By:Larm Has International Growth

Giving the annual conference and festival less of a Norwegian slant and more of a Nordic one helped drive up the number of international delegates by more than 30 percent, according to By:Larm international director Vegard Waske.

The flagship move toward creating an event that would provide a discussion centre and showcase for all the Nordic countries was the hosting of the inaugural Nordic Music Prize, an award for the best Nordic album of 2010.

The number of By:Larm delegates from outside Norway was up from 300 to 411, while the number of Norwegian delegates was constant at a little less than 1,500.

The Nordic prize went to Jónsi, guitarist and vocalist for the Icelandic rock band Sigur Rós, who recorded Go as a solo project.

“The music of the winner could only have been made here, in the North. It sounds and almost smells like Iceland,” said the jury of top Nordic music journalists and record company execs such as Laurence Bell of Domino Records, Mike Pickering from Columbia, and Jeannette Lee from Rough Trade.

They said it’s “brave and life affirming pop music that grabs you by the heart in flamboyant technicolour.”

The better known Scandinavian acts playing By:Larm Feb. 17-19 included Peter Bjorn and John, Agnes Obel, The Concretes, Dungen, Museum Of Bellas Artes, LCMDF, Kenton Slash Demon, and Olof Arnalds.

The By:Larm seminar was three days of discussion on music business matters, particularly those relating to northern Europe.