Fri 18 Jan | De Oosterpoort, Front 2 | 15:00 - 16:00

The Boutique Festival Panel

Mathieu Jaton Montreux Jazz Festival (CH), Neal Thompson Focus Wales (GB), Theresho Selesho Oppikoppi Festival (ZA), Rembert Stiewe Orange Blossom Special (DE)


English spoken

While major festivals around the world battle it out to secure A-list headliners, boutique events are becoming ever more popular with fans trying to add meaningful experiences to their musical calendars. IQ Magazine editor Gordon Masson quizzes some of the world’s most innovative promoters to find out how they make their festivals stand out from the crowd to entice ticket buyers – and artists – to visit.


  • Mathieu Jaton

    Mathieu Jaton Montreux Jazz Festival (CH)

    Graduate of the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne. Mathieu Jaton was hired by the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1999, at 24, to head up Marketing and Sponsoring. He became the Festival’s General Secretary in 2001, working at the Festival alongside Claude Nobs, who had become his mentor. thanks to this he developed the values that have always defined him: a flair for hospitality, and a deep passion for music.

    Following the passing of Claude Nobs in 2013, he assumed direction of the Fondation du Festival de Jazz de Montreux, of the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation, and Montreux Jazz International SA. He presently also serves on the boards of the Ecole de Jazz et de Musique Actuelle (Lausanne) and the Mühle Hunzinken (Rubigen) and is a member of the Association Label Suisse.

    Through an array of projects, Mathieu Jaton has been guiding the Festival towards its future for six years while ensuring continuity in the savoir-faire and values that make Montreux so unique in the world of music.

  • Neal Thompson

    Neal Thompson Focus Wales (GB)

    Neal Thompson has worked in the live music industry for the past fifteen years. He is co-founder of FOCUS Wales, an annual showcase festival and conference, held in Wrexham, Wales for which he oversees the delivery of the conference and delegate programme.

    Twitter: @YNealThompson / @focuswales

  • Theresho Selesho Oppikoppi Festival (ZA)

  • Rembert Stiewe

    Rembert Stiewe Orange Blossom Special (DE)

    In 1984 he co-founded the German Indie-label and mail order company Glitterhouse Records. He still is the label's vice president, responsible for A&R.

    In 1997 he founded the annual Orange Blossom Special open air festival (OBS), taking place in the company's garden, which holds 3.500 people. German Rolling Stone magazine called it "the world's best small open air music festival". He’s co-owner and head-honcho, responsible for booking, production, marketing, accounting, social media – pretty much everything. Apart from his job at OBS and Glitterhouse, he hosts the German TV-series "Rockpalast Crossroads" on WDR and 3Sat alongside several panels at Reeperbahn Festival Conference. He is CEO of the local marketing organisation "Beverungen Marketing".


  • Gordon Masson

    Gordon Masson IQ Magazine, ILMC (GB)

    Gordon Masson has been a journalist for three decades and has specialised in the music industry for the past 18 years. When he is not saving the Amazon rainforest or rescuing kittens from trees, Gordon spends his time as editor of IQ Magazine, the International Ticketing Yearbook and the European Arena Yearbook, as well as being on the agenda team for the International Live Music Conference. Gordon used to be the live editor at Music Week and international editor for Billboard. In addition to his various roles, Gordon has also undertaken a number of consultancies for record companies and other music industry organisations. Prior to moving to London, he spent two years in Washington DC where he established publications for the space and satellite industry, while in the early 1990s he was a reporter for The Courier and Evening Telegraph newspapers, among others, in his native Scotland.