“Don’t stick with the problems, look for the solutions.”
Willkommen zurück zur fünften Ausgabe unseres CORONA-SPECIALs unserer Interviewreihe FRAGWUERDIG!
Heute begrüßen wir unseren Freund Nikki, der uns erzählt, wie es ihm gerade geht, wo er steht und wie er mit der aktuellen Situation umgehen.
Viel Spaß beim lesen!
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Firstly, we’d like you to explain to our readers what your company Since94 does and what your usual daily work routine looks like. Give us some examples of artists and festivals, who you work for.
Since’94 is a music touring, management and support agency based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands working for national and international artists & festivals. The daily routine is not there, it’s really what the day brings. One day is an early start, the other day a late start.
So you are based in the live music industry. How did the COVID-19 pandemic change your daily work routine, since there are no live-shows possible? Were you even able to pursue your business in the last 4 months?
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the full industry went down for Since’94. The past 4 months were not good business wise, but great to review strategies, options and future plans.
Here in Germany the government provided various so-called Corona Emergency Aids, which you could apply for as a company. Is there similar government aid in the Netherlands? Do you want to tell us something about the financial challenges you had to face during the pandemic?
In the Netherlands, they offered such an aid package for companies as well. The financial challenge is obvious, there is no income coming in with an operational agency where the full agenda is canceled for the coming months. Now, it’s a good thing to have a back-up financially to hold-up for quite a while.
How did you prepare yourself and your company for such a crisis and extraordinary situation? Is it even possible to prepare for something like this?
Well, not thinking about the fact that something big like this would happen in our life, first of all. Keeping the fixed costs low and save financially for the “hard times”. Review your situation and future on monthly bases to know where you can save money on and how the situation looks for you.
The temporal development of the pandemic and its effects on live events are currently not foreseeable. When concerts, festivals and tours can take place cannot be estimated. How do you deal with not being able to plan in the short and medium term?
As you say, it’s not foreseeable. We are used to having an agenda for the upcoming months, but now you’re basically stuck. Adapt to the situation and find the fitting solutions for your company.
Hundreds of livestream concerts on Instagram every day, Patreon and crowdfunding platforms are literally exploding. Is this the right, or maybe the only way for bands and artists to get through the crisis? What else can musicians do?
Most of us are used to having live events all year long. Performances, tours, festivals, you name it. The only option left is doing only performances, where you see more advanced online setting coming up like VR/AR for example. This is a good time for artists to review their strategies as well now they have time for it. Work on new music, think off new ways to show yourself to our audience.
Many tours, concerts and festivals had to be canceled at very short notice. A “big” agency may get over this rather than small agencies and start-ups. Is there anything they can do? Or are the big players affected the same way or even more?
I honestly feel that everyone has a difficult time. I won’t compare this with the bigger or smaller ones. It’s affecting us all, meaning we have to get through this together. Keep your company alive and aim for new opportunities where you can.
Kampagne “Liebe zur Musik” zum Erhalt des Live-Musik-Sektors in den Niederlanden.
There is no doubt that this situation presents many difficulties, challenges and dangers. Have you found a way to still benefit from the crisis for yourself or your company?
The only benefit of this is your time. Time to focus on every aspect of your company and the people around you. Try to make the best out of it, that’s all you can do.
Are there strategies, procedures or processes that will be reconsidered by the crisis and will work differently in your company when “normalcy” returns?
This is still a work in progress, but the main thing is to not be fully surrendered in one line of work. Focus on more sources of income to always be prepared on a next happening. It can affect the industry, your health, you name it.
The media are often talking about systemically relevant occupational groups. By that they mean supermarket cashiers, nurses, doctors, postmen, etc. How important are musicians, festival- and concert organizer, music managers, labels, etc. in this context? Is entertainment and culture events systemically relevant?
The groups you named are the first line of defense basically. We can’t go without them in our daily lives. Our work is important for the mental state of mind. People breath entertainment/culture when they can. Clear the mind at a great music festival, enjoy the company of people and forget the problems for an evening, day or weekend out.
What is your personal view on the development of the industry until the beginning of next year? Can we attend big festivals in summer 2021?
Personally, I keep this answer open. We in Europe are doing pretty well when it comes to the regulations we got to start our daily lives again. If we keep on doing a good job, I see a positive outcome for 2021.
Lastly, can you give advice or some comforting words to your colleagues in the industry to look optimistic and hopeful in the future?
Don’t stick with the problems, look for the solutions. There are plenty of ways to stay active. Cooperate where you can, help each other and look ahead, not back. I feel we’ve been through the worst part, not it’s time to slowly build the future.
Vielen Dank an Nikki, dass er sich die Zeit für unser Interview genommen haben!