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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Touring Market: BENELUX


  "BENELUX" is actually an acronym... wait... not an acronym but a combination of the first syllables of BElgium, NEtherlands, LUXemburg = BENELUX.  I feel like I'm constantly defending this area as being worthwhile as an Audience.  Let me make the case.  First- market size: 30 million people.  You can hit the entire territory by playing 2 shows: Brussels and Amsterdam and there are multiple festival opportunities and secondary markets that you can play: your Gronigens, your Rotterdam's.

 Second: geography.  France may have 50 million people and Germany may have 60 million people but  BENELUX is between the two places.  It's also proximate to the United Kingdom and Scandinavia.

The imposing Brussels Palace of Justice: Who Doesn't Want to see such an Imposing Palace of Justice?

  Third: Quality cities.  Most people are familiar with the pleasures of Brussels and Amsterdam.  The manikin piece in Brussels- the stirring public buildings of the European Union Government- also in Brussels.   And of course Amsterdam, with her canals, and bicycles and the Rijksmuseum.  But Benelux isn't just primary markets- the secondary markets are worth a look:  Utrecht, Luxembourg and of course Groningen.   Personally, I have not been north of Alkmaar- which is essentially a suburb of Amsterdam.  Amsterdam is a hundred miles south of Groningen.

Map of Frisia

   Groningen has a linguistic and ethnic heritage independent from the rest of the Netherlands- it is located in the area historically known as "Friesland." It's a language- the language is West Frisian that used to cover a large part of the Benelux territory but is now reduced to the single territory centered in Groningen- only a half million speakers.  Frisian is the language most similar to Old English so it is a very, very, fair speculation that some important part of the English population came from Frisia- which is also supported by the geography.  Basically Frisians and the Anglo-Saxons came from the same tribal groups and they just settled in different areas after the Roman Empire lost it.

   And you know, these are 30 million people who have a pretty high standard of living and buy music and such.  There are worse places in Europe- Italy- for example- where people don't buy music at all.



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