MUSEXPO Europe: Live panel addresses rise of boutique festivals

MUSEXPO Europe: Live panel addresses rise of boutique festivals

A number of key figures from the international live sector came together to discuss the market this morning at MUSEXPO Europe in London.

The panel was moderated by Music Week senior staff writer James Hanley and featured head of marketing and strategic marketing at KBK Konzert-Künstleragentur Jobst-Henning Neermaan, United Talent Agency live agent Natasha Bent, founder of Eurosonic Noorderslag Peter Smidt, president of touring, international, Live Nation UK, Phil Bowdery and Robomagic CEO Rob Hallett.

Among the key topics covered was the rise of boutique festivals. According to the panelists, the need for a different festival experience from that of huge fields and world famous acts is growing at an increasingly rapid rate.

Hallett, who has worked on a number of boutqiue events in the UK, highlighted the need for greater varitey in the festival market.

“Festvals hadn’t really changed much since the early ‘70s,” he said. “It’s important that we can offer something different. People over the 16-24 age group don’t necessarily want to sit in the Glastonbury mud, so a lifestyle event or a smaller festival offers a different option.”

Bowdery added: “There is room for boutique festivals. They offer a different experience – there is room for all.”

Meanwhile Neermaan highlighted the growing importance of boutique festivals for up and coming artists, stating “small festivals and boutique events are becoming increasingly important for newcomer bands.” This sentiment was echoed by Bent, who added: “It’s important to give opportunities to new acts at festivals, not just heritage acts.”

The live panel followed an opening panel from some of the music industry’s leading executives on the biggest challenges facing the market and a keynote address from BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra controller Ben Cooper, who revealed that revealed that MistaJam will cover Annie Mac’s 7-9pm weekday new music show on Radio 1 when she takes her maternity leave in January 2017.

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