Meet: Tarik Vanrompaey

Aug 10 / 2023

Meet: Tarik Vanrompaey. He's a booker at Ancienne Belgique, a notible concert venue in Belgium. Starting at 16 with scouting music acts, who better to ask for his two cents on today's music scene? Go ahead and find out who will be the big stars of the future.

Give us a little scoop on who you are. Tell us about your role at Ancienne Belgique:

I’m part of the booking team of AB in Brussels. So, basically what we do with our team is deciding who can come play at the venue and trying to work out a well-balanced concert schedule with acts from all genres and on all levels; from upcoming talent to well-known names.

How did you end up in this role?

When I was 16 years old, I started organizing small local shows in my youth club with a bunch of friends. What started small became bigger and bigger and a few years later I was working with major booking agencies and promoting shows on a weekly basis. What started as a small hobby later became a full time job.

How do you identify and select music?

Gut feeling is always rule number 1 :-). But of course in the time we live in now, things like streaming figures and social media presence can’t be ignored. Also traditional media like radio and magazines still play a role and of course the relevance of an act. Are they still very active? Do they have a recent album out? Are they on the radar of people I know? Things like that.

If 3 people from different backgrounds start talking to me about a certain act, I know something is brewing!

What makes a particular artist stand out to you? Are there any specific qualities or characteristics you look for?

Not really, but I do have what I call the “rule of 3”. If 3 people from different backgrounds (e.g. a music freak, friends of my mom and a random colleague) start talking to me about a certain act, I know something is brewing!

Last year, you recommended The Haunted Youth. Can you tell us more about that?

Since they are from Belgium, we follow them from the very start and their story is remarkable in many ways. They make some kind of dreamy rock music that is impossible not to like. In only a few years they made a name for themselves in Belgium and I’m sure the rest of Europe will be quick to follow.

Who are you recommending for MME Awards 2024 and what sets them apart from other artists in the industry?

Oops, I forgot I recommended the same act twice :-) They must be good! This year I recommended: Tukan, Dienne and The Haunted Youth. When thinking about acts to suggest to MME, we always consider the international appeal. The last show of Tukan at AB was remarkable and they have this un-Belgian flair that give them the potential to be successful in other parts of the world also.

Are there any unique qualities or talents that these artists possess which you think deserve recognition at the MME Awards? Can you elaborate on any notable accomplishments or contributions they've made to the music industry?

In Tukan’s case, we know that they already have some shows selling well in other European cities. This is a good indication for us.

Lastly, can you share a little bit about working with MME Awards to recommend artists for the talent program?

Working with MME is always a nice experience, it’s this one time of the year when you are asked to reflect and take a moment to stand still on what you are doing on autopilot for a whole year.