ILMC 30: Women Dominate Arthurs, Hopewell In Tears Over Bottle Award

Last night’s Arthur Awards saw a strong female cast taking home the nights major categories. 

– ILMC 30
The Arthur Awards Gala Dinner

Anna Sjölund, who was promoted to MD of Live Nation Sweden alongside Therése Liljedahl in November, received The Promoters’ Promoter award from Solo Agency’s John Giddings. Gillian Park of MGR Touring was named Most Professional Professional. Last year’s winner, Live Nation’s Selina Emeny, reluctantly handed over the trophy, joking she didn’t want to let go of it.

Two more of the night’s female recipients work for Live Nation: Anna-Sophie Mertens took home the Tomorrow’s New Boss award, and Anna-Sophie Mertens was named Tomorrow’s New Boss. Merten’s gave the night’s most emotional speech, when she remembered the May 22 attack on Manchester Arena, and thanked her friends and colleagues for their support during those months.

Natasha Bent, who joined Coda in 2016, was named Second Least Offensive Agent. She dedicated the award to her son, saying that the professionals working in the business carried a responsibility to build a better future for all children.

There’s a reason behind the Arthur Awards’ tongue-in-cheek category names, one being that the entire ceremony started as a tongue-and-cheek affair. And while, today, the Arthurs are considered a prestigious prize, the category names are a reminder of the early days.

– ILMC 29
It may not look like it, but Greg Parmley hates wearing costumes

The least offensive agent is, of course, ILMC founder Martin Hopewell, who was in tears when he received the Bottle Award, the ILMC’s lifetime achievement award. He had been tricked into believing he would be giving a speech for this year’s recipient, as he did for last year’s Bottle Award winner, Herman Schueremans.

It turned out, however, that it was Schueremans, who presented Hopewell with the bottle shaped trophy. An emotional Hopewell tore up the now uselsess speech he had prepared over the last four days and thanked a standing audience for the recognition. He closed the ceremony by remembering ILMC’s longtime producer Alia Dann Swift and Primary Talent’s Dave Chumbley, who both passed away last year.

The night’s remaining winners include The O2, London (First Venue To Come Into Your Head), Glastonbury (Liggers’ Favourite Festival), eps (Services Above and Beyond) and Ticketmaster (The Golden Ticket).

For many years now, host Emma Banks has been leading the ceremony with her signature style of dry British humor and subtle wit. This year’s edition was no exception. The audience was restless, noise levels during most speeches bordered on impudence, but Banks had it under control.

Another woman gave the nights show-stopping performance: Whitney Houston tribute artist Belinda Davis, who is about to embark on a UK tour with The Whitney Houston Show, gave a remarkable rendition of “I Will Love You” and “One Moment In Time.”

More than 1,100 delegates attended a sold-out 30th anniversary edition of ILMC. The day-time panels addressed current hot topics such as gender inequality, ticketing, security and Brexit.

– ILMC 30
Isla Angus, Keith Harris and Alex Bruford talk business ethics

One stand-out panel was called “Business Ethics: Why do we alien-ate each other?” Alex Bruford (ATC Live) led a insightful, and often philosophical, discussion around right and wrong behaviors in the music business. Isla Angus (ATC Live), Semyon Galperin (Tele-Club Group), manager and consultant Keith Harris and Adam Tudhope (Everybody’s Management), as well as audience members, all contributed eagerly.

Said Harris: “As far as I’m concerned, when it comes down to ethics it’s a question of whether you want to be able to sleep well at night. I’m one of those people who, over the years, has probably made less, but slept better.”

Italian promoter Claudio Trotta (Barley Arts) said there was nothing wrong with making money. However, the industry was fast approaching a point where tickets became so expensive, it prevented the average person from accessing events (given the mean-average earnings on the European continent of around $1,500).

There were countless parties happening around ILMC 30, as other companies had reason to celebrate too: German live entertainment giant DEAG turned 40 this year, it’s London subsidiary Kilimanjaro Live is in its 10th year now. The Green Events & Innovations Conference, which traditionally kicks off ILMC, turned 10 as well.

Europe’s festival association Yourope had its 20th anniversary, and invited the associations founding partners, former presidents and association members to celebrate, handing out awards to the people that have been instrumental in the association’s success.

Yourope celebrates its 20th anniversary
– Yourope celebrates its 20th anniversary
Former and current members of the association were recognized for their contributions

ILMC MD Greg Parmley said he and his team were “incredibly pleased” with the 30th ILMC, calling it a “fantastic edition.”