be

the order of the day for tat least the rest of

the year. Watch this space

The picture is not looking quite so bad in

the UK, the recently released Adding Up

The UK Music Industry 2009 report from

PRS indicate that Live music revenues have

increased 9.4% to £1.5bn including direct

ticket sales, secondary ticketing and ‘on

the night’ spend. However this increase has

slowed from 2008’s outstanding growth of


Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden believes

years of ticket price hikes are to blame for

the number of major gig cancellations that

have taken place this year, especially in the

US live music market. He is reported as saying,

“It’s a massive commitment to come

to see a band. They [the fans] deserve not

just a great show but they deserve a reasonable

ticket price. Other people have

inflated ticket prices to obscene levels

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VIP- News - August 2010

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Managing Director:

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General Manager:

Peter Briggs

Writer and editorial:

Allan McGowan

and it’s just not right. It’s a rock n roll

show, it’s not a cash cow.”

Although the festival market – with a

few weeks still to go – seems to be faring

reasonably well, Spain’s summer music

festival, Benicassim (FIB), purchased outright

this year by Vince Power, suffered

a 40% slump in attendance this year,

dropping to 127,000 from the record

200,000 at last year’s 15th annual event.

International attendance dropped 10%

and Spain’s economic problems, including

high unemployment, are likely to

have affected Spanish attendance.

Well, after that we should really conclude

the Musings with some festival

good news. A couple of issues back we

reported on the first of the Association

of Independent Festivals twinnings,

pairing Norway’s Bergenfest and Summer

Sundae in Leicester, UK. After the

success of Bergenfest in May, organiser

of its twin, Rob Challice tells me that,

“Summer Sundae went incredibly well.

We had over 17000 attendees over the

weekend. Despite heavy rain on Friday

and Saturday the site held up well. The

sun came out Sunday and we had our

biggest crowd ever for Mumford and


Our Bergenfest twins arrived on Saturday

and had a great time, vowing to be

back next year. All in all a very successful

10th Summer Sundae.”

It’s good to hear about people cooperating

and things going well! So, with

that uplifting thought, Ladies and Gentlemen

- The News!



Festival 2010

Allan McGowan

Having been absent from the international

music market calendar last year,

Popkomm returns to Berlin in September

under the umbrella of Berlin Music


The Popkomm Showcase Festival will

take place in the Berlin suburb of Kreuzberg

on 8 and 9 September 2010. 60

artists and bands will be featured over

the two days at 14 locations on the site

at the legendary Tempelhof Airport in

Berlin as well as in the adjoining neighbourhood.

This year a number of bands that are

appearing at the Showcase Festival can

also be seen on the main festival stage:

Cast of Cheers, De Staat, Jesse, Rich Aucoin,

Spleen United, The Megaphonic

Thrift, Therese Aune and Yes Cadets

will also be on stage on 10 September

at Tempelhof Airport during the Berlin

Festival. The rest of the showcase lineup

features bands from Scandinavia

such as Familjen, I Got You On Tape and

Murmansk, as well as Iiris from Estonia,

Film from Greece, and Budam and The

Ghost from the Faroe Islands.

The Showcase gigs will be available to

Popkomm delegates and tickets Festival

are available to the public for ten

euros. Tickets for the Berlin Festival on

10 and 11 September also entitle holders

to admission to Popkomm on 10


More information:


Manfred Tari

For advertising enquiries pls. contact

Peter Briggs

or +44 870 755 0092


Pekaye Graphics, Phuket – Thailand

Popkomm at Tempelhof



VIP- News - August 2010

Everything is new at Popkomm 2010, new

location, new partnerships, new aspirations,

and a new team. Paul Cheetham has

been appointed to head up the management

of the Showcase Festival. VIP-News

talked to him about this new challenge in

his varied career.

VIP-News: What, briefly, is you background

in the business, I know you’ve worked in

various territories for some time now, was

it always your intention to move around, or

did it just work out that way

Paul Cheetham: I’ve been involved in the

business for almost 20 years as a promoter,

agent and artist manager. I worked in London

for the Mean Fiddler before moving to

Scandinavia 11 years ago and working for

the EMA Telstar group that eventually became

Clear Channel. When it was bought

by Live Nation I left to set up my own management

consultancy and worked as an

advisor for several Finnish artists, including

The Rasmus and The Crash. In summer

2009 I relocated fulltime to Berlin. After a

decade of Nordic darkness I was ready for a

change and Berlin is a city I have always felt

at home in. It’s a great place to be based for

geographical, economic and social reasons

so the move made a lot of sense.

VIP-News: Popkomm has a long, varied and

illustrious history but particularly following

last year’s cancellation this edition is in

many ways an entirely new event. Although

I know you have attended many previous

editions as a delegate, this Popkomm is certainly

new for you in your role as part of the

team. What exactly is your role and how did

you come to take it on

Paul Cheetham: I was recommended to

Popkomm by the guys behind Berlin Festival,

which is one of Popkomm’s partners

under the new Berlin Music Week umbrella.

I saw the offer to work on the event as an

opportunity to try to make a positive contribution.

The job involves all the aspects I enjoy

– live music, promoting, artist development,

and communicating with people all

over the world. Although I was aware there

would be obvious difficulties in bringing

the event back, I accepted this as the kind

of challenge I thrive on. Initially I took the

role of Festival Coordinator on a one-off basis

to help organise the music segment of

Popkomm 2010. As things progressed, I got

more involved, and was able to introduce a

clearer, more defined direction for the festival

to take, and became Festival Manager

with a view to overseeing the overall organisation

and development of the festival into

the near future.

