Down The Rabbit Hole sells out in under 45 mins
Dutch festival Down The Rabbit Hole sold out in less than 45 minutes of going on sale last Saturday (2 December).
All 45,000 tickets to the three-day event at De Groene Heuvels near Ewijk have been purchased, despite a price increase of €25 to €280 since last year.
More than half of the tickets were sold during the pre-sale and the remaining half were swept up during the general sale on Saturday 2 December at 11 am.
“People were ready at eleven o’clock. The tickets were gone almost instantly,” a spokesperson for Down The Rabbit Hole told AD. “It just takes a while before the system actually indicates this. First, all sales processes must be completely completed.”
“The tickets were gone almost instantly”
The sell-out marks a new record for the Mojo Concerts-promoted event, which took three days to run out of tickets last year.
Next year’s festival will see the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Michael Kiwanuka, The National, Jungle, Raye, Jessie Ware and Khruangbin perform at the 5–7 July festival.
Live Nation-backed Mojo also promotes Lowlands, North Sea Jazz and Pinkpop – which today announced its 2024 lineup, with Ed Sheeran, Måneskin and Calvin Harris topping the bill.
Nothing But Thieves, Sam Smith, Avril Lavigne, Hozier, Limp Bizkit and Greta Van Fleet are also set to perform at Pinkpop in Megaland Landgraaf between 21–23 June 2024.
Lowlands and North Sea Jazz are yet to announce acts for their 2024 instalments.
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ESNS announces keynote speakers for 2024
ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) has announced the first keynote and featured speakers for next year’s edition, taking place between 17–20 January 2024 in Groningen, the Netherlands.
Amy Thomson (formerly Hipgnosis, ATM Artists), John Mulder (MOJO Concerts/Live Nation) and Mark Mulligan (MIDiA Research) are among the keynotes for the European showcase festival and conference.
Mulder will appear at ESNS 2024 mere weeks after leaving his post as CEO of Mojo Concerts, the Dutch Live Nation subsidiary, on 1 January.
During the keynote interview, the Dutch exec will reflect on his versatile career which includes roles as tour manager of Metallica and co-initiator of AFAS Live and the Ziggo Dome.
Elsewhere, Thomson, former chief catalogue officer at Hipgnosis Songs Fund and CEO and founder of ATM Artists, will address the music industry’s challenges regarding finding, tracking, and tracing metadata across different platforms.
Thomson has executed record releases, marketing campaigns, touring, legal rights and copyright for clients including Kanye West, DJ Snake, Swedish House Mafia, Gorillaz, and Seal. Her passion for catalogue management led her to develop an online application that helps artists manage their metadata.
Mulder will reflect on his versatile career which includes roles as tour manager of Metallica and co-initiator of AFAS Live and the Ziggo Dome
The third keynote announced today is Mark Mulligan, managing director of MIDiA Research. As a long-term media and technology analyst, he is considered a leading thinker on the music industry’s digital transition.
At ESNS 2024, Mulligan will explore the rise of the next music business, explaining that we’re already entering the post-streaming era. He will present a vision for what this new world will look like and who will be the key players.
Joining the Music Industry Therapists Collective, Justin Lockey of English rock band Editors will share his insights on mental health on the road, shining a light on touring with Editors. Additionally, George Musgrave (Goldsmiths, University of London) will join two sessions about mental health.
European Parliament MEP Ibán García Del Blanco joins a panel moderated by Helienne Lindvall (ECSA) to discuss the European Parliament draft report on Cultural diversity and the conditions for authors in the European music streaming market.
ESNS Tech is a series of panel discussions curated by innovation specialist and community builder Turo Pekari (Music Finland). Experts in the intersection of music and technology will address topics such as tomorrow’s business model. ESNS Tech will tune into challenges, opportunities and the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence within the music industry.
Discover the full conference programme here. More panels and speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.
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Judge rejects lawsuit against TicketSwap
A Dutch court has rejected a lawsuit filed by a techno music event organiser against price-capped resale platform TicketSwap.
Entertainment Business and Nieuws.nl report that Amsterdam-based Free Your Mind (FYM) sought to ban TicketSwap from trading and reselling tickets for its events, accusing the firm of misleading customers by offering tickets with its SecureSwap guarantee despite there being no cooperation agreement between the two companies.
“If a festival organiser does not cooperate, TicketSwap cannot offer safe tickets,” claimed FYM ahead of the ruling in Amsterdam District Court.
