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VNPF co-founder Fons van Iersel passes

The co-founder of the Association of Dutch Music Venues and Festivals (VNPF) has passed away aged 72.

Fons van Iersel, who also co-founded 3,000-cap Tilburg venue 013 in the late 1990s, died at the weekend following an accident, reports BD.

The Dutch live veteran was the first winner at the VNPF’s IJzeren Podiumdier awards in 1997 and was later recognised with the association’s lifetime achievement award in 1999.

“Fons left us at much too young an age,” says the trade body in a statement. “VNPF members, VNPF board and VNPF office employees are more than grateful to Fons as an energetic source of inspiration for his positive involvement in the pop sector.”

“A striking man is gone who has meant a lot to the culture”

Van Iersel was passionate about talent development in the Netherlands, launching the Rock Academy, which helped nurture domestic stars such as Krezip, Danny Vera, Floor Jansen and Duncan Laurence, and had recently set up Tilburg production house Het Pophuis.

“From the realisation of 013 (Tilburg) to co-initiator and talent developer of Het Pophuis; from driving force at Noorderligt (predecessor 013) to founder of the Fontys Rock Academy, its significance cannot be underestimated.

“We wish family, friends, former colleagues a lot of strength with this loss.”

Speaking to BD, Van Iersel’s friend Chris Leenaars adds: “We are all shocked. A striking man is gone who has meant a lot to the culture.”


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