Adam Ryan, The Great Escape (UK) “I’m here to experience new musik and to meet with the music business. Our festival is already in 5 days time, so I am looking ahead for next years’ festival. I start booking it around August, and the first announcements is about November, says Adam Ryan, Booker for The Great Escape for 5 years. SPOT is fine. I quite like the bands, the venues – and also the networking possibilities. The size (of SPOT, ed.) is fine – It´s not too big. And the music scene seems to be rather strong – being ahead of the curve. We got Kops and Maximillian from SPOT last year – they’re playing in Brighton next weekend.”
Carsten Stricker, Verstaerker Medienmarketing (DE) “It is a first for me, but my company have been here 5-6 times before. We like the event, the city is great, and you don’t need taxi’s to get from one venue to another. There are many people here, but not too many – so it is easy to get to know people,” says Carsten Stricker whose company was in charge of the German part of the (successful) Denmark Blooms campaign.
Sam Lawrence, Founder of music event brand Dollop, (UK) ”It’s been brilliant. And it’s good that the bands are so open to different styles and genres. The production has been great, and the event has both been exciting and focused.”
Tom Travis, Global Product Manager, Rough Trade (UK) “I was here 2 years ago and this festival has really grown. The whole city is engaged, and the festival has a very clear idendity. When you compare your own artists back home to this, the quality here is really high. And the networking part is really well run.”
Mike Dean, Director at Liverpool Music Week, European Music Agent at Earth Agency (UK) “I was here in 2015 and even though I’m not working with them, I still follow First Hate, Yung and Liss. This time Sassy 009 and Yangze impressed me. SPOT is a good diverse festival, and I’m glad to see so many young people having a good time – and at the same time it’s still a serious music festival.”
Scott Cohen, Co-Founder The Orchard, manager (US) “When I first came here in 2002, there was no one to meet. Now it’s not only on its way to become a serious music business event. It is! The music has always been great, but the business part has really developed. When I first came here the Danes would say to me ”Sweden knows how to make hits, we don’t”. Now you have Mø and a lot of others – now it’s absolutely natural that a Danish artist will be succesful.”
Peter Ohnacker, founder Blogrebellen, Berlin (DE) “This is my first visit to SPOT – and it’s also my first showcase festival. I really love it. There’s a lot of unknown artists – but they are good. And you can explore many genres here.”
Rodrigo Piedra and Matias Ferreyra, Founders, Indie Hoy culture site (AR) “We are surprised by the dynamics of the festival. And it’s great that there is a lot of festivals inside the festival. We saw a lot of good acts: Gents, Virgin Suicide, Barselona, Bisse, Acid Arab… and a lot of others. And then we liked the crazy idea of combining a Danish folksinger with a Turkish trumpetplayer and an Argentinian electronic musician (Días Nórdicos Meets Refelections).”
Yousif Nur, Huffington Post (UK) “I like it. It feels like a real community – and a very open festival. I’ve seen good showcasess – but at times it has also been quite crammed. Acid Arabs put on a good show – it’s been the best concert of the festival. Closely followed by Mames Babegenush. On the downside a lot af Danish bands play the same way. And the networking has been fine – I’ve met people that can help me get in contact with people needed for a refugee film project I’m doing with the Estonian Symphony Orchestra.”
David Fricke, Rolling Stone Magazine (US) “This may be my 10th SPOT, and the more I come here, the more I see the developement of the bands. Take Albacan; I saw the last year, and I can see how they grow. I can see how things change, and how the scene evolves over time. What excites is the breath of the music – if they pursue it for real. I find things around the margins here. I’m looking for stuff that ”hasn’t happened”. I’m doing research. Best concert this year? It has to Kathrine Stochholms’…”
Carly James, Paradigm Agency (US) “I’ve been an agent for a year now at Paradigm, and I’m always looking for new talent. Do I know Danish bands? Yes, I’ve been working with Yung before (at The Agency Group, ed.). But I’m also here for networking. SPOT is a good opportunity to meet people in the business – in fact it has been quite overwhelming for me. SPOT seems like the core of SXSW – more focus on exiting bands on their way up instead of Lady Gaga or other headliners. There are not too many people. You can enjoy where you are.”
