International Live Music Conference - London, March 8 - 10 2017

The sun was shining on Hyde Park and the nearby 5 stars Royal Garden Hotel. It was shining on the bright Ferrari and Aston Martin parked by the entrance.

“What all of this has to do with live music?” was our thought while getting into the hall, and passing by the invite of a butler’s cardboard cut-out “Do come in. We’ve been expecting you”.

We are used to small inns, sleeping bags in the backstage, friends’ sofas or, in the best scenario, 3 star hotels or respectable B&Bs.

We were definitely feeling out of place, but why not getting in and take a look? Those opening were the doors to the International Live Music Conference, the annual congress gathering over a thousand among the most important booking agencies, production companies and festivals’ global professionals.

Basically, those organizing Lady Gaga and Guns N’Roses’ tours, to be clear. The mystery of all those sequins and sparkles was starting to fade out.

The mystery of live music, though, was all yet to be discovered. And precisely this has been the fil rouge behind the event, delivered in the most brilliant way and according to classic British humour, also from a communication point of view (take a look to the event’s website).

“Music detectives” from all over the world have tried to find a resolution to the mystery during panels, workshops, talks and a few pints, facing the challenges imposed by the new global scenarios due to migration and linked to the threats of terrorists’ attacks, which are affecting events nowadays, and increasingly so.

Even if we didn’t take part to the main event, we tried to investigate on the case, learning about the industry’s new trends and introducing the KeepOn Network and KOEN project to our foreign colleagues.

We mainly shared views with our peer members of the Live DMA Network, and attended panels such as Venue Summit Workshop: Early stages — Latest news in the fight to protect and sustain the grassroots and small venues circuit”, about different ways to face and control small/medium venues’crisis, a common phenomenon all over Europe.

The “Venue Summit Workshop” @ the ILMC (photo : ILMC29)

Where will of all this lead? First of all, to share this kind of European meeting with our AD’s and venue managers. Secondly, to gather infos to share best practices on a European level.

In the next few months we’ll go and investigate on the Great Escape in Brighton (where we will discuss on a partnership aimed at fostering European’s Circuitation to all KOL and KOEN’s associates), the Bime in Bilbao, Oporto’s West Way LAB Festival, Lisbon’s MiL and Rock Wave in Athens.

A two-way exchange, as we will invite our UE colleagues to take part in two Italian events: the “Yes- Pubblico Sicuro” in Milan on April the 26th, and the Linecheck Festival in Milan in November.