As May comes around again, and the city fills with the scent of spring, the entire global music industry makes its pilgrimage to Aarhus for a weekend. While SPOT transforms the entire city into a grand festival where audiences can be enchanted by various concerts, SPOT+ once again opens its doors to the Danish and international industry, inviting them to Denmark’s most important music industry conference, as tradition dictates, in the conference rooms of Radisson Blu.

Under the heading “Talks – Insights – Networking – Inspiration,” SPOT+ will for the 9th time be the professional meeting place for the music industry, delving into current topics and trends with expertise from the many partners, actors, and music industry professionals who each year contribute their knowledge and experience, debating relevant issues across the industry. As usual, SPOT+ is organized in close collaboration between SPOT Festival and Promus. Jesper Mardahl, head of Promus, looks forward to welcoming everyone:

“It is the 9th time that we have the great privilege of putting together the program for this year’s SPOT+. And as always, we have endeavored to address the current topics in the music industry that are on the agenda – both domestically and internationally. We hope, of course, that the many participants will experience this. The entire ambition of SPOT+ is to be the “annual professional meeting” for the industry and to be the most important platform for networking and knowledge sharing for all actors – new as well as established. But it is also important to emphasize that we cannot organize SPOT+ without close collaboration with industry stakeholders, and this year we have experienced a particularly high level of engagement. In simple terms: we share with each other to share. This means activities on a larger scale this year, and we are incredibly pleased about that. So come and join us,” encourages Jesper Mardahl.

Meeting both familiar and new industry colleagues is a central part of SPOT+. Each year, participants are offered a unique opportunity to expand their national and international network, where countless collaborations come to fruition. Among the many networking opportunities at SPOT+ are the popular speed meetings, Meet The Music Biz, Meet The Music Supervisors, Meet The Music Publishers, and the newest addition, Meet The Venues and Festivals. Here, musicians, industry professionals, producers, and composers have the chance to present their projects to various actors in the music industry, with the ambition of creating a safe space where newcomers in the industry can meet the established ones, and new connections can flourish.

The SPOT+ Menu 2024

When putting together the program for SPOT+, topicality is always a top priority. For the 2024 edition, this means exploring a wide range of topics, including diversity, mental well-being, education, music criticism, AI, sync, publishing, music export, streaming, and the current state of the live scene. The latter will be presented by Carsten Holm, who invites attendees to a rotating panel debate with representatives from venues, festivals, and agencies, to discuss the trends and challenges in the Danish live scene right now. About the debate, host Carsten Holm says:

“It seems like there’s a trend right now where we gather for concerts where we know there are already people. It may seem strange in a time when many concert tickets are sold to larger and larger venues, that there is a debate about some of the country’s venues lacking an audience. What is it that makes us not curious enough to experience new Danish music at the local venue on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday evening – even if the name on the stage hasn’t reached the level of The Minds of 99?”

In front of the live stage, it has often been possible to spot a reviewer from one of the Danish media outlets. That used to be customary, but it seems that music criticism is struggling in Denmark. Declining readership and poor prioritization of journalistic coverage of the Danish music scene in major media outlets such as Jyllands-Posten and Berlingske, as well as Pitchfork’s closure, have prompted the panel debate “Is Music Criticism Dead?” at this year’s SPOT+.

In addition to the various debates, there will again be a series of exciting seminars this year. Among these is Let’s Talk Sync, which delves into the fascinating world of music in connection with film, TV, and commercials, as well as Let’s Talk Publishing and Let’s Talk Mental Health, Representation & Sustainability. Under the latter, one of the contributors is Camilla Marie Thiele from Koda and the Music Industry Partnership for Sustainable Development. About the importance of the seminar, she says:

“It is important that we as an industry understand that we have a responsibility to ensure a good mental work environment and well-being for both professionals and artists in the music industry. How we do that, and where each of us should contribute, will depend on our role in the music ecosystem. But we all have a responsibility and a role to play in promoting well-being,” says Camilla Marie Thiele about, among other things, the keynote and the panel that will shed light on the findings of the report “When Music Speaks – Mental Health and Next Steps in the Danish Music Industry.”

AI is here to stay – also in the music industry

A new seminar that will see the light of day this year is Let’s Talk AI & Music. Generative AI has broken through the sound barrier – and the development continues at an unprecedented pace, as few had foreseen. But what does that mean concretely for songwriters and the music industry? This question will frame the discussion as competent people from home and abroad guide us through the past year’s insane developments in artificial intelligence. Tech journalist and producer Marie Høst is moderating the seminar and says:

“Since last year, AI has not just entered the stage but has revolutionized the entire show. The questions about AI’s role in the music creation process and the ethical considerations it entails are burning. How do we balance technological progress with artistic integrity? AI challenges traditional perceptions of copyright and creativity, questions the role of artists and producers, but also opens up for new, democratized ways of creating art.”

