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‘End of an era’: Mainland Music founders move on

Three of the four remaining co-founders of Mainland Music have parted ways after more than a decade of operating one of Switzerland’s principal promoting companies together.

Founded in 2012 by Christian Gremelmayr, Derrick Thomson, Marc Lambelet, Martin Schrader and Santosh Aerthott, Mainland organises more than 650 shows annually from its offices in Zurich and Lausanne. In 2019, the company was acquired by Live Nation GSA, when Schrader departed.

With immediate effect, Aerthott and Gremelmayr will join the management of Good News Productions, the Swiss rock and metal promoter backed by DEAG. Along with current managing director Stefan Matthey, the trio will be responsible for driving the expansion of the company. Former Mainland employee and ticketing and marketing specialist, Patrizia Demont, already joined Good News in October 2023.

“We see excellent opportunities in Switzerland and want to continue to grow profitably with Christian and Santosh and expand our range,” says Detlef Kornett, co-CEO and executive board member of DEAG.

Stefan Matthey, managing director of Good News adds: “I am really looking forward to working with Christian Gremelmayr and Santosh Aerthott. They have extensive experience in the live entertainment industry and a strong network of artists and promoters. We have already worked together closely and trustingly on various events in recent years. Together we want to develop new event formats and offer visitors first-class entertainment at many events and concerts.”

“This is the end of an era. I am very proud of what we have accomplished with Mainland Music as a team over the last 10 years”

Meanwhile, Marc Lambelet will turn his focus to Soldout Productions, a Lausanne-based promoter (est 2006) in which he owns shares.

“This is the end of an era. I am very proud of what we have accomplished with Mainland Music as a team over the last 10 years,” says Lambelet.

“My 32-year-old partner in crime Derrick, will carry on running the show on his own. I wish him good luck. I also want to send my congrats to my ex-partners Santosh and Christian. Godspeed to them on their new venture with Good News.

“After 33 years in the live music business, I’m as passionate as ever for a job that is more a lifestyle than proper work. I am looking forward to opening a new chapter in my career.”

Derrick Thomson remains at the helm of Mainland, with upcoming tours including Olivia Rodrigo, Jonas Brothers, Troye Sivan, Rod Stewart, Nickleback and Karol G.


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OpenAir Gampel returns for 35th edition

Organisers of Switzerland’s OpenAir Gampel have hailed the staff, artists and fans who made it possible for the festival to celebrate its 35th edition in challenging circumstances last weekend.

The festival, which was forced to cancel its 2020 edition, welcomed the legal limit of 10,000 festivalgoers a day – just under a third of its usual capacity of 33,000 – from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 August, as well as more than 25 live acts and 50 DJs, all of whom (with the exception of Swiss citizen Jeremy Loops, who was born in South Africa) are from Switzerland, Germany or Austria.

In a statement, Rock Hock Verein says it is “extremely happy about the successful event and draw a very positive [conclusion].” “Not only the numerous musical highlights and the perfect weather,” continues the promoter, “but above all the overwhelming gratitude of the audience, the artists and everyone working behind the scenes.”

In addition to the reducing the capacity and booking only local artists, Rock Hock Verein also shrunk the physical size of the festival site by around 100 metres to comply with the guidelines in the canton of Valais, where Gampel is located.

Four people were given a voucher for the 2022 festival after testing positive for Covid-19

Performers included headliners Jan Delay and Disko No. 1 (the Germans delivering “probably one of the best concerts in the history of Gampel”, according to organisers), Parov Stelar and Fritz Kalkbrenner, as well as Swiss artists such as Besides Lo and Leduc, Faber, Loco Escrito, Dabu Fanstatic, Mimiks and 77 Bombay Street.

Only those who could certify their Covid-19 status were allowed on site, and 88% of visitors were ready with their certificate at the gates. The remaining 12% of festivalgoers were tested on site, with all but four people testing negative. (Those four were given a voucher for the 2022 edition of OpenAir Gampel.)

OpenAir Gampel will return at full capacity next year (18–21 August 2022), with international artists booked by Derrick Thomson at Mainland Music.


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