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OVG boycotts Russia, trade bodies condemn attacks

Global sports and entertainment giant Oak View Group (OVG) has announced it is boycotting Russia amid widespread outrage over the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The UN estimates that more than 500,000 refugees have fled from Ukraine into neighbouring countries. Over 100 people, including children, are said to have been killed as heavy fighting continues in major cities.

OVG’s Climate Pledge Arena lit up Seattle Center in the colours of the Ukrainian flag in a gesture of support for #StandWithUkraine.

“In light of the tragic conflict rapidly unfolding in Ukraine, Oak View Group has pledged to not do business in or with Russia, nor will we serve Russian brands in any of our venues on a global basis, effective immediately,” says a company statement. “We stand with the people of Ukraine, we condemn the actions of Russia, and we hope our stance inspires others in our industry to take action where they can.”

A number of European live music trade bodies have also spoken out in condemnation of Russia’s actions.

“We are shocked by this military invasion and will do everything we can to show our solidarity with the Ukranian people”

Germany’s Event Management Forum, which consists of five major organisations including live music associations BDKV and LiveKomm, denounced the “illegal and barbaric attacks on Ukraine by Vladimir Putin and his regime, which violates international law”.

“We are shocked by this military invasion and will do everything we can to show our solidarity with the Ukrainian people and to support them in their fight against this injustice,” says BDKV Pascal Funke.

The body is currently working on organising a benefit concert for Ukraine, the proceeds of which will be donated to the International Aid Fund for Culture and Education.

“By performing this task, we hope to be able to make a small contribution to the return of peace and freedom to the people of both Ukraine and Russia,” says Jens Michow, executive president of the BDKV.

Slovakia’s biggest festival Pohoda (Peace) held a concert yesterday (27 February) to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Featuring more than 20 artists, the ‘Concert for Ukraine’ took place in Bratislava’s Main Square.

“Sadly, in 2022, we still need to deal with tyranny, oppression and other types of aggression to democracy and freedom”

Pan-European festival association Yourope has expressed solidarity “with those who suffer from and disagree with this terrible aggression”.

“We have always strived to achieve the best together because we are convinced that only cooperation and exchange makes us stronger,” it says. “A healthy and vivid society depends on awareness and tolerance for all cultures, genders, races, religions, sexual orientations, colours and origins. We all should be the ambassadors of hope, respect and peaceful dialogue every day to make the world a better place for every single individual and for all of us.”

Why Portugal added: “There’s no room for aggression in every corner of the world. Sadly, in 2022, we still need to deal with tyranny, oppression and other types of aggression to democracy and freedom. In a world where borders should be diminished, it makes no sense to observe such an attack that Russia is undertaking towards Ukraine.

“We, within this community, must be focused on progression towards a much brighter future – not only in the creative and music industries but the entire ecosystem that surrounds us. We fully condemn these actions. In any circumstance, especially as we’re yet recovering from the economical effects of Covid-19, we can’t accept what’s happening.

“The Portuguese Music Export Office (Why Portugal) demonstrate full solidarity and support to our fellow colleagues from Ukraine: musicians, labels, the Music Export Ukraine, and the overall music industry in the country. Actions should be louder than a thousand words, so that’s why we’re completely open to supporting all Ukrainian musicians based in Portugal at the moment.”


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IQ New Music playlist spotlights ILMC 33 showcase artists

The latest edition of IQ’s New Music playlist goes live today, showcasing the exciting new acts, handpicked by major international agencies and music export offices, that are set to perform at this week’s 33rd International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

Launched last summer, the playlist complements IQ Magazine’s popular New Signings page, which keeps the live industry updated about which new, emerging and re-emerging artists are being signed by agents.

The March playlist features contributions from ITB, ATC Live, Paradigm, UTA and Primary Talent, as well as UK Sounds, Hots (Hungarian Oncoming Tunes), Soundczech and Why Portugal, each of which have picked up to 12 tracks apiece showcasing some of their hottest touring artists.

Listen to the latest selection using the Spotify playlist below – or click here to catch up on the February 2021 edition first.

Separated by agency/export office, the full track list for the March playlist is:

