Quotes from international delegates at SPOT 2019

Connie Edwards – Major Tom, Music Supervisor at Major Tom (UK)
I think SPOT Festival has been very well organized. The app, for example, I’ve used it a lot, and it’s quite informative. The networking experience has also been great. I’ve made a lot of contact in Radisson’s lobby, and everyone has been very friendly and supportive – no matter how big or small the artist or delegate was. It’s been very interesting to see a different part of Denmark – I’ve only enjoyed Copenhagen so far, but I really like Aarhus.

Daniel Koch – Journalist (DE)
I have been travelling to SPOT for many years, because I highly value the exchange and the natural, barely facilitated networking. Musically, I am constantly surprised by the quality of Danish newcomers – this year because of Selma Judith: great show, great audience.

Clément Souchier – Creaminal, Music Supervisor & Producer (FR)
Well, so far so good. I had a fantastic first night, even though it was so cold. Also I think the possibilities of networking has been very good. The location is relatively small and manageable, so everything has been just around the corner. I’ve really enjoyed the meetings, the discussions and the professional take on the music industry. It’s great to feel, that you’re a part of the engine-room, for example during the pitch sessions. The interaction between business professionals and composers has been so interesting.

Ben Sumner – Feel For Music, Founder (UK)
I think it has been great – and it has been great fun. The business take at SPOT has been so different from England’s, and I’ve met a lot of nice and interesting people. Also I’ve been introduced to a lot of new business stuff and last but not least new music.

Nathan Hetherington – Zeitgeist, PR & Marketing (UK)
I’m here to reach out and catch up with labels and managers, looking out for new acts. Its been good so far – there are more venues than I expected, but the sound and lighting is very good. We are working with a few Danish acts, Chinah, Selma Judith and Farveblind. Chinah have been to the UK a few times and has been aired on the BBC. Selma Judith is quite new, but the audience like what they have heard so far, and Farveblind’s ”Jewels” went well in the UK. So yes, we know about Danish Music.

 

Christoph Pancke – Selective Artists (DE)
Thanks again for a great SPOT Festival to all. It’s always a pleasure to be in Aarhus, meeting up with partners, colleagues and friends. What I really love is the high quality of the performances, and the development of young and also established artists. It’s a big pleasure during the festival for me! 

Dom Gourlay – Drowned in Sound (UK)
It’s my 4th time here, and it really is a good festival. It’s very eclectic musically. It’s business, yes, but it’s also showcases with good crowds, and the venues are close. The festival has grown, but it is not too big, and the atmosphere is still very friendly. Compared to other showcase festivals the venues are good, and the queues are not too long. Tears, Yung, D/troit – all have been great acts.

Liam John Byrne – Atonal Agency, Owner (UK)
In England our government will never support things like this – they wouldn’t support metal at all. So we envy you. I have never seen so many local metal bands before, and especially the first act NYT LIV and Baest were good. But I will go home and check all the bands out, and then we will see what happens. Compared to other industry events SPOT has the advantage of great crowds. This gives you the feeling, that they might be able to make it in other territories too.

 

Hana Edds – X-Ray Touring (UK)
I’ve  attended a few interesting talks: ”It’s the end of the world as we know it” and ”A&R vs. I.A.”. I’m really interested in how the data relates to for example the live music scene. Does it influence the ticket sales – and why? My favorite acts? Efterklang did at beautiful show. Hjalte Ross was very, very intense too – I really like this type of music. We represent Agnes Obel, and that is the same sort of musicianship. It feels so authentic. It’s not only a product. It’s beautiful and intricate.

Torsten Mewes – Believe Digital (DE)
It’s always a great pleasure to be a guest at SPOT Festival, which every year impresses with a great level of diversity and a high standard of production. On top of that, the city itself is a wonderful host.

Benjamin Coleman –  Green Man, Creative Director (UK)
My priority is to discover new Danish and Nordic acts – and to make new relations with the Nordic business. Music wise it has been very good – I have really seen some promising talent: Modest – he has really got good songs. Hjalte Ross – and then the Syrian DJ at the Roots&Hybrid stage Friday, Rizan Said. In general the level is very high in every genre. Also the ones I don’t work with. Metal, hip-hop and pop. I’m more into indie and folk – and specifically electronic music. It’s my first time in this beautiful city, and I went to the art gallery as well. I try to get the feeling of the cities I visit, otherwise it tends to be “just another festival… “.

Chad Gillard – Future Classic, Head of A&R  (AUS/US)
I really like the balance between the young folks and the industry. It’s a very good frame. We all know the feeling when we attend business events with all the people standing there with crossed arms. School of X was suggested to me: They were quite cool, sort of left field pop. Varnrable at Tape was quite good too.

Abbie Gobeli – KEXP (US)
It’s fun. We are here to discover new bands. Elisha, he was so intimate with his audience. Pish – he had catchy hooks – and everybody knew the words. Birds of Paradise… There is so much I’d like to share when I come home. It’s not that the Nordic music is very special – but it tells me that music is a universal thing. And it’s fun to be in the crowd. That’s an exiting energy to be around. Apart from that, I really like the institutions here. The Art Museum. The Music House (Musikhuset, ed.). You get a feeling of what the city is also like.

