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BALKAN:MOST event blows minds in Veszprém

How do you make a sold-out street fiesta celebrating a musical niche removed from its place of origin, attracting small-town folks and seasoned professionals? BALKAN:MOST pulled off just that in the Hungarian town of Veszprém, between 7 and 9 September, with free entry. Taking showcase festivals to the next level, it acted as a roll-call for Balkan talent, and people loved it.

Location, location, location
Veszprém is small in comparison to say Budapest, but a neat little cultural hub seated in the picturesque Balaton region – rich in wines, views and prime venues. The town used the impetus of Veszprém-Balaton 2023 European Capital of Culture year to the max. BALKAN:MOST Showcase and Conference, in cooperation with WOMEX, acted as a double-edged sword: it attracted European music buffs besides bagging popular appeal. The crowds – over a tenth of the city’s population – chanting along to Bosnian ska punk or falling in love with heritage-inspired R’n’B would definitely agree. Organisers Hangvető delivered production seamlessly as per usual, nursing delegates along to revelative experiences and fruitful networking. BALKAN:MOST represented the region in its diversity and carried out an ambitious professional agenda and a three-day street fiesta. No coincidence, in a city that has welcomed buskers at its Street Music Festival for decades, and where locals easily take to quirky musicians occupying their quaint streets.

“MOST gave us a big boost, and a new network. We learnt a lot about how the music industry works”

Clever Programming
Organisers relied heavily on the Balkan brand, while questioning and broadening its content. The term oversteps the backlog of ‘world music’, while suggesting that musical heritage is indeed involved. Showcase bands had already had an established working relationship with the team, who began to map out the region’s talent and industry as part of project MOST.

“This is the most important event to show almost everything this project has achieved in these years, like a final exam. Except it already includes the celebration afterwards,” as Balázs Weyer, MOST mentor and programming director at Hangvető put it.

The showcase and conference was the pinnacle of a four-year-long development project ‘bridging’ the gap still dividing the Balkans with the rest of the European market. MOST literally means bridge in Slavic languages, also resonating with Hungarian and English speakers. Thirty-two bands, 100 managers and 60 festivals received a boost throughout the programme, in the form of mentoring, training, networking and performance opportunities. Some, like Divanhana, champions of sevdah, went through rapid evolution: professional awards and attention are resulting in more and more invitations outside their home.

“Being the only Finnish-Bulgarian singer can be lonely. With MOST, I was brought to this big family of Balkan musicians”

Bridge through music
The mastermind behind the project, the festival and MOST’s long-term mission is Hangvető, a Budapest-based 360° music firm with increasing scope in its region and beyond. They initiated the cooperation with 11 Balkan and European partners (BOZAR, EXIT, European Music Council among them), secured funding from Creative Europe, and threw in their expertise and professional network. They recognised the impact hands-on training and personal connections can have on artists’ careers. MOST set off a new generation of not only musicians but other professionals with closer ties in Europe, and made it all visible through BALKAN:MOST. But will it remain a one-hit wonder?

Repeating MOST magic
Inspirational gigs at BALKAN:MOST underlined two key factors of the region’s scene: its kaleidoscopic diversity and underrepresented nature. A sense of shared Balkan belonging emerged among artists emerged as an added extra. Feedback across all tiers of the industry agrees that MOST succeeded in its mission, but the quest remains. A tangible legacy seems to be the personal pathways across two ends of Europe, and within the Balkans itself.


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The Great Escape 2023 to showcase 500+ artists

The Great Escape‘s head of music Adam Ryan has previewed tomorrow’s return of the UK showcase festival and convention in an interview with IQ.

The event, which is operated by Live Nation’s MAMA, will feature over 500 artists from around the world – more than even the BBC Proms – at 35-plus venues across Brighton from 10-13 May.

Spotlight shows will be headlined by Unknown T at Concorde 2 (presented by UTA), Maisie Peters (presented by TGE) and Arlo Parks (presented by Rolling Stone UK), both at Brighton Dome, while stage hosts will include Amazon Music, TikTok, the Royal Albert Hall, Speedy Wunderground and Transgressive.

Ryan says the festival’s mission remains to “showcase the best new artists from around the globe”.

“It’s important that we are helping export offices and the showcase artists from their country,” he tells IQ. “But at its core it is music discovery so we will focus on new and emerging talent and that is always the remit.”

