McGowan's Musings: The VIP-Booking european live entertainment ...

McGowan's Musings: The VIP-Booking european live entertainment ...

VIP- News

premium ›› Vol. 122 ›› FEBRUARY 2010

McGowan’s Musings:

Shall we start with another seagull story -

you all know how much I love these nasty

screaming rats of the sky don’t you How

about this for a headline –‘Seagull Eats

Brighton Man’s Roof!’. Recently in an effort

to convince the rain that it’s not welcome

in my bathroom, I had a thick silicone rubber

type of coating liberally applied to the

firewall which adjoins the flat roof over

my bathroom to fill the many cracks (well,

what do you expect in something 150 years

old) which appeared to have been aggravated

by too much snow, ice and rain. Job

done – all that remained was to let it dry,

apply a coat of paint, and hopefully look

forward to a leak free bathroom – but no –

this was not to be! The following morning

I look out of the window and, bold as you

like, stands Shitty the Seagull with a great

chunk of my very expensive roof coating

hanging out of it’s beak – with a ‘shall I eat

this, or waterproof the nest with it’ look in

its horrible beady eyes! Who wants to buy

one of my ‘Cull a Gull for Jesus’ T –shirts!

Allan McGowan

Anyway, sorry about that rant – I feel

slightly better now, so on with what’s happened

in the live music industry since the

last News. Generally the biggest news is

that we now have a new name at the top

end of the corporate sector of the business

– ladies and Gentlemen – welcome ‘Live

Nation Entertainment, Inc’! After months

of will they, won’t they, giants Live Nation

and Ticketmaster were finally given the go

ahead to plight their troth with a merger,

the Companies reached agreements with

the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and

with the Canadian Commissioner of Competition,

announcing the union on January

25. However it is still not all smooth

sailing for this world spanning combination

of concert promotions expertise with

ticketing solutions and artist relationships.

On February 10 a London tribunal ruled

that the merger must be reviewed a second

time in the U.K. on the grounds that

regulators didn’t fully consider the input

of a competitor, i.e. German Company CTS

Eventim, in the market for ticket sales. If

the commission reverses its approval, the

combined company could be required to

make changes to its U.K.operations.

I have been a little puzzled by the regulators

concentration on the ticketing market

– the newly created giant will surely have

an effect right across the board. What

with TM’s massive Frontline management

arm, The Eagles, Neil Diamond, Christina

Aguilera etc. alongside LN’s 360 degree

deals with major artists including Jay-Z,

Madonna, U2 etc, the new Company will

manage the careers of over 200 major artists.

Reportedly the combined venture will

also own 140 venues worldwide, promote

22,000 concerts each year, and sell 140 million

tickets annually. Independent operators

may well have reason to worry about

what’s left for them in the market. Still, I’m

sure we’ll know by the end of 2010.

(Read more on this in Manfred Tari’s Business

News in this issue.)

Last month the whole of the Vip team attended

this year’s MIDEM, and although

the numbers were very obviously down

our sales chaps reported good business,

for many delegates the quieter and emptier

environment seemed welcome, and apparently

encouraged business. However

the organisers can not have been happy,

owners Reed Exhibitions are, as the name

indicates, primarily sellers of Stands and

Exhibition space, with all peripheral events

and attractions, such as artist show cases,

being add-ons, an officially admitted drop

off of 10% from last year (some felt the true

figure was more) and wide open spaces in

the Palais are not what they want to see.

This was my 25th visit to the most senior

of the music trade shows and conferences,

and although there was less sunshine than

in past visits I enjoyed it – apart of course

from paying 10 Euros for a beer! Midem

is still trying to extricate itself from long

years of servicing a music industry that no

longer exists, but they’re trying to adapt,

and I feel that they’ll make it, but it may

take a while.

Right – back to the roof! Ladies and Gentlemen

– the News!

The VIP-Booking European Live Entertainment Book


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VIP- News - February 2010

ILMC 22 Agenda Announced

Allan McGowan


Taking a nautical theme for its 22cnd edition

the International Live Music Conference,

ILMC returns to London’s Royal Garden

Hotel from March 12-14.

important element of The Creative Industries

much talked about by European Governments,

and the politicians in terms of

both trade and culture. Festival Republic

MD Melvin Benn will be chairing the session,

and speakers include Lord Tim Clement

Jones whose Live Music Bill is currently

on its fourth reading in UK Parliament,

and Belgian Economics Minister Vincent

Van Quickenbourne, at present introducing

proposed new ticketing legislation involved.

Newly appointed President of The

European Music Office Dieter Gorny will

also join the panel alongside other major

live industry leaders. as they consider better

ways of addressing and communicating

the needs and the importance of all

aspects of the live music industry.

Colophon ››

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


The guest for the Sunday morning Breakfast

Meeting slot with ex Dire Straits manager

Ed Bicknell is the legendary founder

of the Glastonbury Festival, Michael Eavis

CBE. Europe’s most influential outdoor

event celebrates its 40th anniversary this

year with U2, Muse and Stevie Wonder all

confirmed as headliners, so this could be

a perfect time to reflect on just what has

made Glastonbury so successful.

Another main room Sunday session will is:

Artists: ‘Keeping an Even Keel’. This panel

will consider whether the industry is taking

sufficient care of its primary asset – the

artist. With more pressure on acts to tour

than ever this discussion will look at what

precautions are in place and what safety

nets already exist, asking if we are pushing

artists beyond the limit, and who’s willing

to say ‘no’ when they need to Chairing the

panel will be Stevie Wonder manager and

Music Tank chairman Keith Harris, who’s

joined by legendary lyricist and former

Squeeze frontman Chris Difford, ex Virgin

Records Chairman Marc Marot, and Live

Nation Denmark head Flemming Schmidt.

