Eurosonic Keeps Its Eastern Promise

Eurosonic Noorderslag creative director Peter Smidt has wasted no time fulfilling the promises he made to secure $3 million of European Union funding by rolling out plans to give former Eastern bloc countries a bigger shout in his conference’s talent exchange programme.

At Serbia’s Exit Festival July 9, he announced that eight new festivals from central and eastern Europe will join the European Talent Exchange Programme, which will now be known as ETEP 2.

The EU money will also enable programme organiser Ruud Berends to grow the number of festivals participating in ETEP 2 from 60 in 2011 to 100 in 2015.

The press conference at Exit also detailed the setup of the new Central Eastern European Talent Exchange Programme (or CEETEP), a major part of the plan submitted to the European Commission, which decides how EU funding is handed out.

The new Central Eastern European platform will be co-produced by Sziget and Exit.

Exit co-founder Ivan Milivojev described it as “a potent and beautiful cooperation,” which would help acts start to “circulate” through the region and beyond.

The other festivals supporting CEETEP include Polish outdoors Heineken Opener Festival, Coke Live and Woodstock, Slovakian fests Podoha and Wilsonic and Rock For People (Czech Republic).

The updated ETEP website will be online in September 2011.

The Exit lineup July 7-10 included Arcade Fire, Pulp, Jamiroquai, Grinderman, and Portishead. It drew 172,000 across four days.