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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