Carter Adams – Luaka Bop (US)
I have been here before – I used to be a booking agent for Windish, and have worked with WhoMadeWho, Choir of Young Believers and When Saints Go Machine. The festival is pretty similar to the first time I was here, but now Denmark is established on the international scene. Denmark isn’t as closed as it used to be. Now I know a lot of Danish bands – and I expect to see a lot of them in New York in the next years. I didn’t see a band that I thought was bad.

Nika Brunet, Metaldays Festival (SLO)
This is my first time at the festival and my first time in Denmark, and I am very impressed with how smoothly everything is running. The metal bands that I have heard were great, and I have already recommended them to my bookers back home. I have also met many interesting people from the music industry and gotten to experience how you are working here in Scandinavia.

Julia Ramonat – Beat the Rich (DE)
SPOT is an important and diverse exchange!

Kristoffer Neegaard, Inferno Metal Festival, Conference Manager (NO)
I keep coming back to Aarhus because there is a unique music environment in this city and you keep producing bands of high quality here. The SPOT Festival is great, the level of professionalism is high, and the metal events are carried out extremely well. I visit Aarhus four times a year, because the cultural development is better here than in any other Scandinavian cities that I visit and SPOT sets a great example. The networking part as well as the music has been fantastic, and a great job has been done by the organizers so that everyone has been invited and have felt welcome and comfortable.

Hanna May Kilroy, Metalhammer (UK)
It is a unique opportunity for the bands to present their music and they all represented their genre very well (at the metal night, Friday, ed.) . The atmosphere at SPOT is very welcoming and friendly and provides a nice setting for networking and sharing experiences – and it is great to be immersed in a location with the people from the industry rather than always listening and observing from a distance.

Keith Harris – PPL, Manager of Stevie Wonder (UK)
SPOT 05 (1998, ed.) was my first time and I have been here most years since. I like the atmosphere of ROSA towards showcasing the bands in good venues with a nice setup and a good timeframe, and the international delegates always feel very welcome and comfortable. The venues are close together so you can get to see many concerts, without having to choose as much as is often the case at other festivals. ROSA’s development of SPOT is great and especially the networking aspects of the festival have had a great impact on the Danish music industry’s international reach and confidence.

Christian Ulf-Hansen – Manager of Teitur (UK)
I was the first international person at SPOT Festival 21 years ago and I kept coming back and bringing more and more international people. I loved Scandinavia and Scandinavian acts, but unfortunately, the bands had a hard time being noticed internationally because there was no history with international professionals coming to Denmark nor with Danish bands reaching outside the country’s borders. SPOT has become a springboard for the Scandinavian music industry to reach out and break through internationally. The social aspects are also very unique – we’re at a bowling alley, hanging out and drinking with the people from the industry – that’s a very special opportunity and it really makes SPOT stand out from other festivals.

Si Hawkins – Gigwise (UK)
I have been to SPOT at least 10 times and I love the way they have special meeting places where you naturally bump into and bond with new people. I met many of my best friends here, and I even came here on my honeymoon a few years ago – we got married the week before SPOT and just carried on with the reception and the honeymoon at the festival. Another thing I really like about SPOT is that it offers the best bits of the inside and outside aspects of music festivals, and the crew is doing a great job with providing the artists with exactly the right setup. The mix of venues from classy sites with comfy seats to raw punky environments is great as well as the networking and socialising qualities. The line-up is very creative and there is an openness towards special events where there is room for the artists to be creative with their setup and music.  

Anna Lafrentz – RockCity (DE)
What SPOT 2019 is about? Experience new places and getting surprised – not only by the weather.

Niko Hüls – BACKSPIN, Founder (DE)
A lot has happened in the hip-hop scene over the last few years, both in Denmark, Germany and the rest of the world. In Germany, rap and hip-hop has developed into being one of the most popular musical genres, and the same tendency can be seen here in Denmark, so I have put together these two groups to produce something in collaboration. After this year’s SPOT I want to do more. First of all, I will repeat the success at next year’s SPOT Festival, but I also have an ambition to extend the concept to the whole of Europe. Imagine a meeting here in Aarhus between Danish, Albanian, and Portuguese hip-hoppers. That would be exciting.

Jan-Martin Jensen, Metal Days Festival (NO)
I have seen some Danish bands here today who already have enough quality to play at some of our festival’s smaller stages. So I am interested in getting to know more about them, even though in the end it’s all about how they play on the stage. In Norway sub-genres like black, doom, and trash metal are popular, but we have to look beyond that and have a greater mix og genres. We are a little too traditional in our choices of metal music, but the new Danish metal-sound can be the key to leading us in a new direction.

(Photos: Kim Matthäi Leland, Allan Niss, Henrik Friis & David Bayatpour)

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