Impact International UK/Euro: Gadget abc Entertainment

Christof Huber
Partner, Director
Festivals & Events

Stefan Wyss
Partner, Director
Concerts & Touring

Cyrill Stadler
Partner, Director

Eric Kramer
Managing Partner, Director Business Operations 

Oliver Rosa
Managing Partner, Director Artists & Brands

Christof Huber

Meet Christof Huber, Stefan Wyss, Cyrill Stadler, Eric Kramer and Oliver Rosa — five individuals who’ve been instrumental in building the Swiss live entertainment market into what it is today. They’re part of the reason the small country is punching way above its weight when it comes to attracting international tours and events. In 2020, their individual companies merged and became part of the Eventim Live promoter network with the birth of the Gadget abc Entertainment Group, a 360-degree business model unique in the Swiss entertainment industry.

“We operate as a concert, show and festival promoter, but we also serve as a management company representing some of Switzerland’s most important artists. Furthermore, we are actively engaged in brand activations for our events and talents,” Christof Huber, Partner and Director, Festivals & Events said.

In the two years post-COVID, the group organized and promoted eight stadium shows, 11 festivals and nearly 1,000 headline shows, as well as the first MTV Unplugged show for a Swiss artist, Patent Ochsner, followed by a second one for STRESS, who recorded the first French-speaking MTV Unplugged in history. Another memorable moment: a sold-out
show by Imagine Dragons at Wankdorf Stadium Bern last year. “We’ve been with the band since their early days, and always believed in their potential, witnessing their journey to stadium- level success,” says Stefan Wyss, Partner and Director, Concerts & Touring.

This year’s highlights: stadium shows by Bruce Springsteen and Rammstein; Muse on the Bern fairground; six sold-out festivals, including OpenAir St.Gallen, Summer Days Festival, and Seaside Festival; a sold-out arena tour with the Swiss German band Hecht; more Patent Ochsner in the heart of Bern; and, capping off the summer, the fourth edition of the Unique Moments festival in Zurich, featuring Christine and the Queens, Kraftwerk and Nils Frahm.

Stefan Wyss Gadget abc Entertainment
Stefan Wyss

The past three years served as a reminder of “the importance of investing in our human resources and ensuring their well-being,” Wyss explains, “We recognize that the backbone of longterm success is having a motivated, professional and resilient team. To this end, we continue to focus on numerous internal structural and organizational projects aimed at strengthening our company from within. The structure of Gadget, with its five partners overseeing different aspects of the company, enables us to shoulder the workload and pressure effectively. However, it’s important to acknowledge that this task is far from simple.”

Switzerland didn’t get hit as hard by the price hikes as other European markets did. Nevertheless, the team at Gadget abc Entertainment found itself in a situation where it had to increase ticket prices for its 2023 festivals. “Our aim is to prevent another increase in ticket prices for bigger events in 2024,” Huber explains, adding, “It’s becoming increasingly evident that artist fees are still on the rise, and the deal structures for major shows are becoming more challenging for promoters. We rely on the revenue generated from midsize and large shows to support new and emerging artists, helping them grow into future headliners.”

What is more, he says, “It is crucial that we ensure that attending concerts and festivals remains an attractive option for the new generation of young people, and more importantly, that they can afford these experiences. As ticket prices continue to rise, concerts and festivals risk becoming luxury items, which could exclude many potential attendees. We believe in acting responsibly when it comes to pricing and are
sceptical about the concept of dynamic ticketing. The fees commanded by ‘must-see’ artists are draining resources from the market, resources that could otherwise support lower-priced club shows and emerging headliners of the future.”

Huber, through his work for festival association Yourope and its Take A Stand initiative, has always shown commitment to the next generation of festivalgoers. “Our goal has always been to elevate the standards and quality within our industry, contributing to its overall improvement,” says Wyss.

Huber concludes, “We must be very careful as the social divide widens, leaving youngsters from less privileged backgrounds without access to these enriching experiences. What we truly need are sustainability-focused, long-term strategies, rather than pursuing quick profits. It’s essential that we maintain affordability and accessibility in the live entertainment industry for the well-being of both the audience and the industry itself.”