"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.