However, FYM’s lawsuit has been dismissed by a judge, in a move that has been welcomed by TicketSwap CEO Hans Ober.
“Creating a fair and safe platform for buying and reselling tickets is what we at TicketSwap have been committed to every day for 11 years,” says Ober. “We are therefore pleased with the judge’s ruling, which shows that consumers should be able to resell their tickets.”
“We knew there was a chance that the judge would reject it, but we are happy with the discussion that has started”
Launched in 2012, Amsterdam-headquartered TicketSwap has attracted upwards of nine million users active in 36 countries worldwide.
It collaborates directly with event organisers to offer verified SecureSwap tickets on its platform, which makes the seller’s original ticket invalid while the buyer receives a completely new and unique ticket. But FYM says it does not work with TicketSwap and indicated it may yet pursue its complaint further.
“We knew there was a chance that the judge would reject it, but we are happy with the discussion that has started,” says a statement.
The judge also threw out a counter-claim by TicketSwap, which called on Free Your Mind to stop making negative statements against the company, saying it fell under freedom of expression.
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Dutch courage: Netherlands market report
As a barometer for the health of the international live music industry, the Netherlands is a pretty good bet. The nation’s promoters have bounced back post-Covid, albeit with a series of challenges that their peers internationally will recognise. But Adam Woods learns that a clampdown on tourism in Amsterdam might provide the rest of the nation with opportunities…
Industrious, outward-looking, and well-located in the heart of Europe, The Netherlands isn’t immune to bad times – but when there are good times to be had, you can generally assume the Dutch are getting their share of them.
In August, the Association of Dutch Music Venues and Festivals’ (VNPF) Poppodia and Festivals in Figures 2022 report, showed that 48 key music venues and 55 festivals drew 7.6m visits in 2022, compared to 883,000 in 2021 and 8.6m in the last pre-Covid year of 2019.
And while rising costs and an accompanying spike in ticket prices offer their own challenges, the anecdotal health of the business in 2023 – proclaimed by just about everyone in the industry – indicates that we can probably declare The Netherlands’ comeback to be complete.
Mojo Concerts, the local Live Nation arm and by some distance the biggest promoter in The Netherlands over 55 years, has had another banner year, to add to a barnstorming 2022.
“2023 again is a record year, specifically for stadium shows”
“This whole year has been an amazing year for us again,” says Mojo head promoter Kim Bloem. “Last year was already crazy because in nine months, we had more visitors than we normally had in a year. And 2023 again is a record year, specifically for stadium shows.”
Mojo chalked up 17 of them in 2023, most in Amsterdam’s 55,855-cap Johan Cruijff ArenA (AKA Amsterdam ArenA) – four Coldplays, three Bruce Springsteens, three Harry Styles, two apiece for The Weeknd, Metallica, and Beyoncé, and one for Guns N’ Roses.
“We never have that many stadium shows in one year,” says Bloem, “but for obvious reasons, 2022 was not a good year for those acts – it’s such a huge investment to tour on that level, and with all the uncertainties and travel restrictions still in place, it just didn’t make sense. It was a challenge to get everything lined up, and it’s amazing that it all fitted in so well.”
The Netherlands has form for fitting things in. With a population of around 17.5m in just 41,526 sq km, it is more densely populated than any other substantial country in Europe, and its level of consumer demand puts it firmly on the agenda of any tour of any significance.
Its festivals – Lowlands, Mysteryland, Pinkpop, Amsterdam Dance Event, Awakenings, Best Kept Secret, North Sea Jazz, and the rest – have local appeal and major international pull; and secondary markets such as Rotterdam (while very much ancillary to Amsterdam), have a growing appeal of their own. So, what’s the secret of Dutch success? Joost Aanen, co-founder and CEO of Amsterdam-and Eindhoven-based ticketing platform Eventix, thinks he knows.
“Dutch culture and government governance was always quite lenient here, so festivals developed very early on, and that side of the industry is very experienced”
“What I think is unique about The Netherlands and Dutch culture is that because it’s such a small country, without a lot of natural resources, the culture is very much focused around trading with neighbours,” he says. “It’s always been a country of merchants, with a global orientation.
“So, it’s a good foundation to build an entertainment industry. If you look at the Dutch DJs, they also have this global focus. And meanwhile, Dutch culture and government governance was always quite lenient here, so festivals developed very early on, and that side of the industry is very experienced.”
That doesn’t entirely account for the bulletproof demand, however. Friendly Fire promoter Lauri van Ommen believes the market in 2023 might have already outstripped its pre-Covid form.
