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Where East meets West


In September 2017, the seventh edition of the Waves Vienna Music Conference will take place in Vienna. Organised by Waves Vienna and Austrian Music Export, it provides an opportunity for the international and national music industry to network and exchange information. Waves Vienna is a festival of exploration. Young artists from across Europe and beyond are given a stage as part of an international lineup of alternative, electronic, rock and club-music acts. At the music conference, labels, managers, bookers, journalists and promoters come together under one roof. The entire event provides music industry veterans and newcomers a chance to teach and learn through feedback listening sessions, speed-meetings with music experts, panels, and networking sessions.

On the last Friday and Saturday in September the festival centre at the WUK, one of the largest cultural centres in Europe, will provide the setting for music industry workshops and discussions. The conference offers countless opportunities for networking to conference participants. Areas of focus include women’s roles in the music industry, music management, and various aspects of brand-building and maintenance. International success stories will offer inspiration and guidance. This year´s festival will also see the official launch of the Music Managers Forum Austria (MMF Austria). That makes Austria an official member of the International Association of Music Managers (IMMF), an organisation that deals with the issues of the music industry and provides international advocacy and lobbying to the EU Parliament.

Christof Huber, Swiss promoter and curator for well known festivals like OpenAir St. Gallen and General Secretary of the European festival federation Yourope, will be answering questions about current developments of the festival market in a “Pop Up Session”. And on the third Waves Vienna Music Hackday, participants will be invited to implement their ideas for apps, music instruments, sound installations and interactive soft- and hardware. Last but not least, Switzerland, Hungary and Slovenia will provide opportunities for international networking, present exciting new artists, and indulge participants with regional specialties.

Focus Countries 2017: Italy & the Czech Republic

Italy, like Austria, is a country with a rich classical music tradition and successful pop-stars with a strong radio and festival presence. But Italy also has a rich selection of less-known acts from a variety of genres that prove the important role music still plays in everyday life. The Czech Republic is also well known for its music traditions as well as a successful festival scene. Although many music fans are familiar with the country’s classical composers, it also has a diverse and exceptional contemporary music scene that will be able to be experienced at this year´s Waves Festival.

Conference Topics 2017

Friday, 29. September

“Influencers” are the new trendsetters in online marketing and increasingly responsible for the success of a brand. But does that also work with music? What does a cooperation between an artist or label and an influencer look like? How do specialised agencies work? Which platforms are most suitable? These questions will be examined by Sandra Their (Diego5), Niloufar Behradi-Ohnacker (Blogrebellen), Jan Clausen (Factory 92) and Annemarie Reisinger-Treiber (Warner Music Austria).

Corporate Design for bands and musicians? Professionals from the areas of music video, photography, and design will take a look at best-practice examples and exceptional design solutions for music. International luminary and director of the Graphic Design Class at the Viennese University for Applied Arts, Oliver Kartak, together with Antonin Pevny (known for his videos for Bilderbuch and Moby) and Bernhard Kaufmann (filmmaker, musician and artist manager) will be sharing their experiences with the practice of visual music marketing.

Another topic is Virtual Reality: What challenges does VR present to promoters and musicians? How can this new technology be implemented and what are the financial requirements? The subject of virtual reality will be examined in a cooperation with the Wirtschaftsagentur Wien.

Music Management will be the subject of a podium discussion around the questions: What makes a good manager? What is their workday like? What are the differences between management and the work of labels, booking agencies, etc? Participants include Elsasser (management Haight Ashbury),  Tom Tanzer (management Manu Delago), Hanka Podhorská (Indies Scope, CZ) and Katia Giampolo (management JoyCut, president MMF Italy).

A podium discussion about women in the music industry will invite successful women to Vienna to share their experiences, tips, and advice and to present international mentoring projects. Participants will include Ineke Daans (PIAS/UK), Elisabeth Falkensteiner (Femdex/AT), Anna Leiser (Artist/AT), Elise Mory (pinknoise/AT), Mirca Lotz (We Make Waves/DE) and Andrea Rothaug (Rockcity/DE).

The Listening Sessions once again offer performing artists an opportunity to get direct feedback on their productions from industry experts. Ineke Daans from the British Label PIAS (Editors, Agnes Obel, Pixies), Thomas Roschek (LU) from Sonic Visions, Kathi Seidler from FM4 as well as Anna Kalina from GLP, one of the largest Austrian booking agencies, will be discussing submitted works. More international feedback will be provided by Elia Alovisi (Vice Italy), Christopher Beanland (Independent, The Guardian, BBC) and others when they present their personal favourites from this years festival lineup.

And, finally, the Speedmeeting Sessions provide the perfect chance to make a lot of international contacts in a very short period of time. Representatives of the Great Escape Festival (UK), Ment Ljubljana (SLO), c/o Pop (DE), the Poolbar Festival (AT), and Arcadia Live will be taking part in Meet the Festivals. Further sessions will collect representatives from the Czech Republic as well as international journalists like Thorsten Bednarz (Deutschlandradio) and Isabella Khom (Noisey).

Saturday, 30. September

The third Waves Vienna Music Hackday is all about new ideas and creative hard- & software solutions. Over the course of the day, participants can create and develop together and at the end a jury will award material prizes for the most exciting new tools.

Members of the international music business are invited to the Austrian Heartbeats Delegates Tour, a musical journey through Vienna including pop-up shows from up-and-coming bands. Program highlights include a visit to “Ganz Wien. Eine Pop-Tour” at the Wien Museum, a presentation of the ETEP project, a tour of the FM4 radio studio and a beer tasting session in the Czech Centre. (For Conference / Pro Pass holders only, registration required.)

The final event will be a presentation of the diverse projects from Creative Europe, the support programme of the European Commission for the European creative sector.  Astrid Exner (WUK, AT), Franz Hergovich (mica-music austria/Austrian Music Export, AT), Marcus Rüssel (gigmit, DE) and Elisabeth Pacher (Creative Europe, AT) will be presenting the various focus points of this international project. Exchange-programs and cooperative projects between cultural institutions (including WUK) seek to increase the number of concerts featuring new European music and increasing their exposure to a new young audience.