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Friendly Fire ups Pien Feith to head of booking

Amsterdam-based promoter Friendly Fire has upped Pien Feith to head of its Dutch booking department.

In her new position, Feith will lead the team of Dutch bookers and will therefore be responsible for the entire Dutch booking roster, which includes Kensington, Danny Vera, Yade Lauren, Ilse DeLange, Krezip, Jonna Fraser, Sigourney K and Sophie Straat. She also joins the company’s management team.

“In recent years, Pien has shown that he is not only an extremely good booker with an eye and heart for talent and development, but also has very strong management capabilities and vision,” says director Rense van Kessel.

“Pien has shown that he is not only an extremely good booker, but also has very strong management capabilities”

“We are very happy that she wants to fill this position and that the department can go into the future under her leadership. We are confident she will be a valuable addition to our management team.”

Within Friendly Fire, Feith has been actively developing the careers of Dutch artists for seven years now. Having joined in 2015 as a booking assistant, Feith quickly developed into an independent booking agent.

In that role, she has been responsible for the live careers of, among others, Merol, Personal Trainer, WIES, Sophie Straat, Nana Adjoa, Sef and Roxeanne. Hazes.

In addition to her booking work, Pien is involved in programming for Friendly Fire’s festivals, including Tuckerville, Best Kept Secret and Indian Summer. She will continue to combine her programming and booking work with her new position.

 


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Dutch agencies Earth Beat and Blip join forces

Amsterdam-based booking and artist management agencies Earth Beat and Blip Agency are merging under one umbrella.

Under the name EBB Music, the agencies will bring together their rosters of afro jazz, psychedelic pop and electronic music acts.

The company’s consolidated roster includes Altın Gün, Jambinai, Otoboke Beaver, Ambassade, Gaye Su Akyol, DMX Krew, Daughters of Reykjavik, WaqWaq Kingdom, YĪN YĪN, Romperayo and M I M I.

According to EBB Music, the amalgamation will better serve its artists across Europe, Benelux and the rest of the world.

“EBB Music’s goal is to give non-European artists a chance to build a career in Europe”

Earth Beat was co-founded in 2002 by Jerome Williams who previously worked for ten years as a sound engineer and tour manager.

Having started out as an agency for ‘world music’ in the Benelux countries, Earth Beat gradually expanded into a company with a theatre division (operating in Holland and Belgium until 2013), an international agency and a local promoter in Benelux.

Blip, meanwhile, was founded in 2016 by Jeroen van den Bogert and Ronald Keizer and became a successful agency for ‘cutting-edge and leftfield artists’. Williams, Bogert and Keizer will lead the newly formed EBB Music.

 


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Ziggo Dome partners with GUTS Tickets

The Netherlands’ Ziggo Dome has partnered with blockchain ticketing company GUTS Tickets.

The move, which sees GUTS added to the venue’s preferred ticketing partners, marks the next step in the collaboration between the two Amsterdam-based parties.

Previously, GUTS has handled ticketing for shows by Dutch artists BLØF, Suzan & Freek and Antoon. The firm utilises GET Protocol, a “fraud- and scalping-proof ecosystem”, which allows event organisers to track their tickets, with all transactions being registered with blockchain technology. The result is a ‘smart ticket’, which cannot be duplicated or sold for a price other than that set by the issuer.

“We are immensely proud to take our collaboration with the Ziggo Dome to the next level in this way,” says GUTS Tickets CEO Rempko de Bie. “After working together on several great shows, this step feels like a validation for our system, while at the same time motivating us to push even harder and continue the exponential growth we are experiencing.

“Together we are going to give it our all in order to make the ticketing experience for attendees of the Ziggo Dome easy, honest and even fun.”

“Every day we hear about ticket buyers who have not received their tickets or were forced to pay an outrageous price”

The 17,000-cap Ziggo Dome is set to host upcoming concerts by acts such as The Killers, KISS, Pearl Jam, Snoop Dogg, Arcade Fire, The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar.

“Every day we hear about ticket buyers who have not received their ordered tickets or were forced to pay an outrageous price,” says Ziggo Dome commercial director Danny Damman. “We are also seeing a rise in the number of fans showing up with fake tickets or ones that have already been invalidated. The result of which is that they can’t see the show.

