The IFF Keynote: Herman Schueremans
As one of the most influential festival pioneers in Europe, Herman Schueremans has guided and grown the fortunes of Rock Werchter for over four decades. One of the most established and respected festivals in Europe, Werchter hosts 150,000 fans annually; has spawned satellite events including TW Classic, Werchter Boutique and Main Square Festival; and won a record six Arthur Awards.
From starting out as a rock journalist to becoming the country’s dominant live music promoter and head of the Belgium arm of Live Nation, Schueremans remains a passionate music lover and entrepreneur, and so is an immensely fitting subject of this year’s IFF Keynote. Discussing his career, the growth of Werchter and today’s festival landscape, Schueremans will be interviewed by ILMC founder and long-time friend (and well known festival sceptic) Martin Hopewell. With two of the industry’s best-known individuals on stage and 60-minutes of festival-related tales and insight lined up, expect standing room only at this truly unique session.
Guest speaker details…
Herman Schueremans, Rock Werchter (BE)
In the early 70s, Belgium was a musical wasteland. Herman Schueremans was working for a record company and as a rock journalist. Passion for music, organizational skills and a clear visual proved crucial. Herman set up an alternative concert circuit that would grow alongside an interesting new generation of musicians (Dire Straits, Talking Heads, U2, Simple Minds…). Tailpiece of this circuit was Torhout/Werchter, a double festival that became Rock Werchter in 1999. The small player became a respected institution and Rock Werchter is now one of the best festivals in the world. The four day, four stage festival determinedly programs across all genres. The line-up always is top-class, the overall production exceptional, the festival feeling omnipresent.
Herman Schueremans is a music fan and an entrepreneur. Music is a hobby, a passion gone professional. It doesn’t feel like a job and, according to him, it keeps him young and passionate. He is the head of the Belgian branch of Live Nation, a company with 45 employees. In 2018, the company promoted close to 200 concerts and festivals.
11:45 – 12:45
Martin Hopewell, ILMC (UK)