24th February 2021

The third month of IMPALA's 20th anniversary programme




IMPALA's birthday programme on our IMPALA20 blog page now has a third series of posts, interviews and playlists. As promised, we are doing a newsletter in the week of the 20th of each month to give you a round up of the programme. Another special feature this month is the announcement of our 11th annual winner for the European Independent Album of the Year - make sure to listen to this year's winning album "Vitamin C" by My Ugly Clementine - on Spotify, DeezerYouTube or Apple Music.


IMPALA playlists

20Tracks is a series of playlists to highlight the independent sector in all its diversity. Genre and language playlists are posted every month, curated by IMPALA’s members to celebrate music in Europe today.

20Tracks #5
IMPALA 20th anniversary #5 - 20 tracks in Danish

This playlist features 20 tracks in Danish by 20 Danish independent artists.
Curated by our member DUP.


IMPALA 20th anniversary #6 - 20 tracks in Swedish

This playlist features 20 tracks in Swedish by 20 Swedish independent artists.
Curated by our member SOM.


IMPALA 20th anniversary #7 - 20 tracks in Portuguese

This playlist features 20 tracks in Portuguese by 20 Portuguese independent artists.
Curated by our member AMAEI.


IMPALA podcast

Curated by Juliana Koranteng, key independent music figures talk about what goes on behind the scenes. This is a series of bite-sized and informative episodes curated by Juliana in London and edited in Brussels by Romuald Dagry. In the time it takes you to to back up your computer or walk your dog, get a closer look at what moves those who shape the landscape of independent music in Europe today. 

Episode 5: Jérôme Roger
Jérôme Roger from SPPF on European performance income, US repertoire, why 125m euros a year will be lost for European labels and performers unless EU moves fast. With all this coming out of a court case in Ireland and the USA being one of the only countries in the world where radio and cafes and bars don’t pay labels and performers (yes you heard right… even China has better protection now) this is full of intrigue.
On Jérôme’s playlist: Francis Cabrel, Christine and the Queens

Find it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast and Deezer.
Episode 6: Remi Harris MBE
Remi Harris MBE talks about “Easy Money?” her guide to funding in the music business, why we need to stay optimistic in this crisis, her pathway to becoming a renowned financial expert and her work at UK Music on diversity and inclusion. Juliana Koranteng also discovers what can be found on Remi’s playlist and much more in this episode of 20MinutesWith.
On Remi’s playlist: Lauren Housley

Find it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast and Deezer.
Episode 7: My Ugly Clementine

Three members of My Ugly Clementine, the latest winners of IMPALA’s Album of the Year Award, talk about their debut album, “Vitamin C,” what it means to be a non-male band, challenging stereotypes, as well as their plans for playing live. The 20MinutesWith host Juliana Koranteng also discovers what Sophie Lindinger, Mira Lu Kovacs and Nastasja Ronck have in store for the future and, as always, what’s on their playlists.

On Nastasja’s playlist: Arlo Parks, Claud, The Weather Station, Aldous Harding, Phoebe Bridgers, Big Thief, Alyona Alyona
On Sophie’s playlist: Perfume Genius, Fleet Foxes, Julia Jacklin, Sharon Van Etten
On Mira’s playlist: Nina Simone, Tom Waits, Adrianne Lenker, Blake Mills, Fiona Apple
Be sure to listen to MUC’s award winning album, Vitamin C!

Find it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast and Deezer.


How well do you know the independent music sector? IMPALA’s discovery series takes us on a journey across the whole of Europe. Each month we look at a different aspect of the sector from labels, managers, venues and much more. 


Touring is vital for independent artists, both in terms of visibility and income. And the live music experience will definitely be more important than ever for music fans once music venues are finally allowed to re-open their doors post-covid. Here, we look at 20 iconic European music venues. 



1. A38 (Budapest, Hungary)
The A38 (or A38 ship) is an entertainment and cultural venue on the Danube river, opened in 2003. It is based on a repurposed decommissioned Ukrainian stone-carrier ship, now permanently anchored at the bottom of the Petofi Bridge. On top of the concert hall (capacity: 400), it also hosts a bar, a restaurant and an exhibition hall.

