Everybody who is interested in global music will probably remember that very special day last year. On May 21st 2001 the theatre, Horsens Ny Theater, in Horsens was the setting for a concert, which was written into music history before it even started. This was the day that Bob Dylan entered the stage, and gave a little exclusive performance for only 500 people. Now – one year has passed since Horsens was seriously placed on the global music map, and now, a small numbers of tickets are once more put to sale for a new exclusive concert.
On September 4th world famous crooner Tom Jones, will get on stage and sing for a small and exclusive audience. A couple of days before Jones' performance the theatre will present Bryan Adams on stage.
Frank Panduro, the director of Horsens Ny Theater, is the man, who has succeeded in bringing the theatre to be a famous Danish concert venue. And he makes it no secret that it has been his plan for a long time. The recipe to get so far has been simple, when you ask Frank Panduro today.
"You have to do something completely mad, do something that makes you cross the line. We decided, that we wanted the big names to come to play in a little place, and that has now succeeded," says Frank Panduro.
The first famous names to perform in Horsens were Hank Marvin and Joe Cocker. It all was made possible, because the theatre started working with sponsors. Two years ago Frank Panduro invited 15 local companies to a meeting about how they could assist economically in creating exclusive concerts within the theatre. After some hours of discussion all companies, except for one, were interested in supporting the idea about setting up two or three concerts every year, which they would pilot.
"In that way we had a capital to start up with. But it wasn't until last year, that we made the concerts. Over the duration of three weeks we made concerts with Hank Marvin, Joe Cocker and Bob Dylan, that was the official start to our sponsored concerts. Because of the support from the local companies we succeeded in doing things that only few are able to do."
"Our philosophy is, that 95 per cent of time, Horsens have a theatre that is used for ordinary arrangements and concerts. However, the few times where the theatre normally is too small, you have the possibility to make exclusive performance for few people because you have the economic support."
"After we started working with that philosophy, I have experienced that the sponsors are very excited about arranging music events. They have told me that it is very useful for them using money in this way. They can see that it's easier to get collaborators to move into town, because it gets more and more popular to be in Horsens. Maybe they don't like Bob Dylan, but they know that he has been in the city, like Joe Cocker and other world famous names. They get the impression of Horsens as a dynamic city."
But it is not only the sponsoring companies and Horsens which will profit from the exclusive concerts in Horsens Ny Theater. For Frank Panduro and the work with organizing the concerts it has been a great help when it comes to dealing with artist agencies.
"The different agencies can see, that in spite of the fact that we are a smaller venue, we can manage things properly. Because we have started to protrude a bit by making those special concerts, we can make an agreement with a band more easily than other places, because they know that we have a reference that we can use. In fact it's a bit unfair compared to other places staging the same concerts, because they have probably done things just as well as we have. The difference is that we have a better reference."
– What does it mean to the famous artists and bands, which perform at the theatre? Can they remember having been in Horsens ?
"I know that Bob Dylan remembered the concert, because two months ago he said to an American magazine, that he wanted to do one more small and exclusive concert in Dublin, because the one in Horsens had been such a great experience, so you can say, he hasn't forgotten Horsens. Maybe also because the concert in Horsens was proclaimed to be the best concert on his Europe-tour."
– So you mean that prominent musicians like Bob Dylan and others can use those small concerts in Horsens for something?
"We had the very special pleasure that the management for Bob Dylan called us two days after the concert and asked if we were interested in making one more concert. The problem was, that we couldn't afford it."
– For you it must been a very large act of kindness to get from Bob Dylan?
"That's right. Its nice, but a greater part of the honour has to go to the Danish concert agency, DKB, which we have an outstanding collaboration with. Then there are the sponsors – without those two parts I wouldn't get anything to happen."