“I don’t think we’ll ever increase the number of artists – 500 is a lot, but it still helps us have cut through”

Leading music talent agencies will be hosting showcases throughout the festival. WME’s showcase will kick off the TGE Beach Stage on Thursday 11 May featuring Hot Wax, Maeve, Saint Harison, May and Future Utopia. ATC Live’s line-up takes over Komedia Basement the same day with Sam Akpro, Billie Marten, Willie J Healey, Blondshell, Enumclaw and Deadletter.

+44 from Amazon Music will also be showcasing an evening of Black music artists with +44 Live presents TGE Beach on the Amazon Music Stage on Saturday 13 May. The line-up will be headlined by K-Trap, who will be joined by AntsLive, Miss LaFamilia,Zakhar and Shae Universe.

“We try to showcase as many genres within the limitation of the venues that we have. The key is to align with credible partners to make sure that we’re doing those genres justice,” explains Ryan.

“I don’t think we’ll ever increase the number of artists – 500 is a lot, but it still helps us have cut through in terms of the artists not being lost. We have about 5,000 delegates from around the globe attend each year and we’d like to expand that; we’d definitely like to try and get that as diverse as possible and be a leading force in diversifying and making the music industry more of a representation of society.

“We’d like to sell more tickets, obviously, because we’re a business, But it’s trying to do it in the in the right way that’s going to enhance The Great Escape and also enhance the music industry going forward.”

“There’s nothing that will ever replicate the feeling of being in a room watching somebody perform”

Ryan also offers his thoughts on the question marks regarding the health of the UK music scene’s talent pipeline.

“I hate that phrase – talent pipeline – but I understand that it’s a business and that’s why we refer to it like that,” he says. “I just find it a bit crude to people’s art that [it’s referred to] as going into a pipeline. But I find it interesting that the speed at which artists can get local, national or global recognition before they even have a live show.

“With TikTok, you could have a 20-second clip of one song generate 30/40/50 million streams, but the live show hasn’t even been thought about and there’s barely 15 minutes, let alone half an hour, to even one live performance. So I think that will have a knock on effect in terms of what can grow through to larger festival stages, but there’s always going to be an abundance of exciting artists making original music and doing it the old fashioned way of touring and playing live, because that just can’t be beaten. There’s nothing that will ever replicate the feeling of being in a room watching somebody perform.”

Italy is the festival’s lead country partner for 2023, and will host two special Italian showcases, titled La Festa, coordinated by Italia Music Export. Anna Bassy, San Soucis, and Maria Chiara Argiro will take to the stage at Patterns Upstairs on 11 May, and The Gluts, Milanosport, BLUEM, and Eugenia Post Meridiem will perform at Three Wise Cats on 12 May.

“It has been tough, but we’ve got there and we’re really, really happy with the line-up”

This year’s TGE conference programme, meanwhile, includes three full day strands curated by CMU – Music+Education (10 May), Music+Deals (11 May) and Music + The Creator Economy (12 May).

“For us, it’s important to have three topics and spend the day drilling into those topics and then hopefully, we can have a conclusion and make a change,” says Ryan.

Keynote speakers include Ticketmaster’s EVP of global music David Marcus, who will discuss the latest trends, innovations and opportunities in the live music and ticketing sector, and Afro Nation co-founder SMADE, who will tell the story of the festival’s creation and development. BPI and Youth Music chair Yolanda Brown, and songwriter, producer and PRS Members’ Council president Michelle Escoffery will also deliver keynotes.

In closing, Ryan adds that planning this year’s festival has not been without its challenges.

“Brighton is a fantastic place with lots of venues and all in walkable distance,” he says. “But with the current economic crisis and standards of living, and rents and rates going up, a lot of the venues have changed hands or changed names more so than previous years, or closed altogether. And it’s difficult to plan the footprint of the festival in November if a venue’s in limbo.

“Production costs have gone up, artists fees have gone up and it’s difficult for us because we’re not a greenfield site so it’s not just a matter of us selling a couple more thousand tickets – we’re limited to the venues that are in Brighton. So it has been tough, but we’ve got there and we’re really, really happy with the line-up and how we’re engaging with Brighton and representing new music in the city.”


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ILMC unveils London Calling line-up

The line-up for ILMC’s first ever central London showcase has been revealed, including some of Europe’s most talked about emerging artists.

Titled London Calling, the new showcase element will take place on the night of Wednesday 1 March across four intimate Soho venues – Phoenix Arts Club, 21 Soho, The Lower Third and Spice Of Life – with 14 artists in total, many of whom are performing huge underplays in these small settings.

