London Calling: How ILMC’s New Showcase Provides ‘Sky-High Value’ For Selected Acts

London has a new showcase event, courtesy of ILMC. Dubbed London Calling, it takes place March 1 across four venues in Soho, just a short Underground ride from the Royal Lancaster Hotel, ILMC’s new home in 2023. The lineup consists of 14 acts, mostly from the UK, as well as from Spain and France. For some of them, the London showcase performance marks a huge underplay, but that’s by design. The team around ILMC head Greg Parmley wanted to make sure to only present artists to ILMC’s delegates that are ready to fill top slots at festivals and go on tour, even outside their respective home countries.

Take Delaporte for instance, an electronic music duo from Spain/Italy, consisting of Sandra Delaporte and Sergio Silva. They met in Madrid in 2015. 

“We were introduced by Santiago, our current sound technician, because Sandra was looking for a producer to start her own electronic music project. After a few months working together, we realized very naturally that we were looking for the same thing and decided to create Delaporte,” Silva told Pollstar.

The band’s manager and production manager at Live Nation’s Planet Events, Diego Pérez, remembers the first Delaporte show in Spain.  

“It was on March 30 of 2017, at Intruso venue in Madrid; we sold 124 tickets,” Pérez  said. Fast forward five years, including two years of lockdowns, and the band sold out the 2,200-capacity La Riviera twice and headlined major Madrid festivals like Tomavistas Extra and Mad Cool. The live show features electronic music, but played live on physical instruments. 

The energy of frontwoman Sandra Delaporte is something else, as she hits even the highest notes with her angelic falsetto while dancing up and down the stage vigorously.

Their PR manager, Beatriz de la Guardia, said, “I hope that people from England and the rest of Europe will see them and be amazed by them. The language – they sing in Spanish – is not a problem. Just one minute of their show will blow your mind, you won’t be able to stop dancing and you’ll almost think you’re in a club instead of a concert.” 

Planet Events booker Esther Fernández added, “We are very excited to play there and in front of such an important audience as the music promoters who come to the ILMC. Hopefully, it will be the talisman to be able to do a more extensive tour of Europe and, little by little, grow in capacity.”

The band itself hopes the London performance will lead to “more concerts in England and the rest of Europe,” according to Delaporte, who adds, “It’s a pity that the music industry nowadays relies so much on social networks, since most of the time they expose the artist in a way that is not healthy and has very little to do with music.” 

Silent scream: Sandra Delaporte during her performance at Tomavistas Extra 2022 Festival in Madrid, Spain, on June 23. Together with bandmate Sergio, she is to perform at ILMC’s showcase event in London on March 1. Photo by Ricardo Rubio / Europa Press / Getty Images

The live show is where it’s at, of course, and ILMC delegates (as well as anyone buying a ticket to London Calling shows) are in for a treat. 

Delaporte will perform at the Phoenix Arts Club.  While the band told Pollstar that “we get a big kick out of performing at big festivals outdoors, in front of a huge crowd,” they also “love venues where the public is really close to us, where we can hear each of them singing and screaming.”

Partnering on the Spanish lineup at London Calling is Live Nation’s music export program, The Spanish Wave. Head of the program, César Andión said being part of the biggest gathering of live music professionals in Europe, and one of the biggest in the world, was a unique opportunity for the selected acts. 

“How difficult is it for artists to be seen by booking agents, festival bookers, talent buyers and promoters from all over the world? The answer is, very difficult,” he explained. “To have the chance to play in front of at least some of them is of sky-high value. On top of that, the acts are presented directly by the booking agencies, or in our case by a super festival like Mad Cool and export experts The Spanish Wave. 

Other partners on London Calling include the Music Venue Trust, Ginger and United Talent Agency.

“The curation, presentation, muscle and care to make it successful is massive,” Andiòn adds. “We are delighted to be part of it and really hope the two acts we present have a great impact and get good feedback and trade from this.”