VIP-News: Have you adopted a particular

booking policy for acts appearing at Popkomm,

and as far as you know is this very

different to the way things were arranged

for past editions

Paul Cheetham: We’ve taken a quite radical

approach to the music programme this year

in order to break the perception of what

Popkomm was in the past and to introduce

a concept of what it can be in the future.

As a visitor to previous Popkomm events, I

personally felt it was a sprawling jumble of

parties, gigs, fairs, conferences and events

all over the city which was always great fun

but ultimately difficult to achieve anything

from a business perspective. So now I want

to give the programme a definite epicentre

of usefulness and significance for the visiting

delegates, in order for them to do business

effectively and immediately.

First, the number of slots for Popkomm artists

is drastically reduced to only 60 places.

This gives us the possibility to introduce

firm criteria to raise the quality of artists, as

well as the opportunity to promote each

artist effectively.

Second, these are all showcasing artists

who are in the position of wanting to be

seen and heard in order to find partners

and opportunities to get to the next level in

this, and surrounding, markets.

Third, we are building a festival location

around Tempelhof airport and the vibrant

Kreuzberg neighbourhood of Mehringdamm

and Bergmannstraße that is

new, intriguing, and with endless room

for development. We have some untested

venues and it will be a challenge to fill them,

but I’m confident that over the next couple

of years these venues and this location will

give Popkomm the strong new identity it

needs to have.

Other major differences this year are that

Popkomm is tied closely with Berlin Festival

as our live music partner, incorporating

some of our artists on to the Berlin Festival

programme, as well as everything being

promoted under the umbrella of Berlin Music

Week, which aims to bring together the

diverse energies within Berlin and is a very

positive direction.

VIP-News: Are you dealing mainly with

agencies, managements, artists or export

offices, or is it a mixture - Are Sonicbids involved

at all How are the acts selected

Paul Cheetham

Paul Cheetham: There is lots of talk with

the music export offices and similar organisations,

as they are particularly important

to the structure of Popkomm. But overall

it has been a complete mixture. Sonicbids

is an official partner this year and we also



VIP- News - August 2010

selected artists through the Sonicbids

system, as practically all events do. I have

involved the local showcase partners in selecting

the final line-up for their events, so

VISIONS magazine, Karrera Klub, Nordic By

Nature, for example, were all given a shortlist

of appropriate acts for them to choose

their final line-ups from. That helps in terms

of promoting each event.

VIP-News: Will the festival be aiming at attracting

punters as well as professionals,

and if so are you booking established acts

as attractions, alongside newer ‘export

ready’ talent

Paul Cheetham: The showcases will start

at the airport venues in the afternoon and

extend into the evening using some of the

other venues in the area and will be targeted

at both delegates and members of the public.

Delegates are, of course, able to access

any showcase event and we are allowing

anyone who has purchased a Berlin Festival

ticket to get into the Popkomm showcases

for no additional charge, otherwise there

will be a 2-day combi-ticket available for an

advance price of only 10 euros, all subject

to venue capacity. We want to help people

discover these new artists in this new location

and have created an easy environment

in which to do that.

Essentially, though, we want the showcase

festival to be about generating business for

all those participating. Ideally, every artist

will go away with real results to show for

their efforts and we need to involve the

delegates as much as possible to be able to

achieve that.

When it comes to bigger, more established

acts then it made sense for us to let Berlin

Festival take the lead and not get in the

way of them building the strongest line-up

available and for us to benefit by becoming

a sort of feeder event for their festival. We

arranged an excellent situation where we

are able to include eight Popkomm artists

on the Berlin Festival line-up, which has

received very positive feedback. Working

with Berlin Festival has been a highlight

and I’m looking forward to continuing that

relationship in future as I see a lot of possibilities

to grow Popkomm alongside it in

the way people would appreciate.

VIP-News: Are you finding this work very

different to your previous experience

Paul Cheetham: The job perhaps involves

more lines of communication than anything

I’ve done before so information has

been flying at all angles. Popkomm is a big

name and attracts massive interest from all

over the world so getting on top of all that

has been overwhelming at times and I must

develop an effective system to handle the

increased workload. Otherwise, the work

involves all the things I have experience in.

VIP-News: What do you think a successful

appearance at this event can do for the career

of a new, or even established, act, and

do you think Popkomm and other showcase




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VIP- News - August 2010

events are now an established and useful

part of the live industry

Paul Cheetham: The aim with the shaowcase

festival is definitely to create a platform

for artists to benefit from their appearances.

It is essential that they achieve their

goals and Popkomm can develop its own

success stories from that.

These kinds of events have become increasingly

crucial to the business. The perfect

showcase event should be a combination

of a high concentration of talented acts

and a dense presence of effective decisionmakers

from the business, all taking place

in a compact, user-friendly environment.

VIP-News: Are there any parts of the programme

that you are particularly looking

forward to, and is there anything else you’d

like to mention

Paul Cheetham: I am particularly pleased

to be able to involve some strong local partners

in the programme, such as Four Artists

- one of Berlin’s premier booking agencies,

and Karrera Klub – the Kreuzberg kings of

indie-disco club promoting. Canadian Blast

is always sensational. I’m delighted with

the inclusion of The Great Escape and ways

we can cooperate at each other’s events in

future, and we have a very impressive load

of Scandinavian acts that I am a big fan of

already. But my time will be spent meeting

as many people as possible and showing

them around the location, explaining the

plans we have to develop things next year

and getting their feedback.