On the Saturday 13 March The Politics of

Live: ‘The Steering Committee Meeting’ at

12:00 in Room 1, will consider the present

relationship between the live industry, an

The full line-up of ILMC conference sessions

will be available online at:


On Thursday 11 March, the Nordic Music

Export Offices bring their Ja Ja Ja brand to

the Tabernacle in Notting Hill for a night of

upcoming Nordic talent. The evening is curated

by Rob Challice of Coda Agency, and

confirmed for the night are Danish grime

queen Lucy Love, Norwegian pop/shoegaze

sound warriors Megaphonic Thrift,

Icelandic ensemble Hjaltalin and Finnish

electro-acoustic quartet Husky Rescue.

Excelsior Recordings artist Tim Knol will

performs live at Buma Cultuur’s annual

The Flying Dutchmen Meet & Greet at the

Dutch Embassy on Friday 12 March. The rising

Dutch star will perform songs from his

eponymous debut which is released in the

UK in May.

Tim Knol



VIP- News - February 2010

Family Entertainment Suffers in Germany

Manfred Tari

Recent developments indicate the market

for Musicals and Events are having a harder

time than other parts of the live entertainment

industry. At the end of January

the company Franz Abraham Art Concerts,

founded in 1986, filed insolvency

and in February had to cancel four arena

production shows of the entertainment

spectacular ‘Ben Hur’ in Gelsenkirchen

and Vienna. Originally the shows had been

scheduled for November. Some 25.000

ticket holders for the shows in Germany

are unlikely to receive any compensation

for tickets bought. Abraham announced

that he is undertaking attempts to set up

a new company with new investors and to

schedule new dates for ‘Ben Hur’ in May.

At the beginning of February, the musical

producer Prime Time Entertainment AG

(PTE AG) founded by Matthias Hoffmann

in 2007, also had to file insolvency. In December

the company launched ‘India’,

a revue show featuring more than 70 Indian

acrobats, presented in a circus tent,

in Frankfurt following shows in Hamburg.

Hoffmann has worked in the live entertainment

business since 1971 and according

to media reports invested 7 million

Euros in the show. The insolvency administrator

of PTE AG indicates that there are

chances for to find new investors for the

company. Meanwhile all dates have been

cancelled and the Indian acrobats are flying

back home.

A few days later the musical producer

Stage Entertainment declared that, from

July, they would no longer promote musical

productions in the Colleseum, declaring

that it wasn’t possible to stage profitable

shows in their Essen venue.

The musical “Buddy Holly” will continue

until July.

Matthias Hoffmann founder of

Prime Time Entertainment




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VIP- News - February 2010



Purchase of

MAMA Group

Allan McGowan


Another, somewhat smaller, but

none the less important consolidation

than the Live Nation/Ticketmaster

merger has also recently

been completed in the UK market

with HMV’s acquisition of 360 degree

music company the MAMA

Group. This purchase of a Company

involved mainly in venue ownership,

live promotion and artist management

by a company best known

as a high street music retailer, is a

very pertinent sign of the times.

HMV CEO Simon Fox told reporters:

“I am delighted that our offer for

MAMA Group has been successful,

and to welcome our new colleagues

from MAMA to HMV. The acquisition

represents a further significant step

for HMV as we continue the transformation

of our business begun in

2007. Building on the successful platform

created by the formation of our

joint venture with MAMA just over a

year ago, we will be embarking on

exciting new growth plans for the

group in live music and ticketing”.

Politicians Oppose Financial

Support for Loveparade

Manfred Tari

Once again the rave-event Loveparade

causes trouble. In 2006 the event

left Berlin moving to the Ruhr-District

in Western Germany. A five-year plan

foresaw that the Loveparade would

take place each year in a different Ruhr-

District town, and with quite successful

editions in Essen in 2007 and Dortmund

in 2008 the event seemed to have arrived

in the Ruhr-District.

But in January 2009 Loveparade promoters

LopaEvent cancelled the edition

planned for July 2009 in Bochum.

The main reasons given cited logistical

problems, plus dispute with the city

council of Bochum over the route that

the promoter had in mind.

According to the five-year plan the

event in 2010 is supposed to happen in

Duisburg. However, similar to the Bochum

situation, local political and administrative

decision takers voice their

concerns. But in the case of Duisburg it

is rather financial problems and safety

concerns that may result in cancellation.

The Duisburg site for Loveparade is

supposed to be a former freight yard,

but the estimates to prepare it as event

location sum up to 860.000 Euro. So far

the idea was that the city of Duisburg

would share some of the expenses with

LopaEvent to make the event possible.

Meanwhile Duisburg Marketing GmbH,

a company belonging to the city council

launched a charity fund. So far it looks

as though the SPD (Social Democrats),

FDP (Liberals) and the Linke (Leftwing)

will vote against sharing any expenses

to promote the event.

Another delicate component is that the

five-year plan with the various Ruhrdistrict

towns to host the Loveparade

had always been in the light of the

RUHR2010. The Ruhr-District is, along

with Istanbul and Pecs in Hungary, one

of three European Commission appointed

European culture capitals.

Mama Group

Love Parade



VIP- News - February 2010

SXSW Music Announces First Band List, Panelists and

Day Stage News

Allan McGowan

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference

and Festival will take place March

17 - 21, 2010 in Austin, Texas, and will feature

some notable artists that will be speaking

on panels taking place in the Austin

Convention Centre.

Judy Collins shares her thoughts on

“Where Goes English Folk Music,” John

Doe joins Ian Rogers’ panel “The Cultural

Significance of Direct-to-Fan Marketing,”

DJ Spooky encourages the spread of music

into established cultural institutions

in “Performing Arts: New Frontier for Live

Acts,” Melissa Auf Der Mar exhibits her

photographic side on “Image Makers Of

Rock and Soul,” Suzanne Vega kicks MP3

butt on “Music Artists: Getting A Digital

Ass-Kicking,”Andrew WK dissects rock star

myths on “What Becomes A Legend Most,”

Chris Walla highlights his studio work on

“Producers Adapt & Survive,” Chris Frantz

and Tina Weymouth recall early gigs on

“CBGBs Stories,” and Anya Marina talks

soundtracks on “Case Study: New Moon.”

