Eurosonic Looks East

Next year Eurosonic appears to be tackling its most ambitious project, switching its annual market focus from just one country to what was once the entire Eastern bloc region. 

Previous market spotlights have focused on France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Norway, Ireland and Austria, among others, while the 2016 edition will take a look at – in alphabetical order – Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

“With more or less half of the European people living in what we call Central Eastern Europe, Eurosonic Noorderslag feels it is crucial to make much more and better connections between Western Europe and Central Eastern Europe,” says Eurosonic creative director Peter Smidt. “We are curious about all talents in this large area and would like to facilitate much more and better business relations between music professionals and media.”

In 2011 it was Smidt’s promise to give former Eastern bloc countries a bigger shout in his conference’s talent exchange programme that swayed the European Union to stump up $3 million to fund it.

The following year with the help of Hungary’s Sziget Festival and Exit Festival in Serbia, Eurosonic rolled out the Central Eastern European Talent Exchange Programme, a platform that would help eastern European acts get festival slots in their neighbouring countries.