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IQ announces partnership with SoundCzech

IQ today announces a partnership with SoundCzech, the Czech Music Office, to showcase the best of the thriving Czech live music market.

Situated in the heart of Europe, the Czech Republic is a crossroads for touring artists. While not one of the continent’s biggest markets, it is has a strong local scene bursting with talent – from the long-established large festivals, promoters and venues to smaller companies and passionate enthusiasts.

The IQ-SoundCzech partnership, which follows the export office’s participation in the recent Interactive Festival Forum, incorporates a Spotify playlist featuring the hottest Czech artists; an hour-long IQ Focus panel spotlighting on the best of the Czech scene; a livestreamed showcase featuring three Czech bands, curated by SoundCzech; and a feature on the Czech market in IQ Magazine.

“Since the Middle Ages, Czechs always had a strong footing in music, from classical composers to jazz geniuses,” comments Naray Marton from SoundCzech. “But now I think that it’s the right time to again shine a light on an absolute buzzing music scene, which can surprise you with its talents, venues, festivals, studios, services and much more.”

Listen to the SoundCzech x IQ playlist, which features artists including FVTVRE, I Love You Honey Bunny, MYDY, the Atavists, Ba:zel, Tea Sofia and Hellwana, below:

Founded in 2017, SoundCzech supports the Czech music scene, no matter the genre. It works as a music export agency with the aim of supporting the Czech music scene locally and globally.

Among the companies active in the Czech live scene are festivals Brutal Assault, Masters of Rock, Obscene Extreme, Let It Roll, Colours of Ostrava, Metronome, Mighty Sounds, Rock for People, Artu Kus, Hip Hop Kemp, Struny Podzimu, Beats for Love, Beseda u Bigbitu, Lunchmeat,  JazzFest Brno, Jazzinec, Respect Festival and Creepy Teepee, and promoters/agencies D Smack U, Fource Entertainment, 10:15 Entertainment, Conspiracy Concerts, Obscure Promotion, Pragokoncert Bohemia, Live Nation, Heartnoize Promotion and Charmenko.

Key venues include Sono Centrum, Roxy Prague, Forum Karlín, Palác Akropolis, Lucerna Music Club, Futurum Music Bar, Cross Club, Klub 007 Strahov, Fléda, Kabinet Múz, Meetfactory, Rock Café, Café v lese, Jazz Dock, Jazz Tibet Club, Barrak, CoolTour, Pod Lampou and Cross Club.

Studios, meanwhile, include SONO, Svárov, Faust, Golden Hive, 3bees studio and Jámor, and backline suppliers Nomads of Prague, Fluffwheels, High Lite Touring and Vans for Bands.

Nouvella Prague, Czech Music Crossroads and Central European Jazz Showcase are among the important showcase festivals.


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Making music GREAT: How the UK is driving growth in the global industry

The UK’s festival circuit is the envy of the world, famed for international heavy hitters like Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, Isle of Wight Festival, Bestival and Lovebox, as well as many hundreds of smaller events, all with their own niches and loyal audiences.

The British festival scene draws in foreign performers and music tourists – 12.5m of the latter in 2016 alone, making up 40% of the total live music market – and domestic audiences alike, while outside the festival scene, the UK also has a well-established, thriving live network spread across the entire country.

But British music isn’t only driving growth in Britain – it’s the engine room of the global live music industry. The richness and diversity of the UK’s festival landscape is reflected throughout a diverse UK talent pool making waves globally – from its world-leading, genre-defining artists to festival organisers, labels, promoters, agencies, studios, producers, sound and event technology companies, distributors and more.

Whether it’s Ed Sheeran breaking records all over the planet and Stormzy starting a grime revolution; Festival Republic exporting UK festival culture to the world and London’s powerhouse agencies securing the best deals for global talent; or world-beating recording studios, management companies, music publishers, ticket agents and innovative tech start-ups bringing British knowhow to a global audience, the UK has always been at the forefront of innovation in the music industry.

The richness and diversity of the UK’s festival landscape is reflected throughout a diverse talent pool making waves globally

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the technology space, with the UK at the forefront of the digital revolution. In addition to having one of the most comprehensive digital music services in the world – UK consumers can choose between more than 70 streaming, download and cloud-based services – this innovation is revolutionising the concert and festival businesses.

Recent wins for forward-thinking UK live music companies include a host of new venue partners for Dice, a UK mobile ticketing company whose app makes ticket touting impossible; a partnership between Birmingham-based NEC Group Arenas and UK virtual reality music company MelodyVR; expansion into the US for Festicket, a fast-growing UK-based travel portal which bundles festival tickets with travel, accommodation and other add-ons; and an increasing number of cashless festivals, including Bestival (in partnership with London-based Tappit) and Northern Ireland’s Jika Jika! Festival (with Leeds-based Event Genius).

These companies – and many more like them – embody the ambition and verve that the UK music industry possesses, and go some way to explaining the increase in music tourism and the wide-scale participation of British businesses on the global stage.

Find out more about how the experience and dynamism of the UK music industry is supporting the growth of the global live music business from Music is GREAT at IFF on 25–27 September.

Want to promote your business or product with a sponsored news story/banner package? Contact Archie Carmichael on +44 203 743 3288 or [email protected] for more information.