“I think it may be even stronger than it was,” she says. “A lot of people realised during Covid that they want to go out, they want to enjoy a concert, that it’s their time to relax. And I think people also want to travel again, and The Netherlands is convenient for the UK, for Belgium, for France. It’s so easy to get to.”
But while promoters, venues, and the vast majority of festivals report good times, like most European markets, The Netherlands has certain structural issues to contend with.
“More and more venues have stopped booking support acts because it’s too expensive to have one due to longer working hours, higher wages, and more catering costs”
Last year’s staff drain has not entirely been reversed, with reports of elevated rates for experienced technical professionals. Supplier costs have bitten hardest among areas of the market that can least afford it, including free festivals, and the increasing conservatism of ticket-buyers, while good news for well-known names, has left smaller venues and newer artists struggling for their share of attention.
“At the moment, I think the excitement is mainly at the financial departments of the promoters who promote the big shows and festivals,” says Jacco van Lanen of independent Double Vee Concerts. “Doesn’t matter what the prices are, the people buy tickets.
“On the smaller level, I see more challenges than excitement. More and more venues have stopped booking support acts because it’s too expensive to have one due to longer working hours, higher wages, and more catering costs. The most exciting thing is that there are, luckily, still many very talented young people who are incredibly creative in getting attention and trying to build their way up.”
While Mojo remains dominant, the well-told story of the past dozen years or so among the promoters of The Netherlands has been the rise to prominence of a healthy range of big-hitting competitors. These include FKP Scorpio’s Friendly Fire, the independent Greenhouse Talent, and the Dutch-talent-focused Agents After All, which last December became the latest acquisition of the increasingly sizeable All Things Live group. The clear impression is of a market that can accommodate a bit of healthy rivalry.
“It is a competitive market, but it is a good one. It just feels stable,” says Greenhouse Talent head promoter Wouter de Wilde, who believes international agents appreciate a range of choice.
“This year we have had Måneskin and George Ezra, Snoop Dogg, Cigarettes After Sex, Hans Zimmer”
“We see a lot of dropouts coming to us,” he says. “We can offer something different to Live Nation, and we have proven ourselves as a promoter for really big shows.”
This year, Greenhouse promoted Rammstein across two nights at Groningen’s Stadspark in July, selling 110,000 tickets. The same month, the promoter put three Taylor Swift shows on sale for summer next year at Johan Cruijff Arena, 150,000 tickets in total, and promptly sold the lot.
“That’s tremendous business to have as an independent promoter,” says De Wilde, who notes that such demand comes even in the face of rising ticket prices.
Of the other key promoters in The Netherlands, Friendly Fire was founded in 2009 and became part of FKP Scorpio three years later. Like its Dutch competitors, it operates across the board, from clubs to stadiums.
“This year we have had Måneskin and George Ezra, Snoop Dogg, Cigarettes After Sex, Hans Zimmer,” says Van Ommen. “It’s a great year for promoted shows, and we also had a great year for our festival, Best Kept Secret.”
In August, All Things Live also took a majority stake in festival promoter Loveland Events
Dance giant ID&T is another huge presence in the Netherlands and further afield. It was bought by Superstruct Entertainment from owners Axar Capital for an undisclosed sum in September 2021. The promoter has 70 events, including Amsterdam Open Air, Mysteryland, Thunderdome, Awakenings, Defqon.1, Milkshake, and Sensation, as well as two talent agencies and a creative workshop.
Booking agent, management stable, and promoter Agents After All, meanwhile, has operated since 2004, and its 30-strong team is involved in 1,500 concerts annually, to add to festivals such as Royal Park Live, HIER Festival, and Concert at SEA.
In August, All Things Live also took a majority stake in festival promoter Loveland Events, whose events include Loveland Festival, 909 Festival, Music On Festival, and Loveland Van Orange Festival, as well as several ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) events.
Double Vee, founded by Dutch live veteran Willem Venema, is another busy indie, promoting, booking, and co-promoting around 400 to 500 shows a year, varying in capacity from 150-cap rooms to arena shows. Its acts include new international artists like Alix Page, Daisy The Great, Deijuvhs, and L.A. Edwards, and Dutch artists such as Lov3less, Leah Rye, Annelie, and Lotte Walda.
So, where next? Does the post-Covid boom carry on into 2024, or are we in for a slow-down?
