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ABOUT DENIF
Denif is an association of and for well established Norwegian artists and their managements, representing well known artists, orchestras and lecturers of all categories and price ranges.
Some of our members also deliver technical solutions including sound and light, stages etc. for public arrangements, festivals, concerts and theatre or show productions. Also, they are involved in nationwide tour activities, fairs and exhibitions and productions of conferences, kick-offs and events for Norwegian companies.
 
The history of Denif
In 1988, the work of joining Norwegian agents in this association began by initiator Per Langsholt (Rainbow Booking AS) and Gunnar Sund (Euromusic AS). An attempt to establish an association of this kind was made in the early 70's as well, however without success. As many agents felt the need for a joint venture, the scepticism was present also in the second attempt.

So- what was the common interests in this vast group consisting of both booking agents, concert producers and theatre producers with tour production in addition to a small number of artist managers who also carried out bookings to some extent? The common denominator was tour production, where the greatest challenge was the contents of the contracts as to cancellations, and the sharp competition between the agents involved. Furthermore, artists and arrangers often were involved as well, something which occasionally lead to a poor climate between the parties.

Due to this, the business faced great challenges, and without a proper organisation with regulations the problems would have been almost impossible to solve. When a draft for directions for the business designed by the authorities was introduced, things started to happen. The final regulations came in 1988. These regulations was designed by legal professionals without knowledge about this business, and therefore hard to live up to. Also, very few people in the business had heard of the regulations. Per Langsholt and Gunnar Sund participated on a seminar in Drammen in Januar 1989 staged by the public Musician and Artist Booing Agency in Oslo, back then with Stein Robert Ludviksen (former head of Holmenkollen "Ragnarock") as their leader. During the seminar, the consequences of the set regulations were displayed. The two delegates left the seminar with one goal: something had to be done real quick!

Mr. Langsholt and Mr. Sund, both without experience what so ever regarding managing an association, began their work. Members were recruited during day time, contracts where designed in the evenings. At night, Per Langsholt was studying regulations and ethical guide lines from other associations similar to what they wanted to create, FKD in Denmark and SVIMP in Sweden. Early on, a co-operation with these organisations was decided.

A provisional board of directors was formed, consisting of Bjørn Terje Bråthen (Artistguiden), Gunnar Sund (Euromusic AS), Per Langsholt (Rainbow Booking), Dag Arvnes (Artist & Band Consult) and Even Bjerke (Musikksentralen). Kid Jensen (Gunnar Eide International Concert Direction) was also a considerable contributor.

These men gathered the most active agents in the business, something which resulted in a constitutive National Congress on May 20 1989 in the Norwegian Suite on the SAS-hotel in Oslo. 40 delegates from 30 companies from all over the country was participating. The result was that all qualified delegates gained membership in the association named Denif. The association was formally founded on May 12 the same year.

A co-operation with our neighbour countries was as mentioned already established, which resulted in an invitation of Knut Rutenborg (VD of EMA Telstar and foreman in SVIMP). He shared his own experiences from the Swedish entertainment business. The Danish foreman, Jens Lykke, had also visited Per Langsholt in his office in Sarpsborg before the congress. The following board was constituted:

Chairman of the board: Per Langsholt (Rainbow Booking)
Deputy Chairman: Even Bjerke (Musikksentralen)
Cashier: Gunnar Sund (Euromusic AS)
Secretary of the board: Bjørn Terje Bråthen (Artistguiden)
Board member: Dag Arvnes (Artist & Band Consult)
Board member: Kid Jensen (Gunnar Eide International Concert Direction)
Board member: Eivind H. Solberg (Eivind Solberg AS)

By November 30 the same year, the number of members had grown to 44, all ranging from agents for opera, classical music, jazz, rock, blues, disco, country and dance music. Estimates showed that about 150 people worked for their artists and bands in these agencies. Denif was after six months the largest impresario association in Scandinavia. The responsibility laid on the board members' shoulders was obvious. Later, 10 more agencies became members of Denif, despite the strict demands for membership. Many agencies were not approved and therefore not allowed membership.

The first 10 years was hard work. Conflicts which needed solutions, the fight against the authorities and last but not least peace and quiet between the members. Some exclusions had to be effected. Furthermore, the board members had their own companies to run in addition to the association work. However, Denif's unpaid Chairman have found solutions to the problems many doubted could be dealt with in a proper way. More about these cases later. And even if it seems as the climate has calmed a bit in the business, great challenges are surely yet to come. Therefore, a well organised and up to date tool is of great importance. All agencies involved in serious tour production for Norwegian artists should participate in this association if they are approved of as members by the board.