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“Get a social cause!” – wise words for loud bands at Buma Rocks!

Linus Lassus
Buma Rocks

Nijmegen showed its best side during the Buma Rocks! and FortaRock festival.

If there’s one place you should be when you want to know what’s hot in Dutch metal, it’s Buma Rocks! The trade event is organized as the industry part of FortaRock, one of the biggest metal festivals in the Netherlands. Music Export Denmark took a trip to warm and summery Nijmegen to find out more!

The conference program for Buma Rocks! started with a keynote by Neil Warnock, founder of The Agency Group and continued with panel discussions on artist management and metal festivals. Sat Bisla, who is the founder of A&R Worldwide and the Global Rock Summit, gave his views on modern rock bands from his seat in the festival panel.

“I think bands should find a social cause, like Nirvana did for example. They had more than just an image, something that could mobilize a whole generation. I think many bands are just going for that fast sprint to success. That’s very hard to maintain in the long run.”

Walter Hoeijmakers, artistic director for Roadburn Festival, suggested that there’s a surplus of both bands and festivals in Europe, leading to decreasing ticket sales. The panel, which in addition to Bisla and Hoeijmakers included Mark Jansen from the band Epica, agreed on that the solution to the problem would be to brand festivals in a way that emphasizes the atmosphere and makes people buy tickets before they even know who’s going to play. Germany’s Wacken Open Air, for example, sold out within 12 hours.

The showcase in the evening showed some excellent Dutch talent and was headlined by Swedish death metal veterans At the Gates. The Danish flavor of the night was the Copenhagen hardcore act Night Fever, which was picked for Buma Rocks! after playing Copenhell Freezes Over in January.

Stay tuned, since more updates are on their way, as well as a look at what kind of industry folks came down to check out the festival!