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Network Europe Celebrates First Year

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Network Europe, an association for agents, promoters, bookers and talent buyers who work internationally within Europe, marked its first year with a meeting for its members in Berlin, Germany, September 29-October 1, during the revamped PopKomm. Thirty-two of its 58 membership attended. Network Europe members book or promote an estimated 10,000 shows throughout Europe per year.

During Network Europe meetings, members discuss the marketplace, both musically and in terms of business in an informal and open atmosphere. The initiative started in 1986 and was formalized into an association in September 2003 during the BAM Festival in Barcelona, Spain.

Two, three-hour sessions were held on consecutive days about exchanging information on each other’s activities and useful information on the market developments and musical developments in the various European countries. Among the general tendencies in Europe that was noted during the sessions: live music is on the up again; local talent is still getting stronger; ticket prices are high; there is high pressure on fees for smaller and mid-size acts.

The meeting also discussed the ETEP (European Talent Exchange Program) and the EuroSonic Festival. Peter Smidt from ETEP and Noorderslag/ EuroSonic Weekend and Ton van der Werf from the Dutch department from the IMMF were guest speakers. Network Europe recently presented the interesting and sometimes surprising results of a survey among its members about EuroSonic 2004 to ETEP and various other connected or interested parties. Smidt was questioned about the selection process for EuroSonic.
Van der Werf informed Network Europe of his plans for showcases during the EuroSonic Festival with bands who mainly thrive on their live reputation.

Rob Berends, president of the Paperclip Agency in the Netherlands and chairman of Network Europe, said members were very positive about the new PopKomm. “The acts that played the showcases were rated positive, the showcases themselves were organized properly and ran on time (although distances between clubs are a bit of a problem), the seminar program was interesting, the satellite meetings were offered good facilities, and the fair was a good meeting place,” he said. “Berlin is a fine city to visit too. Network Europe is grateful to PopKomm for the hospitality.”

“Terms of business as issued by many UK agents were not discussed, as it seems that changes are expected anyway,” he added.

Network Europe’s current board includes: Rob Berends (chairman), Paperclip Agency, the Netherlands; Kristoffer Endresen, Tiktak, Norway;
Corrado Gioia, Hard Staff, Italy; Tapio Korjus, Rockadillo, Finland; Marc Lambelet (treasurer), Black Lamb, Switzerland. – Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner