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Wealthy Luxembourg ground to a halt like any other market during Covid, but it is easy to confirm that all the Grand Duchy’s international music promoters survived – there are essentially two of them. One is the in-house operation of Luxembourg’s 6,500-capacity Rockhal and its 1,100-cap Rockhal Club in Esch-sur-Alzette, about 20km south-west of Luxembourg City.
Overseen by CEO (and president of the European Arenas Association) Olivier Toth since the venue’s opening in 2005, Rockhal is that rare thing: a state-owned promoter. It is also broad-based: Volbeat, Eros Ramazzotti, Luciano, and Måneskin were all on its calendar for autumn-spring 2022/23.
Luxembourg’s other key competitor is the independent A-Promotions, proprietor of Luxembourg City’s den Atelier club and frequent client of the Rockhal, where its own ’22/’23 shows include Billy Talent, Nightwish, and Joe Bonamassa.
“In every market you will have competitors, but we do get along and we put on a lot of shows in the main hall.”
“We get along,” says A-Promotions co-owner Michel Welter of the relationship between the two promoters. “In every market you will have competitors, but we do get along and we put on a lot of shows in the main hall.”
A-Promotions works across what Luxembourg calls the Greater Region, encompassing neighbouring parts of Belgium, France, and Germany – which also provide around 30-40% of the average audience for shows in the Grand Duchy, according to Welter.
In spite of a handful of the customary under-performers and cancellations, A-Promotions chalked up a strong year in 2022. “We had a record number of shows,” says Welter, who says there will be a still greater volume in den Atelier’s outdoor spots next year.
“We had a record number of shows,”
Outdoor concerts with German bands Seeed and Die Fantastischen Vier in front of the modern conference and exhibition centre LuxExpo performed well in the summer, he adds, with crowds of up to 16,000. So too did shows with Snow Patrol, and The Smile at Neumünster Abbey in the city, where A-Promotions also stages the open-air stage of the 3,000-capacity Siren’s Call electronic festival.
“We think the summer is going to be a really important focus next year,” says Welter. “It is a matter of occupying the spaces you have and trying to get the most out of them.”