ILMC 35 takes place from 28 February to 3 March at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel. ILMC delegates will receive priority access to all four Soho venues. The shows are also ticketed via Dice and Ticketweb.

The showcase is organised in association with FORM & Kili Presents. Supporters of the night include Music Venue Trust/Revive Live, Mad Cool Festival, Comunidad de Madrid, The Spanish Wave, United Talent Agency and the agency’s HEAR THIS new music brand, Ginger & Gigseekr.

Performing artists include Delaporte, Quasi Qui, Queralt Lahoz, Demob Happy, Swim School, Casey Lowry, Jelani Blackman, Bel Cobain, Frozemode, Hamish Hawk, L’objectif, Ajimal, Edgär and Sarah Olivier.

The one-night event takes place as part of this year’s International Live Music Conference which sees over 1,200 live music professionals from 60 markets converge on London for three days of debate, meeting, and networking.

Registration and more information about ILMC and London Calling is available here.


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ESNS detail long-awaited in-person return

The final touches are being added to this year’s Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS), which will be the first in-person edition since 2019.

The showcase festival and conference returns to Groningen, the Netherlands, from 18 to 21 January, with a line-up of 290 emerging European artists.

“After staring at cold glassed screens for the last two editions of ESNS it is like a dream come true to finally organise an irl edition and to welcome delegates from all over the world to beautiful Groningen to celebrate our return with great European music and fantastic networking,” says Ruud Berends, head of conference & ESNS Exchange.

“I am looking forward to many essential panel discussions and keynotes about the complex issues we and our world are facing.”

The ILMC and IQ teams will be present at ESNS and lead several of the conference’s main sessions.

ILMC head Greg Parmley will moderate the ever-popular Festival Panel on Thursday (19 January), during which Thomas Sonderby Jepsen (Roskilde, DK), Fruzsina Szép (Superbloom, DE), Kem Lalot (Eurockéennes) and Pavla Slivova (Colours of Ostrava) will outline just what makes their festival so unique and how they weathered the last few years.

The following day, Parmley will steer The Agents Panel, featuring Adele Slater (Wasserman Music), Jess Kinn (One Finiix Live), Summer Marshall (CAA) and Andy Duggan (WME).

“I am looking forward to many essential panel discussions and keynotes about the complex issues we are facing”

The assembled agents will discuss how they have survived Covid-19, what strategies they’re putting in place for their artists in 2023 and beyond, and how they’re continuing to grow their client’s live careers.

Elsewhere, IQ Magazine editor Gordon Masson will conduct a keynote interview with Robert Grima, president of Live Nation Spain, on Thursday.

The conversation will delve into Grima’s 30 years’ worth of experience in the industry, discovering what still drives his passion for live music; his unfaltering determination to care for his artists; and his unique vision that has helped Live Nation Madrid become a powerhouse promoter in the global business.

Masson has also been enlisted for a keynote conversation with global superstar Dua Lipa and her manager and father, Dugi on Saturday 21 January. The pair will discuss their philanthropic efforts with Sunny Hill festival in their native Kosovo, as well as Dua’s style, culture, and society editorial platform, Service95, and accompanying podcast Dua Lipa: At Your Service.

Meanwhile, IQ‘s deputy news editor Lisa Henderson will chair Grassroots touring is fucked, what are you going to do about it? on Thursday with Mark Davyd (Music Venue Trust), Rev. Moose, Marauder (NIVA), Audrey Guerre (LiveDMA) and Max van Bossé (Melkweg).

Henderson will also moderate Future Fit Festival, presented by Yourope/3F, on Friday. This panel will see Christof Huber (Gadget abc Entertainment Group AG, Yourope), Pavla Slivova (Colours of Ostrava), Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio) and Maiju Talvisto (Flow Festival) discuss what makes European festivals resilient to meet the challenges of the future.

For more information on ESNS 2023 or to buy tickets, click here.


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The Great Escape ramps up for ‘historic’ comeback

UK showcase festival and convention The Great Escape (TGE) will return to its in-person format for the first time in two years.

TGE 2022 is set to take place next week (11–14 May) in venues across the seaside city of Brighton, with around 3,500 music industry professionals in attendance.

This year’s edition will showcase 500 emerging artists from all over the world including Baby Queen, Muna, Lynks, Moa Moa, Let’s Eat Grandma and Cassyette.

