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Willem Loos about Breda as a tech city in the music industry

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Willem Loos is one of the founders of the 360 Experience Group, of which the Breda-based production company Unlimited Productions is a part. "Breda has a lot of ambition and potential to position itself in the tech field. Now the puzzle needs to be solved.

Unlimited Productions, located at Minervum in Breda, is a full-service production company that executes and produces technical and creative concepts, high-end designs, and event productions. They work both nationally and internationally, but also actively participate in events in their own city, such as Breda Live, Bij ons in Breda, Breda 75 years of freedom, Zodiac the Musical, Dance Tour, Decibel, Bredasche Heerenzitting, Aithra Awards, Winter Wonderland, EK women's football, and have been guiding Breda's Tiësto with his productions and tours for years.

In your opinion, what is the strength of the city of Breda?
“The location is interesting in the Benelux, it is a true hub. You have five airports nearby and good (train) connections to major cities. The game academy of Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas) is in the top 3 in the world and has real international appeal for the city. Furthermore, Breda is a pleasant environment to study, work, and live in after you complete your education.”

What does Unlimited Productions have to offer to Breda as a company?
“It is a great company where talents can progress; we have a strong growth ambition. I think we are an appealing company with a global footprint, we do great things for many different clients in multiple market segments. In addition to Unlimited Productions, we have two other labels: Unbranded and Live Legends. With Unbranded, we focus mainly on media, TV, and experience formats, from the Mediapark in Hilversum. With Live Legends, we have a live experience design studio in Amsterdam. But our headquarters is and remains in Breda, most of Unlimited Productions' employees come from this region. In total, we have 120 FTEs in our group. Over the past five years, we have actively worked as a training company to bring students from institutions like Avans and BUas to our companies.”

Why does Unlimited Productions operate from Breda, and not from the Randstad?
“When looking at the design industry, Amsterdam or Rotterdam would indeed be a more logical choice. However, geographically in the Benelux, Breda is a very nice hub location. Furthermore, the label originated from the early days with Tiësto and therefore truly has a Breda DNA. Finally, we find it to be a very pleasant city and region, where it is nice to live, work, and enjoy life.”

What do you think is missing in Breda for talents?
“We have been handling the project and production management of Tiësto for years. He became big in the Spock, a breeding ground for talents like Thijs Verwest. To attract and retain talents in a city, you must ensure that there are places like this underground scene. There are some places now, such as Pier15, STEK, and MEZZ, but in my opinion, there should be more connection in terms of programming and curation. This also applies to several great initiatives such as BredaPhoto and other leading initiatives. If you want to ensure consistent progress in showcasing your city's ambitions, then it is a requirement that the underground scene should be the breeding ground for creative talent.”

How do outsiders view Breda according to you?
“Breda is seen as a nice city with a good vibe. But often people don’t look beyond the Burgundian city with its nice restaurants and bars. I think, and I know, that Breda is much more than that. There is a beautiful mix of diversity among people, and the city has also made progress on cultural and social levels. Take for example MotMot Gallery, STEK and Pier15. The amount of creative talent in these places is incredible, but most people are unaware of it.”

Where do the opportunities lie for Breda as a tech and gaming city?  
“Traditionally, Breda harbours a lot of talent, they just don’t showcase it enough. Breda is selling itself short with that. There are plenty of ideas and ambitions, but there needs to be more support. If you want to position Breda as a creative and technological city, you need something that repeats itself. People in Breda enjoy going out. Just think of the Jazz Festival. The question is not whether you will go, it’s a given that you will go. I’m not saying you should organise an event like the Jazz Festival every month, but good events that repeat themselves work well.”

Photos: Unlimited Productions and Manon de Koning

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