ITBBernhoft, The Fashion BruisesLookalike
ITBBernhoftAll My Loving
ITBConradNo God
ITBConrad, Pablo NouvelleLiving For The Weekend
ITBKapil SeshasayeeThe Gharial
ITBKapil SeshasayeeThe Item Girl
ITBMobs, GoldhouseBig World (Goldhouse Remix)
ITBMobsSay Anything
ITBNature TVHometown
ITBNature TVOnly One
ITBNicole Slack Jones, Guéna LGI Am Free (Acoustic by Johan Czerneski)
ITBNicole Slack Jones, Guéna LGGive You My All (Acoustic by Johan Czerneski)
ATC LIVEFenne LilyTop to Toe
ATC LIVEFenne LilyFor a While
ATC LIVELos BitchosThe Link Is About to Die
ATC LIVELos BitchosPista (Great Start)
ATC LIVEPillow QueensHowDoILook
ATC LIVEPillow QueensGay Girls
ATC LIVERueben JamesSo Cool
ATC LIVERueben James, Col3traneMy Line
ATC LIVEThe Goa ExpressBe My Friend
ATC LIVEThe Goa ExpressThe Day
ParadigmRole ModelBlind
ParadigmRole ModelMinimal
ParadigmRitt MomneyPut Your Records On
ParadigmRitt MomneySomething, in General
ParadigmBartees StrangeBoomer
ParadigmBartees StrangeMustang
ParadigmTV PriestPress Gang
ParadigmTV PriestDecoration
ParadigmJP Saxe, Julia MichaelsIf The World Was Ending
ParadigmJP SaxeHey Stupid, I Love You
ParadigmChristyDancing With Air
ParadigmChristyOn My Mind
ParadigmUpsahlPeople I Don't Like
UTANubya GarciaThe Message Continues
UTANubya GarciaLost Kingdoms
UTAPeach Tree RascalsMariposa
UTAPeach Tree RascalsMango
UTASkullcrusherSong for Nick Drake
Primary Talent InternationalBVDLVD, Lil DarkiePunk!
Primary Talent InternationalBVDLVDAdderall
Primary Talent InternationalDeema, David ArmadaHash Brown
Primary Talent InternationalDeema, Kish!Maddie
Primary Talent InternationalJoesef, Loyle CarnerI Wonder Why
Primary Talent InternationalJoesefThe Sun Is Up Forever
Primary Talent InternationalKaty KirbyJuniper
Primary Talent InternationalLouisahhhChaos - Wax Wings Remix
Primary Talent InternationalMiloeWinona
UK SoundsCherymAbigail
UK SoundsCherymWeird Ones
UK SoundsGengahrBefore Sunrise
UK SoundsLady NadeAin't One Thing
UK SoundsLady NadeComplicated
UK SoundsTrueMendousHmmm
UK SoundsTrueMendousThat Don't Mean
UK SoundsDead Pony23, Never Me
UK SoundsDead PonySharp Tongues
UK SoundsHMS MorrisPoetry
UK SoundsHMS MorrisBabanod
UK SoundsElles BaileyMedicine Man - Acoustic
UK SoundsElles BaileyWhat's the Matter with You
HOTSBabé SilaHole
HOTSBabé SilaMoonlight
HOTSJazzbois, Kid AbsraktLive & Direct - Live
HOTSWun Two, JazzboisInterloop
HOTSPlaton KarataevThe Season of Singing
HOTSPlaton KarataevElevator
HOTSThe Devil's TradeDead Sister
HOTSThe Devil's TradeThe Iron Peak
SoundczechLambdaSpace Express
SoundczechLazer VikingWaiting for the End of the End of the End
SoundczechLazer VikingEveryone But U
SoundczechPlease the TreesMissing Feeling Nothing
SoundczechPlease the TreesA Song Is It's Own World
SoundczechTeepeeNo Reason
SoundczechTeepeeParallel World
WHY PortugalWhalesBig Pulse Waves
WHY PortugalWhalesGhost
WHY PortugalLina, Raül RefreeMedo
WHY PortugalLina, Raül RefreeCuidei que tinha morrido
WHY PortugalSurmaMaasai
WHY PortugalSurmaHemma
WHY PortugalDream PeoplePeople Think
WHY PortugalDream PeopleCaroline

The full ILMC showcase schedule is available from the ILMC 33 website.

ILMC 33 takes place this week, from 3 to 5 March. A limited number of tickets are still available – click here for more information.


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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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No export office? No problem: Why Portugal launches

Ahead of its starring role as focus country for Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) 2017, Portugal’s music-industry bodies have collaborated to launch Why Portugal, a comprehensive database of the country’s booking agencies, management companies, venues, festivals, promoters, labels, studios and more for an international audience.

“AMAEI [the Associação de Músicos Artistas e Editoras Independentes, or Portuguese Independent Music Association] identified a while back that the absence of an export office or any kind of music-exchange platform was a serious handicap for labels wanting to reach international markets,” explains its vice-president, Nuno Saraiva, speaking to IQ. “So when the Eurosonic country focus was announced for Portugal, AMAEI’s international development work group got together with APORFEST [Associação Portuguesa Festivais Música/Association of Portuguese Music Festivals] and MMF Portugal and launched the platform, with some early support from the Phonogram Producers’ Society.

“[Why Portugal] isn’t just for independent music, it is for the entire music ecosystem in Portugal – a cluster gathering all players interested in reaching international markets or working with international artists in Portugal.”

Saraiva says Why Portugal, which was inspired by other national initiatives such as Brasil Music Exchange and Don’t Panic! We’re From Poland, will continue post-ESNS. “In the absence of an export office, Why Portugal will be certain to fulfil that mission,” he comments. “And even if one does come along they will lack the know-how and contacts, so Why Portugal will continue to play a much-needed role in the internationalisation of the Portuguese music cluster.”

“Why Portugal is for the entire Portuguese music ecosystem – a cluster gathering all players interested in reaching international markets or working with international artists in Portugal”

AMAEI will be promoting the Why Portugal brand abroad throughout the year, including at SPOT Festival in Denmark, Canadian Music Week, Primavera Pro and Reeperbahn (it has already done SxSW) for maximum impact at ESNS.

What does Saraiva think makes Portugal stand out from other previous Eurosonic Noorderslag focus countries? (They include France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, Finland, Austria and Iceland.) “Every country is unique, of course, but Portugal has some pretty impressive numbers per capita: taking into account the population of 10 million, an estimated audience of three million festival- and concert-goers means we truly are a country of music lovers and music fans,” he says. “It is a great place to tour, not just for the 300-plus summer festivals but also our extensive public venue circuit.

“Many cultural centres sat empty during the economic crisis years, but we expect the situation to improve – and the infrastructure is there for artists that have fans and want to tour.”

While Saraiva says that for now Why Portugal is focused solely on ESNS 2016, he has high hopes for the Why concept, explaining that “it is our hope that the project might also be scalable on an international level, so who knows, we might end up with a Why Spain or Why Italy or Why Belgium or even a Why Europe – pooling together all the European players into a massive B2B directory to export European music around the world. But those are just some possible future scenarios. We will take it one step at a time, and the first step is preparing as well as we can for the ESNS 2017 country focus.”