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The Festival Panel: Big, Bold and Beautiful
Thu 17 Jan | De Oosterpoort, Back 8 | 13:30 - 14:30
Thu 17 Jan | De Oosterpoort, Back 8 | 13:30 - 14:30

The Festival Panel: Big, Bold and Beautiful

Cindy Castillo Mad Cool Festival (ES), Mikolaj Ziolkowski Open'er Festival (PL), Herman Schueremans Rock Werchter (BE), Michal Kaščák Pohoda Festival (SK)


English spoken

In each European market sits a dominant festival; an event with grandfather rights for having been first, or perhaps the most critically acclaimed, or, simply, the largest. But what does it take to become Best in Class? And how much energy and creativity goes into keeping a market-leading event on top? With a series of video presentations and insight into their programming and philosophy, ILMC's Greg Parmley leads four major players through an hour of cultural comparison, and the highs and lows of being a market leader...


  • Cindy Castillo

    Cindy Castillo Mad Cool Festival (ES)

    Manager and booker for the past 20 years, runs her own management agency and books one of the biggest festivals in Spain, namely Mad Cool Festival, which has become a "must attend" event in Europe thanks to artists such as Pearl Jam, Arctic Monkeys, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, QOTSA, Tame Impala, The Cure, The National, and The 1975 as well as long list of outstanding acts.

  • Mikolaj Ziolkowski

    Mikolaj Ziolkowski Open'er Festival (PL)

    Mikolaj Ziolkowski is an expert in promoting culture, music, art and entertainment. His interest in live music events evolved into Alter Art agency, one of Poland's leading promoters in music and entertainment events. It organizes the most important music festivals in Poland: Orange Warsaw Festival, Kraków Live Festival and the biggest one – Open’er Festival with its 17 successful editions. Open’er has been acknowledged outside Poland, becoming a two-time European Festival Awards winner as Best Major Festival. On top of all the aforementioned success, the Alter Art agency was awarded the title of the Promoter of the Year during European Festival Awards 2016. Mikolaj Ziolkowski was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Poland. He was also included on the list of most influential people of culture in Poland by biggest weekly magazine in the country Polityka.Since 2016 he has been a board member of Yourope, the European Festival Association founded in 1998.

  • Herman Schueremans

    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.

  • Michal Kaščák

    Michal Kaščák Pohoda Festival (SK)

    Michal Kaščák (1972) is a promoter, musician, composer and lyricist. Pohoda is an art festival where alternative, indie, electronic, punk and world music meet classical music, along with literature, dance, visual arts, film and theatre. The Pohoda team also organises concerts and small festivals, such as the Doma dobre festival for homeless people. Derek Robertson of Drowned in Sound: “The organisation is superb. Compared to UK festivals this is Utopia. In fact, it’s one of the most well-behaved festival crowds I have ever witnessed...”.


  • Greg Parmley

    Greg Parmley ILMC, IQ, IFF (GB)

    The head of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), Greg has spent two decades involved in the international live music industry. ILMC publishes IQ, the leading source of news and content for the business, as well as various annual publications. In 2015, Greg launched the International Festival Forum, an annual showcase event for booking agents and music festivals. In 2017, he launched the Event Safety & Security Summit.

    Greg is a published author and book editor, and a founding member and current chair of the UK Live Music Group. Due to one too many pub conversations, he also holds the Guinness World Record for Most Music Festivals Visited in 30 Days.