“I think if you compare it to 2022 and this year, then of course the big difference you’ll see is the number of stadium shows”
“I don’t know if it’s going to be a quieter year,” says Bloem. “I think if you compare it to 2022 and this year, then of course the big difference you’ll see is the number of stadium shows. My feeling is that it’s going to go back to ‘normal’ again, where you have many big acts touring one year, and then the next you have a bit less but more new talent coming up.
“But that doesn’t necessarily mean a decrease in the number of shows. Since I have been working in the music business, every year there has been an increase, and artists grow quicker into theatres and arenas.”
Where festivals are concerned, The Netherlands has some of Europe’s crown jewels. The world’s longest-running electronic music festival, ID&T’s Mysteryland, chalked up its 30th anniversary in August and celebrated by announcing that 80% of the festival’s power consumption would come from green grid power, while the remaining 20% would be largely made up of flexible, sustainably generated energy.
Live Nation’s Pinkpop is the longest-running open-air festival in the world, and this year returned with P!nk, Robbie Williams, and Red Hot Chili Peppers at the top of the bill, drawing 62,500 a day to Megaland in Landgraaf across three days in June.
As well as Pinkpop, Mojo has Lowlands, North Sea Jazz, and Down the Rabbit Hole, and its experience offers an indication of the market’s elastic demand in a tough consumer environment.
“They are not buying a new house or car, they are not making those big investments, but they are spending their money on experiences and memories”
“Costs are hitting everyone, and that has resulted in increased ticket prices this year,” says Bloem. “At the same time, Lowlands and Down the Rabbit Hole sold out in a heartbeat. So, we see and feel that people are spending money on entertainment, restaurants, and going out. They are not buying a new house or car, they are not making those big investments, but they are spending their money on experiences and memories.”
Most Dutch promoters have a stake in the festival business, with the odd exception. “We deliberately don’t organise our own festival,” says Van Lanen at Double Vee. “Mainly because we don’t want to compete in that way with the multinationals. On the other hand, try to find an empty weekend in The Netherlands…”
Greenhouse, whose Ghent-based Belgian arm this year recovered the Ghent Jazz Festival from bankruptcy, organises a yearly concert series called Zuiderpark Live, at The Hague’s open-air Zuiderparktheater.
Friendly Fire’s portfolio includes Indian Summer and Best Kept Secret, which received an overhaul this year. “For Best Kept Secret, we changed the whole identity, gave it a new look and feel, new website, new logo, and changed the set-up of the festival field,” says Van Ommen. “We also have the Indian Summer festival, which is mainly domestic artists, and we have Tuckerville, Ilse DeLange’s festival, and it’s the last edition this year.”
Tuckerville’s retirement after six editions, attributed to rising costs and the difficulty of remaining accessible to a large audience, nods to challenging times in the broader festival market, and it is not the only one.
“More and more free festivals are disappearing”
Dutch hip-hop festival Oh My! announced in July that it would no longer take place this year, citing the cost-of-living crisis, increased production costs, and last-minute safety and crowd regulations. The ALDA-promoted festival, touted as the biggest urban festival in Europe, was due to take place on 15 July at Almere Beach, in the province of Flevoland, and would have
been the sixth annual instalment. Likewise, DUCOS Productions’ free festival Parkpop in The Hague, which drew 250,000 visitors annually and ran for 40 years, drew a hard line in 2023 in response to the rising costs of production and safety requirements.
“More and more free festivals are disappearing,” says Hilde Spille of Nijmegen-based independent booking agency Paperclip. “They either are not there anymore, like Parkpop, one of the biggest European one-day free festivals, or they are turning into paid festivals.”
Production and talent are not the only inflationary factors. Insurance, for instance, must be increasingly comprehensive in the light of recent extreme weather events and warnings.
But with extreme weather taking its toll on many European summer events this season, some local operators report that policies covering acts of God can now be four times what they previously were.
Accordingly, a number of Dutch festivals were disrupted by the threat of extreme weather in July. Awakenings, a techno festival in Hilvarenbeek, Brabant, promoted by ID&T and attracting more than 100,000 visitors across three days, called off its third and final day in anticipation of severe thunderstorms that didn’t fully materialise.
“When the Ziggo Dome was built, it was envisioned for the big touring artists from the US, maybe the UK. The thinking was that Dutch artists can’t fill this place – and that is not the case”
On the same weekend of 8 and 9 July, Weert-based annual rock festival Bospop, which welcomes around 50,000 people each year, and electronic music festival Wildeburg, a three-day event that takes place in Kraggenburg, Flevoland, were also cut short due to the predicted weather conditions.