Join these artists and over 350 other speakers

for an enlightening look at the past,

present and future of the music industry.

Fucked Up (Toronto, CANADA), Grant Hart

(St. Paul, MN), Hauschka (Dusseldorf, GER-

MANY), Here We Go Magic (Brooklyn, NY),

Hudson Mohawke (Glasgow, SCOTLAND),

Invincible (Detroit, MI), jj (Gothenburg,

SWEDEN), Killer Mike (Atlanta, GA), LA Riots

(Los Angeles, CA), Les Savy Fav (Brooklyn,

NY), Maldita Vecindad (Mexico City,

MEXICO), Marina & The Diamonds (London,

ENGLAND), Mayer Hawthorne & The

County (Ann Arbor, MI), Midlake (Denton,

TX), Miike Snow (Stockholm, SWEDEN),

Mr Hudson (London, ENGLAND), Mundo

Livre SA (Recife, BRAZIL), Murs (Los Angeles,

CA), Natalia Lafourcade (Mexico City,

MEXICO), Pretty Lights (Charlottesville,

VA), Rye Rye (Baltimore, MD), Sharon Jones

and the Dap-Kings (Brooklyn, NY), She &

Him (Los Angeles, CA), Shwayze (Malibu,

CA), Spoon (Austin, TX), Steve Aoki (Los

Angeles, CA), Systema Solar (Taganga,

COLOMBIA), Texas Tornados (San Antonio,

TX), The Drums (Brooklyn, NY), The Middle

East (Townsville, AUSTRALIA), The Soft

Pack (San Diego, CA), The Very Best (New

York, NY), The xx (London, ENGLAND), Trae

(Houston, TX), VV Brown (London, ENG-

LAND), and Wolfgang Gartner (Austin, TX).

This list is subject to change. This is only a

portion of the bands that will be performing

at the SXSW Music Festival.

The previously announced Smokey Robinson

keynote will anchor four days of panels,

interviews, workshops, peer meetings,

a trade show exhibition and the worldrenowned

music festival.

For a full listing of events, go to:


A few highlights selected out of over

10,000 music applications appearing over

80 stages throughout downtown Austin


Amaral (Madrid, SPAIN), Anita Tijoux (Santiago,

CHILE), Apoptygma Berzerk (Oslo,

NORWAY), Athlete (London, ENGLAND),

Bajofondo (Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA),

Balkan Beat Box (Tel Aviv, ISRAEL), Band of

Skulls (London, ENGLAND), Bear In Heaven

(Brooklyn, NY), Black Milk (Detroit, MI),

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (Los Angeles,

CA), Bomba Estereo (Bogota, Colombia),

Broken Social Scene (Toronto, CANADA),

Chalie Boy (Hearne, TX), Chamillionaire

& Paul Wall (Houston, TX), Cymbals Eat

Guitars (New York, NY), Deer Tick (Providence,

RI), Evan Dando (New York, NY),

Frightened Rabbit (Selkirk, SCOTLAND),

Smokey Robinson keynote at SXSW



VIP- News - February 2010



VIP- News - February 2010

A Premium Venue in Brussels

Manfred Tari

The Ancienne Belgique is some sort of a

masterpiece. The facilities of the venue

are impressive and the concert program

is highlighted with appearances by many

of today’s top artists that are touring in

and are able to fill up 2000 persons capacity

location. VIP-News spoke with Herman

Hulsens, one of the venue’s bookers.

VIP-News: How is the concert business in


Herman Hulsens: I think it is doing pretty

good. I think everybody has to cut a little

bit of their expenses but the audience is

coming more and more to the shows. So

the capacity is always full so to speak.

VIP-News: You’re promoting here in probably

one of the most prominent Belgian

venues. What makes the Ancienne Belgique

different to commercial clubs

Hulsens: The big difference is in the fact

that we are subsidised for 20 percent of

our expenses to aid our growth. So we can

use that money to develop young artists,

we can put a band in a smaller room which

adding in all the promotion and production

expenses would normally lose a lot

of money. Since we have the chance to do

that we can develop a lot of local artists

and try to bring them up to the next level.

So if we discover a young band that has a

lot of potential what we try to do is put the

money into the small room, with the hope

that at some point we can promote them

in our main 2000 capacity room.

VIP-News: Is it compulsory for you to book

Belgian acts or artists

Hulsens: Kind of because it’s the main part

of our dossier, so we book almost 50 percent

local artists, 50 percent of the shows

are not local artists per se, but if you count

all support bands etc, then 40 to 50 percent

of those playing here are local artists.

VIP-News: You also work together with

the big commercial promoters here in

Belgium. So how many shows do you promote

yourself and how often do you rent

the venue out

Hulsens: We do about 250 shows ourselves

and out of that I would say about

20 shows are co-productions with outside

commercial promoters, where we share 50

percent of the profit or the loss. And then,

I think, the commercial promoters book

another 16 dates at our venue and that is

always the big room because that 2000 capacity

is the only way you can make some


VIP-News: Belgium is, as we all know, one

of the smaller markets in Europe. Do you

promote your shows nationwide or do you

concentrate your promotion mainly here

in Brussels

Hulsens: We go nationwide in the sense

that we have a trilingual website and we

sell almost 70 percent of our tickets online.

Our main marketing campaigns are online

and we will do less and less postering, from

both a green point of view and because

the postering is becoming less and less effective

for ticket sales. So if we do poster, it

is mainly for a local show, and mainly in the

capital, in Brussels, but we tend to put a lot

of money into maintaining our trilingual

website which of course generates a lot of

expenses in translations and so on.

VIP-News: You are doing the ticketing

yourself but do you also handle the marketing

of your website yourself

Herman Hulsens

Hulsens: We don’t do any advertisements

on our website. Our website is free of advertisement.

But in the same way as we

have to pay for the use of the sound system

I as a promoter also have to pay for the

use of our website. So with the money that

our promotion part of the company gets

from us promoting all these shows, we pay

the expenses for the website.