2. AKC METELKOVA MESTO (Ljubljana, Slovenia) 

Metelkova City is an autonomous social and cultural centre located in downtown Ljubljana. With a rich historic heritage and very unique aesthetic, it is considered as one of the most important venues dedicated to youth and independent culture in Slovenia. Located in old army barracks, it hosts a series of clubs including Channel Zero, Gala Hala, Klub Gormka and Menza pri Koritu. It is also one of the venues used by MENT, the leading festival and music conference in the region. 

3. ANCIENNE BELGIQUE (Brussels, Belgium)

Known under this name since the 1930’s, the Ancienne Belgique (French for « Old Belgium”) is located in the historic heart of Brussels, within walking distance of the IMPALA office. It has a solid reputation for incredible acoustics and consists of two concert halls with three set-ups: the main hall (capacity: 2,000), the AB Box (which is a revisited cosy set-up of the main hall, with a capacity of 800) and the AB Club (capacity: 250) aimed at young up-and-coming acts.

4. BARBY (Tel-Aviv, Israel)

A well-known venue in the Tel Aviv indie-rock scene, the Barby club is a long- established music venue in the south of the City. The club, with a capacity of 600, hosts concerts almost every night, largely from more established local performers or international artists. 

5. BERGHAIN (Berlin, Germany)

The Berghain club opened in 2004. Its name comes from the two city quarters that flank the south and north sides of the buildings: Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain and means “mountain grove” in German. It has become one of the world’s most (in)famous clubs with a solid reputation for its techno nights. With a capacity of 1,500, the venue is established in a former power plant and was formally recognised as a cultural institution in 2016. 

6. Centro Cultural Vila Flor (Guimaraes, Portugal)

The Centro Cultural Vila Flor is the main concert venue of Guimaraes, the first historical capital of Portugal. It is made of the restored Vila Flor Palace and its Gardens, and the construction of a new building for the theatre. Inaugurated in September 2005 with a Madredeus concert, the CCVF has a large auditorium with a capacity of about 800 seats and a small auditorium with 200 seats. The new building also houses a restaurant, a café and an exhibition area. It is also the seat of the municipal assembly, as well as the central venue of the Westway Lab festival and conference.

7. COLOURS Music Festival (Ostrava, Czech Republic)

Colours of Ostrava, or simply Colours, is a multi-genre festival, the biggest international music festival in the Czech Republic and one of the biggest music events in Central Europe. Although a festival, it has been chosen by IMPALA’s national association PLatforma as it is such a significant national venue because of its unique location in an old industrial site of former ironworks and steelworks in Dolní Vítkovice in the city of Ostrava, and also because it makes such an important role in the local music sector. Colours features 16 stages including 4 big open-air stages (the main one with a capacity of 15,000), 6 indoor stages, a theatre stage, a workshop stage, a kids’ stage, a cinema and live discussions. It encompasses all major music genres, as well as avant-garde music.

8. EL SOL (Madrid, Spain)

Since 1979, El Sol has thrived and stood the test of time. El Sol is a classic venue founded during Madrid’s “Movida” movement era and has hosted the best pop and rock artists from the national and international scene. Artists like Alaska y los Pegamoides, La Unión, Radio Futura have all performed there. El Sol also hosts book and record launches as well as award ceremonies. It has also been used to record films and music videos.

9. EXPIRAT (Bucharest, Romania)

The Expirat club is functioning in one of Bucharest’s old factory buildings. Established in 2002, Expirat is one of the most successful live venues in Bucharest. With a capacity of 400, Expirat is the place to go see all the established alternative/indie bands play, but also welcomes up-and-coming bands from Romania and abroad.

10. FLEX (Vienna, Austria)

FLEX is a nightclub located between underground station Schottenring and Augartenbrücke in Vienna. Many international indie acts have played in the club, which is rated as one of the best nightclubs in Europe. Its sound system is also widely considered one of the best on the continent. Active since the 90s, the club hosts multi-cultural events from all over the globe, focusing primarily on DJ sets and live acts. Building its reputation on drum and bass, Flex has adopted a seven-day cycle with different musical themes each night of the week. 

