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Alda plots in-person Rave Culture fest in Thailand

Following the success of its first Rave Culture show, which welcomed 1,400 fans to Cologne’s Lanxess Arena in July, Dutch electronic promoter Alda is planning an “even more spectacular show” in Thailand this December.

The first Thai music festival since early 2020, Rave Culture part two will be held in Nong Nooch Tropical Garden in Pattaya, on the Gulf of Thailand, on 12 December. A co-pro with Bangkok’s 808 Festival and Amsterdam-based creative agency 20 Agency, Rave Culture welcomes a “top-tier” line-up, says Alda, as well as high-end production featuring lasers, LEDs, “state-of-the-art” lighting and other special effects.

Performers will include trance star Andrew Rayel, hardstyle duo Sub Zero Project, psy-trance act Vini Vici and future-rave pioneer Morten, as well as Rave Culture founders W&W. W&W played at the inaugural Rave Culture festival, as well as an Alda-organised virtual-reality live stream which attracted more than a million viewers in May.

Pattaya is known as the nightlife capital of Thailand, while the 500-acre Nong Nooch gardens will provide a “beautiful setting” for the event, adds an Alda statement.

Tickets for Rave Culture, which takes place as part of day two of 808 Festival, start at ฿2,950 (€81) for general admission and are on sale now.

 


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Dutch DJs W&W plan ‘world’s first XR livestream’

In what promoter Alda Events is calling the dance music world’s first-ever extended-reality (XR) live stream, Dutch DJ duo W&W have announced a show that will take place inside a specially created 3D virtual world.

For the 23 May event, the pair – who have been among DJ Mag’s top 100 DJs since 2010, and are renowned for their live shows – will play a set in a custom-made virtual stadium overlaid with futuristic, videogame-like ‘XR’ effects, pointing the way towards “a potential future route for the events industry during the global lockdown,” says Alda.

In addition to Alda – the part-Insomniac-owned, Amsterdam-based EDM promoter – the show’s partners include Chinese sports brand Li-Ning (which lends its name to the virtual ‘Li-Ning Arena’), DJ Mag, livestreaming platform Twitch and the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

The concert will see W&W “implement green screens to enhance the illusion of their creative 3D reality”, surrounding themselves with “a series of mind-blowing special effects”

According to the show announcement, the concert will see W&W “implement green screens to enhance the illusion of their creative 3D reality”, surrounding themselves with “a series of mind-blowing special effects” and “creating a space that welcomes everyone”.

The W&W shows follows Travis Scott’s pre-recorded show in the videogame Fortnite, which was seen by an estimated 12 million people and won praise for its spectacular visual effects, as well as the boom in livestreamed shows of all kinds during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event will be streamed live on Facebook and Twitch on Saturday 23 May at 5pm CEST.

W&W virtual livestream poster

 


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Alda Events appoints ex-Asia head COO

Effective yesterday (1 January 2020), Dennis de Bruin has been promoted to chief operations officer (COO) of Amsterdam-based dance music promoter Alda Events.

In the new role, de Bruin, who has been with Alda since its founding in 2007, will act as head of all commercial and operational affairs in the Netherlands.

He was formerly in charge of Alda’s touring arm – handling multiple world tours for DJs including Armin Van Buuren (Armin OnlyA State of Trance) and Hardwell – and later set up the company’s Asia branch in Hong Kong, serving since 2015 as CEO.

“Our ambition is to expand the company even more”

“I am super-excited about this next step in my career at Alda,” says Dennis de Bruin. “Our ambition is to expand the company even more with new and already established concepts, both in the Netherlands and internationally.

“The collaboration with our American partner, Insomniac, creates multiple new opportunities for Alda, and due to this expansion we can focus completely on improving the customer experience and digitisation.”

In 2020 Alda will promote Armin van Buuren’s This is Me shows at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, as well as festivals including A State of Trance in Utrecht, Amsterdam Music Festival (AMF) and Saga, a new co-pro with Insomniac in Bucharest, which will feature performances by Marshmello, Disclosure, Meduza, Tiësto and Faithless.

 


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Alda, Insomniac launch Romanian festival Saga

Leading dance music promoters Insomniac and Alda have announced the launch of a new three-day festival in the Romanian capital, Bucharest.

Saga Festival, billed as the first major music festival in Bucharest, will take place from 5 to 7 June 2020 and promises performances from more than 150 artists over three stages.

Alda and Insomniac, based in Amsterdam and Los Angeles, respectively, have been partners since October 2018, when majority Live Nation-owned Insomniac acquired a 50% stake in Alda.