»We don’t do any

advertisements on our website.

Our website is free of


- Herman Hulsens

VIP-News: But don’t the sponsors of Ancienne

Belgique request branding on your


Hulsens: Yeah, there’re visible on the website.

They’re on the bottom of each page,

their have their logos. But it is not like that

they can really advertise their products on

our website, we do sometimes send out an

email to our customers.

VIP-News: How many website subscribers

do you have

Hulsens: I think we have now 16.000 or

17.000 email subscribers.

VIP-News: All over Belgium or just in Brussels

Hulsens: That is all over Belgium, plus of

course also people from Holland and England

and even Japan and so on. But I think

the email advertising outside of Belgium

represents roughly 2 percent.

VIP-News: Your venue has so to say quite

brilliant facilities in terms of sound, light

systems, and in terms of stage settings and

the entire infrastructure. How expensive is

it to promote a show compared to a nonsubsidised


Hulsens: It is pretty expensive because our

idea is that you have to pay for every thing

that you use even though it’s our own PR-



VIP- News - February 2010

system. As in - house promoter still I have

to pay for the PR-system and for each part

of the facility that we use. We’re able to

build up our budgets, we’re able to do

the necessary refurbishments, and we can

try to buy new gear and stay competitive

with other companies that deliver all these

technical facilities. But of course counting

everything in, I think we are pretty expensive

in comparison to other European

venues. I think for example the Paradiso

in Amsterdam is charging half of what we

do in terms of production and promotion

expenses. But I think it is important to do

it that way on a long-term basis to be able

to have the necessary budgets to keep on

doing what we’re doing. This year the government

has cut back on their subsidies so

it is important to maintain a financial independence.

VIP-News: How much money do you receive

from the government

Hulsens: We are receiving 900.000 Euros

per year for our artistic budget. And then

we have a different budget to maintain

the building that is based on the expenses

that we think we’re likely to incur if

the walls are falling down or there is new

glass to be put in. But that is a completely

different budget separate from the artistic


VIP-News: Where does the money come


Hulsens: It is the Flemish cultural ministry

that is giving us the funds. Also now we

have a couple of projects that we’re doing

outdoor in the summer like a little festival,

and that is being paid for by the local government.

But the main money is coming

from the Flemish cultural ministry.

VIP-News: How many people work for the

Ancienne Belgique

Hulsens: There are 45 people working

fulltime. So we have our own production

teams, sound and lights and we have our

own ticketing shop. We have 6 people

working for promotion and there are 3

inhouse promoters. And then we always

say that we roughly have about a hundred

outside people doing other almost

fulltime freelance jobs that are coming in

daily like stagehands, drinks people etc.

VIP-News: How many tickets do you sell a


Hulsens: Our average is a quarter of a million

per year.

VIP-News: And what lead to the decision to

take the ticketing completely in - house

»Because we also hold all the

information about our ticket

buyers we can shape our

marketing towards them«

- Herman Hulsens

Hulsens: Because we wanted to be first

hand on the service because if you use

an outside ticketing company you don’t

have really have control of the quality that

they’re delivering towards your audience.

Because we also hold all the information

about our ticket buyers we can shape our

marketing towards them as well, like we

can send them emails about special things

that we do during the shows or if there

are timings that have to been changed.

If a band has cancelled we can just email

The Ancienne Belgique



VIP- News - February 2010

them in like a second, we have all their

information. That was our main concern.

After all the years that we have done this

we were able to talk to Live Nation for example

about using our ticketing office for

the shows that they’re promoting here,

which was a kind of a battle to get them

to do. It turned out that by charging the

expenses on the ticket we were able to

make it a break-even set-up.

VIP-News: You have been working at the

Ancienne Belgique for 15 years at least.

What has changed in the last 15 years in

terms of the audience and let’s say business

in general What is your personal

opinion on that

Hulsens: I think like everywhere else everything

has become really, really professional,

not only at Ancienne Belgique,

also the artist management and the labels.

Of course everybody is more and

more focussed on the business and on

the money side of the shows, which is at

some point really good because everybody

is looking after the artists. And for

us doing 250 shows plus the rentals it is

really important to have a very well operated

venue. We invest a lot of money in

our special staff to handle the buildings.

The last 2 years we set this up as a company

to run the business so that everything

has become really, really professional..

VIP-News: What is the average ticket


Hulsens: I guess it would be around 22

Euros and for the main hall ranging between

16 and very exceptionally 40 Euros

for example for an artist like Grace Jones.

But on average it would be around 22 and

then the small room is always 12 Euros.

That’s a fixed price, and to me that is a reason

why we’re still selling so many tickets

because we’re knocking at the high end

shows market.

VIP-News: Who are your local competitors

Hulsens: Here in Brussels I would say the

Botanique, which is the French cultural

sponsored venue. But they work on a

small scale because their biggest room is

600. But they’re doing a lot of the upcoming

indie and British bands.

The Ancienne Belgique






the N

VIP- News - February 2010


EuroSonic noordErSlag




FACTSHEET 2010 2009 2008 2007

Total number of visits 18.000 18.000 15.500 15.050

Nationalities present 34 34 35 29

Professional THE EUROPEAN participants MUSIC CONFERENCE

2.800 2.650 2.487 2.200





259 265 237 JANUARY 221

Radio stations present 24 22 23 24


festivals present 237 123 76 2011 69

ETEP participant festivals 59 59 59 54

Number of stages @ EuroSonic 31 32 29 25

Number of stages @ Noorderslag 10 9 9 8

Number of European journalists present 193 140 138 65

We would like to thank everybody for attending the 2010 edition,

we do look forward to welcome you at the 2011 one!



downtown Groningen

the Netherlands




downtown Groningen

the Netherlands




De Oosterpoort





Registration and artists submission is open from may 1st 2010

onwards on,

Deadline for artist submission is September 1st, 2010


15 15











De Oosterpoort







downtown Groningen

the Netherlands




downtown Groningen

the Netherlands




De Oosterpoort




downtown Groningen

the Netherlands thursday


downtown Groningen

the Netherlands




downtown Groningen

the Netherlands friday


downtown Groningen

the Netherlands




De Oosterpoort



De Oosterpoort









VIP- News - February 2010

Conincx Pop

Allan McGowan

Hilde Spille is booking agent at Paperclip

Agency and co-owns the company. Here

she tells us about her work with the small

boutique festival Conincx Pop which has

its 28th edition on July 03, 2010.