“GUTS Tickets uses innovative technologies such as blockchain to issue honest tickets. These digital tickets prevent unwanted reselling and ticket fraud. That’s why we are happy to share that we have added GUTS tickets to our list of preferred suppliers.”

 


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Alda expands to Croatia with new office and festival

Alda, the Amsterdam-based company behind leading EDM events including AMF, New Horizons and more, is expanding to Croatia.

The Dutch promoter, which is 50% owned by Live Nation-backed Insomniac, today announced it has opened an office in the capital, Zagreb.

In addition, Alda and Insomniac have also planned a new seven-day festival in the Croatian city of Pula, on the Adriatic coast.

The event, titled Secret Project Presents Pula Music Week, will take place in and around one of Europe’s oldest amphitheatres between 30 June to 6 July.

Peggy Gou, Solomon, Disclosure, Tale Of Us, Boris Brejcha, Charlotte de Witte and Black Coffee will each host their own evening. Support acts will be announced at a later date.

“Croatia will be the epic centre for the European dance industry for the foreseeable future”

Project Presents Pula Music Week is the second new festival Alda and Insomniac have launched together, after Saga festival in Bucharest, Romania.

Allan Hardenberg, director and co-founder of ALDA, says: “In the two years that the festival world has been on hiatus, we have of course not been idle. We’ve made plans for when it could all be done again… and that’s now! Earlier this month we officially opened our office in Zagreb, Croatia will be the epic centre for the European dance industry for the foreseeable future.

“There are so many options here, especially for destination festivals. With the Pula Music Week, music lovers can enjoy not just one evening, but a week of the very best DJs in a unique location, where they are provided with everything they need.”

Alda 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.

Insomniac, meanwhile, 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.

 


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70,000 take part in ‘Unmute Us’ protest march

Tens of thousands of people took part in the ‘Unmute Us’ protest march in cities across the Netherlands on Saturday (21 August).

The march, spearheaded by the Dutch event industry and attended by festivalgoers, called on the Dutch government to end the ‘arbitrary’ restrictions that have effectively written off the festival summer.

Around 70,000 people attended the marches in Eindhoven, Groningen, Nijmegen, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, including more than 2,000 parties from the Dutch event industry.

Ziggo Dome, Awakenings, Down The Rabbit Hole, Soenda, Apenkooi Events, Vunzige Deuntjes, and Kultlab were among the event companies that hosted floats in their home cities.

The event also drew support from the likes of DGTL, A State of Trance Festival, Amsterdam Open Air, Best Kept Secret, Defqon, Dekmantel Festival, Lowlands, Mysteryland and Paaspop.

The protest marches were reinforced by performances from DJs and artists such as Ryan Marciano, Joris Voorn, Goldband, Bizzey, Sandrien and Joost van Bellen and speeches by Kluun, Tim van Delft (De Staat), Lusanne Bouwmans (D66) and Michiel Veenstra (3FM).

“The fact that an ambitious idea can grow into a real movement in such a short time is typical of our field”

“I had so many goosebumps all day. This is our scene, this is what we live for. Happy people, music and positivity. I only now realise how terribly I missed this,” says Bram Merkx, initiator of Unmute Us.

Jasper Goossen, co-owner of Apenkooi Events (DGTL, Amsterdam Open Air, Elrow Amsterdam), says: “Today we issued the best possible business card. The fact that an ambitious idea can grow into a real movement in such a short time is typical of our field. I am very proud of our entire industry. We now expect a quick response from The Hague.”

The protest comes after the Dutch government banned large-scale events such as festivals until at least 19 September amid fears over the spread of the highly infectious delta variant.

One-day events with a maximum of 750 visitors are allowed for people with a Covid-19 app showing they have been vaccinated, have recently tested negative or have recovered from a case in the past six months.

The organisers of Unmute Us want the ban lifted by 1 September, which would still come too late for festivals such as Down the Rabbit Hole (27–29 August), A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise (20–22 August) and Mysteryland (27–29 August).