Insomniac has produced more than 2,000 events since 1993, including Electric Daisy Carnivals in North America, Japan, China and Mexico, and Nocturnal Wonderland, the US’s longest-running dance music event. Alda, meanwhile, is behind events including A State of Trance in Utrecht, New Horizons in Germany (a JV with CTS Eventim) and Amsterdam Music Festival, the Netherlands’ largest indoor music festival.

According to the partners, Saga marks “a new beginning for the eastern European festival scene” and “a landmark moment for the people of Bucharest, serving as the city’s first-ever major music festival of such impressive scale”.

The festival additionally promises an “immersive storytelling experience” alongside the over 350 shows.

https://www.facebook.com/ALDANetherlands/videos/720684698422911/

 

Tickets for Saga go on sale this Friday (6 December), priced from 99 lei (€21).

 


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Insomniac acquires half of Alda Events

Insomniac, the US promoter behind dance music festival powerhouse Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), has closed a deal to acquire a 50% stake in Dutch rival Alda Events.

Majority Live Nation-owned Insomniac has produced more than 2,000 events since 1993, including EDCs in North America, Japan, China and Mexico and Nocturnal Wonderland, the US’s longest-running EDM event. Amsterdam-based Alda, meanwhile, is behind events including A State of Trance in Utrecht, New Horizons in Germany (a JV with CTS Eventim) and Amsterdam Music Festival, the Netherlands’ largest indoor music festival.

The acquisition, terms of which were not disclosed, will see the two companies “expand the dance music scene to a broader international audience, bringing their brands around the globe and expanding their footprint in Europe, Asia and the United States”, according to Insomniac.

Alda will continue to operate as an independent company under co-founders Allan Hardenberg and David Lewis.

“We’ve wanted to work together for quite some time, so this partnership feels very natural”

“Allan, David and the entire Alda team are first-class event producers, and friends I’ve known for many years,” says Insomniac founder and CEO Pasquale Rotella. “We’ve wanted to work together for quite some time, so this partnership feels very natural.

“By aligning our businesses we can bring the world-class experiences that both Insomniac and Alda are known for to the US and exciting new places around the world.”

Adds Alda CEO Hardenberg: “We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with the Insomniac family. Pasquale and his team are true innovators when it comes to creating and executing festivals and music events. It has been our goal to provide dance lovers with high quality musical experiences, and Pasquale encourages this vision.”

 


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Alda Germany announces first event

Netherlands-based promoter Alda Events, which recently launched a German joint venture with CTS Eventim, headquartered in Hamburg, has announced its first event in Germany: a festival at the Nürburgring racetrack.

Although no details bar the dates (24–27 August) have yet been announced, Alda promises the festival will “change your view on music festival reality forever”. It also, in a cryptic press release, asks, “Are you ready to expand your mind to newer Horizons?”, indicating that may be the name of the festival (note the capital “H”).

“Are you ready to expand your mind to newer Horizons?”

Alda, known for festivals including A Day at the Park, Electronic Family and Amsterdam Music Festival, as well as concert tours by leading Dutch DJs, separated from former parent company SFX Entertainment in August.

The 150,000-capacity Nürburgring is the former home of Rock am Ring. It was also originally intended to host DEAG’s Grüne Hölle Rock festival, which became Rock im Revier when it moved to Arena auf Schalke after a falling out with the track’s operator, Capricorn Nürburgring GmbH (CNG). DEAG is seeking €5 million in damages from CNG.

 


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Alda, Eventim to launch German EDM promotion JV

CTS Eventim and Dutch dance music promoter Alda Events have announced plans for a joint venture in Germany.

The JV, which will operate under the Alda brand, will serve vehicle for Alda to enter the German market and for Eventim to expand its presence in electronic/DJ events. Headquartered in Hamburg, it will be 51% owned by CTS Eventim and 49% by Alda.

“With this new joint venture we further strengthen our position in European live entertainment,” says CTS Eventim CEO Klaus-Peter Schulenberg. “Together with our partner, Alda, and their extensive knowledge and international experience in the genre, we will drive forward the growing genre of electronic dance music in Germany.”

“We’re … going to bring electronic dance music in Germany to a whole new level”

Allan Hardenberg, CEO and founder of Alda, who will lead the new company, adds: “We are really thrilled to start this new venture in Germany with a world leading entertainment company like CTS Eventim. “The German market is growing and full of opportunities in the field of electronic dance music.

“We’re planning some exciting new innovative events with CTS Eventim that are going to bring electronic dance music in Germany to a whole new level.”

As of this month, Amsterdam-based Alda – known for organising high-profile tours by Dutch DJs such as Armin van Buuren and Hardwell and for the A Day at the Park, Electronic Family and Amsterdam Music Festival events – is once more solely owned by Hardenberg and co-founder David Lewis after a messy divorce from bankrupt former parent company SFX Entertainment.

