Brit Solo Acts Duel For ETEP Lead

British solo acts Anna Calvi and James Blake are going head-to-head to establish a lead in what may well become a record-breaking European Talent Exchange Programme.

Calvi, less of a solo act as her band is named after her, has been confirmed for 12 of the European festivals in ETEP, while Blake will be playing eight of them.

So far this year’s ETEP has secured 155 shows by 63 European acts from 15 countries, which is six weeks less than it took last year’s programme to pass the 150 mark.

ETEP organiser Ruud Berends is wary of talking about records, particularly as the 2009 programme resulted in 71 acts sharing a total of 200 European festival shows. White Lies did best by securing 15 of them.

A closer analysis of the results posted so far shows that most of the major festivals with 50,000-plus capacities, which tend to book more ETEP acts than the smaller outdoors, have already filled out their shopping lists.

Calvi’s already confirmed for Spain’s Benicassim Festival, Lowlands (The Netherlands) and Roskilde (Denmark). Blake also has Roskilde, along with Belgium’s Rock Werchter and Poland’s Heineken Open’er.

It may be that this year the festivals have taken less time to make up their minds about which acts they want to book, but with ETEP receiving $3 million of European Union funding over the next five years it’s unlikely the 2009 or the White Lies’ records will last long.

White Lies has six ETEP shows for 2011 and is joint-fourth in the league table with Belgian singer-songwriter Selah Sue. In third place with eight shows is Spanish-based electronic band Crystal Fighters.