Spot On Target

It didn’t break any attendance records despite attracting more than 1,000 delegates, but Spot Festival co-organiser Gunnar Madsen says this year’s event was very successful in terms of the feedback he’s received.

“These are tough times and there’s also the increasing number of conference and showcase events springing up and so we have to be pleased,” Madsen told Pollstar. “It’s also not the most accessible place to get to and so we appreciate the effort that some people made.”

Although it’s Denmark’s second-largest city, very few European airports have direct flights to Aarhus and many of the 300 or so foreign delegates could arrive only via Copenhagen, London or Hamburg.

Judging by the comments received most of them thought the effort was worthwhile.

“This is my first visit to Spot, but if I compare it to other showcase-festivals, I have to rate it 10 out of 10,” said Ralph Christoph from Germany’s Cologne-based c/o Pop Festival.

Paul Cheetham from Germany’s Popkomm reckons Spot goes from strength to strength. “Brilliant organisation, great location and another very interesting lineup,” was his take on the May 27-28 gathering.

Madsen, who works for the Danish Rock Council, promotes the 17-year-old showcase fest in cahoots with the country’s Music Export Office. He says the main feedback from this year’s Spot was about the high quality of the panels.

They included Bojan Boskovic, general manager of Serbia’s Exit Festival, in discussion with Dan Popi from Romania’s Cat Records and Maria Gergova from United Partners in Bulgaria on whether the Balkans and Eastern Europe is the new market for popular music.

Daily Telegraph music critic Neil McCormick and Gillian Porter, general manager of UK PR company Hall or Nothing discussed whether the music press still matters in a digital age.

Spot is also renowned for being a showcase for Danish and other Scandinavian talent. In recent years it’s given a leg up to such national acts as Mew, The Raveonettes, Junior Senior, The Blue Van, Oh No Ono, and Spleen United.

This year included more than 100 acts and the emerging Danish talent to benefit from being under the Spot light included Oh Land, When Saints Go Machine, Fallulah, Cody, and WhoMadeWho.