Friday, March 15, 2013

Hilversum Collapse Continues

I have a theory that, when it comes to domestic media in the Netherlands, the future of Hilversum as the centre for this activity is becoming more and more doubtful with every passing month. This is partly due to the rather parochial vision of the city council who assume that media need facilities, rather failing to spot that many popular shows no longer need vast decors and studios. It is NOT about building facilities and hoping that people will come. It is about creating a creative environment where people want to come to create. Hilversum is all about structures - and that's the sworn enemy of any truly creative process.

They desperately need a Plan B. But things will have to get a lot worse before they see the light. The rising talent is packing its bags. Bright, small production houses like Tuvalu are moving to a production centre near Amsterdam central station. Where the people are....

Former KRO building (used by Radio Netherlands in the 1950's for audience participation shows) has failed to find new tenants. Boarded up and empty.
NOS - apparently these signs will need to be upgraded soon as Radio and TV are re-branded into NPO Channels.
While it makes sense to keep the national news centre, NOS Journaal, in Hilversum ( for logistical reasons), I really wonder what the incumbent production companies like AVRO, VPRO, VARA, KRO, NCRV and BNN are still doing in Hilversum. 16% of the office space in Amsterdam is empty. Reminds me of the Media Cities built in Jordan and UAE Dubai. You build studios where the audiences are. Otherwise they are just another industrial parks.

Since AVRO now has two transmission licences (one national and one regional in Amsterdam), hanging around in what is rapidly becoming a ghost-town. Now the local hyperlocal portal is reporting that ALL the festivals in the city for the coming summer have been cancelled. The reason is not lack of interest, but an unwillingness to raise the required funds needed "for security".

All Music and media festivals in Hilversum have been cancelled in 2013

Recently Sony has moved out, being replaced by John de Mol's Talpa TV company...rather struggling at the moment as co-owner of an overvalued SBS network of stations. The fact that they are still building on the Media Park in Hilversum is baffling... SBS and Sanoma is in Amsterdam. So the deal for John de Mol must be a great one to stay in Hilversum.

Talpa moved into the old Sony records building

Curiously, the local hardware store GAMMA is having a 6 day festival to celebrate its recent renovation!

Media Park has a new facilities house....

A facilities house has appeared in the woods in the Media Park. Actually, it is not a new building. It was originally fabricated as a Children's Art House and stood for five years in Rotterdam. It has also been a temporary school. Now the Red House has moved again and become a place that rents out equipment and editing space. Hilversum has quite a lot of editing space available at the moment...
Tuvalu Media is heading here...the Media Harbour on the IJ in Amsterdam

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