Once again the International Concert Venues Congress will be held during Primavera PRO in Barcelona on the 1st of June 2018.

This is one of the main annual professional meetings for live music associations and venues representatives in Europe, gathered to discuss current challenges in the live music sector. How to get better recognition? How to make venues a safer place for the audience, and especially for women? How to use venues data as a tool for advocacy? Can music venues inspire social change? These are the questions on the agenda this year.
For this edition we are working once again along with ASACC and the Primavera Pro team on four panels. We are very proud to present quite a dense set of speakers that are either Live DMA’s members or members-members.


Clubbing in Europe: Quo vadis?

What can European clublands learn from best-practice examples?
Club culture seems to be omnipresent in 2018. That is: commercially speaking. In many European countries – such as Spain – clubland remains culturally underrated: stereotypes related to drug consumption and security issues are persisting. Electronic music clubs might be cash-cows, but hardly are they ever recognized for their cultural value. What can one learn from Berlin that spends one million euros a year to foster a thriving cultural landscape? Or from Amsterdam where the authorities actively collaborated with to render their urban landscape more attractive?

Pamela Schobess


Pamela Schobess studied communication sciences and has been working in the club industry in Berlin for almost 20 years. Since the inevitable closure of Icon club in gentrified Berlin neighbourhood Prenzlauer Berg, she and Lars Döring have been running the Kreuzberg (live) club Gretchen since autumn 2011 – on the so-called Dragonerareal. There she is the spokeswoman for the tradespeople and works with politicians to preserve the existing trade on the site. Since the end of 2016, she has also been the 2nd Chairwoman of the Berlin Club Commission. She is also a member of the IHK plenary assembly, the IHK committees for creative industries and urban development, the Supervisory Board of the Berlin Music Commission and the Advisory Board of the Berlin Musicboard.
Parallel to club life, she worked for several years in media development cooperation – mainly in Africa

Olaf Boswijk


It is fair to say that Amsterdam nightlife would look and sound very different without Olaf Boswijk. As music programmer at Club 11 to the the man who set up Trouw—and then co-founded De School—he brought a fresh underground sound and many revered international artists to Amsterdam. As well, he nurtured plenty of local talents with residencies at the club, thereby helping to create a real city-wide buzz around electronic music that is still going strong today .

Since July 2015, Olaf has been travelling from Canada, all the way through Central and South America to Patagonia in Argentina. He is doing so in a camper van and is documenting his travels with a sonic diary podcast called Radio Balthasar, which features the music he is listening to as well as found sound recordings of nature, the people he meets and adventures he has.

Cora Novoa


Cora Novoa is a Galician music composer, DJ, Ableton Official Trainer, InQBarna content curator and contributor to “The Labyrinth” by RADIO3 (spanish national program). She now lives in London and is also the founder of an independent record label of electronic and experimental pop-music, SEEKING THE VELVET. She has been in the music industry for more than 10 years and is now an important figure of the Spanish and European electronic scene.
Cora Novoa is powered by Keychange, a European project funded by the Creative Europe programme which celebrates and invests in the talent of female music creators and innovators who will be driving the future success of the music industry.

Bjørn Schaeffner


Bjørn Schaeffner is a journalist from Bern, Switzerland. He has been working for national medias such as Neue Zürcher Zeitung, SRF2, Tages-Anzeiger and for international publications such as Resident Advisor, Groove Mag, FACT or Red Bull Music Academy Daily. Schaeffner is also on the board of Berne’s cultural centre Dampfzentrale, the Music Commission of the Canton of Bern and a visiting lecturer at the Bern University of the Arts.

→ Details about the panel and speakers to be confirmed


Initiatives against sexual harassment in European music venues

According to the 2016 survey on sexist violence in Catalonia, three out of ten sexual aggression involving violence or without violence occurred in nightlife venues. Because of this, the new protocol being promoted by the City Council has been used to train managers and staff. Catalonia is not alone dealing with such challenges. Other European countries show similar observations of sexual aggression in music venues and festivals.
This panels aims to give insight on the different strategies employed against sexual harassment in live music events (e.g. Svensk Live activism against sexual aggression) and how venues and their teams (service and security) can be trained to deal with sexual aggressions in their organisations.

Joppe Philgren


Joppe Pihlgren was born in 1960, he graduated in Political Science and History at Stockholm University. He then worked as management consultant for major Swedish companies and started his own business. He was a presenter and journalist at Swedish Televison and founded the TV-production company Programmakeriet. He became CEO of Festivalsverige (organisation for festivals) and then CEO of Livemusic Sweden (Svensk Live) in 2014. Svensk Live has worked actively on issues such as sexual harassment in music festivals.
Since 1979, he is the leadsinger, guitarist and songwriter in the pop band Docenterna which has made 12 albums and performed approximately 2000 gigs.
Joppe Pihlgren is also a Live DMA Board member.

Valentina Gallo


Art director, venue manager, event manager, choregrapher and dancer, Valentina Gallo is also the founder of the cultural center CAP10100 and of the POP live CLUB in Turin, projects that brings together music, theater and performance. The only rule: original and innovative production.
After many years of experience in theatre, Valentina approached live music in 2009 and worked for the organization of Turin, European Capital of Youth. In subsequent years she worked in events like Turin Jazz Festival, Biennale Democrazia, Student Performing Festival in Turin, Proxima 2017, Proxima 2018… She also collaborates with Arci Torino, Keepon Live, and several dance companies and projects.
She has skills in management of public and private cultural events, aswell as in managing relations with institutions. She is very familiar with security in public entertainment, administrative and legal practices, and also committed in women’s issues.
“Being a woman Who Work in culture and music in Italy, is very complicated, especially with a managerial role. From this condition arises the idea of creating a network of women who work in the world of music and cultural production. Strictly masculine worlds. Artists, promoters, managers, audio technicians, lighting technicians, why can not they be women?”