Amsterdam’s 17,000-capacity Ziggo Dome is the largest concert hall in the Netherlands. Last year, it welcomed over 140 events in nine months, and its busy calendar in 2023 is straightforward evidence of the health of the market at its top end, with Fred Again, Diana Ross, Lizzo, Madonna, Dua Lipa, Depeche Mode, and the Arctic Monkeys among those passing through.
“It is the year after the busiest year ever in our history,” Ziggo Dome director of commercial affairs Danny Damman told IQ’s Global Arena Guide 2023. “In 2022, we had over 140 events in nine months – it was a hefty challenge – and we are well on target this year despite having a particularly high number of cancellations, such as Justin Bieber and Celine Dion.”
Inaugurated in 2012, the venue was built with international touring artists in mind, but The Netherlands’ homegrown talent has increasingly risen to meet the challenge.
“When the Ziggo Dome was built, it was envisioned for the big touring artists from the US, maybe the UK,” says Henk Schuit, managing director of Eventim Netherlands. “The thinking was that Dutch artists can’t fill this place – and that is not the case. More and more Dutch artists are filling the Ziggo Dome – both older reunited bands like Acda en De Munnik, who filled it six times, and newer guys like Anton, who’s just turned 21 and played two shows [in December], which is quite healthy, I think.”
“The new generation of creators want to be the boss of their own community, their own ticket sales and so on”
Other developments at the Ziggo Dome also appear to have broader significance. In 2022, the venue added blockchain ticketing specialist GUTS Tickets to its preferred ticketing partners. In addition to preventing unwanted reselling and ticket fraud, blockchain tickets allow for every attendee to claim their ticket as an NFT collectible – while also offering promoters and artists access to the data generated by their audience.
“The Ziggo Dome offers the possibility to people who rent out the arena to have their own ticketing system,” says GUTS Tickets CEO Maarten Bloemers. “And what we see is that the younger artists, the independent artists, tend to choose us. The new generation of creators want to be the boss of their own community, their own ticket sales and so on. I think bi-weekly or weekly we do a show in the Ziggo Dome, and they’re a dream partner of ours, obviously.”
The Netherlands’ other key arenas are the 16,426-cap Rotterdam Ahoy, now 52 years old, and Amsterdam’s AFAS Live – once the Heineken Music Hall – whose Black Box main room can contain up to 6,000. The Ahoy has undergone a total renovation in recent years, as well as introducing a new mid-size arena, the 7,842-cap RTM Stage, at the end of 2020.
“The new stage is also designed to transform into the biggest auditorium in The Netherlands, with a capacity of 2,816 and an XL-seated variant of 4,174 seats,” says Ahoy head of entertainment and sports Arnaud Hordijk.
Events at the Ahoy complex this year include Mojo’s North Sea Jazz festival and Rolling Loud Rotterdam, as well as Rotterdam Reggae and hard techno fest Rotterdam Rave. “We’ve welcomed almost 200,000 visitors for these festivals this summer, which include three new ones compared to last year,” says Hordijk. The Ahoy is also busy with a range of sustainability initiatives, including 8,700 sq m of solar panels and 1,300 sq m of sedum roofs and, most recently, a plan for an urban water buffer, which allows rainwater to be collected, retained, filtered, stored, and reused for purposes such as window and floor cleaning.
“Of course, when Stromae cancels shows or Adele farts, it’s in the media. But it’s very, very hard to get any attention for new developing artists at the moment”
In a time of big-ticket shows, the fortunes of such venues seem assured. Of greater concern, says Schuit, are those of the smaller players. “The top of the market is getting the visitors, but underneath it’s a little bit of a problem,” says Schuit. “When you have 800,000 visitors to the Amsterdam ArenA, that maybe causes a rupture somewhere else in the channel, maybe lower down the line. I think young musicians starting out are struggling a little bit and have a tougher environment to break through.”
At Double Vee, Van Lanen agrees. “It feels like extremes to both sides. It looks like the major acts can’t deliver enough tickets for everybody who wants to see the show. And the prices are extremely high, so they take most of the money out of the market. As a result, the smaller and newer acts suffer.
“On the other hand, for new acts, it feels like the media also sort of disappeared after Covid. Of course, when Stromae cancels shows or Adele farts, it’s in the media. But it’s very, very hard to get any attention for new developing artists at the moment. I hope this will change soon, otherwise we won’t have acts to fill the medium-sized rooms in a year or five.”