Running alongside the showcases will be a three-strand conference jointly presented by CMU, which focuses on education, data and video.

“After a two-year absence due to Covid, The Great Escape has been straining at the leash to get back to Brighton to bring the best new music from around the world into the light,” says Rory Bett, CEO of TGE promoter MAMA Festivals.

“Artists have had the gift of time during covid to really engage with their creativity. The 500 stunning bands programmed across 60 indoor venues and outdoor spaces this year, will have some very special and surprising work to perform.”

“Our conference programme seeks to tackle the key issues and questions facing the industry and we will attempt to examine them thoroughly from many different and world authority perspectives. Discovery and networking are always at the heart of TGE and with the current sense of building excitement for the show, mixed with a weather forecast of 21 degrees and a sunny, we plan to come back with a Great Escape for the history books.”

The music + education conference will take place on the first day of the 2022 event, with music educators, music development organisations and the music industry coming together to discuss the best ways to nurture early-career music-makers on and off stage.

“[We’ve] has been straining at the leash to bring the best new music from around the world into the light”

Day two will see the music and data conference, which will put the spotlight on all the ways data now drives success in the music business – from ticketing to marketing and music discovery to streaming.

Finally, the music and video conference will give an overview of how video can be a revenue generator for artists, songwriters and the wider music industry.

CMU and TGE are also presenting a series of keynote in-conversations with guests including music PR legend Barbara Charone, who will be talking through the highlights and key moments of her career in the music industry ahead of the publication of her memoir ‘Access All Areas: A Backstage Pass Through 50 Years Of Music And Culture’.

MP and culture select committee member Kevin Brennan and musician and #BrokenRecord founder Tom Gray will also be in conversation.

Elsewhere, Ed Sheeran’s legal team will be discussing the recent headline-grabbing court battle over the star’s hit ‘Shape Of You’.

Organisers of the event also confirmed Ireland as lead country partner, Music Support as the charity partner and music school BIMM as the education partner.

Delegate passes for TGE are still available and can be bought here.


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MVT’s Revive Live showcase heads to ILMC

The Music Venue Trust’s Revive Live initiative, which played a significant role in restarting the UK’s grassroots sector, is coming to ILMC 34.

The scheme, which spotlights the best emerging talent as well as bringing household names to small venues, was launched in July 2021 with support from the UK National Lottery, which contributed £1 million to directly underwrite the touring and production costs of hundreds of live performances.

ILMC returns in-person to London’s Royal Garden Hotel from April 26-29. Revive Live will make its ILMC debut with a showcase at Notting Hill Arts Club – a 10-minute walk from the Royal Garden Hotel – from 7pm to 9pm on Wednesday 27 April (doors at 18:30), enabling delegates to make it back for MVT’s Pop Quiz, which begins at 9.30pm. The Revive Live line-up features Heartworms (7.10pm), LibraLibra (7.50pm) and LIFE (8.30pm).

In addition, ILMC will also present its annual Access All Areas programme, which allows access to registered delegates to catch some of London’s hottest shows using just their conference pass. The series of shows are available courtesy of Kilimanjaro Live, AEG Presents, MVT, Paradigm & Pitch & Smith.

Access All Areas kicks off on Tuesday 26 April with shows by George O’Hanlon (Camden Assembly, 7pm), Holy Fuck (Village Underground, 9pm), Salem (Camden Underworld, 9pm) and Luca Wilding (Omeara, 9pm).

It continues on Wednesday 27 April with Chuck Ragan (Islington Assembly Hall), Baby Queen (Electric Ballroom), Highasakite (Academy Islington), My Dad Wrote a Porno (London Palladium), Tamera (Colours Hoxton), Midlight (Signature Brew Haggerston), The Oxley-Meier Guitar Project (606 Club), José González (Roundhouse) and Diskopunk (Queen of Hoxton).

Elsewhere, Thursday 28 April will feature Xentrix (The Underworld), Wilko Johnson (Islington Assembly Hall), Stone Broken + Mason Hill + The Fallen State (Electric Ballroom), What The France X Kili presents: Terrenoire + November Ultra + Eugenie (Courtyard Theatre), Honne (O2 Academy Brixton), My Dad Wrote a Porno (London Palladium), Noah Slee (Colours Hoxton,), Morganway (The Half Moon Putney), Neil Angilley (606 Club), Kitty Fitz + Vogues + Pink Shabab (Cavendish Arms), Piri & Tommy (XOYO) and Bad Boy Chiller Crew (O2 Forum Kentish Town).