Between now and Popkomm 2011 we will

continue to build personal relationships

with all those we wish to cooperate with on

a local, national, and international level and

work on ways to continuously freshen the

Popkomm brand in the eyes of the industry

and audience. For example, we are planning

a monthly Popkomm club night in Berlin for

some of the new artists we hope to bring

in next year, as well as taking this concept

to partnering showcase events around the

world in future. This year of transition is a

perfect opportunity to try new ideas and

put well thought-out plans into action.

For more information and updates

check the Popkomm Showcase Festival

blog at:

Follow on Twitter at:

Paul Cheetham - Festival Manager



VIP- News - August 2010



VIP- News - August 2010

New visitor record for M’era Luna Festival

Manfred Tari

For the first time the FKP Scorpio promoted

M’era Luna Festival attracted 24.000

visitors. The festival is well liked by fans

of so-called Gothic and Dark Wave music

and takes place at the Drispenstedt airport

near Hildesheim.

The festival has two stages and was headlined

this year by acts such as Unheilig,

The Sisters of Mercy, In Extremo and Placebo.

The first edition of M’era Luna was

in 2000. It is remarkable that the festival

billing offers a wide range of various music

genres that seem to meet the interest

of this target group. In particular this

audience is pretty much into styling and

fashion, and it could almost be said that

the festival is a sort of beauty contest for

people into high heels, latex & leather

and other fashion items, as long as they

are in predominately in black. Besides

the line up and the fashion extravaganza

a medieval market completes the basic

configuration of this festival.

The dates for M’era Luna 2011 are August

13th & 14th.

For more information please check:



VIP- News - August 2010

Loveparade 2010 – Dimensions of a Disaster

Manfred Tari

The facts are horrifying and inescapable; 21 fatalities and more than

500 people injured at Loveparade in Duisburg, Germany, one of the

biggest tragedies in the history of live entertainment events.

The July 24 event on is understandably still attracting extensive

media attention as the latest reactions and new information about

the tragedy are examined. The disaster is still moving minds and

moods in an incomparable manner. Shortly after the event the

main question was how did this happen and who was responsible

for this tragedy. With are no clear answers to these questions yet

the situation still appears to be something of a witch-hunt. There

have been many politicians, officials, even promoters, normal citizens,

bloggers and journalists that have put forward their opinions

of what happened.

Some of those directly involved fear legal consequences and have

more or less stopped saying anything, as they know that it is likely

that every statement could lead to accusations against them.

There is no lack of people making accusations and apportioning

blame for what happened. There are many self appointed prosecutors

and sometimes it seems that majority of these are not aware

of their lack of feeling for the friends and relatives of those killed

and injured.

Shortly after those directly involved with the running of the event,

Lopavent, the police, the fire brigade and the local authorities in

Duisburg started to accuse each other. One of the very few facts

that has become evident is that the entrance situation on the site

wasn’t properly managed. The audience were intended to enter

the site via one tunnel and a ramp, while a second ramp just a few

meters away supposed to be used as an emergency exit was obviously

closed and these factors, in combination with communication

failures created a death trap for those trying to enter the site.

It is still not known what went wrong in the communication chain,

neither is it clear who was in charge of logistical decisions before

and during the event. So far only Carsten Walter, a psychologist

acting as the crowd manager in charge, admitted responsibility

and told the news magazine Spiegel, that it took him 45 minutes to

get hold of a decision maker at the relevant police unit.

in Duisburg covers about 300.000 square meters. After very early

announcements that approximately 1.4 million visitors were expected

to visit Loveparade, three weeks after the event the mayor

of Duisburg Adolf Sauerland told the news magazine Spiegel, that

the actual number had been much lower. In the current statement

he said that he had been asked by Lopavent to announce the 1.4

million visitor figure for marketing reasons.

Several politicians demanded that Sauerland should resign, but

the mayor claims he would like to complete internal investigations

before taking steps concerning his own position. He has been

sharply criticized for this approach. Other sources says that he is

not resigning to avoid defaulting on a law that would mean the

loss of his pension entitlements if he were to step down from his

post as mayor.

Rainer Schaller, the owner of McFit, a chain of gym studios, bought

the Loveparade brand in 2006 from the former promoter Planetcom

in Berlin, then founded Lopavent to be the company that then

promoted the event. In 2007 the event was moved from Berlin to

Essen in the Ruhr district in West Germany. McFit became the main

sponsor for a Loveparade projected to have a production budget

of around 3 million Euros. The move to Essen was linked to the

RUHR2010, the name for the European capital for culture 2010 in

the Ruhr district. The original plan foresaw that five cities within

the Ruhr district would become Loveparade hosts. The 2008 edition

took place in Dortmund, while in 2009 the city of Bochum

cancelled the event due to safety concerns. Dieter Gorny, head of

the German IFPI branch and also one of four creative directors for

the RUHR2010 was one of the leading proponents in brining the

Loveparade to the Ruhr district.

Currently official investigations are still ongoing. Although many

details have been reported in the media, the entire picture is still

not not clear. But several politicians are already demanding new

regulations for health & safety laws for public events.

As a result, it is to be expected that the German live music industry

will directly or indirectly, soon or later, be affected by the follow up

of the Loveparade tragedy.

