Meet The Danish Music Bizz: Jesper Frydenlund – Booking Agent at 3rd Tsunami Agency

SPOT is much more than concerts: Denmark has also got significant agents in various parts in the music business, and while we are counting down to the festival, we aim to present some of the people you can meet at SPOT in brief Q&As.

This time it is Jesper Frydenlund, Booking Agent, 3rd Tsunami (Booking agency)

What do you work with?
I work as a booking agent for 3rd Tsunami Agency in Scandinavia.

What is your business background?
I have been working at 3rd Tsunami Agency for 15 years now and prior to that I worked for a couple of years as an independent promoter solely doing punk shows and also did what can now be coined as management for friends’ bands. Even before that I studied multimedia design and English literature. I was studying at the university while working in a vinyl shop when I was invited to join the company. It seemed so much more interesting than finishing my studies at the university, so I accepted.

What is your portfolio?
I’ve always had eyes and ears for the daring artists; the sounds and visual identities that will make a mark eventually. Either locally or globally. On the domestic scene I’ve been fortunate to spot a variety of genre-defining artists over the course of the 15 years; worth mentioning are acts like Ukendt Kunstner, Veto, Sivas, Volbeat, The Kissaway Trail, Soleima, Noah Carter and many more.

On a more personal level I’ve been behind important domestic events/projects such as The New Era Tour (Danish tour for upcoming artists), Hardcore Showdown (Copenhagen socio-political festival for international hardcore and alternative acts) and MTV Headbangers Ball Tour (a kick-starter of the domestic metal scene in the mid 2000s).

What is the most important thing to happen to Danish music in the last five years?
That’s a tough one to answer really. Internally, as in within our own region here in Denmark, I’d say it’s really important to highlight the few examples of artists breaking the game; destroying the plot of predictability. Too see an unknown hardcore hip hop act like MellemFingaMuzik come out of nowhere, release an album and then stay in the Top 20 for 30+ weeks without marketing, without interviews and without buying their way into playlists ranks tremendously high in my book!
If you look at what has happened with Danish music over the last 5 years internationally, we’ve never been stronger. Volbeat increasing their level to one of Europe’s biggest acts around and selling out a European stadium tour is nothing short of stunning and more importantly historic. But particularly on a much smaller scale and level we have had genre-defining acts make impact all around – Snavs in electronic music, Halshug and Night Fever in punk/hardcore and much, much more. So many exciting things happening in Denmark at the moment.

What are the most important questions or problematics in the music business right now?
I like the debate on equality very much but feel sad that it’s becoming constricted and limited to one of gender. As much as that debate is a massive (and important) one, it’s disregarding the similar issues in the music industry we have within ageism, ethnicity, sexuality and so on. For some reason the gender debate has taken over on everything equality related and has been put in system, so to speak, with heavyweight players (e.g. the Keychange PRS initiative with large festivals backing up on a 50/50% gender equality by 2022) setting off. I can only hope that the gender equality focus will then open the other doors eventually.
Other problems I see right now are more current, here and now. I meet more and more promoters who attach an unreasonable importance to number of streams and draw a line to ticket sales that isn’t there. I think it’s highly problematic but positively something that will gradually find its natural level.

Which international business people and industries would you like to meet at SPOT this year?
I’m a booking agent but also an eager panelist. So I’m primarily looking within my network of promoters, both existing and potential, and here I find SPOT a fine place to nurture these relationships and establishing new ones. As I’m participating in the panel “Let’s Talk Equality” I’m excited about sharing stories with international colleagues.

What are you going to do at SPOT/what are your goals for this year’s SPOT?
I have a fair share of artists playing, so I’m hoping to attract as many promoters as possible. This year, actually, has a few unique performances including a one-off concert by The Attic Sleepers with a brass section added for the first time, which I’m overly excited about. Danish rockers Go Go Berlin are going all out and performing their forthcoming album at SPOT exclusively, so that should be quite the draw as they are on home soil and have played SPOT many times before. So ultimately my goal is that the showcases are seen by as many promoters as possible.

Besides your own artists, which ones are you looking forward to see at SPOT this year?
I saw Barselona at By:Larm quite recently and they blew me away. So that’s surely one. Natjager is interesting and bringing something new to the table, so I’ll catch them. Other than that, I’ll check out the Karrierekanonen acts as they’re brand new and then see when the final announcement of artists has been made.