The series will then culminate on Friday 29 April with Desertfest (Electric Ballroom), Melodaze (Folklore), Pomme (Omeara), My Dad Wrote a Porno (London Palladium), Pynch (Colours Hoxton), Mariachi Las Adelitas UK (Rich Mix), Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders (The Half Moon Putney), Samara (606 Club), Jessica’s Brother + Tummyache + Symbol Soup (Cavendish Arms), Mae Muller (O2 Forum Kentish Town) and Naked Lunch with Simone Marie Butler (DJ) + Japanese Television (DJ) + Lonelady (DJ) from 10pm.

Full information about this year’s gathering of the international live music is online at, including details of how to register.


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Bulgaria gains first music showcase and conference

Bulgaria is set to gain its first music showcase and conference festival this spring.

Spike is scheduled to take place between 26-28 May in Plovdiv, one of Bulgaria’s most historic cities.

The event will welcome music business delegates from over 12 countries, including the US and Canada.

The content of the conference will cater to executives in artist booking and management, publishing, royalties, and sync licensing, digital technology workshops and equality and diversity in the music industry.

The event was founded by Boyan Robert Pinter of Bulgarian promoter Pan Harmony, who says: “The festival’s primary goal is to create learning and networking opportunities for Bulgarian artists and professionals and to introduce international delegates to Bulgaria’s music scene. This will be done in the spirit of diversity and inclusivity.

“The festival’s primary goal is to introduce international delegates to Bulgaria’s music scene”

“We are very happy that our event will finally go live. When we took our first steps, we received a lot of international support, which gave us the confidence to continue building this platform for local artists and music professionals. We are very grateful to the city of Plovdiv – EU Capital of Culture 2019 – for being our gracious host, providing us with the perfect backdrop to our activities.”

The Spike showcase will take place across several locations on Plovdiv’s main street, including the Temple Bar, Bezistenа, and Rock Bar Download. A special selection of artists will be chosen to perform at the city’s Roman Stadium, downtown, which was built in the 2nd century AD.

“There are many surprises in store for our international delegates, as we’d like to them to experience the wonderful architecture, delicious food, and the hip, laid-back vibe that Plovdiv can offer,” says Pinter.


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Runway Artists announces four hires, new showcase

Independent UK booking agency Runway Artists is expanding its team with four new hires and launching a new live showcase event for the music industry.

Joining founder Matt Hanner (formerly of ATC Live) and agent Steve Backman (formerly of Primary Talent) at the agency are agents Dotun Bolaji and Craig Wylie, new music A&R scout Amy Greig, and assistant Heather Mosselson.

Wylie previously held positions at promoters CPL and MAMA Group, as well as London’s Roundhouse venue.

Over the course of his career, he has promoted artists including Pete Doherty, Maroon 5, Ray Lamontagne, Fall Out Boy, Madeleine Peyroux, Roxy Music and Kris Kristofferson.

Prior to joining Runway, Wylie was operating as an independent, at a grassroots level, since 2018.

“As a new agency, it’s been really exciting for us to have the opportunity to put some of our key principles into practice”

Greig has worked as a promoter for a number of London’s famous grassroots venues including The Grace and The Camden Assembly, as well as promoting her own nights at The Amersham Arms and The George Tavern.

During his time at university, Bolaji booked and promoted a number of acts that would go on to become big names, including Giggs, Chip, AJ Tracey and DJ EZ. After leaving university, he promoted London’s SuperLative Sessions.

Mosselson began her career as assistant booker for Glastonbury, where she organised the festival’s very first hip hop day in 1999.

She went on to become a senior assistant at VAT Agency before moving to Primary Talent International, where she worked as director’s assistant.

During her time at Primary, Mosselson was the booking agent for DJ Noize, MC Supernatural, Foreign Beggars, Mystro, Braintax, Skinnyman and DJ Flip.

“We’ve been able to bring in a real range of experience, knowledge and ages”

Commenting on the new appointments, Hanner says: “As a new agency, it’s been really exciting for us to have the opportunity to put some of our key principles into practice – not just in respect of our artists but also our team.

“We’ve been able to bring in a real range of experience, knowledge and ages – from a rookie agent such as Dotun, who we’ve been able to bring in as he makes his first moves in representing talent, and Amy who has worked at a grassroots level across London; through to the varied industry backgrounds of both Craig and Heather who are able to bring so much to the table as we continue to grow.”