 


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New CEO for Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff Arena

Tanja Dik has been appointed CEO of Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam, succeeding Henk Markerink, who will retire on 1 September.

Dik previously worked for Schiphol Group (of airport fame) as general director of consumer products and services. Before that, she was international venue director for for European theatre giant Stage Entertainment.

Johan Cruijff Arena, formerly Amsterdam Arena, is the Netherlands’ largest stadium, with a capacity of 55,5000 for football matches and 68,000 for concerts. Home to Dutch football club AFX Ajax, it has hosted headline shows by the likes of Coldplay, AC/DC, Beyoncé, the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson and Rihanna, as well as dance music festival Sensation.

“We are convinced that in Tanja Dik we have a highly qualified successor”

The venue celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2021, having opened in August 1996.

“We are convinced that in Tanja we have a highly qualified successor who, in collaboration with our employees and partners, will lead the further development of this beautiful stadium,” comments stadium chairman Hans van der Noordaa. “I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude on behalf of the supervisory noard for the impressive contribution Henk Markerink has made to the development and success of the Johan Cruijff Arena over the past 25 years.”

Dik says her new role brings together her “passion for sports, live entertainment and the customer”. She adds: “The social role that the Arena fulfils is an important icing on the cake for me, which I would like to further shape. I look forward to working with the team, shareholders, business partners, founders and other stakeholders at the Johan Cruijff Arena.”

 


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TicketSwap raises $10m in first funding round

Price-capped ‘ethical’ ticket marketplace TicketSwap has raised US$10 million in new funding from Amsterdam-based venture-capital firm Million Monkeys.

TicketSwap, also headquartered in Amsterdam, will put the money towards expanding into new countries while reinforcing its presence in existing markets, the company says. TicketSwap has ticket resale partnerships with more than 6,000 events worldwide, including DGTL (Amsterdam), Sziget (Budapest) and Hellfest (Clisson, France).

“We are delighted with our first funding in the existence of TicketSwap”, says founder and CEO Hans Ober. “Instead of having to take a step back due to Covid-19, we can now accelerate our growth.

“We are expanding to new markets and improving the quality of our service. Million Monkeys has a lot of experience in building marketplaces like ours.”

“Million Monkeys has a lot of experience in building marketplaces like ours”

The funding will also allow TicketSwap to accelerate the development of new features, continues Ober –for example, new ways to handle scarce tickets for high-demand events, to which end TicketSwap is trialling a raffle technology that would allow more people to have a chance to enter and an increased chance to get a ticket.

It is also building technology to understand fans’ needs better, allowing them to recommend personalised events. “We want TicketSwap to become more than a marketplace for tickets”, says Ober. “It will be a part of the anticipation for an event or day trip. TicketSwap will develop into an app that people like to use regularly to discover new artists and shows, not just when they are looking to buy tickets.”

Over five million fans have used TicketSwap, which caps the resale price at 20% above face value, to buy and sell spare tickets since the company’s launch in 2012.

 


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ID&T, Mojo announce post-pandemic party (date TBA)

Dutch promoters Mojo and ID&T, along with Heineken, are organising the Netherlands’ first large-scale event without restrictions which will go ahead as soon as it is permitted.

The event, dubbed ‘Celebrate Life’, will take place in Amsterdam venues Ziggo Dome (cap. 17,000) and AFAS Live (6,000) on an unspecified date in the post-pandemic future.

“We haven’t danced together for over a year. Not partied for a whole year. As soon as the corona measures give us free rein, we will see you at the front of AFAS Live and Ziggo Dome! The moment the government gives the starting shot, we are shoulder to shoulder again. This can be during the weekend, but also take into account a weekday. We will of course inform you immediately,” reads a statement on the Celebrate Life website.

“The moment the government gives the starting shot, we are shoulder to shoulder again”

De Jeugd van Today, Maan, Ronnie Flex & the Fam and Vunzige Deuntjes Soundsystem have been announced for the four-and-a-half hour AFAS Live event, which is open to all ages.

Benny Rodrigues, Freddy Moreira, Kris Kross Amsterdam, Lucas & Steve and Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano have been announced for the 18+ Ziggo Dome event, which will run from 21:30 pm and 06:00 am.

