The XX Marks The Spots

The XX has taken an early lead in the battle to see which act can secure the most festival spots from this year’s European Talent Exchange Programme, and most of its nearest challengers are also from the UK.

The band that appears to be named after female sex chromosomes has quickly rattled up 10 shows, including the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which is the only non-European festival to participate in ETEP.

Closer to home, The XX also has a good spread of European festivals from Norway’s Oya and Sweden’s Way Out West in the north to Spain’s Primavera in the south. It’s also been confirmed for fests in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and France.

British acts Charlie Winston, who has seven shows, and Ellie Goulding with five are among The XX’s closest pursuers. Half of the 20 acts who have confirmed two or more shows are from the UK.

In the past there has been at least circumstantial evidence to suggest that the London-based agents’ tendency to hike the price as soon as there’s even a trickle of demand for their emerging acts means some of the less expensive non-UK acts tend to do better later in the programme.

One that’s already caught the eye is Nive Nielsen from Greenland, which qualifies as European because it’s part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Nielsen, the first Greenlander to land a festival through ETEP, has been picked by France’s Europavox.

So far, only eight acts have three shows or more and the others are the UK’s Marina & The Diamonds and Band Of Skulls, Iceland’s FM Belfast and Jamaica, which actually comes from France.

So far this year’s ETEP has provided 98 shows shared by 52 artists from 17 European countries. Last year’s programme set a record by providing 214 shows for 75 acts from 18 countries.