6 most useful European seminars for musicians


As artist it’s important to network. Conferences and seminars offer great opportunities, especially if you want to address new countries. You can pick a seminar or conference per country, you’ll have to travel quite a lot. Or you can pick some more international oriented seminars/conferences. I’ve put them in a list for you. At seminars and conferences you can also catch up on new developments regarding technology, music business and music.

For the international music business in Europe there are six conferences that I’d really recommend:

– Eurosonic (see picture), every 15-07 seminarsyear in January in Groningen, the Netherlands
It’s a combination of seminars and festival, rock/pop/singer-songwriters in the broad sense, bands from all over Europe, also present the bookers of most major European festivals, very international, good and informative panels, many of them in English.

– The Great Escape, every year in May in Brighton, England
It’s a combination of seminars and festival, rock/pop/singer-songwriters in the broad sense, bands from all over the world, everything is in English, good and informative panels.

– Reeperbahn Festival, every year in September in Hamburg, Germany
It’s a combination of seminars and festival, rock/pop/singer-songwriters in the broad sense, bands from all over the world, good and informative panels, a good selection of them in English.

– Amsterdam Dance Event, every year in October in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
It’s a combination of festival with seminar, festival is all corners of electronic dance music plus hiphop and urban, many professionals visiting work with rock/pop too, good and informative seminars on many technical developments, great for networking – and for clubbing too.

– Womex, every year in October, location varies, 2015 it’s in Budapest, Hungary
It’s a world music fair with some seminars and shows, shows are world music, visitors and trade fair is much broader, so it’s useful for cross-over rock/pop/singer-songwriters too, very international, everything in English, trade fair makes it easy to network, atmosphere more relaxed than with rock/pop seminar/festivals.

– Jazzahead, every year in April in Bremen, Germany
It’s a jazz music business fair with some seminars and shows, shows are jazz in a broad sense, visitors and trade fair is much broader, so it’s useful for cross-over rock/pop/singer-songwriters too, quite international, a good selection of panels is in English, trade fair makes it easy to network, atmosphere similar to Womex.

Here a condensed list of national seminars/festivals, useful if you want to conquer one specific country: Reeperbahn (see above) is useful for Germany, The Great Escape (see above) for the UK. XpoNorth (June, Inverness, Scotland) is targeting Scotland. Tallinn Music Week (March, Tallinn, Estonia) is becoming more and more international and especially useful for Baltic and Finland. MaMA (October, Paris, France) is good for France with very few panels in English. In Spain, Primavera Sound (May, Barcelona, Spain) is more a rock festival; Sonar (June, Barcelona, Spain) has more seminars and is merely electronic oriented. Scandinavia is covered by Where’s the Music (February, Norrköping, Sweden), by:Larm (February/March, Oslo, Norway), SPOT (May, Aarhus, Denmark) and Musiikki & Media (October, Tampere, Finland). I already mentioned Tallinn Music Week for eastern Europe, there’s a new conference Ment (February, Ljubljana, Slovenia). Italy is covered by MEI (November, Bari, Italy).

There are many more. There are so many that you can’t visit them all, even if it would be your day job! I didn’t mention Midem yet, in Cannes/France. This year they moved from January to June, next year it’s in July. It’s a trade fair for the record industry and has some seminars and showcases attached as well. It’s quite expensive though and for musicians less interesting to attend, unless you can play there at a showcase.

Enough information, check them out and make a choice. Enjoy 🙂

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