Music education doesn’t pay off

While generative AI is booming, many students at conservatories and music schools across the country may find themselves standing still when holding their diplomas in hand. Studies show that a music education does not guarantee good pay or a job, contrary to the trend seen elsewhere in society. What are the Danish music schools doing to prepare students for a sustainable career, and thus create better well-being than what is currently seen? This will be discussed by a panel at SPOT+, and one of the panelists is Kristina Holgersen. She is an associate professor at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus and a lecturer at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory, and she points out that because there are so few permanent positions in the rhythmic music scene, educational institutions educate more towards a kind of patchwork life, where one puts together a career of several different incomes.

“It is not only important that students come out with a strong musical expertise; it is also an entrepreneurial drive that is needed to succeed in the music world. We know from statistics that only a few can make a living from music-related incomes. It is a paradox for music education, and therefore the institutions try to work with the entrepreneurial mindset and a broader framework for what it means to be successful in the music industry. Something I think is extremely important also for diversity and for understanding what a career with music can be,” says Kristina Holgersen, adding that maybe we should focus a little less on the story of the rising star, which is SPOT’s main narrative.

Whether you’re into networking, debate, or expert knowledge, there is guaranteed to be both timely and relevant content at SPOT+ on May 3-4.

SPOT+ is produced by Promus in collaboration with SPOT Festival and with support and professional contributions from the Music Publishers in Denmark, Koda, DPA, Autor, the Music Industry Partnership for Sustainable Development, Art Music Denmark, JazzDenmark, as well as Koda Culture and the Danish Arts Foundation.

Når kalenderen atter siger maj, og byen dufter af forår, valfarter hele verdens musikbranche til Aarhus for en weekend. Mens SPOT forvandler hele byen til en stor festival, hvor publikum kan lade sig fortrylle af alverdens koncerter, så åbner SPOT+ atter dørene for den danske og internationale branche, og inviterer til Danmarks vigtigste konference for musikbranchen –  traditionen tro i konferencelokalerne på Radisson Blu.

Under overskriften “Talks – Insights – Networking – Inspiration” vil SPOT+ for 9. gang være det faglige mødested for musikbranchen, og sætte aktuelle emner og tendenser under lup og kyndig behandling fra de mange samarbejdspartnere, aktører og branchefolk, som hvert år stiller både deres viden og erfaring til rådighed, når de debatterer relevante problemstillinger og emner på tværs af branchen. Som sædvanligt arrangeres SPOT+ i et tæt samarbejde mellem SPOT Festival og Promus. Jesper Mardahl, leder af Promus, ser frem til at byde velkommen:

“Det er 9. gang, at vi har det store privilegium at sammensætte programmet til årets SPOT+. Og som altid har vi forsøgt at ramme de aktuelle emner i musikbranchen, der er på dagsordenen – både herhjemme og internationalt. Hele ambitionen med SPOT+ er at være ”det årlige faglige møde” for branchen og være den vigtigste platform for netværk og vidensdeling for alle aktører – nye som etablerede. Men det er også vigtigt at understrege, at vi ikke kan lave SPOT+ uden et meget tæt samarbejde med branchens aktører, og her har vi i år oplevet et særligt stort engagement. Kort sagt – vi deler med hinanden for at dele ud. Det betyder aktiviteter på en større klinge i år, og det er vi utroligt glade for”, lyder det fra chef for PROMUS, Jesper Mardahl.

At møde både velkendte og nye branche-kollegaer er en central del af SPOT+. Hvert år tilbydes deltagerne en unik mulighed for at udvide deres nationale og internationale netværk, og det er her, at utallige samarbejder ser dagens lys. Blandt de mange netværksmuligheder på SPOT+ er de populære speed meetings, Meet The Music Biz, Meet The Music Supervisors, Meet The Music Publishers, samt nyeste skud på stammen, Meet The Venues and Festivals. Her får musikere, branchefolk, producere og komponister chancen for at præsentere deres projekter for forskellige aktører i musikbranchen, og ambitionen er at skabe et trygt rum, hvor nytilkomne i branchen kan møde de etablerede, og nye forbindelser kan spire.

SPOT+ menu 2024

Når programmet til SPOT+ skal sammensættes, er aktualiteten altid i højsædet. Til 2024-udgaven betyder det, at vi vil udforske en bred vifte af emner, herunder diversitet, mental trivsel, uddannelse, musikkritik, AI, sync, publishing, musikeksport og streaming samt den aktuelle tilstand på livescenen. Sidstnævnte præsenteres af Carsten Holm, der inviterer til en roterende paneldebat med flyvende udskiftning af repræsentanter fra spillesteder, festivaler og agenturer, til en snak omkring de tendenser og problematikker, der rør sig på den danske livescene lige nu. Om debatten fortæller vært Carsten Holm:


”Det virker, som om der er en tendens lige nu til, at vi samles til koncerter, hvor vi ved, at der folk i forvejen. Det kan virke mærkeligt i en tid, hvor der bliver solgt mange koncertbilletter til større og større scener, at der kommer en debat om, at nogle af landets spillesteder savner publikum. Men hvad er det, der gør, at vi ikke er nysgerrige nok på at opleve ny dansk musik på det lokale spillested en torsdag, fredag eller lørdag aften – også selvom navnet på scenen ikke har nået stadiet for The Minds of 99?”

