Q&A: MARTIJN VAN DEN BERG (TRANSMISSION)
With Miller Genuine Draft
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TRANSMISSION is a series of dance events that have been on the scene since 2006, with the 10th edition held in Prague last November and its foreign debut having recently taken place in Bratislava.
It’s known for its spectacular visual shows and pull for thousands of dance lovers from across the globe. In order to understand how it all started and how the TRANSMISSION brand is evolving, we spoke with Martijn van den Berg, Project Manager of TRANSMISSION International.
How was the concept of TRANSMISSION developed?
“It was back in 2006 that TRANSMISSION started. United Music (the name of our company and brand holder and organiser of the TRANSMISSION concept) came to the Czech market in 2005, aiming to bring better and more high quality dance events to the Czech market. After several club-parties and shows with well-known artists like The Prodigy, Tiesto and Paul van Dyk, it was time to develop an own concept. In those days there were not many big events over here and the visuals (made by VJs Vision Impossible from the Netherlands) and line up were revolutionary back then. Trance was really popular here, but still we wanted to have more options for the future and therefore chose the name TRANSMISSION, with a link to trance but not limiting us to one style only.”
What does TRANSMISSION mean to Trance fans?
“The fans that could answer this question better! But as far as we know for many of them it means a lot. We are considered one of the biggest and best trance events in Europe, where there are so many big and professional events and where the home of trance is, and that to us is a big compliment.”
TRANSMISSION started as a small event. At what point did you decide it was time to expand into a larger arena in Prague?
“For the he first edition in 2006 we had 3,500 visitors, the next one that year was 5,500 and the third 8,000. That was a rapid growth. We decided to move to the o2 arena – a stadium that totally fitted with the direction we had in mind for TRANSMISSION. ”
How would you describe TRANSMISSION for the public audience if they have never seen it before?
“It’s a big club with an intimate atmosphere. People come again and again so a TRANSMISSION family has emerged. The people are friendly and all in the same vibe as there is just one stage instead of several. People are smiling, having a good time, cheering and dancing like it’s their last party. You hear the crystal clear sound from the Funktion One system. In front of you there is the stage, full of so many lights and lasers your ears and eyes find it hard to cope with everything as there are so many great impulses!”
Do you feel the economic crunch has hurt the industry?
“I don’t think it has been as hurt as other industries. The whole EDM scene is booming and became very mainstream. Young people will always have a need to dance and party. What might be harder is for the smaller events to survive, you see that main events like Ultra, Tommorowland, Tomorrowworld, EDC, etc, do very well. People want to be part of the majority and follow the masses, whilst still going to smaller events that may be less cool or hot. But on the other hand you also see that some people are fed up with mainstream events and look for quality and more intimate atmospheres in the clubs. In my opinion it’s just a pity that the whole market is ruled by just a few major players. I am curious how other events and the whole scene will develop.”
TRANSMISSION has now started touring in European arenas. Did the growth and demand by Trance fans dictate it was the right time to expand and tour?
“Indeed we had our first international edition on the 15th of March 2014 in Bratislava. It was the start of a big international adventure for us. The event was great, wonderful atmosphere, super sets. We know though that not everyone can come to Prague so that’s why we want to go to the people and bring TRANSMISSION to more countries.”
Could you tell us what countries TRANSMISSION is planning to extend to this year?
“For 2014 we hope to announce one more European show besides Prague. We are now planning events for 2015, hopefully including some overseas shows as well. Poland would also make sense as we have about a 1,000 fans that come to TRANSMISSION. Perhaps the Netherlands, where trance began.”
If you had to think of one line that perfectly summarises TRANSMISSION, what would it be?
“The experience of a lifetime!”
Find out more at the Transmission Website.
WORDS: Dawn Tolmie