MusicPRO Aims High

At a time when the European showcase-conference market is getting as overcrowded as its festival market, Bulgaria’s MusicPro is hoping its second edition will pull 1,000-1,500 visitors.

Last year the gathering self-described as “a foreigner’s gateway to an off the beaten track market” attracted 400 or so paying delegates, but Tzveti Tzerovska from conference organiser Art Eternal reckons the event still has the potential to be “the largest music fair of The Balkans.”

Her optimism is at least partly because this year’s MusicPRO runs alongside On Fest, a cultural celebration that will likely draw 10,000 visitors to the district of Sofia surrounding its home at the Inter Expo Center.

“Bulgaria historically and still can offer one solid position and that is geographic. We are the focal point of our neighbors and our unified connection to the west,” she explains.

Asked whether Western European music business execs would bother to rush to Sofia to get a gateway into what’s historically been a precarious market, she said, “Organizational and financial issues are not a trademark of Bulgaria’s or the Balkan country’s modus operandi. They are rather symptoms of the industry’s growing aches.”

Elevation, one of Bulgaria’s larger festivals, was unable to confirm this year’s edition would take place as Pollstar’s festival calendar went to print.

Music Pro is at the Sofia Inter Expo Centre Sept. 20-22.