Walter, together with a subordinate police offer, was sitting in an

office container on the ramp near to the place where the people

died. From the container Walter apparently tried to direct the flow

of people entering the tunnel before progressing to the event location

via the ramp. The police officer simply had no walkie-talkie

with him, as communication between the crowd manager and the

police at the tunnel entrance was supposed to be being conducted

via cell phones. But as more and more people arrived at the site,

the cell phone network collapsed.

But this seemed to be only one aspect in a row of various factors

that combined to lead to the tragedy. The location for the

Loveparade, a former freight yard just next to the central station

Loveparade 2010



VIP- News - August 2010

The 2011 ediTion is

my 25Th birThdAy!

Are you Coming To

my pArTy



The European music conference

and showcase festival

25th Anniversary edition - focus on The netherlands

The European

Border Breaker



The European

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GRONINGEN Conference




Conference registrations

The conference registrations for EuroSonic Noorderslag

are now available. The early bird registration is

available till 18th of June 2010.

Artist submissions

Showcase applications are available through and

Deadline for application is 1st of September 2010



VIP- News - August 2010

Market Features

In response to various requests VIP-News will in future include occasional European Market Features.

Here is the first – we hope you find it interesting and useful.

Please let us know if there are territories that you’d particularly like to see covered.


Allan McGowan

With a population of approximately 7.8 million

people, Switzerland is one of the richest

countries in the world. The main cities

Zürich and Geneva have respectively been

ranked as the cities with the second and

third highest quality of life in the world.

Switzerland has a somewhat unique make

up, comprising three main linguistic and

cultural regions, German, French, and Italian,

plus the Romansh-speaking valleys,

and is a federal republic consisting of 26

cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal

authorities. As such the Swiss people

do not form a nation in the usual sense of

a common ethnic or linguistic identity, but

there is a long history of cooperation, the

establishment of the Swiss Confederation

is traditionally dated to 1 August 1291.

In music terms then Switzerland displays

quite a unique picture, with artists from

the French speaking area rather tending

to seek their audiences in neighbouring

France, whilst acts in the German language

area address their efforts to the

German market. This seems to be quite

typical for Switzerland and is also mirrored

in something known as the ‘Röstigraben’,

a language divide between the Romands

(French speaking Swiss) and the German

speaking Swiss.

In the last couple of years the downsizing

of the local subsidiaries of major record

companies has lead to an erosion of opportunities

for domestic repertoire causing

major concerns within the Swiss Music

Community. These fears are especially

prevalent in the French language part of

Switzerland, more so than in the German

speaking area of the country, following

the closure of both the EMI and Warner

Music offices in Geneva. Sony Music still

retains an office in Lausanne as does Universal

in Geneva, but effectively these are

now just smaller promotion units. All main

branches of the record companies are

based in Zurich.

A Land of Festivals:

However, as in most other European markets,

it’s the live music industry that still

generally appears to be in good shape,

buoyed up mainly by the festival market.

Switzerland is light heartedly referred to

as a land of mountains, cheese and cuckoo

clocks, but in live music industry terms we

may just as well describe it as a land of festivals.

Christof Huber, organiser of Open

Air St. Gallen and also Secretary General

of Yourope, the pan European festivals association,

told me that he would put the

number of festivals staged in Switzerland

at around 300, this includes the eleven major

events (see box) but does not include

a substantial number of locally organised

City and town events.

Avo Session Basel, Basel

Blue Balls Festival, Lucerne

Caribana Festival, Crans / Nyon

Greenfield Festival, Interlaken

Gurtenfestival, Bern

Nox Illuminata, Basel

Open-Air St.Gallen

Open Air Frauenfeld

Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux

Paléo Festival, Nyon

Verbier Festival, Verbier

Audiences tend to stick to the events in

their own sectors, which could provide

some explanation for the large number of

events across the whole country. Antonin

Rousseau from Festi Concept, organisers

of the Festineuch Festival in Neuchatel in

the French sector, comments, “ Swiss cultural

life has to deal with a complex geographical

situation. What could been seen

as a constraint is actually an advantage: a

stunning variety of musical productions

are coming to life in a small but so diversified


Antoni Rousseau

Being located in a land of mountains lends

some spectacular backdrop to the festivals;

one of the smaller events, Caprices,

for instance, is a four-day event presenting

all styles of music, artists as diverse as

Robert Plant, Texas, Morcheeba and Deep

Purple have played the event, located in

the French sector in the ski resort of Crans-



VIP- News - August 2010

Montana in the Swiss Alps. More than 80

artists play on three live stages and two

clubs with DJs playing all night. The main

club at the top of the slopes is 2,200 meters

high with a view of the highest mountains

of Europe.

St. Gallen (in the German sector) was down

on last year’s attendance this year, but still

averaged 24,000 people on each of the

four days. Christof Huber says, “We had

good weather, but we were up against

other events like Sonisphere, which was

only a week before, and the World Cup had

Andy Locher

some effect. Also we had been instructed

to introduce a new limit on the amount of

drink that people could bring on site and

that led to a certain group of people trying

to veto the festival! Our other smaller 2 day

event, Summer Days at Arbon by the Lake

of Constance, August 27-29, will sell out,

10,000 people will attend each day.”