The strength of Mojo contributes to making Ticketmaster the comfortable market leader in The Netherlands, leaving its rivals to find ingenious ways to carve out market share. Eventim recently launched an in-house agency to provide marketing and promotional support to promoters, particularly international ones, seeking to stage one or two shows in The Netherlands.
“If you are touring with a certain production setup and you can take care of that, then we are a perfect fit,” says Schuit. “We know the market; we have the reach. So I think, especially for foreign visitors to The Netherlands, we are a perfect fit to cater to their needs.”
As Schuit points out, The Netherlands is a busy, highly competitive market. But it is also one that carved itself out with hard work and smart thinking – and, as recent years have shown, one that rewards independent spirit.
Awakenings director Rocco Veenboer steps down
Awakenings director Rocco Veenboer is stepping down after almost 30 years at the helm.
He will, however, remain at the Netherlands-based techno empire until 2027 as a consultant.
“I am 55 years old now and it is time to pass the baton to the new generation in terms of duties and responsibilities,” he said.
The festival, promoted by Superstruct’s ID&T, was founded in 1997 as a techno party at the Gashouder in Amsterdam. The event eventually expanded to include venues such as the Klokgebouw in Eindhoven and the Graansilo in Rotterdam.
“These have been fantastic decades”
Awakenings is best known for its large-scale weekend festivals in Spaarnwoude and Hilvarenbeek that attract tens of thousands of people each day.
In recent decades, Awakenings has grown into the largest event brand in the Netherlands with as many as 300,000 visitors per year.
“In 1997 we organised three parties, which together attracted around 10,000 visitors.” says Veenboer. “At the time, we were one of the first to do major audio-visual work. Looking back now, we have welcomed over 3.5 million people to Awakenings. These have been fantastic decades. I’m grateful that I lived in Amsterdam in 1988 and then got to be part of the musical house and techno revolution.”
The third and final day of Awakenings 2023 was called off due to weather warnings, marking “the most heartbreaking day in the past 26 years of organising Awakenings”.
How TicketSwap is revolutionising ticketing in 2023
TicketSwap, IFF’s official title partner, has spent over a decade making ticketing fairer and safer – and the past year has been no different. The ticket resale app has seen great success in the past year with a roster of innovations – all designed to make the ticketing space fairer and safer for fans, organisers and artists alike.
Here are four things TicketSwap did in 2023 that placed them at the very front of the ticketing landscape…
Taking the headache out of ticket storage
Getting your hands on tickets to events is one thing – storing them somewhere safe and easily accessible is another challenge altogether. TicketSwap’s new Ticket Import Function enables fans to effortlessly import PDF tickets into the app, allowing for organised storage and hassle-free access. The Ticket Import Function also comes with juicy extras for fans, like the chance to win VIP upgrades at events, drinks tokens, queue fast-tracks and other TicketSwap benefits.
Future-proofing with FairShare
The events industry has been hit hard over recent years, with a staggering number of events being cancelled or postponed indefinitely. But TicketSwap’s new feature, FairShare, makes the secondary ticket market more future-proof for all parties.
With FairShare, any profit on tickets sold is shared equally between the ticket seller and event organiser. With this, both TicketSwap and fans invest in the event industry and support event organisers in producing events in the future. The new feature also ensures that there are fewer overpriced tickets in circulation.
FairShare also gives fans the perfect way to show up for their favourite artists, giving them the chance to invest back into the event industry and support their favourite event organizers.
Cutting edge content
Through its partnerships with event organisers around the world, TicketSwap has spent 2023 giving its following access to the most in-demand stages, sets, parties and events through its content offerings. By fostering social collaborations with acclaimed international artists and household names, the content team is redefining the live music and festival experience, bringing it right to fans’ fingertips – quite literally, across Instagram, TikTok and beyond.
And, for the fans who are feeling lucky, TicketSwap also launched a regular giveaway series offering fans the chance to win tickets to be there, in person, at their very favourite events – an initiative that has created an overwhelming buzz on the app’s social platforms.
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Strengthening trust with seamless integrations
TicketSwap’s alliance with experience platforms demonstrates the app’s dedication to revolutionizing the ticketing sector. These collaborations empower TicketSwap to offer its widely-used SecureSwap feature for numerous events, enhancing the resale security for secondary tickets across various occasions.
According to Mike Robinson, country lead UK at TicketSwap, the integration “allows old ticket barcodes to be invalidated, new barcodes to be generated and a brand new ticket issued to the customer.” This eradicates issues at the door around fraud, name changes and tickets being sold multiple times on different platforms – and, to quote Robinson, is “a game changer.”