This is the 8th edition with Paperclip Agency

on board as talent buyer. The first confirmed

acts are Dutch elektro-pop band

Krause and Dutch singer-songwriter Tom


Conincx Pop is a one-day-festival with one

stage, and takes place in Elsloo (province

of Limburg), The Netherlands, close to

Maastricht. The festival is situated at the

banks of the river Maas, with Belgium in

sight just across the river. 9 bands will play

to music aficionados from the wide region

and to entire families, from babies to 70

year olds from the village. Together with

great music, this always results in a great


Hilde Spille

My work as talent buyer for Conincx Pop

means that I obviously have to look beyond

my own roster. I thoroughly investigate

the rosters of my international colleagues.

Conincx Pop aims to be a trendsetter for

good bands and aims to book artists that

will grow bigger in the near future. The

festival has already booked the Belgian

rockers Triggerfinger in 2008, the Dutch

band Voicst in 2005 and Mo’Jones in 2003.

All three bands broke through in The Netherlands

soon after.

The choice to be a trendsetter for good

bands is partly due to the fact that Conincx

Pop is a free festival without any subsidies.

As soon as the media hypes a band, they

usually quickly become too expensive for

Conincx Pop. Although the budget for the

bands is relatively small, the festival’s set

up is very professional. For the talent buyers

of such a festival it’s important to have

a good nose for as yet unknown talent.

Distribution and promotion of an album

in the Netherlands is less important. For

me this makes the selection procedure

very much different compared to selecting

a band to add to my own roster as

booking agent. Since the very successful

25th anniversary in 2007, visitors records

were broken each year, despite the recession.

In 2009 Conincx Pop had 8000

visitors. The market for festivals without

entrance fees is very different from major

festivals. There is an audience out there

that wants to enjoy good music in a relaxed

atmosphere with a pint of beer for a

reasonable price (I agree! – Ed.). Conincx

Pop and similar festivals work hard to

achieve this goal, and deserve all the attention

they can get.

Conincx Pop 2009 (Photography by: Marion Baggen - Conincx Pop)



›› ››

VIP- News - February 2010

UK Live Music Bill Moves to The Commons

Allan McGowan

The workings of the two Chambers of

the UK Houses of Parliament are not always

under scrutiny in publications that

concentrate on the live music industry,

however recent announcements that affect

small venues and the development

of vital new talent are important and require

some explanation of traditional parliamentary


Convinced that the live music scene is being

strangled by red tape and officialdom,

Liberal Democrat peer, Lord (Tim) Clement-Jones’s

introduced what is known as

a ‘private members bill’ to the House of

Lords, these bills requires three readings

in the House of Lords, before going to the

House of Commons to gain a chance of

being passed as law. We’re glad to note

that, having sailed through previous

stages in the Lords with no amendments

his Live Music Bill had its third reading on

Tuesday 9 Feb and will go to the Commons.

It will be championed in that House

by Don Foster MP who wrote an article on

the subject for the December ’09 issue of


The Bill proposes that schools, hospitals,

colleges, and small venues up to a capacity

of 200 should not need a licence for

a live music performance, and that the

‘two-in-a-bar’ exemption should be reinstated.

(This allowed two musicians to

perform in a venue without a need for a

special performance license. The Government’s

2003 Licensing Act means live musical

performances must have a licence or

the organisers risk criminal prosecution.

Lord Clement-Jones said, “The Government’s

stubborn refusal to accept the recommendations

of the Culture, Media and Sport select

committee that licensing be relaxed for live

music is short-sighted and illiberal. Live music

used to be at the core of our society. But it’s

harder for someone to play the piano in a bar

now than it was in 1899. We should be supporting

small venues not strangling them with red

tape. More live music in our pubs would mean

more punters and fewer pubs closing. My Bill is

the only chance to change the law before the

general election and breathe new life in to the

live music scene. I challenge the Government

to explain why they will not support it.”

The Bill should get a proper hearing in

the Commons in March. It’s unusual for

private member’s bills to actually become

law, given the government - who have already

rejected some of Clement-Jones’

proposals following its own review of licensing

rules - have the automatic majority

vote in the Commons.

The Live Music Bill already has support

from Musicians’ Union and UK Music and

now looks more likely to move into law

than the Government’s own sponsored

proposals – to make an exemption for

venues with audiences of less than 100 –

which were opened to consultation at the

end of last year. Lord Clement-Jones will

speak on a panel, chaired by Melvin Benn

CEO of Festival Republic, dealing with

the relationship between governments

and the live music industry on March

13th in London at ILMC 22. Hopefully all

concerned with live music in the UK will

lobby for these amendments to be made

law in order to support the development

of artists for arenas and festivals in the

next five or so years!

Having the right tools for the job is often the key to success. Through our ongoing communication with key Live

Entertainment Industry Professionals, we have developed a range of services to meet the demands of agents, promoters,

talent buyers, venue bookers etc. It’s no coincidence that we are now considered to be the No. 1 information

provider for this thriving industry. is now the most widely used online

information service for the European Live Entertainment

Industry with subscribers in over 25 countries. Using the latest

technology and state of the art tools, the service provides indepth

information streamlining the day-to-day operations of

industry professionals, saving both time and money.

The VIP-Book

The ultimate print directory for the European

Entertainment Industry, packed

with contacts and easy to use. An essential

reference book for every office

providing basic contact information

and a solid overview.