11. KORJAAMO (Helsinki, Finland)

The Korjaamo culture factory is based in the Taka – Töölö district of Helsinki and is an old tram repair yard that also houses the local tram museum alongside the culture factory itself. Opened in 2004, it uses the former tram halls as various spaces for cultural activities including live shows, restaurants, cinema and art gallery. 

12. LOPPEN (Copenhagen, Denmark)

LOPPEN is an alternative not-for-profit concert venue housed in an old army hall in Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen. Opened in 1973 to support the local underground scene, it has welcomed alternative, aggressive, provocative and danceable music since then. The building is also home to a flea market, a restaurant and an art gallery.

13. L’USINE (Genève, Switzerland)

L’Usine is both an alternative and self-managed cultural centre and a structure bringing together 18 collectives and associations. It is established in the former Geneva gold roughing factory, a building located on the banks of the Rhône, made available by the municipality in 1989. The association’s ethics (for life and work) are  based on “self-management, pleasure and openness to others”. The venue includes concert halls, nightclubs, art galleries, theatre, cinema and various branches dedicated to development of creative and recreational activities.

14. OLYMPIA (Paris, France)

The Olympia hall is a concert venue located in Paris’ 9th arrondissement, between the Madeline church and the Opéra Garnier. It was opened in 1888 by the co-creators of the Moulin Rouge venue, and built a reputation for hosting opera, ballet and music hall performances. The Olympia was converted into a cinema before WWII before re-opening as a music venue in 1954. It currently has a capacity of 1,996. 

15. PARADISO (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Located in Amsterdam’s city centre, the Paradiso is housed in a converted 19th century church building that dates from the 19th century and that was used until 1965 as the meeting hall for a liberal Dutch religious group. The main concert hall has high ceilings and two balcony rings overlooking the stage area, with three large, illuminated church windows above the stage. In addition to the main concert hall, there are two smaller cafe stages, on the upper floor and in the basement. The venue is known for its eclectic range of programming, which also includes lectures, plays, classical music, and crossover artists.

16. PARCO DELLA MUSICA (Roma, Italy)

The Auditorium Parco Della Musica is a modern multi-functional complex, blending cutting-edge architecture and state of the art acoustics encompassing three enormous concert halls and a 3000-seat open-air arena. Designed by Renzo Piano, the Auditorium is the centre for many spectacular live music concerts such as classical, abstract contemporary, art music, chamber and sacred music while hosting many cultural events in Rome such as the International Film Festival. The Auditorium is also home to one of Italy’s finest orchestras, the Orchestra of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

17. PROGRESJA (Warsaw, Poland)

Progresja opened in 2003 as a small rock club. In the following years, the club moved to bigger venues to become Poland’s biggest music club. Although for many years the club has been mostly associated with rock and metal music, its stage currently hosts shows by mainstream stars, pop singers, electronic and alternative bands or even jazz groups.

18. PUSTERVIK (Gothenburg, Sweden)

Since the early 20th century, Pustervik has been a part of the entertainment and culture scene in Gothenburg. Today, it’s the most prominent club and concert venue in town. In what used to be both a cinema and theatre, there is now a music stage complete with two bars and a balcony, with a capacity of 900 people.


The Rockefeller is located in Torggata in downtown Oslo. The building, known as the “Market Street Bath” used to house a public bathing facility. The music hall was established in 1986 and can host between 1600 and 2000 people depending on the type of concert. The venue consists of a main hall, a large gallery, a smaller upper gallery, a rooftop with bar, and several lounge bars on the sides of the main music hall. Several popular podcasts and radio shows are regularly recorded at the Rockefeller.

20. ROUNDHOUSE (London, United Kingdom)

The Roundhouse is a performing arts and concert venue located in a former railway engine shed in Camden Town. It was originally built in 1847 as a circular building containing a railway turntable but was only used for this purpose for about a decade. After being used as a warehouse for a number of years, the building fell into disuse. It reopened in 1964 as a performing arts venue and was adapted as a theatre. It was closed again in 2004 for re-development and re-opened in 2006, hosting many concerts and various awards ceremonies since then. 

Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA)
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