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FKP Scorpio boss: ‘We partly play for an elite’

Folkert Koopmans discussed rising tickets, market competition and future acquisitions during a keynote interview at this week's Reeperbahn Festival

By Lisa Henderson on 22 Sep 2023

FKP Scorpio boss Folkert Koopmans

FKP Scorpio boss Folkert Koopmans

FKP Scorpio boss Folkert Koopmans discussed rising ticket prices, future acquisitions and competing with Live Nation in a keynote interview at the Reeperbahn Festival.

The European conference and showcase festival is taking place this week (20 and 23 September) across Hamburg, Germany.

The opening day of the event saw the FKP Boss sit down with MusikWoche journalist Manfred Tari in the Schmidt Theater, proclaiming “If you want to become an event organiser and expect a work-life balance, all I can say is: Don’t do it!”

On the subject of rising ticket prices, and the possibility that more and more fans will be priced out of concerts, Koopmans said: “Yes, we partly play for an elite who can afford such prices. The live business is not a social business. But as long as there are people who pay such high prices, the system will not change.”

Discussing market power and competition, Koopmans explained that although FKP cannot compete with Live Nation worldwide, they can in Europe, where the company is represented in eleven markets.

“As long as there are people who pay such high prices, the system will not change”

He also emphasised that he doesn’t work with companies but with people. “The music business is still a people’s business,” he said, revealing that a strong relationship with AEG Presents is how FKP has come to promote Taylor Swift’s German stadium concerts in 2024.

Koopmans also told delegates how investing in emerging talent has paid off for the company. “We don’t make any money at events in halls with a capacity of less than 1,000 people,” he said.

“For us, it’s more about building up artists with club gigs like this, who at some point might be able to fill stadiums like Ed Sheeran. Ed Sheeran has always remained loyal to FKP Scorpio and is also one of the artists who insist on a price cap for tickets.”

Rounding off the keynote, Koopmans told the audience that further acquisitions could be on the cards. “If the opportunity is right and I like the people we have there, we’ll take the opportunity,” he said, adding that his mantra for M&A is “no risk no fun”.

Reeperbahn organisers revealed that around 50,000 visitors and 4,000 delegates will have visited the four-day festival, by the time it closes tomorrow. While 475 concerts by 400 acts from 46 nations have taken place.

This year’s conference programme revolved around the theme of social sustainability, with discussions on monopolisation, AI, abuse of power and discrimination-free spaces, diversity, transformation processes, tomorrow’s perspectives, challenging a growth mentality and overcoming upheavals.


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