Written by our highly merited journalists, Allan

McGowan and Manfred Tari, with over 50

years of experience between them in the Entertainment

Industry, VIP-News brings the latest

news and views directly to your computer

keeping you up to date at all times.




VIP- News - February 2010

Our guest writer this month is John F. Smith, General Secretary

of the British Musicians’ Union and President of

the International Federation of Musicians (FIM). The MU

supports Lord Tim Clement-Jones Live Music Bill referred

to in this issue of the News and elements of this article

are relevant to the hoped for success of the Bill.

John F. Smith - MU

Making a Living from Live

John F. Smith

Despite the recession and a National Arenas’

Association report showing a drop in

attendances of 15% in 2008, live music is

still one of the few areas of the music business

that is thriving. While there is much

cause for optimism regarding the live music

scene, for the working musician there

remains some significant barriers to achieving

the full potential of performing live and

at the same time making a decent living.

»It’s clear that music fans

really value the experience

they get at a live gig«

- John F. Smith

Let’s have a look at some positives before I

move on to the negatives. On the plus side

the main and fundamental factor is that

the public like to see and hear live music.

It’s clear that music fans really value the

experience they get at a live gig. Research

has shown that young people will gladly

part with upwards of £100 in order to hear

their favourite bands ‘in the flesh’, but conversely

many of these same music fans

cause real problems for the music industry

through P2P file sharing. So what are the


In the UK the Licensing Act 2003 continues

to be a bugbear. I was a member of the

Government’s Live Music Forum, chaired

by Fergal Sharkey, which oversaw the implementation

of the Act on behalf of the

music sector. We pointed out at the time

that there was likely to be a drop in the

number of smaller venues putting on live

performances. These venues had by and

large benefited from the so called 2 in-abar

exception which meant that if there

were two or fewer performers there was

no need to have the old Public Entertainment

Licence. For these smaller venues

the new act meant added bureaucracy

and when faced with the daunting task of

completing their Premises Licence application

many preferred to opt for recorded

music as that (and rather bizarrely, big

screen sports broadcasts) is not classed

as regulated entertainment and consequently

does not need to be included in

the Premises Licence. So we lobbied for an

exemption for small venues with an audience

capacity of 200 or less. That lobby

continues and was added impetus as the

Select Committee for Culture Media and

Sport included it in its recommendations

to Government.

The Minister, Gerry Sutcliffe reacted by announcing

a consultation on an exception

to the requirements of the Act for venues

with a capacity of 100 or less. We recognise

this as being a significant step in the

right direction, but feel that 100 is too low

and would not help many of the venues

in which, as both the MU and the DCMS

research demonstrates, there has been a

marked decline in the provision of live music.

We also want to see a more cohesive

application of the Act across the country.

At present it is subject to the interpretation

and vagaries of local licensing committees

and inspectors, and we want to

see a simple fast-track method of varying

a licence so that live music can be added

to an existing premises Licence. Lord Tim

Clement Jones Live Music Bill pushes for

all these amendments and the improvements

they could bring.

The Licensing Act is not the only barrier;

taking instruments into the cabin on flights

is still a problem, this is in spite of an agreement

that the MU reached with the Department

For Transport which clearly states that

an instrument up to the size of guitar may

be taken onboard a plane as hand luggage.

Some airlines ignore this recommendation.

We’ve even had cases where the staff at the

check-in desk seem to make their own policy

‘on the hoof’ mainly to the detriment of

the musicians. Our advice is always contact

the airline beforehand, don’t risk turning

up on the day. Before I look at the international

scene I must mention the problems

that UK musicians have had when applying

for work-permits for the USA. Applications

are expensive and have to be in person. The

requirements that apply to entertainers, I

must add, that do not apply to sportsmen

and women.

Briefly, on an international front, taking instruments

on planes is a worldwide problem.

You may have seen the US country

music artist, Dave Carroll’s You-Tube video

– ‘United Breaks Guitars’. If you haven’t have

a look at it as it sums up the issue splendidly.

But one of the main barriers that performers

from outside the EEA come up against

is UK restriction on work-permits. We are in

a tricky position with this one. If a self-contained

act, be it a rock and pop band or a

symphony orchestra, want to tour in the UK

we have no objections and welcome and

encourage such cultural exchanges, however

we draw the line at musicians being

brought in as cheap labour to replace UK

and EU studio and theatre musicians, and

players in our orchestras.

So, all-in-all live music is doing pretty well

and if we get the few improvements we

are looking for we certainly will be ‘keeping

music live’.



VIP- News - February 2010

MU Launches ‘Music Supported

Here’ Campaign

Allan McGowan

The Musicians’ Union has announced the

launch of its new campaign, designed to

unite musicians and fans in a common understanding

of the need for musicians to

have the right and the means to control the

use of their music in a digital world.

The Press Release says: In today’s internet—

sharing world, it’s never been easier for

original music to be hijacked, plagiarised,

copied or just plain nicked. That’s why music

copyright has never been so important.

Copyright is important for musicians because

it safeguards the rights to their own

music. And it’s important for music fans

because it pays for musicians to make more

music. The MU is committed to making sure

that everyone respects the value of music

and the huge part it plays in our lives. But

we can’t expect the right to enjoy music

unless we respect the rights of the people

who make it. And if musicians do want to

give their music away, they should be in

control of the process. By supporting music

rights, we’re supporting music.

As Horace Trubridge, Assistant General Secretary

for the Musicians’ Union comments,

“Musicians are individuals with different

views about music on the Internet and P2P

and Music Supported Here gives musicians

a platform to discuss the issue and share

ideas. That said, no one likes to be rippedoff

and ‘Music Supported Here’ reminds

fans that it’s the musicians who want to be

able to decide how their music is distributed

in a digital world and if they don’t want it

to be free, don’t nick it! This movement is a

concerted effort to finally put the issue centre

stage. The more people who join us, the

louder the noise we can make.”

