Sam's Scene interview

What are den Atelier's plans for 2017?

Interview with Michel Welter

Michel Welter of den Atelier venue
Michel Welter of den Atelier venue
Photo: Johnny Lemarquis

Michel Welter from den Atelier speaks to Sam Steen about Rock-A-Field, everything that’s going on at the venue and the various projects and shows they have planned over the next few months.

Bon Iver

After a quiet start to the year, den Atelier’s programme arrives back with a bang this month. One weekend in particular will have gig goers out in force with The Divine Comedy playing on Friday January 27, Nick Waterhouse playing at Rotondes on the Saturday and Australian superstars The Temper Trap hitting the Atelier stage on Sunday 29.

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It could have been even busier for Atelier team as Bon Iver was set to play at Rockhal on the 27th but unfortunately that show was cancelled which was a disappointment for Michel, “We did start out our year with some pretty bad news. I don’t know what was going on actually”, he said, “I reckon it must be something quite serious because they cancelled their whole European tour including the UK which is pretty unusual. It was a sold out tour and you know usually artist have “various reasons” but this was a very successful tour but the agent was very clear that there would be no replacement dates. It’s a pity but obviously the tickets will be refunded.”

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New Artists

As well as a slew of big name acts the venue will feature a number of upcoming acts at Rotondes like Blossoms and Future Of The Left and they will also host a Showcase event on February 11 at den Atelier to introduce some new Belgian bands to the Luxembourg music scene. “It’s the first time that we’re doing this showcase thing but there are so many good Belgian acts that we thought we should try it for once”, Michel explained, “The tickets are dirt cheap, something like five euros and it’s two very cool Belgian acts who I didn’t know before; Konoba and Sonnfjord. Check them out, go to our website have a listen and if you like them come see them at the Atelier, have a beer, have a good night out and that’s really the spirit of it, just to discover good new acts.”

Harry Potter

Den Atelier will also continue to diversify the type of show they put on when they show Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone with a live orchestra at Rockhal in October.

“For us, as a very small company, negotiating with the Harry Potter office is quite impressive. Obviously they are very professional and to have the rights for the Harry Potter movies is very cool so we’re very very happy. We had to source a local orchestra and we really wanted to do it with the OPL and they were very happy to do so. Obviously Harry Potter is a bit more commercial (than what they normally play), they sometimes do these cinema evenings but they are usually more auteur movies like Space Odyssey or whatever but they were very happy to do this with us. So it’s the original movie shown in HD and in the original version and you have live music from an eighty or ninety person orchestra.”.

Tickets are selling fast so Potter fans should act quickly to avoid disappointment. Speaking of popular shows, The Blue Man Group sold out their run at the Grand Theatre but Michel did offer some hope to those still hoping to get tickets. “It’s entirely sold out but who knows?” he said.

Michel Welter
Michel Welter
Photo: Johnny Lemarquis


Finally the big news to come out recently was that there will be no Rock-A-Field (RAF) festival in 2017.

“We are basically taking a sabbatical”, said Michel, “RAF is our dear little baby that we want to take care of, but it is a very expensive baby. For us RAF is a very important project because of the budgetary implications. They are very big for us. We are a small privately funded company and people sometimes forget that. We are not a big institution and we live out of the ticket sales so the project is very tough because it represents such an important part of our turnover that it’s actually quite dangerous.”

"We wanted to change the financial structure behind it and we’re very happy to say that we have the Minister Of Culture on board so we can better approach 2018. We’ll take a break this year and then next year we will come back”, he revealed adding his happiness at having the Ministry Of Culture involved. “I think it’s a very good thing because RAF draws people from the Greater Region so it does RAF justice to have public support. Without bragging I think we do our little tiny contribution to the Nation Branding. It has some response from neighbouring countries.”

“That was the first point but the second one is to take a step back and analyse what went wrong and what we can do better. Which aspects can we do better and which we should drop. Taking a year off gives us an opportunity to take two steps back, analyse what’s really working and what’s not and then come back stronger with the support of the Ministry Of Culture in 2018.”

Take a listen to Sam Steen's full interview with Michel Welter below:

So no Rock-A-Field for 2017 but a full programme of shows at venues in the City and beyond. Keep up to date with all of den Atelier’s concerts on their website:

Sam's Scene!

Read Sam's other articles in his very own dossier on : Sam's Scene!

Sam Steen on ARA City Radio

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