2016 Conference 2016

The fourth edition of Buma ROCKS! sold out in advance. Almost 200 loud music professionals found their way to Nijmegen to enjoy a day full of talks and networking at Doornroosje first, and after that good food & drinks and great music at FortaRock.

Check out the aftermovie here!

Despite last minute cancellations of American panel members Marco Collins and Keith Naisbitt, all musicians, bookers, label representatives, managers and other music biz professionals who attended Buma ROCKS! 2016 look back on a successful conference and showcase festival.

It was booker Luc Favié (Rock The Nation) who filled in more than adequately for Naisbitt, while experienced Dutch blogger Horst Vonberg (Lords Of Metal) took Collins' place in the Media panel. Check this link for the full list of panelists.

Buma Cultuur director Frank Helmink kicked off the day by introducing comedian and metal singer Alex Agnew, who entertained the audience with a trip down memory lane. His recollection of moments influential to his love of hardrock, punk and metal were instantly recognizable to the audience, and very funny indeed.

Panels about the live development of an act and about a band's presentation to the media were lively, thanks to the panelists who were not holding back their opinions. The masterclasses on musicians' tax issues and musicians' rights got small but dedicated audiences.

Wacken Open Air CEO Thomas Jensen gave insight in the way he and his partner in crime Holger Hübner approach organizing the biggest metal festival in the world. And their offshoots: metal cruises, metal alpine events, several smaller festivals around Germany, in Ibiza and - why not? - in an airplane around the world. Wacken organizes the global Metal Battle for bands wanting to play the festival, the company has its own Foundation to support up-and-coming acts and you can even donate blood through Wacken. Jensen was clear in pointing out what a task it is to keep Wacken's account in the black, but he seems as fanatical about his business as he has been for the past twenty-six years

Closing off the conference was a panel called Heavy Track, a sort of public listening session/execution by Wheel of Steel, in which Alex Agnew, BBC's Dan Carter, Basick Records' Nathan Phillips and Gunnar Sauermann of Metal Hammer/Season Of Mist gave some dead-honest comments on Dutch heavy music sent in for the last showcase slot at the Buma ROCKS! stage. Great fun, and a great ending to the day indoors. Off to FortaRock and the BBQ then!

All pics by Bart Heemskerk