Says Paul Belford, creative director at This

is Real Art , the creative agency behind the

campaign, “the campaign logo is a simple

idea that communicates the issue at the centre

of the campaign, music copyright. There

will be multiple versions of the design, each

one written by a different musician. In fact,

any musician can simply write it out and

put their name underneath it. Copyright

is about musicians individual creations so

why shouldn’t this idea be represented in the

music copyright logo” Belford continues,

“we also wanted the campaign line, ‘Music

supported here’ to be positive. Not critical or


MU members have been contributing their

version of the logo to be used in the campaign.

Thousands of members received

tear-off postcards in the current copy of

The Musician (the MU’s magazine), inviting

them to send in a handwritten logo. For

anyone wanting to go beyond making a

statement of support, the Music Supported

Here website (www.MusicSupportedHere.

com) contains the chance for everyone to

have their say, exclusive videos, downloadable

banners, graphics and information

about music copyright issues.

Support from the Featured

Artists Coalition (FAC)

Although the movement was initiated by

the MU, it is for all musicians. Music Supported

Here has received unanimous endorsement

from the FAC. Pink Floyd’s Nick

Mason, Co–Chairman, FAC said, “The FAC

is delighted to participate in the MU’s ‘Music

Supported Here’ campaign. The Digital Age

offers both advantages and challenges for all

artists - whether stadium-fillers or those just

starting-out. The more support that can be

offered to artists to help them navigate their

way in the online marketplace, the better.”



VIP- News - February 2010

Business News

Manfred Tari

CTS Eventim still stands up against the Live Nation Ticketmaster Merger

Already in January CTS Eventim appealed

at the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal

(CAT), for the British Competition Commission

(CC) to reconsider the approval of the

merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster.

The CC now has until May 11 to reply to

CTS Eventim’s objections against the

merger. John Park, a spokesman from CC

explained the proceedings with: “We are

reopening the investigation from the point

of the final report - which will now become

provisional - so that CTS Eventim, who appealed

against the final decision, and others

will get chance to comment and make submissions

on that decision.”

In reference to the re-appeal by CTS Eventim

Park declared: “Central to CTS Eventim’s

appeal was that they were denied the chance

to comment properly on our decision - particularly

as it was a change from the provisional


With this in mind the spokesman continued

and elaborated on the settings of the

ongoing case: “As such, we took the decision

to agree to having the judgment quashed

and reopening the investigation for a maximum

of three months – thus giving CTS the

chance to make their arguments in the way

they say they were denied - rather than fight

the challenge. This seemed the common

sense approach as it does mean the situation

will be resolved quicker than if we’d gone

through the whole appeal process.”

CTS Eventim declined to comment on this

new attempt to fight against the merger

approved by the UK and US cartel authorities.

It’s also become apparent that CTS

Eventim is not able to approach the European

Union’s Competition Commission

on this merger as Ticketmaster’s take over

of Live Nation does not match the criteria

as both companies must have a combined

turnover of 5 billion Euro.

Opinions on the merger and the upcoming business year

It is not only CTS Eventim that will be affected

by the new situation the merger between

Live Nation and Ticketmaster causes

for the European concert industry. Vip

News spoke to Peter Schwenkow, CEO of

DEAG and Karsten Jahnke, MD of Karsten

Jahnke Konzertdirektion, about their opinions

on the merger and their expectations

for the business year 2010.

What are your expectations regarding the

consequences of this approved merger

and the effect it will have on the music industry

in general

Do you assume that the merger may also

have an impact on your business

Schwenkow: “Yes.”

Jahnke: “Whether this will also have an influence

on the German market is hard to

say. This mainly depends on whether Ticketmaster

will stand up to the far superior

ticketing systems that are in this country

at present.”

What is your assumption for the business

year 2010

Schwenkow: “We as DEAG Entertainment

will definitely see growing business and increasing

profits because of our diversification

also into the world of classical music,

mostly because of our 360° business with

artists like the violin player David Garrett

that includes promoting, producing and

recording as well as merchandising, sponsoring

and our music


Peter Schwenkow: “The live music market

worldwide is a multi-billion $ business. I do

expect that the combined companies will

enjoy growing margins by convincing the

artist that promoters also have to make

money. I hope that Live Nation Entertainment

will become a profitable organisation

not only by selling tickets.”

Karsten Jahnke: “If a merger of this dimension

is approved you really have to ask

yourself why we have a Federal State Commission.

A conglomerate that big can put a

lot of pressure on the whole industry.”

Jahnke: “Me and my team are mainly concentrating

on a balanced mix of touring

business and promoting shows locally. In

2010 again there will be lots of changes,

merges, ideas and of course new companies

and companies that close.

I think we all need to focus more on live

and let live by giving respect to new platforms,

ideas and companies but also to get

respect from the new ones.

We all need to keep in mind that our business

is business but our goods are music

and artists and not only numbers and 30

page contracts.”

Peter Schwenkow - CEO DEAG



VIP- News - February 2010

CTS Eventim take over Ticketcorner

While Klaus Peter Schulenberg, CEO of CTS Eventim, just recently declared

in an interview with the financial newspaper “Euro Am Sonntag” that the

company held back its plans to acquire a Spanish ticket service operator, CTS

Eventim has now announced that it will take over the Swiss ticketing company


CTS Eventim is to pay about 44 million Euro to the private equity company

Capvis, the previous owner of Ticketcorner. The Swiss ticketing company had

a turnover of 24 million Euro in 2009 and delivered Earnings before Interests,

Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization of about 4,4 million Euro. CTS Eventim

declared that it will continue to expand its international business. In “Euro Am

Sonntag” Schulenberg announced that he intends to enter the Belgium and

French ticket markets within the next two years.

Currently the shares of CTS are traded at a price level of 34.35 Euro. The company

announced that its business report for 2009 will be revealed at the end

of March.

Mama Group leaves stock market

While the end of 2009 saw some sort of bidding going on for the Mama

Group, it is now decided that on March 12 the Mama Group will be de-listed

from the London Stock Exchange.

