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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Buzz in the east
Most likely, many IQ readers have at some point wondered what might be happening in the central and eastern parts of Europe, as it seems that more and more interesting festivals are popping up every year, and there has been a growth in international ticket sales at events.
In order to stop unfounded assumptions, and to instead provide actual facts about the region, SoundCzech/Czech Music Office began operating this summer, with the aim of providing the wider live music community with access to information regarding the Czech music scene.
As the head of the office, and as a Hungarian expat living in Prague, I see the existing situation from a slightly different viewpoint than my Czech colleagues. Even though the central-eastern European region (with a focus on Czech Republic) has been active for some time, in the past few years many developments have taken place. The Czech live music scene is flourishing, with many improvements all around the country: local and international bands can play and work in good quality venues and studios; the inauguration of new associations (such as FestAs, the Czech festival association, and an association of independent labels); many local bands are now reaching international music standards; and last but not least, many young professionals are eager to find partners elsewhere in Europe to co-operate with.
The Czech live music scene is flourishing, with many improvements all around the country
I would even risk saying that the scene is ready to take off and to start crossing borders. However, I should add that the education of young professionals is an area that still needs improvement.
One other key topic we are working on is creating a general music sector platform to change the status quo of the region’s existing music sector. Just as in many other European countries, the official acknowledgement of the live music scene as a fully functioning ‘industry’ would drastically improve our ability to develop the sector further.
Considering these current developments, our focus (on behalf of SoundCzech/Czech Music Office), besides educating professionals, is to create as many access points to the Czech market as possible. You will find us at most relevant European events, and as a signature project together with other regional partners, we have created a new brand, the CEEntral Party, that we will feature at different events (ESNS, Reeperbahn, ℅ pop) with the aim of linking capable regional colleagues with professionals present at international trade gatherings.