Runway will also launch a new live showcase this month, which will see the agency collaborate with other music companies to put together line-ups of new talent.

The first edition of In Transit, at London’s Strongroom on 23 February, has been curated in partnership with independent publisher Bucks Music Group.

Beharie, Amaroun, Hallan and Catty are slated to perform at the showcase, and Steve Lamacq is billed to deliver a DJ set.

“We know we’re not reinventing the wheel by launching a showcase event, but there’s always demand from our artists”

Hanner said: “We know we’re not reinventing the wheel by launching a showcase event, but there’s always demand from our artists to play low-pressures shows, be it to test out new material, invite curious industry or just shake off the cobwebs after a couple of years of inactivity. As an agency, Runway wants to be proactive in helping our artists practically, even if it doesn’t fall into an agent’s traditional wheelhouse.

“It also gives us the opportunity to further collaborate with our friends in the industry. For the first edition, that’s Bucks but we’re looking to develop the brand in a way that means we could even accommodate artists from other agencies in the future if it made sense. At times over the last couple of years, there has been a renewed sense of co-operation across the live industry and we certainly don’t want to lose that just because touring’s back on the agenda.”

London-based Runway was one of the rafts of new agencies to launch during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It represents a number of acts including Lanterns On The Lake, A Certain Ratio, Sleeper, Art School Girlfriend, Pom Poko, Mourning [A] BLKstar, Astrid, Brother Zulu and Flo Perlin.


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TGE 2020 adds more acts ahead of live launch

Fourteen more acts have been added to the Great Escape 2020 line-up, ahead of the showcase festival’s ‘First Fifty’ live launch in London this week.

A total of 50 artists are now on the bill for 2020 event, which will host over 450 acts in total across more than 30 venues.

Newly announced acts include GoGo Penguin, Velvet Negroni, Larry Pink The Human and Evie Irie, joining previously confirmed artists such as Master Peace, Do Nothing, House of Pharaohs and Sons of Raphael.

Many of the TGE 2020 acts are performing tonight (Wednesday 13 November) and tomorrow in ‘First Fifty’ gigs at six venues in East London: Sebright Arms (150-cap.), the Old Blue Last (60-cap.), Colours (300-cap.), the Courtyard Theatre (150-cap.), the Macbeth (300-cap.) and the Curtain – LP Room (160-cap.).

A full list of concerts can be found here, with tickets available for £5 each.

The 15th edition of the Great Escape takes place from 13 to 16 May in Brighton, UK, with South Korea as lead country partner and core conference topics of education, media and global markets. Delegate passes are available here.


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IFF 2019 gets under way

The fifth International Festival Forum (IFF) kicked off today, Tuesday 24 September, with a day of speed meetings between agent and festival delegates.

IFF, an invitation-only event for festival bookers and booking agents, is taking place at venues around Camden, North London, from 24 to 26 September.

This year’s sold-out edition has doubled the amount of networking space around the main venue, Dingwalls, and introduced pop-up agency offices within, or close by, the conference.

United Talent Agency (UTA), one of IFF’s agency partners, is hosting the opening party tonight at the Camden Assembly, allowing delegates to begin their conference in style, with an evening of canapes and cocktails.

Later on, a showcase by fellow partner Solo Agency sees artists Chinchilla, Electric Enemy, Wild Front and Paradisia perform at IFF venue the Monarch.

IFF, an invitation-only event for festival bookers and booking agents, is taking place at venues around Camden, North London, from 24 to 26 September

Other showcase highlights over the next few days include Brighton buzz band Squid (ATC Live) London-based six-piece Sports Team (Primary Talent); guitar trailblazers Life (ITB); alt-rockers Happyness (Pitch & Smith); 21-year old Hull native and hotly tipped new talent Charlotte (Paradigm); and Niklas Paschburg (Toutpartout).

X-ray Touring’s showcase offering, meanwhile, includes multi-platinum-selling band the Darkness.

Conference sessions begin tomorrow, with topics including festival billing, consolidation, competition from new market entrants, gender splits on line-ups, and niche events appearing on the bill. This year’s IFF Keynote interview is Rock Werchter founder and Live Nation Belgium head Herman Schueremans.

To wrap up IFF’s fifth anniversary event on Thursday evening, a joint birthday party will be held with European metal festival behemoth Wacken Open Air (30 this year) and Japan’s Summer Sonic’s (20 this year).

Full event information can be found at


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