»All 3 of our festivals again

sold out in advance in 2010«

- Andy Locher

The Open Air Frauenfeld Hip-Hop event

did particularly well this year. Andy Locher

of Frauenfeld organisers Pleasure Productions

says, “We were always very much

focused on festivals and with the Openair

Frauenfeld becoming the biggest Swiss

festival seen from the capacity of 50,000

visitors, and also becoming the biggest

European Hiphop-festival, we are more

than happy. We are also more than satisfied

with our 2 other festivals, Heitere Openair

Zofingen and Openair Lumnezia– all 3

of our festivals again sold out in advance

in 2010.”

The Paleo-Festival in Nyon on Lake Geneva

is regarded as one of the best festivals in

Europe. The festival sells the majority of its

tickets in Switzerland and France. About

4400 volunteers, mainly from Nyon and

neighbouring towns, work within the production

of the event. The managing director

of this very exceptional festival, Daniel

Rossellat even became the mayor of Nyon.

This year’s event took place on 20 - 25 July,

and yields some interesting facts and figures:

Budget: CHF 22,200,000, 230,000

spectators, 1532 artists and technicians, 6

stages, 195 concerts and shows attended

by 525 accreditated press representatives.

The Paleo team combined to answer some

VIP questions about the current state of

the market: “There are perhaps too many

festivals in Switzerland, however things



VIP- News - August 2010

went very well this year for us, selling out

months before doors open (150,000 tickets

sold in 20 minutes on April 21st 2010,

230,000 spectators in total). Some other

festivals, big, middle or small sized had

some problems selling tickets. Paléo has a

strong identity and it’s very well rooted in

its region. The average price for one night

at the Festival is CHF 55. - That is 35% less

than the average ticket price.”

So, the festival market generally appears

buoyant, although there are those urging

caution and warning against complacency.

Andy Locher says, “Most of the festivals

still do very well, specially those who have

a strong fan base and who do not rely only

on the lineup but also take care about the

punter. Of course there are a lot of festivals

in our small country and I am also pretty

sure that only those who are ready and capable

to build their festival up from year

to year will have success – there is no “fast

money” in our business.

The State of the Market:

The single, one-headliner, open air shows

and the indoor shows are perhaps not doing

as well, it seems that there’s too much

activity in the market. As we all know the

live industry is currently facing problems

in certain sectors and particularly in certain

territories; the US and some European

territories are suffering due to the economic

downturn. We asked a few professionals

for their view of the overall state of

the market in Switzerland at the moment:

Francois Biollay of Metropop Festival and

Sold Out Productions comments, “Clearly

there are too many events, festivals, etc.

The first cancellations and bankruptcies

are coming. The festivalgoers’ agenda is as

full as their bank account is empty. Thus,

some promoters still pay too high fees to

get the band from their competitors. This

increases the ticket prices and empties the

venues. We also have to face cancelled

events (Eros Ramazotti in Vevey, Prince in

Geneva) because of poor selling. I think it’s

mainly due to too many events combined

with too high ticket prices rather than economic

downturn effects.”

»Clearly there are too many

events, festivals, etc. The first

cancellations and bankruptcies

are coming. The festivalgoers’

agenda is as full as their bank

account is empty«

- Francois Biollay

Antonin Rousseau is somewhat more upbeat

about the situation, “It is indeed a fact

that the current economic situation has

had some challenging effects on many industry

sectors. However, in Switzerland, the

artistic production branch has managed to

maintain itself to a good level. We had some

fears in 2009 that, due to the bad economy,

the spend per festival visitor would decrease

in 2010 but it didn’t happen. We tend

to believe that the households are rather

limiting their spending on more important

purchases, vacations, cars etc, but are not

willing to save on local culture.”

The members of the Paleo Team are cautious:

“The Swiss market is probably facing

the same economic problems as elsewhere.

CD sales are weaker every year.

Regarding shows, this year, some major

events, in particular single shows, didn’t

sell as well as they used to. The prices are

quite high: average price for a single show

went from an average of CHF 64.- to CHF

85.- in the past five years.

Being more concerned with local acts and

the local market, booker Stefan Schurter of

Deep Dive Music sees obvious changes in

record sales, but thinks that the live sector

remains reasonably steady: “It is still possible

to book many shows with a Swiss artist

and sell lots of tickets; the only change I

see, is that it got harder to start with a newcomer

band. It needs much more effort, as

the international concurrence is much bigger

than it was a few years ago. And that’s

exactly what changed the most: there are

many more international artists looking

for shows in Switzerland, I think. The quality

level of these artists is also much higher

than it was in the past. Some of these artists

now perform at much smaller venues

than they probably did in the past.”

Andy Locher says, “You mostly see some

influence in headline shows/indoor-shows.

The visitor will maybe not see the same act

2-3 times in a couple of years, so promoters

should take care while booking the

same act yearly. And you have to be very

focused on the potential of your artists, as

not all the bigger headliners still work as

they did for many years. While young visitors

are still buying tickets, I am pretty sure

that older visitors think twice.” Francis Biollay

agrees with Andy regarding major acts

overplaying the country, “There’s certainly

enough headliners coming to Switzerland.

The problem is that some of them begin

to be ‘residents’. I cannot remember how

many gigs Pink! played in Switzerland over

the last 12 months. The audience is tired of

seeing the same artists so often.”

Club Circuit:

Francois Biollay

While local communities and cantons

seem to get behind popular music activi-



VIP- News - August 2010

ties there seems to be a lack of support on

a federal level. Sponsorship still appears to

be available for the club and middle-sized

venue circuit. The Paleo People report: “A

lot of clubs get subsidies from the state,

mostly from the cities and the local authorities.

