Melt! Booking: Tempted By Musical Innovation

Over the coming weeks, Pollstar will highlight some German promoters that have been creating a stir in the country’s live entertainment market. Part one is with Justus Mang, CEO of Melt! Booking.  
Melt! Booking

Melt! Booking arose from Melt! Festival, which takes place in July on the spectacular Ferropolis Island in Gräfenhainichen, Eastern Germany. The festival is known for its diverse line-up, which includes many artists that thrive off the beaten paths – an approach international agents have come to love.

“After many English agents discovered Melt! Festival for their artists, they started offering them to us for tours as well,” Mang told Pollstar. “Melt! Booking was created in 2008 to represent our festival portfolio on tour in Germany.”

First acts included TrickyTigaBooka ShadeSimian Mobile Disco, and Luke Slater. It makes Mang somewhat proud to be able to call Melt! Booking a truly independent tour promoter that hasn’t had to join a global player or ticketing company. The number of promoters in Germany has increased over the past years, which in turn intensified the competition when it comes to finding new acts. According to Mang, indicators such as clicks and followers have led to promoters approaching new acts earlier than ever.

“It is certainly a challenge to make realistic assessments based on these indicators, especially when they’re attached to artist fees,” he said. “Currently you get the impression that clicks and followers are given more weight than the actual music.”

Mang says it’s too early to evaluate the effects of Live Nation’s entry into the German market.

“They may have staffed their team with familiar faces, but we’re aware that a giant such as Live Nation pursues a global strategy. They’re working with different sums and goals than any small to medium-sized company ever will.

“While it’s certainly too early to say how their market entry will affect us in particular, we are aware, of course, whenever one of our colleagues loses an artist to a pan-continental tour offering.”

Melt! Booking is promoting its own shows in Berlin, and working with local promoters in all other cities across Germany.

“Their know-how as far as local marketing and production conditions are concerned is of prime importance to us.” The people working at Melt! Booking are either very familiar with the scene the company’s artists represent, or spring from it themselves.

“We want to make sure that we know and understand our artists and the appertaining club and festival landscape in its entirety. This helps us place our artists in the environment that’s best for them,” Mang explained. His company also promotes up-and-coming talent via formats such as Introducing, Melt! Klub and Certain People.

“We’re still much more tempted by musical innovation than copying success. Helping to provide a greater audience to the bands we love is our greatest pleasure. I think this idealism is also reflected in our roster,” Mang said.

That roster includes StormzySeinabo SeyMura MasaSylvan Esso, Noah Slee, IamnobodiBonoboMajor LazerJamie XXChvrchesRae SremmurdWolf AliceYung LeanRun The Jewels and Purity Ring, to name just a few.

Besides booking Melt! Festival, the company today also books Splash! Festival, Pure & Crafted Festival, as well as corporate shows for international brands.

It is also involved as a partner in Lollapalooza Berlin. Mang plans on diversifying the company’s business field going forward, but wasn’t able to get specific.

He did, however, share another important message: “Barry Manilow didn’t write his song called ‘I Write The Songs.’”