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Countdown to the Arthurs 2020: Mad Cool

As the industry’s best and brightest eagerly await the ILMC Arthur Awards Winners’ Dinner, IQ hears what it means to taste success at the business’ best-loved awards

By IQ on 20 Feb 2020

Countdown to the Arthur Awards 2020: Mad Cool

Nara Pinto (centre) picks up Mad Cool's award from Rob Challice (left) and Clementine Bunel

image © ILMC

Individuals and events will be crowned across 11 categories at the Arthur Awards Winners’ Dinner on 5 March, as the music industry’s response to the Oscars returns to the glamorous Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotel.

Last year’s 25th anniversary awards saw success for Britannia Row’s Bryan Grant, FKP Scorpio’s Folkert Koopmans, ICM Partners’ Kevin Jergensen and Live Nation’s Selina Emeny, as well as the teams at the Royal Albert Hall, British Summer Time Hyde Park and Mad Cool Festival, among others.

As the Emma Banks-hosted ceremony draws ever closer, IQ chats to some previous winners to find out what receiving an Arthur meant to them and to discover their biggest hopes and dreams for the future.

Up next is Nara Pinto, head of booking at Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival, last year’s winner of the Arthurs’ New Gig on the Block award.


It was great to win the New Gig on the Block award at the Arthurs 2019 – it means we are moving in the right direction as a brand new event [the inaugural Mad Cool took place in 2016]. It has not been easy – our office has put in a great deal of hard work and effort.

Speaking as a promoter, I think most of us enjoy going to ILMC as a get together with people, professionals and colleagues. We work together all year round, but we do not get to see each other or hang out with each other all that often. We live in different countries –  there were around 60 nationalities represented last year –  and despite our close relationship with agents, managers and other promoters, we don’t usually get the chance to meet in a relaxed environment. ILMC allows this, big time. Then, of course, there’s the valuable business and networking side to the conference as well.

We will keep delivering the acts and curating our line-up as best as we possibly can, but the overall experience is crucial

For Mad Cool, the future means improving the experience for the festivalgoer, which is something I talked about as part of the Festival Forum: Fan First? panel at ILMC last year. We will keep delivering the acts and curating our line-up as best as we possibly can – Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, the Killers,  and Twenty One Pilots are among acts on our 2020 line-up, but the overall experience is crucial.

It’s hard to say what’s going to happen with the festival industry going forward. There is a level of uncertainty at the moment that we have not seen before. I do hope we’ll find a way to go around difficulties and continue to strengthen the festival scene, but there are many important goals we need to achieve collectively first.

Personally, I really want to see things like parity, inclusiveness and sustainability become a reality in the near future.


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