Sponsorship is still available in

Switzerland, but we notice some decrease

in their outlay.” Stefan Schurter thinks the

clubs are still doing well, although as he

says, “There are too many good bands on

the road, so it’s harder for people to chose

what they want to see and where they

want to spend the money. There is still lots

of money from the state involved; I don’t

know about the sponsors though as I am

not a club-owner. But I see from the bands

view, that there IS sponsorship at the venues.”

There are numerous live music clubs in

Switzerland, we name check only a few interesting

venues – see box.

the business, even if subsidies are far less

than in France and sponsorship decreased

during the crisis. Young people still go out

at least once a week in main cities, Zurich

obviously, but also Lausanne, Bern, etc.

Developing Local Talent:

As far as the local market and new talent

is concerned local communities and cantons

seem to get behind popular music

activities, although it’s still difficult for acts

to cross over into the different language

areas. However there seems to be a lack

of support on a federal level. Also there

aren’t that many music magazines in Switzerland,

apart from Rockstar and Daily-, so it is mainly the radio stations

like DRS3, DRS Virus, Radio Rumantsch,

Rete Tre and Couleur3 that promote Swiss

talents. All these stations combine to run an online portal with streams and

online libraries for bands, venues and festivals.

dynamic, in every region and on every

level. A lot of smaller bands could make it

in the international market, My Heart Belongs

To Cecilia Winter, for example.

This year’s Swiss Music Awards held in

March recognises international and national

successes; the national top album

awards went to Lovebugs, Stefanie Heinzmann

and Yello (not exactly new talent,

having been around for 30 years or more!).

The Best Newcomers Awards went to: Bucher

& Schmid – Isziit Liricas Analas – Analectrica

Pegasus – Heroes & Champions,

and the Jury Prize went to: Big Zis, Filewile

and Heidi Happy.

»They are definitely

export-ready when it comes

to the quality - we never had

so many brilliant and

young Swiss artists before«

- Andy Locher

X-Tra, Zürich

Kaufleuten, Zürich

Abart, Zürich

Bierhübeli, Bern

Reitschule, Bern

Kaserne Basel

Fri-Son, Fribourg

Les Docks, Lausanne

Mascotte Zürich

Labor Bar Zürich

Schüür Lausanne

Kofmehl Solothurn

Salzhaus Winterthur

Grabenhalle St.Gallen

Usine Genève

Andy Locher observes that sponsorship is

still available for bigger venues and festivals

but smaller clubs have major problems

in finding funds, as he says, “Local media

will support them, but not with cash. Additionally

in my opinion the clubs suffer

from several and increasing showcases

with free entrance, supported by sponsors,

media and labels: we all, including

artist managements, should take care that

particularly smaller concerts do not become

‘goods with no value’ as happened

in the last years to the record industry.”

Francois Biollay is upbeat about this sector,

“This is probably the healthiest part of

Antonin Rousseau says, “ Current musical

trends are not widely represented in festivals

compared to other territories. Switzerland

has definitely taken more time

than other countries to understand the

importance of support to export and artists’

management. Since 2003, Swiss Music

Export (

has gathered several music support organizations

and is striving to promote Swiss

music outside of Switzerland. This is starting

to pay off and we can now see Swiss

artists such as Sophie Hunger getting a

name at a European level.” However, as far

as we understand The Swiss Music Export

office currently only has a budget of about

400.000 Swiss Francs and have two offices,

one in Nyon for the French speaking community

and one in Zurich for the German

language community.

Our Paleo People are optimistic about the

local market: “It’s growing and growing.

We have probably more than ever ‘exportready’

artists. Sophie Hunger is doing very

well in Europe, France, Germany and elsewhere;

she played at Glastonbury this year.

The Young Gods are still touring all over

Europe and some French Chanson artists

are doing quite well in France. The market

is still very small in Switzerland, but Europe

is big enough! The scene in general is very

Andy Locher comments, “In every small

country it is very difficult for a local act

to live out of music – specially if they

are only playing within Switzerland or in

their language-part of Switzerland. But

there are some Swiss acts who are not

only focusing on the Swiss market and

have a certain success and many shows

abroad. They are definitely export-ready

when it comes to the quality – we never

had so many brilliant and young Swiss

artists before.” Stefan Schurter agrees, “I

really think we have lots of great artists

that should discover the world. But it’s

not easy to get out of the market, being

surrounded by big markets like Germany

and France for example, nobody is sitting

there waiting for the Swiss bands unfortunately,

but I have the impression that

there are more bands exported than a

few years ago.”

Francois Biollay has a slightly different

opinion, “There’s very few Swiss artists

‘export-ready’, because they often have

to play music as a hobby and not as a job.

However alternative clubs with capacity

around 300-400p can work well with local

artists. I think it’s almost half of their booking.

For bigger clubs, you need international

artists, even if it’s a newcomer.”



VIP- News - August 2010

Present and Future:

To conclude this relatively brief overview

of the Swiss market we asked our commentators

to give us an idea of how business

is for them today, and how they think

things may be in the near future:

The Paléo People : “Things went very well

this year, as they did in the past ten years.

Business was much the same, but still, we

are aware that the economic crisis could

hurt us as well. Our low price policy makes

us one of the cheapest open-air events in

Switzerland. We work very hard to welcome

our audience in a comfortable and

nice looking site. We also try to innovate

with new projects every year. That is part

of what makes us what we are.

