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Focus Countries 2020

3. June 2020

“East meets West” is also the motto of the festival’s focus countries in 2020: 

On the one hand, we are focusing on the United Kingdom. The motherland of pop music is currently saying goodbye to the European Union. What consequences will the Brexit have for the music industry? We will try to discuss this and much more at this year’s conference. As part of our focus on the UK, we will also have the festivals Wide Days, Focus Wales and The Great Escape as guests at the conference, in order to get to know their events better, but also to hear their views and approaches to the topics of corona and Brexit.

The Ukraine is the second focus country: the second largest country in Europe after Russia, it has almost five times as many inhabitants as Austria, could win the Song Contest in 2014 and has an up-and-coming music scene. Already a few years ago, we became aware of the bustling and incredibly diverse music scene in the Ukraine, which could be seen in some very fine bookings for the Waves Festival.

Alyona Alyona @ Waves 2019 (c) Patrick Münnich

Preliminary highlight was a first showcase in 2019, among others with Alyona Alyona (right in the picture) including a networking reception of the still very young but highly motivated Music Export Ukraine on Waves. Both together made us invite the Ukraine as guest country for 2020.

“It is a great honor for us to represent Ukraine as a focus country at the Waves Vienna in 2020 in the second year of our participation in the festival. Although the event will be held mostly online, we will do our best to make the experience of meeting Ukrainian music as exciting for the audience as possible. Also, we hope that our cooperation with Waves Vienna will continue, and we will meet all our international colleagues in Austria in further years”.  
Iryna Prokofieva, Head of Programmes Ukrainian Institute

“The first time I’ve been to Waves in 2015. Barely any people knew something about Ukrainian music back then. 5 years later Ukraine is a focus country. We are very proud of our talents to make this kind of progress with their music and happy that we’re with Ukrainian Institute have an opportunity to support them at the institutional level!”
Dartsya Tarkovska, Co-founder Music Export Ukraine

“The British Music Industry has always been an international business with UK acts regularly being the biggest selling artists in the world. We are delighted to be speaking at the Waves Vienna conference to help delegates understand more about the British Music Industry; this is even more important now as the world is experiencing some unsettling times and mutual understanding of the global music industry is the key to success for everyone.”
Chris Tams, British Phono Industry, BPI