 


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Alda back in founders’ control after SFX divorce

Allan Hardenberg and David Lewis, the co-founders of Dutch dance music promoter Alda Events, have once again taken sole control of the company after settling their court case with former stakeholder SFX Entertainment.

SFX bought a 50% stake in Amsterdam-based Alda – known for organising high-profile tours by Dutch DJs such as Armin van Buuren and Hardwell and for the A Day at the Park, Electronic Family and Amsterdam Music Festival events – in November 2014. Lewis and Hardenberg were at the time reportedly only paid US$1.7 million each as part of a complex arrangement which would see SFX then progressively acquire the remaining equity over a period of five years, and the two men claimed in SFX’s bankruptcy proceedings in May they were out of pocket to the tune of $11.6m each.

Alda Events was, at the time of SFX’s going into administration in February, its largest unsecured creditor, being owed $23.6m by the EDM conglomerate.

According to Entertainment Business, Alda says its separation from SFX should be of “great interest” to potential new partners, allowing it to enter new markets “at a faster pace”. The company opened an office in Hong Kong earlier this year.

 


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Cancel-happy Avicii dooms Flying Dutch spin-off

Alda Events has announced the cancellation of July’s The Flying Dutch – Swedish Journey festival over concerns as to whether headliner Avicii would turn up.

In a statement posted on its website, the SFX-owned promoter writes that the event “is now cancelled because Avicii’s management can’t vouch for the presence of the superstar”.

“These past weeks we experienced [a lot of] uncertainty because Avicii was cancelling a lot of shows all over the world,” says event organiser John Ewbank. (The Swedish DJ most recently pulled out of his Las Vegas residency, citing “personal reasons”.) “Our request to Avicii and his management to provide a guarantee of his attendance at our event [was] to no avail. They can’t vouch for his presence.

“This uncertainty is unacceptable. We can’t do that to our audience.”

“Our request to Avicii and his management to provide a guarantee of his attendance at our event was to no avail. They can’t vouch for his presence”

Alda’s Allan Hardenberg adds: “We regret this very much, also because these would be his final shows in our country. We understand that the fans will be disappointed, especially because everyone realises how unique this event would have been. Everyone who had already bought a ticket will of course receive a refund. They will be informed by us personally and our website will also contain information about how to get your money back.”

Avicii (pictured) – the sixth-highest-paid DJ in the world and “a key figure in the transformation of dance music to the global, arena-filling mainstream phenomenon that is ‘EDM'”, wrote IQ in March – announced his retirement from music earlier this year.

Swedish Journey was to have been a showcase of Swedish DJs spinning off the from the main The Flying Dutch event, which took place in Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Rotterdam last weekend.

 


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SFX Entertainment sued by largest creditor

Alda Events, SFX’s Entertainment’s single largest unsecured creditor, has filed a lawsuit in the Netherlands against its bankrupt parent company, citing non-payment of monies owed from its partial acquisition by SFX in 2014.

According to reports in the Dutch press, Alda founders and shareholders David Lewis and Allan Hardenberg claim they are owed US$11.6 million each from SFX, which announced it had bought a 50% stake in the promoter – known for organising high-profile tours by Dutch DJs such as Armin van Buuren and Hardwell and for the A Day at the Park, Electronic Family and Amsterdam Music Festival events – in November 2014.

However, Lewis and Hardenberg were reportedly at the time only paid $1.7m each as part of a complex arrangement which would see SFX then progressively acquire the remaining equity over a period of five years.

Court documents show that SFX has in recent days prepared a settlement agreement with Alda requesting a debt relief order – presumably to pay at least part of what Lewis and Hardenberg claim they are owed – which it will put to the Delaware bankruptcy court on 26 May.

The details of the settlement are confidential – according to the documents, the “salient terms” of the settlement look something like this:

SFX Entertainment/Alda Events settlement agreement

SFX Entertainment/Alda Events settlement agreement

(You get the picture.)

SFX Entertainment went into administration on 1 February. The dance music conglomerate – which in a short period from 2013 to 2015 acquired, in addition to Alda, Tomorrowland promoter ID&T, Electric Zoo promoter Made Events, digital music store Beatport, Stereosonic promoter Totem OneLove, Spring Awakening promoter React Presents and ticket agency Paylogic – floated on the New York Stock Exchange in October 2013 for an initial public offering of $13 per share; by the end of January 2016 its share price stood at just 13¢.

IQ revealed four days later that many of its biggest creditors are SFX-owned promoters awaiting deferred purchase price payments, with Alda Events as the largest.