Dutch residents are able to pre-register for tickets now which cost €50.40 and €61.60 respectively, or €89.60 for a combi ticket.

An event similar to Celebrate Life was announced at the beginning of the year by Live Nation Belgium, Studio Brussel and the Subs.

Billed as Belgium’s biggest “post-Covid party”, ‘I Want to Dance Again‘ will also take place in Antwerp as soon as restrictions on major events are lifted.

 


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TicketSwap expands network with Portugal’s Boom

Amsterdam-based resale platform TicketSwap has announced a partnership with long-running festival, Boom.

The partnership includes integration with their ticketing company Weezevent, which allows TicketSwap to void a sold ticket and instead issue new tickets to buyers.

This Secure Swap integration ensures that fans can buy and sell quickly and easily, while providing visibility to the festival organiser.

The partnership with Boom marks TicketSwap’s first foray into Portugal and follows recent launches in Italy and Brazil.

“It’s great to have such a prominent partner for Portugal as we continue on our mission to be the experience platform that every fan loves”

“We are delighted to be working with Boom Festival,” says TicketSwap CEO Hans Ober. “The event is spectacular and people travel from all over the world to be there. We are very pleased to provide a safe and transparent way for fans to sell their tickets at a fair price.”

“TicketSwap have been expanding at a pace. We have set up an office in Brazil, launched in Italy, and we’re hiring our first local staff in the UK, Sweden, and Germany. It’s great to have such a prominent partner for Portugal as we continue on our mission to be the experience platform that every fan loves.”

The 25th edition of Boom festival will take place on 22–29th June 2022.

The event, which takes place every two years, has been ‘exceptionally popular’ on TicketSwap, with nearly 4,000 people registering for tickets and almost 500 tickets sold in the first three days.

 


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Senbla acquires European promoter GEA Live

Senbla, the Sony-backed promoter and producer based in the UK, has acquired a majority stake (51%) in live music and production business, GEA Live (General Entertainment Associates).

Amsterdam based GEA Live has been developing and producing shows worldwide since 2003, most notably for the late Italian producer Ennio Morricone for the final six years of his career, which encompassed more than 100 arena concerts in Europe.

GEA Live has specialised in the development and exploitation of IP in a live setting, producing official legacy tours such as Elvis Live on Screen, or career highlights productions with composers like James Newton Howard and Giorgio Moroder, as well as in-concert productions of well-known television and film franchises.

The acquisition will see Senbla collaborate with GEA Live on a range of projects including the Live in Concert version of Netflix’s hit series Our Planet (narrated by Sir David Attenborough), a space project with the European Space Agency with music by film composer Ilan Eshkeri, and a new arena show curated by Ennio Morricone.

“Senbla and [CEO] Ollie Rosenblatt have been trusted allies throughout the years,” says Floris Douwes, CEO and co-founder of GEA Live.

“[We want] to bring the best entertainment to fans, whilst engaging IP and rights owners [for] maximum commercial return”

“The new partnership came about almost organically and sets us up for further sustainable growth into new markets. The synergetic advantage it creates, to mutually develop and produce IP with a strategy that is both global in appeal as well as locally informed, is second to none.”

Ollie Rosenblatt, CEO of Senbla, adds: “As we continue to build momentum and scope in the business, I am delighted our next European chapter is with Floris, Ton and the wonderful team and shows they have built at GEA Live. We have a range of creative ideas we are developing, which match our ambition to bring the best entertainment to the fans, whilst really engaging IP and rights owners to provide maximum commercial return”.

The new alliance follows Senbla’s 2020 acquisition of boutique UK festivals Strawberries and Creem and The Cambridge Club.

Through Sony Masterworks, Senbla has also acquired businesses in the experiential space, family entertainment and theatre – both in the UK and the US – most notably Terrapin Station Entertainment and Seaview Productions.

Past Senbla events include concerts by Burt Bacharach, Diana Ross, Marc Almond, Michael Bublé, Ennio Morricone and Quincy Jones, and screenings with live orchestra of Love ActuallyHarry PotterStar WarsBeauty and the Beast and Joker.

 


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