On February 1 the retail company HMV announced that it holds 66.3 percent

of the outstanding shares of Mama Group. In the beginning of January SMS

Finance reported that its bidding for the Mama Group had failed.

On February 10 the Mama Group reported that HMV owns 75 percent of the

share capital of the company. “I am delighted that our offer for MAMA Group

has been successful, and to welcome our new colleagues from MAMA to HMV.”

declared Simon Fox, CEO of HMV Group. For Fox the deal is another milestone

in the development of HMV.

He says: “The acquisition represents a further significant step for HMV as we

continue the transformation of our business begun in 2007. Building on the

successful platform created by the formation of our joint venture with MAMA

just over a year ago, we will be embarking on exciting new growth plans for the

Group in live music and ticketing.”

artist avails ››

Michael McDonald

Territory: Europe

Period: June 2010

Agency: William Morris Endeavor Ent.

Agent: Sheraz Qureshi

Phone: +44 20 7534 6947




Lady GaGa

Territory: Europe

Period: Spring 2010 onwards

Agency: William Morris Endeavor Ent.

Agent: David Levy

Phone: +44 20 7534 6800




Territory: Worldwide

Period: On Going

Agency: Mission Control Artists Agency

Agent: Craig D’Souza

Phone: +44 (0) 207 252 3001




Territory: Europe

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

Agency: Artist Agency

Agent: Bart Quintens

Phone: +32 16777670



Cyndi Lauper

Territory: Europe

Period: June 2010

Agency: William Morris Endeavor Ent.

Agent: Sheraz Qureshi

Phone: +44 20 7534 6800




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 - February 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

MW_vip_170x126_0901 26.11.2009 17:13 Uhr Seite 1


Test MusikWoche

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The ideal environment

for your advertisements

Your advert hits exactly its target within the network

of decision-makers:

• music publishers and distributors

• associations and music festivals

• buyers and concert agencies

• journalists and media partners

In-depth background information

for subscribers

Start benefiting as a subscriber right now from the

extended services which Musikwoche offers you online:

• access to all contents of the printed version

• market analyses, charts and business facts

• daily newsletters and database access for

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Your advertisement contact

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phone: ++49 (0) 89/45114-333


® Registered as a trade mark at the German patent and trade-mark bureau.

Test it 3 weeks for free!

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VIP-Booking ApS cannot be held responsible for loss or damages

incurred as a result of transactions with individuals or companies

through the notice board. We recommend all to make the necessary

enquiries before entering into any agreements.

VIP-Booking ApS may not, for reason of space, be able to post all

announcements received. Announcements should be emailed to, including name and email address.

Please shorten your message to the extent possible, to make room for

as many notices as possible.



VIP- News - February 2010

readers page ››

Speak out - participate in the debate. The VIP-News Reader’s-page is open for letters and contributions from readers.

Consider the VIP-News Reader’s-page, as your “speaker’s corner” towards professionals in the entertainment industry all

over Europe. The purpose of the Reader’s-page is to encourage more interaction and to allow our readers to voice their

opinions about the many aspects of our industry. Contributions should be emailed to

Reeperbahn Festival

Dear all,

Reeperbahn Festival and Reeperbahn

Campus would like to thank everybody

who visited our Business Breakfast during

EuroSonic 2010. Meeting you at Coffee

Break in the heart of Groningen was a pleasure.

We had a great time and we hope you

enjoyed it too.

Besides the delicious buffet and probably

the best coffee in town we all had the

chance to talk business in a very relaxed


Bernhoft was just the perfect cast for this

event and – by the way – you could find the

whole Reeperbahn Festival crew sitting in

the first row during his showcase this very

night at the Grand Theatre :-).

Traveling and promoting Reeperbahn Festival

and Reeperbahn Campus is big fun and

we are now looking forward to our activities

at SXSW, in Austin Texas this March.

Besides our Reeperbahn Festival BBQ

party with Nneka and Kilians at the Texas

Embassy on Saturday, we will present

Nneka at the FILTER party at Cedar Street

Courtyard on Friday. From Wednesday to

Friday you can as well find us at the SXSW

trade show.

If we don’t meet at SXSW we hope to see

you during Reeperbahn Festival 2010 from

September 23 to 25 in Hamburg!

The Reeperbahn Festival crew

Reeperbahn Festival GbR

Neuer Pferdemarkt 23, 20359 Hamburg

T. +49-40-4317959-17

F. +49-40-4317959-26,

VIP-Booking ApS cannot be held responsible for loss or damages

incurred as a result of transactions with individuals or companies

through the notice board. We recommend all to make the necessary

enquiries before entering into any agreements.

VIP-Booking ApS may not, for reason of space, be able to post all

announcements received. Announcements should be emailed to, including name and email address.

Please shorten your message to the extent possible, to make room for

as many notices as possible.



VIP- News - February 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

Row One Music

Row One Music is a booking and concert promoter agency, based

between Lisbon and Mexico City.

The musical universe led us to create a bridge between different

worlds, initially from Latin America to Europe and vice versa.

After many years of working in great festivals, and of managing

hundreds of groups, Row One is born from professionals with an

enlarged experience in various aspects of the musical panorama.

Our main objective is to divulge traditional music and its different

fusions which pass through pre-Hispanic music, Reggae, Surf

Rock, Hip Hop, Ska and Cumbia among other styles.

Among other artists : El Gran Silencio (Mexico), Los Rastrillos (Mexico),

La Revuelta (Colombia), Sr. Bikini (Mexico) and Tribu (Mexico).

Row One Music

About Our Company

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

for the European Live Entertainment Industry

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

launch in the year 2000, we have consistently offered our subscribers

the very best in database services and now boast subscribers in

over 30 countries.

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

VIP-News, VIP-Booking, VIP-Book and VIP-Contract.

Please visit for further information.

Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated.




VIP-BOOKING.COM | 26 York Street | UK - London W1U 6pZ | Phone +44 870 755 0092 | Fax +44 870 622 1953 | e-mail:


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