Want to join us on the journey? Reach out to us at [email protected]
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.”
Dutch ticketing firms expand partnership
Dutch ticketing companies Eventix and TicketSwap have announced they are expanding their partnership in the German sector.
The move builds on their their previous collaborations on events such as Noisy and Whole Festival, and includes the introduction of TicketSwap’s FairShare feature, which divides profits from secondary ticket sales equally between the seller and the organiser of the event.
FairShare is intended to discourage ticket dealers who resell tickets for profit, as the profit margin for them is decreased.
“We are happy to support our ticketing partners with a new feature that extends our value proposition towards event organisers,” says Tamas Egei, TicketSwap’s head of international expansion. “With Whole and Noisy Festival, we paved the way for FairShare in Germany. I am confident that together with Eventix, we can continue to service event organisers to high standards.”
The two companies have already confirmed they plan to join forces once again during this year’s Amsterdam Dance Event, which ticket sales platform Eventix has partnered with for the next three years.
“Through our collaboration, we aim to simplify the ticketing process”
“We are incredibly proud to continue our partnership with TicketSwap as we expand further into the German market,” adds Dennis Behlau, country manager for Germany at Eventix. “Through our collaboration, we aim to simplify the ticketing process, making it safer, more transparent and worry-free for both event organisers and ticket buyers.”
Eventix announced its entry into the UK market earlier this month following its successes in Germany and Spain. The platform offers a ticket shop customisation feature, which it says allows promoters to “tailor the look and feel of their ticket shop to their brand, enhancing the customer journey and optimising conversion rates”.
“The key to growing your brand and increasing sales lies in the ability to take full control and ownership of your ticketing,” says Eventix CEO Joost Aanen. “We look forward to enabling UK organisers to set their own rules – whether it’s the aesthetics of their ticket shop, the fees, or the payout frequency. It’s your shop, your rules.”
Eventix also offers complete transparency and control over data and tracking.
“Ownership extends to customer data as well,” adds Aanen. “With Eventix, you can leverage this to execute effective performance marketing, track conversion from ad campaigns to ticket sales, and foster a community of loyal attendees.”
The New Bosses 2023: Anouk Ganpatsing, Friendly Fire
The 16th edition of IQ Magazine’s New Bosses was published in IQ 121 this month, revealing 20 of the most promising 30-and-unders in the international live music business.
To get to know this year’s cohort a little better, IQ conducted interviews with each one of 2023’s New Bosses, discovering their greatest inspirations and pinpointing the reasons for their success.
Catch up on the previous interview with Alfie Jefferies, programming administrator at The O2 in London, UK, here. The series continues with Anouk Ganpatsing, booker at Friendly Fire in the Netherlands.
Anouk Ganpatsing is a dynamic and multifaceted music industry professional who is currently working as a booker at Friendly Fire. She graduated from the University of Arts Utrecht with a degree in Music Management in 2019. After graduating she gained experience as a production assistant at Melkweg Amsterdam, booking assistant at Greenhouse Talent, and royalty & copyright assistant at Armada Music.
Anouk is currently working as a booker at Friendly Fire. She joined the company at the beginning of 2022 supporting Roel Coppen’s and Age Versluis’ roster. Together they worked on numerous successful concerts from artists such as Khruangbin, Giant Rooks, Wallows, SYML, Beabadoobee, Pixies, Wolf Alice and many more. Furthermore, Anouk also works on other projects for Friendly Fire like Best Kept Secret, Tuckerville, and Live At Amsterdamse Bos. Her future aspiration is to build her own booking roster some day with diverse artists spanning genres of country, pop, indie, rock and R&B.
IQ: You graduated just before Covid hit. What did you do during the coronavirus situation to set yourself up to develop your career once the pandemic was over?
AG: Well, after I graduated, I started working at Greenhouse Talent as a booking assistant. Unfortunately, the outbreak of COVID-19 led to the non-renewal of my contract, resulting in a weird and uncertain period. I missed the concerts and the joy of getting to do something that you love. In my pursuit of staying connected to the music industry, I explored other opportunities and eventually found a role as a Royalty & Copyright assistant at Armada Music, a dance record label. I learned a lot about record labels and how that branch of the music industry works. But it wasn’t meant for me though! I missed working with other people who loved concerts and festivals as much as I do. In May 2022, as concerts returned to their regular form, I joined Friendly Fire.
Do you have a mentor, or people you can trust to bounce ideas off?
