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Since its inception, SPOT has been the festival for new music. And if there’s anything that can truly divide an audience, it’s new music. That being said, selecting the roughly 40 debutants who are a regular feature on the SPOT program every year is neither an easy nor unimportant task. Therefore, this task falls to an expert jury of five highly experienced industry professionals. Meet them in this article series and find out who to send a loving thought to when you discover your new favorite artist among this year’s debutants in May!

As founder and owner of the production company JAYLA Production, Jannie Overgaard is deeply immersed in the Danish music industry every single day. Among her many collaborators are artists like Zar Paulo, Rikke Thomsen, and BAEST, and over the past decade, she has also been a production coordinator at both Northside and Tinderbox Festivals. 

When asked in the autumn if she would join SPOT’s expert jury in 2024, she didn’t hesitate.

“It didn’t take me long to say yes. I have always valued SPOT Festival and recognize the festival’s important role. I’ve had many artists play at SPOT myself and have felt firsthand how important a showcase at SPOT can be for an artist or band’s future,” she explains.

Together with the four other members of the jury, Jannie Overgaard was tasked with selecting debutants for SPOT Festival 2024. From a pool of this year’s top 300 applicants, only 35-40 names were to be chosen, and according to Jannie Overgaard, it was a challenging process given the impressive, qualified applicant pool.

“Overall, I thought the level was incredibly high. Almost all genres, expressions, and constellations were represented, and I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity in the overall field,” she says.

Due to the high level of applicants, it was important for Jannie Overgaard to be very clear on the criteria she personally would look for among the many new musicians. In addition to the most obvious – songwriting, vocal performances, and overall expression – a clear drive and seriousness among the artists weighed heavily.

“If you want to play a showcase at SPOT, you have to mean it. It’s not just a casual opportunity. You have the entire Danish music industry at your feet, and furthermore, a large portion of international industry people who are eager to find ‘The Next Big Thing,'” Jannie Overgaard explains and continues:

“In addition, I looked a lot at the artists’ motivation for playing at SPOT. Whether they had a clear plan for their career, who they wanted to work with, and why. When there is a clear plan, it’s also easier for others to be inspired and want to see and hear more.”

After many hours of listening and professional discussion, the debutant team was put in place in a collaboration between Jannie Overgaard and the four other jury members. And if you ask Jannie Overgaard, there is plenty of reason to look forward to this year’s SPOT Festival, where there is set to be plenty of exciting music, high levels, and hopefully some positive surprises across the board.

“I won’t recommend or point out a single artist or band. I think the wonderful thing about SPOT is when you’re pulled into a concert with an artist you’ve never heard of and get blown away. That’s what SPOT can do. So I can only encourage people to move away from what they know and let themselves be carried away by the atmosphere,” concludes Jannie Overgaard.

In addition to Jannie Overgaard, SPOT’s expert jury in 2024 consisted of Sebastian Wolf, Morten Riis, Nanna Ruus, and Ena Cosovic.

Lige siden sin start har SPOT været festivalen for ny musik. Og er der noget, der for alvor kan dele vandene i en publikumsskare, er det netop ny musik. Med det sagt er det hverken en nem eller uvigtig opgave at udvælge de godt 40 debutanter, der hvert år er fast inventar på SPOT-programmet. Opgaven tilfalder derfor en fagjury på fem toperfarne branchepersoner. Mød dem i artikelserien her, og find ud af, hvem du skal sende en kærlig tanke, når du til maj opdager din nye yndlingsartist blandt årets debutanter!

Som stifter og ejer af produktionsfirmaet JAYLA Production har Jannie Overgaard hver eneste dag hænderne dybt begravet i den danske musikbranche. Blandt hendes mange samarbejdspartnere finder man artister som Zar Paulo, Rikke Thomsen og BAEST, og derudover har hun gennem de sidste ti år været production coordinator på både Northside og Tinderbox Festival. 

Da hun i efteråret blev spurgt, om hun ville indgå i SPOTs fagjury anno 2024, var hun derfor ikke i tvivl.

“Det tog mig ikke lang tid at sige ja. Jeg har altid sat stor pris på SPOT Festival og anerkender festivalens vigtige rolle i fødekæden. Jeg har selv haft mange artister til at spille på SPOT og har mærket på egen krop, hvor vigtig en showcase på SPOT kan være for en artist eller et bands videre forløb,” fortæller hun. 

Sammen med fagjuryens fire øvrige medlemmer fik Jannie Overgaard til opgave at udvælge debutanter til SPOT Festival 2024. I en pulje af årets 300 bedste ansøgere, skulle kun 35-40 navne vælges ud, og det var ifølge Jannie Overgaard en svær proces i et imponerende, kvalificeret ansøgerfelt. 

“Generelt synes jeg, niveauet var utrolig højt. Nærmest alle genrer, udtryk og konstellationer var repræsenteret, og jeg blev positivt overrasket over diversiteten i det samlede felt,” siger hun. 

På grund af ansøgernes høje niveau var det vigtigt for Jannie Overgaard at være helt skarp på, hvilke kriterier hun personligt ville kigge efter blandt de mange nye musikere. Foruden det mest åbenlyse – sangskrivning, vokalpræstationer og overordnet udtryk – blev det blandt andet en tydelig drivkraft og seriøsitet hos artisterne, der vægtede tungt. 

“Hvis man ønsker at spille en showcase på SPOT, så skal man mene det. Det er ikke bare en hyggetjans. Du har hele den danske musikbranche for dine fødder og derudover en stor del internationale branchefolk, som er sultne efter at finde ‘The Next Big Thing’,” forklarer Jannie Overgaard og fortsætter: 

“Derudover kiggede jeg meget på artisternes motivation for at spille SPOT. Altså om de havde en tydelig plan for deres karriere, hvem de gerne vil arbejde med og hvorfor. Når der ligger en tydelig plan, så er det også nemmere for andre at blive inspireret og få lyst til at se og høre mere.”

I et samspil mellem Jannie Overgaard og de fire øvrige jurymedlemmer lykkedes det efter mange timers lytten og faglig diskussion at få debutantholdet på plads. Og spørger man Jannie Overgaard, er der rigtig god grund til at glæde sig til årets SPOT Festival, hvor der over hele linjen er lagt op til masser af spændende musik, tårnhøjt niveau  og forhåbentlig nogle positive overraskelser. 

“Jeg vil ikke anbefale eller pege på én enkel artist eller ét band. Jeg synes netop, det vidunderlige ved SPOT er, når man bliver hevet med til en koncert, med en artist man aldrig har hørt om, og bliver blæst bagover. Det er dét, SPOT kan. Så jeg kan kun opfordre til, at man bevæger sig væk fra det, man kender, og lader sig rive med af stemningen,” afslutter Jannie Overgaard.

Foruden Jannie Overgaard, bestod SPOTs fagjury anno 2024 af Sebastian Wolf, Morten Riis, Nanna Ruus og Ena Cosovic.