ETEP’s No Wild Goose Chase
At least a dozen bands look to be in with a fighting chance of pulling a handful of summer festival shows from this year’s European Talent Exchange Programme.
It’s no surprise that U.K. acts The View, which has interest from 11 European outdoors, and The Magic Numbers (nine) are setting the pace. But Goose – described by NME as "Belgium’s chief export" – is chasing after them and has already aroused the interest of eight festivals.
The act, which is represented by Cris Hearn from Primary Talent, already looks certain to play Sweden’s Hultsfred Festival and Holland’s Pinkpop and Lowlands.
The U.K.’s Tunng, which has already had support from The Observer, The Times and The Independent (which described the music as "folktronica"), has interest from six festivals, as do Denmark’s Oh No Ono and Sweden’s Peter, Bjorn & John, who are both upholding a Scandinavian ETEP track record built by such acts as Kaizers Orchestra, Soundtrack of Our Lives, and Moneybrother.
ETEP organizer Ruud Berends acknowledges that both the U.K. and Scandinavia traditionally provide strong ETEP contenders, but said it’s still too early to make any firm conclusions.
"The figures only say who’s interested in what. Once we’ve passed this stage it will be about options and then confirmations.
"It’s my experience that, when it comes to that stage, acts from other countries start to get more confirmations – it could have something to do with the fees being asked by some of the U.K. acts’ agents," he explained.
Ireland’s The Answer, the U.K.’s Shitdisco and rambunctious Russians Leningrad – a big favorite of Eurosonic cultural director Peter Smidt – have five shows each.
Best of the rest, with interest from four festivals each, are the U.K.’s Larrikin Love, Enter Shakiri, Sunshine Underground and Holland’s zZz.
Thirteen acts have interest from either four festivals or more, with Berends attributing the spread to the fact that this year’s Eurosonic lineup had a lot of strength in depth.
He also thinks the reduction in the value of the rebate that ETEP pays to festivals that book a band, a result of having to run this year’s programme without EU funding, may also result in some events booking a band from a nearby country in order to keep their own costs down.