$3 Million For ETEP

Eurosonic Noorderslag has been given a euro 2.1 million ($3 million) grant to develop the European Talent Exchange Program.
The money comes from the European Union and is to fund ETEP’s growth for the next five years.

In that time ETEP chief Ruud Berends aims to increase the number of participating festivals from 60 to 100 and generate more media attention for European music and artists.

The programme’s main goal is to stimulate the circulation of European artists within Europe and internationally. It gives them chance to perform at selected ETEP festivals throughout the continent.

The programme was developed in 2003 by Eurosonic Noorderslag in collaboration with the European Music Office, Buma Cultuur, the European Broadcasting Organisation, European festivals organization Yourope and with support from Sena Performers.

Since then, it’s enabled 400 European acts to perform more than 1,100 festivals slots outside of their home countries. The acts include Kaizers Orchestra, Franz Ferdinand, White Lies, Within Tempation, Wir Sind Helden, Soundtrack Of Our Lives, Beatsteaks and The xx.

The EU’s decision to award the money is a personal triumph and no doubt a huge relief to Eurosonic cultural director Peter Smidt, who has spent years lobbying for some funding.

“To be honest I always thought we must get some support and I’m very pleased that eventually it’s turned out that way,” he told Pollstar. “I must also say how grateful I am to our partners, who’ve demonstrated their belief in the project and enabled it to continue on what at times has been a shoestring budget.”

One of the factors that may have swayed matters in Smidt’s favour is the truly pan-European growth of ETEP.

The plans submitted to the European Commission, which decides on the worthiness of projects seeking funding, include one that would set up a Central Eastern European platform hosted by Hungary’s Sziget Festival and Serbia’s Exit Festival.

This year Sziget is introducing an open-air stage that will be called Europe Stage. It will follow the ETEP model by showcasing upcoming European acts known in their own countries but that haven’t yet crossed borders.

Eurosonic will be hosting a meet and greet at the Dutch Embassy March 11, the first day of ILMC. The embassy is a 10-minute walk from the conference hotel and there’s also a shuttle bus.