Dragons Fire Up ETEP

Estonian indie-rock act Ewert and The Two Dragons now have the most festival bookings from this year’s European Talent Exchange Programme.

The winners of last year’s Tallinn Music Week’s “Go Change The World” award have been confirmed for seven festivals, including major events staged in the neighbouring countries.

The act is steadily crossing borders by picking up festivals in Finland and Sweden – Estonia’s nearest neighbours to the west – and Positivus Festival in Latvia, which is next door going east.

Further to the west the band will play slots at such showcase festivals as Les Nuits Botanique in Belgium and Les Printemps de Bourges in France.

Whether or not the Estonians keep their one-point lead over Norwegian multi-instrumentalists Katzenjammer, they have at least done better than any act from a former Eastern Bloc country has previously done through ETEP.

They’ve also done it in what could turn out to be ETEP’s strongest and most-competitive year.

So far, the 50 or so European festivals involved have confirmed 135 slots by 61 of the acts that appeared at the showcases at Eurosonic-Norderslag in The Netherlands Jan. 12-14.

ETEP organiser Ruud Berends says he’s happy to bet that the 2012 programme beats the record set in 2009, when 75 acts shared 214 shows.

Just behind Ewert and The Two Dragons and Katzenjammer with four or five shows each are ETEP 2011 winner Anna Calvi and fellow UK acts Spector, Baxter Dury, and The Computers.

Also in the hunt are Selah Sue from Belgium, who came third last year with nine festival bookings, Boy (Germany), Francois and the Atlas Mountains (France), and Iceage (Denmark).