• Bg Chatsworth House Library

Festival Forum: Franchises & new formats

Festival Forum: Franchises & new formats


Room 2 | 14:00 – 15:00 | Wednesday

Chair: Natasha Bent, Coda Agency (UK)

From new mega-formats to indoor events, from cruise ships to flotillas, the format of the music festival is evolving fast. And with established brands rolling their footprint into new markets, existing events are facing stiffer competition than ever. To play the festival game these days, you need a large bankroll. So with more competition and a wider range of offerings, what will it take to succeed, or just survive, beyond 2017? As the scene returns to a headliner-driven model, franchise fever continues and new formats emerge, are there really enough fields to go around?

Guest Speakers:
Steve Homer, AEG Live (UK)
Christof Huber, Open Air St. Gallen/Yourope (CH)
Jan Quiel, ICS Festival Service (DE)
Nuno Sousa Pinto, Rock in Rio (BR)


Chair's Biog | Natasha Bent

BENTNatasha recently joined CODA Agency (part of the Paradigm Talent Group) from United Talent Agency, where she had built and cemented her career over the past 10 years. Prior to this Natasha began her music career as a backing singer for legendary soul singer Carleen Anderson and did a brief stint in music management, before entering the world of live. Natasha set-up The Village Agency in 2004 before joining the The Agency Group that was acquired last year by United Talent Agency. She is known for her humility, dedication and passion for her acts. Over the course of a decade she has worked with an amazing and eclectic set of artists, from current stars and festival headliners Foals to arena-selling Amy Macdonald; from grand electronic music production The Knife, to breakthrough acts Ry X, Tom Misch and Youngr, along with top-selling acts such as Chvrches, First Aid Kit, Cage The Elephant, Foster The People and Gotye, all of whom she has played an instrumental part in developing.

Speaker's Biog | Steve Homer

Steve HomerSteve started began as the entertainment manager at Keele University, UK, in the mid 1980s, moved to Sheffield University for 8 years then relocated to London to develop the Mean Fiddler’s touring department. He promoted his first shows with Queens of the Stone Age and Eminem, working on the summer series in Ibiza with Kylie and Roisin Murphy. Steve then moved to SFX/Clear Channel, morphing into Live Nation along the way, where he worked for 15 years, promoting a wide variety of artists from Rihanna, Drake and The Weeknd to Dolly Parton, Status Quo, The Everly Brothers and Spinal Tap. Steve was also responsible for the creation and curation of the Wireless Festival for its first 10 years. In December 2015, he left Live Nation and is now CEO of AEG Live with Toby Leighton-Pope, heading up the team producing events, the jewel being British Summer Time in Hyde Park, London.

Speaker's Biog | Christof Huber

Christof HuberChristof Huber is festival director and booker of the OpenAir St.Gallen, one of the most important music festivals in Switzerland. He also books the Summerdays Festival Arbon, the Stars in Town Festival Schaffhausen and the new boutique festival Unique Moments in Zurich. He is the owner of Incognito Productions AG, an event agency and books and promotes several club festivals, concerts and tours all over Switzerland. Since January, 2016, he is the president of the board of directors of wepromote Entertainment Group Switzerland AG, a holding structure with the following companies: OpenAir St.Gallen AG, Summerdays AG, Gadget GmbH, wildpony GmbH and Incognito Productions AG. He is board member of Yourope, the European Festival Association since its founding in 1998 and since 2003, he is general secretary of the association.

Speaker's Biog | Jan Quiel

Jan QuielJan works for SST Seaside Touring GmbH & Co. KG (which belongs to the ICS Festival Service GmbH Network). He is booker for events like Wacken Open Air, Full Metal Mountain, Full Metal Cruises and Hamburg Metal Dayz, as well as being a German tour promoter.

Speaker's Biog | Nuno Sousa Pinto

Nuno Sousa PintoNuno studied economics and management at the Portuguese Catholic University in Lisbon, where he was head of the Academic Association for 3 years and responsible for designing and creating numerous events. He also chaired the Executive Committee of the Academic Week of Lisbon. Nuno’s connection to the world of events began in Expo 98, where he was pavilion affairs manager. Later, he collaborated in the production of the Biggest Christmas Tree in Europe in 2004, as well as Open Air in 2005, which boasted the biggest outdoor cinema screen in the world. He was responsible for or helped boost other events such as the first Environment Festival in Portugal, and the Largest Waterfall Fireworks in the World, among others. His Rock in Rio journey began as assistant producer in 2004 and then producer in 2006 where, among other things, hewas responsible for press conferences, lectures and the VIP Area. In 2007, he became production manager at Rock in Rio-Lisbon, and in 2009, the production director at Rock in Rio, responsible for producing Rock in Rio-Lisbon 2010, the editions of Rock in Rio-Madrid in 2010/2012, and editions of Rock in Rio 2011/2013 in Brazil, when the event returned home. In 2012, Nuno became executive director of Rock in Rio-Lisbon and was responsible for the 2012 and 2014 editions. His current position is VP for Rock in Rio- USA, which he has held since 2014.