We can feel around us that a crisis has occurred.

Unemployment in Switzerland is

around 4%, which is high for Switzerland,

but quite low compared to other European

countries. We can sense that sponsors

had budget cuts, but the situation is not

dramatic. We will work hard on keeping

our low prices in order to offer our spectators

a nice cultural and social moment in

a beautiful atmosphere. In general, some

events may disappear, some other will

probably emerge.”

Stefan Schurter: “Things have got much

faster I think. I get more and more emails

with the request to answer within only a

few hours, it gets more and more shortterm

on making decisions, and on the other

hand, instead of booking shows only 2-3

months in advance, I am actually booking

them up to a year in advance. There’s too

many artists touring in all markets at the

moment, trying to make up for the shortfall

in record sales, they’re not selling enough

tickets to continue financing the touring. I

think the market will shrink and with less

on the road then each one will gain value

and will sell more tickets again.”

Francis Biollay: “My business as booker

for Soldout Productions and Metropop

Festival is doing well: For some time now

Stefan Schurter

I have been able to let a band pass if the

fees goes too high because of local competition:

our policy is to keep a low ticket

price for our young audience. This was a



VIP- News - August 2010

long term policy, and it begins to pay now

so that all will be well in the future!

Andy Locher: “Business has been even

better from year to year in the past 7 years

– we could never have expected that.”

Andy expresses an attitude to his future

business which seems to also apply to the

country, “As long as we remain focused

on that what we can do, as long as we

know the market and punter, as long as

we don’t want to do everything and as

long as we love our job and the music, I

personally see a bright future for us! Antonin

Rousseau concludes in a similarly

positive vein, “Even though Swiss music

is not a key player on the international

market, it has a lot to offer and is eager to

let itself be widely known. Switzerland is

not a country with a big export tradition

yet but it is exciting to think that it could

become one...




VIP- News - August 2010

Live Music in Shares

Manfred Tari

Live Nation and CTS Eventim Report

Half Year Results

CTS Eventim grows:

The German company declares itself to

be the leading player on the European

ticketing market. Within the preliminary

business report for the first half-year of

2010 CTS Eventim reported growth figures

for all of its business segments. The

turnover rose from 249 million Euros in

the same period one year ago to 270.9

million Euro. The Earnings before Interests

and Taxes went up from 35.3 to 38.2

million Euro as well as the Earnings before

Interests, Taxes, Depreciation and

Amortisation (EBITDA), which increased

from 39.5 to 43.9 million Euro. The Company

furthermore reported profit figures

being a little lower than they would have

been normally, as a result of the acquisitions

of Ticketcorner and See Tickets.

Over the period of the last six months the

share price almost maintained a price

level of 36.60 Euros. In mid July the share

hit a peak of almost 43 Euro but dropped

quickly to 36.45 Euro on July 20. On the

day the preliminary business report was

release the share price went down from

37.10 to 36.50 Euros.

Purchase of See Tickets by CTS

Eventim is Scrutinised:

The German competition commission

will review the July take over of See

Tickets Germany from See Tickets International

by CTS Eventim. The Federal

Cartel Office has now approached the

Company requesting detailed information

on the deal.

Once again the company declared that

the key drivers for the positive results of

its ticketing division were online sales

and the ongoing international expansion

policy. In particular the company

reported strong growth in tickets sold

via the internet. While in H2-2009 CTS

Eventim sold 5.7 million tickets online,

this time it is already 7.4 million tickets.

The turnover for this sector rose from

67.1 to 81.5 million Euro, as did the EBIT

from 18.7 up to 19.9 million Euros and the

EBITDA from 21.9 to 24.5 million Euros.

In the first six months the Live Entertainment

division of CTS Eventim gained

a turnover of 192.8 million compare

to 183.4 million in H2-2009. The EBIT

reached a level of 18.3 million Euros,

with the EBITDA at 19.3 million Euros.

CTS Eventim announced that for the ongoing

business year the company would

continue to develop its internet ticketing

business and to maintain its growth policy

with further acquisitions in Germany

and abroad. The complete business report

will be published on August 26.

The Company declared that it is confident

that the acquisition of See Ticket

Germany does not cause any conflict

with German take over laws. CEO Klaus-

Peter Schulenberg commented on

the investigations: “We are confident

that, after detailed examination of all

the facts, the Federal Cartel Office will

reach the same conclusion as we did.”

CTS Eventim paid 145 million Euro for

See Tickets Germany. The deal included

the companies Ticket Online Software

GmbH, Ticket Online Sales & Service

Center GmbH and Ticket Online Polska

Sp zoo in Poland.

Live Nation Loss Widens:

Once again reporting a loss Live Nation

faces tough business results. While the

first half-year results after the merger

show an increase in turnover from $1.532

to $1.989 billion, the turnover figures of

the second quarter 2010 (Q2-2010) reveal

a decline of about 9.7 percent from

$1.402 in Q2 2009 down to $1.266 billion.



VIP- News - August 2010

In Q2 Live Nation reported a revenue decline in all of its business segments.

The Concerts business unit turnover dropped from $924.8 to $859.5 million,

and the division Artist Nation only gained $88.8 compared to $107.7 million,

the same goes for the Ticketing department down from $308.3 to $264.1 million.