Buzz in the east

Most likely, many IQ readers have at some point wondered what might be happening in the central and eastern parts of Europe, as it seems that more and more interesting festivals are popping up every year, and there has been a growth in international ticket sales at events.

In order to stop unfounded assumptions, and to instead provide actual facts about the region, SoundCzech/Czech Music Office began operating this summer, with the aim of providing the wider live music community with access to information regarding the Czech music scene.

As the head of the office, and as a Hungarian expat living in Prague, I see the existing situation from a slightly different viewpoint than my Czech colleagues. Even though the central-eastern European region (with a focus on Czech Republic) has been active for some time, in the past few years many developments have taken place. The Czech live music scene is flourishing, with many improvements all around the country: local and international bands can play and work in good quality venues and studios; the inauguration of new associations (such as FestAs, the Czech festival association, and an association of independent labels); many local bands are now reaching international music standards; and last but not least, many young professionals are eager to find partners elsewhere in Europe to co-operate with.

The Czech live music scene is flourishing, with many improvements all around the country

I would even risk saying that the scene is ready to take off and to start crossing borders. However, I should add that the education of young professionals is an area that still needs improvement.

One other key topic we are working on is creating a general music sector platform to change the status quo of the region’s existing music sector. Just as in many other European countries, the official acknowledgement of the live music scene as a fully functioning ‘industry’ would drastically improve our ability to develop the sector further.

Considering these current developments, our focus (on behalf of SoundCzech/Czech Music Office), besides educating professionals, is to create as many access points to the Czech market as possible. You will find us at most relevant European events, and as a signature project together with other regional partners, we have created a new brand, the CEEntral Party, that we will feature at different events (ESNS, Reeperbahn, ℅ pop) with the aim of linking capable regional colleagues with professionals present at international trade gatherings.


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‘Every country should have a music export office’

Music market development agency Sound Diplomacy has called for every country in the world to establish a music export initiative, arguing those without export offices are missing out on “economic and cultural opportunities every day” and “limiting the opportunity to create skills, jobs and a better quality of life for their creatives”.

The call to action forms part of Sound Diplomacy’s Global Music Export Pledge, to be presented this Friday at The Export Conference at The Great Escape in Brighton.

The pledge highlights the benefits of music export to governments and councils around the world, outlining how a music export office should operate, its benefits to the economy and how to develop new talent and provide support to the local music industry.

It comprises eight key recommendations:

“We want every country in the world to have a thriving, active music export initiative,” reads a statement from Sound Diplomacy, which describes itself as the “leading global advisor in increasing the value of music and night culture in cities, places and developments” and whose clients include export initiatives in Europe, the Americas, Australasia and Africa.

“It doesn’t matter how it is set up. It matters how its functions impact the artists it serves. Talent is everywhere, and great talent deserves the best support. Only some countries and regions have music export initiatives; those that do are very lucky, because the business leaders running them are providing opportunities for artists across the sector every day.

“So let’s learn from each other, work together and make music export an integral aspect of national, regional and local cultural policy.”


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Bureau Export announces UK ‘Oui Love’ shows

French music export office Bureau Export has announced a series of new London-based club nights to promote French artists in the UK.

Under the name Oui Love, the first takes place at Birthdays (250-cap.) in Dalston on 9 March and will feature performances from Sônge (pictured), Juveniles, DBFC and Bantam Lyons, all of whom will play a French showcase at ILMC the previous day.

The launch comes amid the unveiling of a new consumer-facing website, ouilove.co.uk, and the rebranding to Oui Love of Bureau Export’s presence at festivals and on social media.

The media partner for the shows will be consumer music site The Line of Best Fit, whose editor, Paul Bridgewater, comments: “Since the creation of the site, The Line of Best Fit’s focus on new music discovery has been far-reaching. Recognising an ever-growing French scene, we are delighted to partner with Oui Love for a series of UK shows showcasing the best talent in French music.”

Rockfeedback will promote the concerts.

Bureau Export’s David McKenna calls 2016 a “benchmark year” for French music in the UK, with chart success for Kungs, Caravan Palace and Christine and the Queens, the latter of whom had the year’s bestselling debut album.


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20+ European export offices partner

The European Music Export Exchange Network (EMEE), a new pan-European association uniting over 20 of the continent’s music export offices, launched at music industry conference Midem at the weekend.

Led by chairwoman Anna Hildur Hildibrandsdóttir (Nordic Music Export Programme), EMEE will be governed by a board elected by its members and meet three times a year. The first board comprises Hildur, vice-chair Peter Smidt (Buma Cultuur, Netherlands) and secretary Virgo Sillamaa (Music Estonia).

The new network aims to increase consumption of the repertoire of its members, who met informally for the first time in 2014. “Our network aims to develop [a] further approach to how best to achieve this and contribute to political dialogues and processes in that context,” said a statement from EMEE.

“Music remains one of Europe’s most prized cultural and economic assets, and the creation of this network is hugely significant given that support and approach to our sector is being reassessed at EU level,” said Hildur ahead of the Cannes conference. “The European Commission has chosen the music ecosystem as the best example of a sector strongly influenced by the digital shift, built on small- and medium-sized businesses, and with a strong potential for growth and job creation. This goes hand in hand with EMEE’s common goal to increase the circulation of European repertoire.

“EMEE welcomes the initiative from Creative Europe and fully supports a new music programme in 2020.”