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Country Profile: The Baltic States

The world’s leading promoters & the 55 top markets they operate in.
Click the interactive map below to explore the top 55 global markets.

Though boasting a combined population of 6m people and an average income significantly below the western average, the Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – are undervalued gems in the international touring market. Despite inflation that has seen production and promotion costs double and spending power diminish, market conditions here remain positive and demand largely undimmed.

“There is a healthy demand,” says Giedrius Klimašauskas , MD of Stay Live, “we have not yet sensed that any general economic conditions have affected the entertainment market this year.”

Calum Scott, Imagine Dragons, Andrea Bocelli, and Eros Ramazzotti are amongst the bigger names that have sold out major shows in the region in the past year, with – as elsewhere– online marketing making up the bulk of the promo push ahead of limited billboard, radio, and TV opportunities. Where these markets buck the general European trend is in genre. Hip-hop and EDM are less popular here than in many other territories: Latvia and Lithuania (where Stay Live, Live Nation, ISEG, and BDG Music are amongst the major promoters) are primarily pop markets, while Estonia (where Live Nation and Baltic Music Group are two of the key players) also flocks to rock. Klimašauskas lists ambient pop, indie pop, and rock as the youth culture trends of the moment, while more mainstream events have sometimes done disappointing business.

“There is a healthy demand, we have not yet sensed that any general economic conditions have affected the entertainment market this year.”

“Streams are constantly showing that there‘s a lot of young rap listeners in our countries,” he says. “However, this doesn’t convert into punters. This summer’s one famous American rapper show in Vilnius has not proved to be a success. I guess our very young audience isn’t ready to pay regular ticket prices, or perhaps there‘s not that many fans as streaming stats indicate.”

Pricing is a delicate balancing act here, with acts and agents sometimes over-estimating the spending power of the Baltic audience.

Latvia-based L Tips Agency is one of the big independent promoters in the region and this year had sold out shows by Måneskin in Tallinn in May; Three Days Grace in Rīga and Tallinn in May; Hurts in Sigulda in July; and 50 Cent in Kaunas in October.

Founder Gints Putnins says: “The market for international artists is definitely growing. The main challenge is finding the right artist for the right Baltic market. Not all artists can be equally successful in all three countries. Even though all the Baltic countries are small and located next to each other, each of them has different music preferences. In Estonia, it is more rock; in Lithuania, pop and indie; in Latvia, hip-hop has gained great popularity in recent years.”

“Be smart, start with small venues, and grow your fan base step by step, in cooperation with promoters. Entering arenas right away definitely does not always contribute to further career growth in the Baltics.”

He says that Baltic audiences are hungry for international acts, and artists looking to break in this region should “be smart, start with small venues, and grow your fan base step by step, in cooperation with promoters. Entering arenas right away definitely does not always contribute to further career growth in the Baltics.”

Klimašauskas expects the region to equalise with its European neighbours over time. “It [will] grow and eventually be similar to what is in the other western countries on a per capita basis,” he says. “I wish more agents would bring more of their acts into this part of the world. There’s definitely a demand.”

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