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Portugal’s Westway Lab announces artist residencies

Westway Lab, Portugal’s first showcase festival and music conference, has announced the return of its artist residency programme, which welcomes eight artists to work together and showcase material on the 10 and 11 April.

The sixth edition of Westway Lab takes place in Guimarães, Portugal from 10 to 13 April, combining artist residencies, professional conferences and showcases.

This year, the festival hosts Portuguese musicians Beatriz Nunes and João Pascoal of the Happy Mess, Lince (Sofia Ribeiro) and Captain Boy (Pedro Ribeiro). Other residencies are taken by Venezuelan singer Yosune, Italian singer-songwriter Violetta Zironi, indie-pop Austro-Slovakian duo Mickey and the Canadian pop-rock band Tribe Royal.

The festival and conference has also announced Canada as its spotlight country. The Canadian representation will be folk focused with singer-songwriters Sarah MacDougall and Megan Nash, along with folk trio the East Pointers. Music by duo Les Deuxluxes and Tribe Royal will have more of a rock focus.

“[Westway Lab is] a powerful world of possibility on a human scale”

Westway Lab again hosts the Why Portugal event organised by the Portuguese music export office, featuring local artists Neev, Marta Pereira da Costa and Vaarwell. The Portuguese Independent Music Trade Association brings Europe in Synch to the conference, a programme focusing on the training of young music professionals actively involved in sync licensing.

The festival is a member of the the European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP), which promotes European musicians across the world, and showcase festival association the Innovation Network of European Showcases (INES).

Rui Torrinha, artistic director of the festival describes Westway LAB as “a powerful world of possibility on a human scale”, outlining the consistent “quality” of the artists who have participated in the festival over the years.

A full conference programme and registration for this year’s Westway Lab are available here.


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One week countdown for ESNS 2019 begins

Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS), the largest showcase of promising European music talent, kicks off next Wednesday in Groningen, the Netherlands. This year’s festival promises to host 350 acts and more than 4,000 conference delegates, including festival bookers, expert panellists and other important industry figures.

ESNS serves as a key exchange for emerging European artists, combining a packed daytime conference schedule with an equally jammed evening live music programme. The De Oosterport conference centre in Groningen acts as the festival hub, a centre for industry networking, engaged debate and live music expertise.

Each year, the festival concentrates on showcasing talent from a specific focus nation. For ESNS 2019, the focus becomes double, with acts from both the Czech Republic and Slovakia taking centre stage.

ESNS serves as a key exchange for emerging European artists, combining a packed daytime conference schedule with an equally jammed evening live music programme

The festival opens on 16 January with the European Festival Awards (EFA), at which Peter Smidt, ESNS founder and creative director, will accept the prestigious lifetime achievement award.

Hungary’s Sziget Festival is once again nominated for the best major festival award, having taken home the prize for line-up of the year at last year’s EFAs. It contends for the top spot with Open’er Festival, Hellfest, Pinkpop and Roskilde Festival, among others. CAA agent and 2018 Music Industry Trusts (MITs) award winner Emma Banks appears among the nominees vying for success in the agent of the year category.

The European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP) returns to ESNS following another record-breaking year spreading and promoting the newest and best in European music. Festival shows played through the programme numbered 457 last summer. The programme’s 2018 winner, Superorganism, appears alongside fellow ETEP hits Zeal & Ardor and Sigrid on EFA’s newcomer of the year nominee list.

A change to proceedings sees the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards replace the long-running Europe Border Breaker Awards. The inaugural awards look to support new acts, offering winners the chance to play live at ESNS, and providing them with tailor-made training programmes, as well as financial help. British artists Bishop Briggs and Pale Waves find themselves among the triumphant 12 winners revealed in November.


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