IMPACT INTERNATIONAL: UK/EURO HONORS
President, BDKV (Federal German Association for the Promoters & Event Industry)
A Life Dedicated To Live
Prof. Jens Michow has dedicated a large chunk of his life to representing the interests of the German live sector. Alongside running his own concert agency, as well as a law firm specializing in entertainment law, he founded the country’s first promoters’ association in 1985, which became BDKV (Bundesverband der Konzert und Veranstaltungswirtschaft) in 2019, and now represents some 500 companies, which together generate more than $6 billion annually.
Michow will step down from his BDKV duties after 37 years as managing president to make room for the next generation. That doesn’t mean he’ll stop working. Aside from his law firm, Michow will continue to promote the Live Entertainment Award (LEA), the most prestigious prize for live entertainment pros in Germany. “I’m also the owner of a sponsor acquisition company. And, who knows, there may still be something else for me to do in the association business. I’m definitely not retiring. People who retire die earlier,” he says.
When Michow launched the association, his goal was to achieve the legalization of the agency and management business in Germany. “There used to be a funny law, which gave the state the exclusive right to run agencies or management companies.” The trials Michow fought between 1985 and 1990 proved that the state’s interpretation of the law was wrong. He achieved the lowering of the so-called foreigner tax from 25% to 15% in the ’90s and was instrumental in creating a degree for management assistants in event organizations, making it an official profession.
“Possibly the greatest achievement, not only for German promoters and artists but for the industry in Europe, was the foundation of an agency collecting the neighboring rights of promoters, the GWVR,” says Michow, which gives promoters a cut from the sale of live-show recordings. Finally, the BDKV in cooperation with other associations fought for support programs worth a couple billion Euros throughout the pandemic.