Paul Arnold, Ultra Music (UK) “It’s my first time at SPOT and I’ve enjoyed it. Last night Cutfather invited me over to the songwriting camp (Aarhus Calling, ed.) and that was interesting too. I heard all the new stuff: Great songs, the quality is really high – and the producers were very good. The festival itself is great. Good venues, good bands – amnd everything is very close. Berst concert so far? Yangze!”
Thorsten Harm, Rodeostar (DE) “I’ve been to SPOT many times and know quite a bit about Danish and Nordic music: Hellhorse is on our roster, and among others I represent Konvent for Napalm Events. And I’m staging the St. Hell Festival 27th – 28th December in Hamburg (Grünspan) and Copenhagen (Loppen). SPOT is a good opportunity to see new acts. It’s a cozy and personal festival – even if there are many delegates. It is really easy to network here.”
Manuel Schottmüller, Emerged Agency (DE) “I really like the festival atmosphere here. The quality of the artists is very good, so it’s a good way to explore new Danish and Nordic acts – I would like to bring some of them to Germany. I’m working with Martin Jensen right now, and have done so with Den Sorte Skole. This year Athletic Progression were quite good. And I really liked Yangze. And Saveus is such a good popband.
Furthermore there seems to be a very good sound everywhere – it was exceptional at VoxHall yesterday. And all in all the festival atmosphere is great.” good – don’t get bigger, please. I went to ANYA’s show yesterday – a quality show on many levels. Cezinando (NO) and FRUM (FO) also have something that could be interesting for the European market. Today (Saturday, ed.) ’m going to see Hajk (NO), Alexander Oscar (DK,) and Hugo Helmig (DK); his father was a King in Denmark”
Isabel Parzich, Cargo records, Stargazer Records (DE) “Many of my colleagues at Cargo have been at SPOT before but this is my first. Everything is so connected and close by. And there’s another thing: When you go to for example Reeperbahn Festival many bands are signed – here you can still get in touch with unsigned acts. We work with Figurines, Bad Afro, faroese label Tutl, so Nordic Music is not new to us. Rebecca Lou impressed me. They woul work well in Germany – they have a great attitude. And I think Go Go Berlin would have a great chance also. And FRUM… All bands from Scandinavia have a very high quality.”
Kris Chen, Nonesuch (US) “There are not many festivals like this. This feels more personal and intimate – and I like small festivals with a lot of music fans. When I go to SXSW it feels like it’s only industry. I went to 5 different locations yesterday, and everywhere you go there’s a crowded room, and that’s special. And you have a great variety of venues – not all cities have that. I’ve been in Aarhus before – in 2015 where I met Liss. We signed them to XL Recordings in 2016. After 11 years with XL i started with Nonesuch in 2016 – but I’m still in contact with the band and visited them yesterday.
Nonesuch really started with Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares – no one expected that success. As with the 1997-release of Buena Vista Social Club. But Nonesuch have to find new artists. They may be everywhere. So I’m looking for artists everywhere, no matter where they’re from. Last night I saw Astrid Sonne – she was really great, and I want to se more of her. I also liked Acid Arab they were exotic and different. Everything I saw yesterday I didn’t know a month ago. And that’s nice…”
Jone Malmin, Solar Penguin Agency (NO/DE) “I’ve been to SPOT once before – back in the 90’s – traveling with a colleague from Rigskoncerterne. Now I’ve been living in Frankfurt for the last 10 years, and I’m looking for Norwegian/Nordic acts. I’m doing long term planning for Solar Penguin, so I’m looking for acts that are ready for export, but who need a guide for the German market. You must not forget that it is like starting all over again when you approach a new country. They don’t know anything about your success back home.
SPOT is working very well – both for the spectators and the music business. The music program is varied – and the delegates come from many different parts of the music industry. And different countries. And the size of the festival is very good – don’t get bigger, please. I went to ANYA’s show yesterday – a quality show on many levels. Cezinando (NO) and FRUM (FO) also have something that could be interesting for the European market. Today (Saturday, ed.) ’m going to see Hajk (NO), Alexander Oscar (DK,) and Hugo Helmig (DK); his father was a King in Denmark”