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Countdown to the Arthurs 2020: Mad Cool

Individuals and events will be crowned across 11 categories at the Arthur Awards Winners’ Dinner on 5 March, as the music industry’s response to the Oscars returns to the glamorous Sheraton Grand Park Lane hotel.

Last year’s 25th anniversary awards saw success for Britannia Row’s Bryan Grant, FKP Scorpio’s Folkert Koopmans, ICM Partners’ Kevin Jergensen and Live Nation’s Selina Emeny, as well as the teams at the Royal Albert Hall, British Summer Time Hyde Park and Mad Cool Festival, among others.

As the Emma Banks-hosted ceremony draws ever closer, IQ chats to some previous winners to find out what receiving an Arthur meant to them and to discover their biggest hopes and dreams for the future.

Up next is Nara Pinto, head of booking at Live Nation’s Mad Cool festival, last year’s winner of the Arthurs’ New Gig on the Block award.

 


It was great to win the New Gig on the Block award at the Arthurs 2019 – it means we are moving in the right direction as a brand new event [the inaugural Mad Cool took place in 2016]. It has not been easy – our office has put in a great deal of hard work and effort.

Speaking as a promoter, I think most of us enjoy going to ILMC as a get together with people, professionals and colleagues. We work together all year round, but we do not get to see each other or hang out with each other all that often. We live in different countries –  there were around 60 nationalities represented last year –  and despite our close relationship with agents, managers and other promoters, we don’t usually get the chance to meet in a relaxed environment. ILMC allows this, big time. Then, of course, there’s the valuable business and networking side to the conference as well.

We will keep delivering the acts and curating our line-up as best as we possibly can, but the overall experience is crucial

For Mad Cool, the future means improving the experience for the festivalgoer, which is something I talked about as part of the Festival Forum: Fan First? panel at ILMC last year. We will keep delivering the acts and curating our line-up as best as we possibly can – Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, the Killers,  and Twenty One Pilots are among acts on our 2020 line-up, but the overall experience is crucial.

It’s hard to say what’s going to happen with the festival industry going forward. There is a level of uncertainty at the moment that we have not seen before. I do hope we’ll find a way to go around difficulties and continue to strengthen the festival scene, but there are many important goals we need to achieve collectively first.

Personally, I really want to see things like parity, inclusiveness and sustainability become a reality in the near future.

 


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Mad Cool reduces capacity by 20k, adds extra day

The organisers of Mad Cool festival in Madrid have reduced capacity, increased stage numbers and added an extra day to make the 2020 edition “more comfortable and pleasant”.

The fifth outing of Live Nation’s Mad Cool will have a capacity of 60,000, a 25% decrease from the year before. For the first time in 2020, the festival will run for four days, from Wednesday 8 to Saturday 11 July.

Since launching in 2016, Mad Cool has grown rapidly from a starting capacity of 45,000 to 80,000 last year. The festival moved to its current home, which can accommodate 35,000 people per day, in 2018. This “massive growth” has led to some “incidents” in past editions, festival director Javier Arnáiz told IQ in a post-season reflection.

In another bid to tackle overcrowding, the festival will have an additional stage next year – bringing the total number to seven.

“The five-year mark signifies a massive challenge for a festival that always wants to be better and learn from its mistakes”

More space will be also dedicated to rest and relaxation, with a “larger and more varied” food offering.

“We are satisfied to have arrived to where we are with a committed team, top-class artists and, above all, a dedicated audience,” say organisers in a statement. “However, the five-year mark also signifies a massive challenge for a festival that always wants to be better and learn from its mistakes.”

Last year was “tough” for Mad Cool and other festivals across Europe, according to Arnáiz. Sales were lower than usual, which was due to a “lack of headliners” and the strength of previous billings.

“We have to continually work to improve the experience of our audience”, Arnáiz told IQ.

Line-up and ticket information for Mad Cool 2020 will be available in due course.

 


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