Vilnius Music Week

Possibly inspired by the success of Estonia’s Tallinn Music Week, the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius has become the latest city to launch its own conference and showcase festival.

Vilnius Music Week is Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, with the daytime conference sessions taking place in the city’s Pasaka cinema.

At the end of the four days, delegates should know at least something about how to make a good song for radio, the changing faces of international management, “the stimulation of creative process,” the local Baltic scene and the future of music journalism.

The keynote speakers and posse of reporters who inevitably get shuttled to the ever-growing number of European showcase conferences will likely get a chance to play tourists as they’re ferried around such local landmarks as the Frank Zappa monument and the venue that Sonic Youth played in 1988, when Lithuania was still behind the Iron Curtain.

Former Pink Floyd manager Peter Jenner has been lined up as one of the keynote speakers. He may well argue the case that music should be free on the Internet, but users should have to pay another £2 per month for their Internet connections.

Where Vilnius Music Week may differ from the Tallinn equivalent is that the Estonian event tends to look west across the Baltic Sea to the larger Scandinavian markets of Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

The acts showcasing at the new Lithuanian gathering are apparently using it as a platform to break “Azerbaijan, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia, among others.”

The success Estonian indie-rock act Ewert and The Two Dragons has had at this European Talent Exchange Programme suggests music from the Baltic region shouldn’t be lightly dismissed.