Foran livescenen har det tit blandt publikum været muligt at spotte en anmelder fra et af de danske medier. Det plejede i al fald at være kutymen, men noget tyder på, at musikkritikken har fået trange kår i Danmark. Faldende læsertal og ringe prioritering af journalistisk dækning af den danske musikscene hos landets store medier som Jyllands-Posten og Berlingske, samt Pitchforks lukning har givet anledning til paneldebatten ”Er Musikkritikken død?”.


Ud over de forskellige debatter vil der igen i år være en række spændende seminarer. Blandt disse er Let’s Talk Sync, der dykker ned i den fascinerende verden af musik i forbindelse med film, tv og reklamer, samt Let’s Talk Publishing og Let’s Talk Mental Health, Representation & Sustainability. Under sidstnævnte er en af bidragsyderne Camilla Marie Thiele fra Koda og Musiklivets Partnerskab for Bæredygtig Udvikling. Om vigtigheden af seminaret fortæller hun:

”Det er vigtigt, at vi som branche forstår, at vi har en bunden opgave i at sikre et godt psykisk arbejdsmiljø og god trivsel for både professionelle og kunstnere. Hvordan vi gør, og hvor vi hver især skal sætte ind, det vil afhænge af vores rolle i musikkens økosystem. Men vi har alle et ansvar og en rolle at spille i at løfte trivslen,” fortæller Camilla Marie Thiele om blandt andet den keynote og det panel, der skal belyse de fund, rapporten ”When Music Speaks – Mental Health and Next Steps in the Danish Music Industry” har gjort.

AI er kommet for at blive – også i musikbranchen

Et nyt seminar, der i år vil se dagens lys, er Let´s Talk AI & Music. Generativ AI er braget igennem lydmuren – og udviklingen fortsætter i et uhørt tempo, som de færreste havde forudset. Men hvad betyder det helt konkret for sangskriverne og musikbranchen? Dette spørgsmål vil udgøre rammen, når kompetente folk fra ind- og udland guider os igennem det seneste års tids vanvittige udvikling inden for kunstig intelligens. Techjournalist og producer Marie Høst er tovholder og fortæller:

“Siden sidste år er AI ikke bare trådt ind på scenen, men har revolutioneret hele showet. Spørgsmålene om AI’s rolle i musikkens skabelsesproces og de etiske overvejelser, det medfører, er brandvarme. Hvordan balancerer vi teknologiske fremskridt med kunstnerisk integritet? AI udfordrer traditionelle opfattelser af ophavsret og kreativitet, stiller spørgsmål ved kunstneres og producenters rolle, men åbner også op for nye, demokratiserede måder at skabe kunst på.”

Musikuddannelse betaler sig ikke

Mens generativ AI brager derudaf, kan mange studerende på konservatorier og musikuddannelser landet over opleve at stå ganske stille, når de står med eksamensbeviset i hånden. Undersøgelser viser nemlig, at en musikuddannelse ikke sikrer hverken god løn eller job, modsat den tendens der ellers viser sig i samfundet. Hvad gør de danske musikuddannelser for at klæde de studerende på til et bæredygtigt arbejdsliv, og dermed skabe bedre trivsel end der ses lige nu? Det vil et panel diskutere på SPOT+, og en af panelisterne er Kristina Holgersen. Hun er adjunkt på Det Jyske Musikkonservatorium og studielektor på Rytmisk Musikkonservatorium, og hun påpeger, at fordi der er så få faste stillinger i det rytmiske musikliv, uddanner uddannelsesinstitutionerne mere til en form for patchworkliv, hvor man sammensætter et arbejdsliv af flere forskellige indtægter.

Det er ikke kun vigtigt, at de studerende kommer ud med en stærk musikfaglighed, det er også et entreprenant drive, der skal til, hvis man skal klare sig i musikkens verden. Vi ved fra statistikkerne, at det er de få, der kan leve af musikrelaterede indkomster. Det er et paradoks for musikuddannelserne, og derfor forsøger uddannelserne at arbejde med det entreprenante mind-set og en bredere ramme for, hvad det vil sige at have succes i musikbranchen. Noget jeg synes er ekstremt vigtigt også for diversiteten og for forståelsen af, hvad et arbejdsliv med musik i det hele taget kan være,” siger Kristina Holgersen og tilføjer, at vi måske skal fokusere en smule mindre på fortællingen om the rising star, som ellers er SPOT’s grundfortælling.

Hvad end man er til netværk, debat eller ekspertviden, er der garanteret både aktuelt og relevant indhold på SPOT+ d. 3. – 4. maj.

SPOT+ er produceret af Promus i samarbejde med SPOT Festival og med støtte og fagligt bidrag fra Musikforlæggerne i Danmark, Koda, DPA, Autor, Musiklivets Partnerskab for Bæredygtig Udvikling, Art Music Danmark, JazzDanmark, samt Koda Kultur og Statens Kunstfond.