A Festival Fireside Chat

Those in the industry who feel the last thing it needs right now is yet another new conference to discuss it all are being encouraged to think of The International Music Festival Conference Europe at Amsterdam Hotel Novotel April 8-9 as more of a fireside chat.

Waco Hoover of Michael Bass Group, the US-based conference and tradeshow specialists organising what will be known as IMFCON, says it’s not trying to set itself alongside major European conferences such as Eurosonic-Noorderslag and ILMC.

The idea is to run a smaller gathering that offers the festivals a chance to talk to either in a “more relaxed atmosphere.” So far, Hoover says he has 45 festivals attending and other interested parties such as promoters, agents, production execs will probably swell the attendance to about 150.

The mission statement says IMFCON is trying to “promote and strengthen the global music festival industry through education, networking, dissemination of information, and the cultivation of high standards.”

Michael Bass Group has organised a similar gathering for film festivals for more than a decade in the US, adding a European version four years ago.

The first two European film festival conferences were in London, last year’s was in Paris. The 2010 gathering will run in parallel with the inaugural music festival conference.

The music festival speakers Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn, The Netherlands’ North Sea Jazz Festival director Jan Willem Luyken, Patrick De Groote from Belgium’s Sfinx Festival, Mauro Valente from Italia Wave Love Festival, Dany Hassenstein from Switzerland’s Paleo-Nyon Festival and Michal Kascak from Slovakia’s Pohoda Festival.