That is Age Versluis. His guidance and support have been invaluable to me, both in my professional and personal life. His advice is spot-on, helping me navigate challenges and grow as an individual. He has a lot of knowledge about the live music industry and is eager to share that with me. His passion for music is contagious and I love to work with people like that!
You have ambitions to develop your own roster. How do you go about discovering new talent who might become artists you will work with in the future?
I try to stay updated on the latest developments and news in the live music industry. I also never stop listening to (new) music and I am always happy to find a new artist that I like. It is an endless discovery!
“Melkweg was the place where my love for the business side of music started!”
You worked at Melkweg for a while. Was there any lessons you learned from being in a venue that have helped you in your work at Friendly Fire?
Working at a venue gave me so much valuable information about the industry. As a booker, you work with numerous venues across the Netherlands, and it is great to know how all the departments inside a venue work. I was a production assistant at the production/program department. Among all the departments within a venue, the production and program departments have been the ones I’ve worked with most closely as a booker. Melkweg was the place where my love for the business side of music started!
Despite the pandemic, you have managed to pack quite a lot into your career to date. What advice could you offer to others who are trying to get a foot in the door of the music industry?
If you want to work in the music industry, you got to start somewhere (even if it is small). I started working as an intern. That is a great place to gain practical experience and it also presents a chance to expand your professional network. The spot for my internship didn’t even exist once I got it. One day, while at a record store, I happened to spot the director of Melkweg. Feeling bold, I approached him and asked if he had any open spots for a music management student like me. And he did! One week later, I had an internship at the department that resonated with me the most at the venue that I loved. Sometimes, if direct internships aren’t available, volunteering at a venue or festival can be another fantastic way to get involved.
As a new boss, what one thing would you change to make the live entertainment industry a better place?
I would love to see more women in high positions at music companies. It’s quite surprising, that when I attend (international) conferences or festivals, the number of women I come across is noticeably low. Let’s work towards a more inclusive and diverse industry!
“One of my primary goals is to create a larger platform for country music in the Netherlands”
As a young person looking to make a name for themselves in the business, are there any particular events, forums or platforms you visit to meet peers in the industry to expand your network of contacts?
I think it is important to attend the showcase festivals and conferences like Eurosonic Noorderslag, The Great Escape, IFF, ILMC. These events offer valuable opportunities to connect with new people in the industry and strengthen existing relationships with those you are currently working with.
Friendly Fire works across a number of disciplines in the music industry. Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
In five years, I would like to have built my own roster with the artists and genres that I like (country, pop, r&b, indie). One of my primary goals is to create a larger platform for country music in the Netherlands and actively contribute to the growth of this genre. Yeehaw!
All Things Live buys Dutch festival promoter
Nordic live entertainment giant All Things Live is expanding in the Netherlands with a majority stake in festival promoter Loveland Events.
Established in 1995, the Amsterdam-based organiser has launched several renowned dance festivals that draw over 150,000 visitors annually.
The company’s stable of events includes Loveland Festival, 909 Festival, Music On Festival and Loveland Orange Festival, as well as several ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event) events.
The addition of Loveland expands All Thing Live’s existing festival portfolio throughout Europe as well as its footprint in the Netherlands which already includes Concert at Sea, HIER Festival, In Het Volkspark and Agents After All.
Kim Worsøe, member of the executive board of All Things Live Group, says: “Marnix and his team have built fantastic festivals over the years, and we are excited to welcome Loveland to the All Things Live family and our growing festival business fueled by passion for great live events and love for music.”
“By combining powers, we get the chance to learn from a variety of festival entrepreneurs in [ATL’s] extensive portfolio”
Marnix Bal, founder and CEO of Loveland, adds: “We believe that Loveland Events and All Things Live is a perfect fit that comes at the right time. After producing events for over 25 years, the partnership offers the unique opportunity to do better events for the city of Amsterdam and its residents. By combining powers, we get the chance to learn from a variety of festival entrepreneurs that make up the extensive portfolio of All Things Live and incorporate best practices in our own events.”
All Things Live was established in December 2018 following Waterland Private Equity’s acquisition of leading Nordic live entertainment companies in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The partnership has since expanded into Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and the Middle East.
The company represents 522 local artists on exclusive contracts, arranges 17 festivals, promotes 8,200 local and international events with more than 2,100,000 tickets sold per year and continues to grow its current portfolio of 35 corporate partnerships.
All Things Live has promoted artists including Justin Bieber, The Rolling Stones, Rammstein, Green Day and Eminem.