Agent's Agenda

The Corporatisation of the Concert Business

22 Sept. 2017 @ Schmidt Theater (Saal)

Speaker: Isla Angus (Booking Agent, ATC Live LLP, GB), Baris Basaran (Head of Booking, SSC Booking , DE), Christophe "Doudou" Davy (Managing Director, Radical Production, FR), Ossy Hoppe (Founder, Wizard Promotions Konzertagentur, DE)

Moderator: Gordon Masson (Editor, IQ Magazine , GB)

Go to programme here

A number of those working across the live music industry in Europe discussed the challenges that exist in a market dominated by corporate companies during the third day of Reeperbahn. Are corporates a good thing for the music business? “No, they kill it to a certain extent,” said Ossy Hoppe, founder of Wizard Promotions. “They throw money into market, and take away the chance for independent promoters who may not have the money but do have belief and ideas. A big lump sum doesn’t give the guarantee that a job will be done properly.” Christophe "Doudou" Davy, Managing Director at Radical Production, said that due to the market conditions, there’s no chance for a new promoter to start a company now.

The only way to ensure the survival of independent and experienced promoters is for artists to stay loyal, put their foot down and work with those they always have done, and for promoters to stay creative, added Hoppe. “This is a good chance for a lot of us in this room to reinvent ourselves. We got a bit lazy, but we need to find new ways [the major companies] are not even thinking about.” Baris Basaran, who is Head of Booking at SSC Booking, said that’s already happening. “We can’t compete with money so we have to deliver a special boutique service.”

When it comes to global deals, young acts and managers are “more critical” than they were a few year ago, said Hoppe. “Live Nation has so many acts out, how can they service them all properly?” Basaran worked with the major promoter for Lady Gaga, Rihanna and U2 shows—all of which lost money. “The artist agents and management were not in the picture much, but I wouldn’t say they were unhappy either. Everything was strictly dictated by Live Nation.”

Isla Angus, who is a Booking Agent at ATC Live LLP, is more concerned about the amount of acts she sees being dropped by agents before there’s been enough time for development. “There’s a lot of competition to sign tiny acts and there’s a trend for people to get on board so early. An awful lot of acts that had fierce competition at the beginning are dropped six to eight months later.” Aside from that, the main change in Angus’ job over the last five years is the growing importance of festivals. “That’s where so much of an artists’ income comes from.”

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