Marta Cruells


Marta Cruells is a Doctor in Political Science and has a degree in Philosophy. Currently she is the adviser on gender equality policies and international relations in the Barcelona Town Hall. Her areas of specialisation are inequality, violence, social movements and public policies. She has published essays in several books and magazines and has recently co-edited the book Igualdad de género y no discriminación en España, with the Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales.

Anders Tangen

NORWAY – Moderator

Anders Tangen is the Project Manager for Norwegian Live Music Association (NKA). He also works as a coordinator for volunteers and staff at the Öya festival in Oslo where he has been working since 2004. Anders combined his background as a physiotherapist with his work in the music sector, until he started working for NKA in 2013. Since 2017, he is co-president of Live DMA. He has been a board member since 2016.

→ Details about the panel and speakers to be confirmed


Understanding grassroots venues in Europe

By presenting and crossing different approaches and methodologies that analyze the European live music sector, this panel focuses on the importance of participatory data collection and research for the live music sector and gives insight on how the results can be used to results to advocacy for music venues at national levels and at the European scale. Studies: Live DMA Survey Report (facts & figures), UK Live Music Census (quantitative & qualitative study) & Diversitet i musikbranchen (study about ‘diversity’ conducted, amongst others, by Dansk Live).

Matt Brennan


Matt Brennan has served as the Principal Investigator for the UK Live Music Census, the world’s first national census to measure live music’s cultural and economic value and to highlight challenges within the sector. His research has informed successful campaigns for policy reform at local, regional, and national levels of government to encourage live music culture in the UK, and he has led several projects funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council which have involved collaboration between universities and the music industries. He has published several books, including When Genres Collide: Down Beat, Rolling Stone, and the Struggle Between Jazz and Rock, which was named as one of Pitchfork’s “Favourite Music Books of 2017.” As of July 2018 he will take up a new post as Reader in Popular Music at the University of Glasgow.

Arne Dee


Arne Dee is the policy officer of the Association of Dutch Music Venues and Festivals (VNPF) and works as Survey Coordinator for Live DMA. He is responsible for the collecting and presenting of facts and figures of well over 2500 live music venues all over Europe. Since 2001 Arne Dee has been working in different venues in Netherlands and founded in 2012 the semi-showcase-festival Nordic Delight and Dee Music, a small booking agency for upcoming Nordic talent in the Netherlands.


Maren Astrup Sørensen


Maren Astrup is the Head of Communications and Deputy Head of Live DMA member Dansk Live, the national network for music venues in Denmark. Her work focuses on promoting and lobbying for the live music, talent development and musical diversity. In 2016, Dansk Live has led a report in collaboration with four other music organisations on gender diversity in different areas of the music sector.


Audrey Guerre

FRANCE – Moderator

Audrey Guerre is the Coordinator of Live DMA, the European network for music venues and festivals. Her experience in studies, job opportunities and personal beliefs early led her to specialise herself into European cooperation and live music. She now provides Live DMA members with a political monitoring, tools and opportunities to meet & exchange best practises. She also represents their interests to European institutions and partners. Since 2017, she is also a board member of Trempolino, a french music venue providing emerging artists support, based in Nantes.



Music venues as hubs for social innovation

Pop music has the power to create social change. The venues of the Live DMA network are not afraid of assuming their social responsibility and are proactively engaging in inspiring projects that have huge social impact for their surroundings. By highlighting the innovative projects that we have come across during the activities of the first year of Live Style Europe, Live DMA aims to show a different facet of live music venues to defend common values and gain policy makers recognition. This panel will also be a great occasion to launch officially the new resource platform where inspiring content will be a key element.

Janpier Brands


Janpier Brands (1967) is head of state of WORM, a venue/makers space/avant-garde art space/social-cultural hub in the heart of vibrant Rotterdam.  Every month WORM hosts dozens of activities across many disciplines; from concerts to club nights, from film to talk shows, from performances to exhibitions. In these activities we are not really guided by what is hip and happening, but by the things that give us energy, somewhere in the spaces between the world of popular culture, what’s being talked about on the street and high art. These activities are often ones that can’t be seen and experienced anywhere else. To realise our programme we work with dozens of organisations and remarkable individuals who either co-host our public activities or who use WORM as a laboratory, workshop or makerspace. WORM attracts around 35,000 paying visitors on an annual basis and many many more who attend the free activities and enjoy hanging out in our German-themed bar. Our visitors come from the neighborhood, from the city and many from abroad. WORM was voted “Best Podium in the Netherlands” by the members of the VNPF.

Naiara Lasa


Degree in Political Science and master Degree in Music Business, I began my career in the music industry seven years ago working for Primavera Pro. I also worked as music supervisor for several independent shortfilms. This is my fith year at Sala Apolo, one of the most well known music venues in Spain, where I am the Artistic and Comm team Manager.

Ken Veerman


Ken Veerman is general manager at Trix, a mid-capacity alternative pop music venue in Antwerp, Belgium with a focus on indie music, hiphop and metal. It is also a working space for pop musicians with rehearsal and recording facilities. Before joining Trix in 2013 Ken worked as the director of the network of Antwerp culture centres where the main focus was on community building.

Elisa Thoma

FRANCE – Moderator

As a graduate of intercultural communication and cultural engineering with a deep passion for live music, Elisa Thoma developed early on a strong interest in international cooperation and cultural policies. After several years’ experience in managing multi-partner projects and creating communication strategies as a media coordinator, she is now working as Communication Coordinator at Live DMA, the European network for music venues and festivals.

→ Details about the panel and speakers to be confirmed