Merlijn Poolman

Nightmayor of Groningen and founder of Gateway to China

Cultural entrepreneur, nightmayor of Groningen and public speaker with a focus on music, cultural diplomacy and nightlife

Roles: Booker Creative Manager Promoter
Looking for: Booker Distributor Label Manager Performer Producer

Merlijn Poolman started his career with organising metal shows and tours, but after founding a nightclub (Subsonic, Groningen) in 2011 he gradually got more involved into dance music. Since 2018 he became the Night Mayor of the Dutch city of Groningen and in that role forms a link between the government, the club venue owners and (most important) the party people themselves. As leader of the Groningen Night Council, member of the Dutch Popcoalitie (advisory board to the government) and former European Music Council fellow-member Merlijn loves to balance between the formal policy making and the raw underground music culture that formed his career. After his first visit to China in 2014 he went there 10 times in total with cultural exchanges in music business as main goal. In the same year he has organised his first Yin Yang music festival taking place at the Great Wall of China. In 2018 he started collaborating with the music database platform Bookya to set up a service called Gateway to China, that offers Chinese social media accounts and content creation to Western artists. Currently in The Netherlands with the newly formed Cosimo Foundation he and his partners aim to raise more funding for cultural projects and in this process create matches with the business world. Out of tax incentives instead of the usual governmental culture budgets this new form of project funding should lead to a structural increase of projects that were not possible to produce before.