AMSTERDAM (CelebrityAccess) – Leon Ramakers, the former, long-term director of Mojo Concerts, been made an officer of the Order of Orange Nassau for his contributions to the live music industry by deputy mayor of Amsterdam, Touria Meliani.
Meliani, who presented Ramakers with the award during a surprise ceremony at AFAS Live, said: “You have built up the concert and festival culture in the Netherlands from scratch. You did that on your terms with respect for both sides, the audience and the musician. With an eye for the long term. You are a great connector who works with a pleasant modesty. People that know you praise your unsurpassed musical knowledge, your entrepreneurship and social commitment. Your moral compass and your business instinct.”
Ramakers received the royal award for “his major contribution to the cultural sector” and, in particular, for his efforts in promoting and developing “international pop music in the Netherlands” as part of Mojo Concerts, which celebrated its 50th-anniversary last year. The award also recognized the support Ramakers offered to start-ups in the music industry and across the cultural sector, and his various administrative and supervisory positions within the Dutch cultural landscape, including in architecture and in publishing.
Ramakers started working at Mojo Concerts, which was founded by Berry Visser, in 1970. Together the duo put on Holland Pop Festival, one of the first multi-day rock festivals in Holland, as well as the Netherlands’ first-ever stadium concert in 1978, which saw Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan sharing the stage at Feijenoord stadium in Rotterdam (then 69,000-cap.).
Ramakers also helped to set up Amsterdam venues AFAS Live (6,000-cap.), formerly the Heineken Music Hall, and the Ziggo Dome (17,000-cap.), and has been instrumental in growing Mojo Concerts into the internationally respected company that it is today.
Earlier this month, Ramakers also received the Golden Harp at the Buma Awards, alongside Pinkpop festival founder Jan Smeets.