The turnover result for Sponsorship went down only $1.1 million from

$39.9 to $38.8 million. The result for E-Commerce shrunk from $21.1 to $18.9


The overall net loss for H2 2010 increased from $27.19 to $34.61 million. Since

the merger Live Nation has had to cope with long-term net debts of $1.692 billion,

long term deferred incomes taxes of $200.80 million and other long-term

liabilities of $195.63 million.

Nevertheless Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation explained “Our second

quarter results were in line with our plan and financial guidance for the full

year.” But he also stated in reference to the results: “Our performance to date

reflects the impact of the uncertain economy on consumers, offset in part

by our efforts to aggressively promote, price and expand access to concerts

across our global platform.”

The share is already under pressure on the stock market; on April 26 it stood at

$16.9 it is now (August 19) at $9.09.

DEAG Launches Joint Venture with Sony Music Germany:

DEAG and Sony Music Germany have set up a new company named Gold Entertainment.

The company will focus on so called Schlager and Volksmusik.

Each company held a 50 percent stake in the new company that intends to

promote concerts within the market for these two genres in Austria, Switzerland

and Germany. As DEAG declared, Gold Entertainment needs the approval

of the cartel authorities, but the economic dimensions of this joint venture

are certainly less in danger of being challenged by the Federal Cartel Office

than the takeover of See Tickets by CTS Eventim

The link back to Sony Music will be via the record label Ariola that will feed

Gold Entertainment with artists. In addition to this Gold Entertainment acquired

a 66.6% percent stake in the Manfred Hertlein Veranstaltungs GmbH

. Hertlein, in business for 30 years, reported a turnover of 12 million Euro in

2009. Hertlein committed himself to remaining as managing director within

his former company.

The DEAG share benefited from the news and since the beginning of August

gained a plus of 0.23 Euro from 2.01 up to 2.24 Euro.

artist avails ››

Within Temptation

Territory: Worldwide

Period: March 2011 and onwards

Agency: X-Ray Touring

Agent: Paul Bolton

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7749 3500



Darko Rundek

Territory: Europe

Period: Autumn 2010 - Summer 2011

Agency: Menart

Agent: Maja Valjak

Phone: +385 91 2333 507




Territory: Europe

Period: 01/07/2010 - 31/12/2010

Agency: Artist Agency

Agent: Bart Quintens

Phone: +32 1677 7670



Sass Jordan

Territory: Europe

Period: February / March 2011

Agency: Paperclip Agency

Agent: Hilde Spille

Phone: +31 24 323 9322



Skid Row

Territory: Europe

Period: 6/12/2010 - 31/12/2010

Agency: ARM Entertainment

Agent: Dana Strutz

Phone: +1 651 483 8754




Territory: Worldwide

Period: Generally available

Agency: ABS Agency

Agent: Nigel Kerr

Phone: +44 208 399 3474



More Artist avails on:

Post your Artist avails on:



VIP- News - August - August 2005 2010

notice board ››

Another new service in the improved and redesigned VIP-News is the Notice-board, which is available for all readers.

Reader’s messages will be posted on the Notice-board as a free service, passing on announcements, job postings, buying

and selling notices, inquiries or alike. Announcements should be emailed to

Norwich Sound & Vision Music Festival

16 - 18 September 2010

Norwich Sound & Vision 2010 is taking place for the first time on

16-18 September 2010. The event is a conference featuring expert

speakers from the music, film, TV and games industries, as well as

live music, film screenings and other interactive performances.

Ever heard of the music and film conference called SXSW in Austin,

Texas Well, think of S&V as a taster…in Norwich. Norwich is bursting

at the seams with new music and film (to name but a few art

forms). We’re lucky to have a unique community playing host to a

plethora of multimedia based artistry, so why not have a convention

based at the heart of it

We have a stellar line up of expert speakers who will be covering a

range of topics such as ‘How to get your music licensed to Film, TV,

adverts and video games’, ‘How to use the digital services available

to distribute your creative content to the world’ and ‘How to

make a living from music’. For a full line up visit the conference

page in our website at

Delegate passes, priced £35 (£25 for AIM, BPI, MMF or MPA members

or those in full time education) are available from our website or from Norwich Arts Centre

S&V will provide a platform for those of you who are involved (or

would like to be) with the multimedia channels mentioned above.

You’ll get the opportunity to listen, engage and perhaps mosey

around with labels, promoters, press, internet media peeps and

artists who are coming to Norwich.

If learning how to get your music licensed in film/TV is your bag or

even how to get your band out on the touring and festival circuit,

those are just a couple of the subjects open to discussion with our

delectable roster of panellists from across the music/radio/film/

multimedia industry.

Come and meet like-minded individuals, bands/musicians, record

labels, filmmakers, designers, writers and anyone with an interest

in multimedia industries. Those of you that just want to learn

something new - embrace your inner mind’s sponge, be inspired

and have a fantastic time on us.

Norwich Sound & Vision Conference Day

The full conference day at Norwich Sound & Vision takes place on

Saturday 18 September 10am - 4.45pm at Norwich Arts Centre.

Email us at

Phone us on 01603 628367

We are very excited to begin announcing the line up of acts

performing over the three days in Norwich. There will be

gigs each night at Norwich Arts Centre and at various venues

across the city. Bands confirmed include:

Here We Go Magic

Dinosaur Pile-Up

Serena Maneesh

The Kabeedies


The Miserable Rich

The Lost Levels

Sargasso Trio


Fever Fever


These Ghosts



VIP- News - August 2010

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


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About Our Company

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

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