Luxembourg’s formula for a vibrant concert scene

By Stephen EvansLex Kleren

A unique mix of pop music venues makes Luxembourg City’s concert scene more vibrant than would be expected for a town of its size. While currently healthy, this blend of publicly and privately funded venues needs to be kept fresh as tastes evolve. Then there is the challenge of Covid, which continues to test the sector’s capacity to adapt.

It’s hard to get rich running a music venue and promoting shows, and in Luxembourg nobody is really trying. "We don't really have a hard business strategy as far as concerts go. If you add up the costs of the technicians, the gear, the hotel, as well as the band’s fee, with a really good, well attended concert, you cover half of the costs, " said Luka Heindrichs, founding partner of De Gudde Wëllen.

He said the 90-capacity venue makes money at its weekend party nights, with the proceeds used to subsidise the shows of relatively unknown, up-coming acts, as was the original plan when De Gudde Wëllen was founded. "Our mission is to put on rising acts, and we have a rule that we will only book each act once, " said Marc Hauser, a concert booker for the 280 capacity Rotondes.

Public-private partnership

While not seeking to make their fortunes, the owners of privately owned Den Atelier (1,200 capacity) and the related A-Promotions (which books the acts and runs the shows) are seeking to make a decent living. While some of their gigs are money-spinners, often they make a loss, sometimes with not even half the tickets sold.

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