LIFESTYLE - CULTURE

Event venues

Rockhal CEO takes the helm of European Arenas Association



Olivier Toth is the co-founder of Arena Resilience Alliance, an organisation through which the EAA has communicated with EU bodies during the pandemic. Photo: Matic Zorman

Olivier Toth is the co-founder of Arena Resilience Alliance, an organisation through which the EAA has communicated with EU bodies during the pandemic. Photo: Matic Zorman

Olivier Toth, CEO of Rockhal, will succeed AEG Europe’s John Langford as president of the European Arenas Association.

The European Arenas Association (EEA) represents 34 arenas in 20 European countries that host over 2,900 annual events attracting a total audience of 19 million people.

During the covid-19 pandemic those managing event venues in Europe realised the need for open dialogue with EU governing bodies in a unified and effective manner. Toth, an EEA board member at the time, became the co-founder of a subgroup which morphed into what is now called the Arena Resilience Alliance (ARA). Its aim was to raise awareness of the crisis as well as to communicate with EU policymakers in order to develop uniform rules for bringing back live events across Europe.

“I am honoured to be appointed as the EAA’s next president and look forward to further developing and delivering the EAA’s realigned objectives and to continue to work closely with the EU on arena-related topics. Through the Arena Resilience Alliance, we have seen how arenas play a vital role as the hub of the live events ecosystem and how necessary it is to have a collective voice for our industry,” said Toth in a press release. “I think we can all agree the world we are returning to is not the same one we left behind and I am confident that the EAA and its ARA subgroup will work towards building a stronger and more unified European live events sector.”

Toth’s work in the EAA also includes reshaping the association’s vision for the future, aiming to create a more inclusive membership structure. The EAA’s activities will focus on knowledge exchange, education/training, advocacy, networking and content development.

“The challenges we all have faced during covid shows the importance of both sharing and building knowledge of our industry. Arenas function as a catalyst for the local and national tourism industry but decision-makers very often lack insights on our ecosystem,” said EEA board member Lotta Nibell in the same press release.

Traditionally, arenas are major local employers and play an important role in national and regional tourism ecosystems as well as being centres for social gatherings, local communities and networking.

Back in May, Rockhal hosted a concert for 1,000 people, which was made possible thanks to cooperation with the national health authorities.