23rd November 2021

The last edition of IMPALA's 20th anniversary programme



This month, we have been working on our last set of posts, interviews and playlists for our year long 20th birthday programme, available below and on our IMPALA20 blog page where you can discover all our featured items.
We also awarded Keith Harris OBE with IMPALA's outstanding contribution award, highlighted the danger of not resolving the RAAP case and sent a message to governments ahead of COP26, among other work. 
See more in our #IMPALA20 round-up below, issued as usual the week of the 20th day of the month.


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. Find the complete list here.

20Tracks #27

20Tracks#27 – IMPALA 20th anniversary #27 – 20 RnB tracks

This playlist features 20 RnB music tracks by 20 artists signed to European independent record labels. 


20Tracks#28 – IMPALA 20th anniversary #28 – 20 tracks in Norwegian 

This playlist features 20 tracks in Norwegian by 20 independent artists from the last 20 years. Curated by our member FONO.


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 hosted 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. Find all episodes here.

Episode 28: Guilhem Cottet

Guilhem Cottet, managing director of UPFI on France’s unique national approach to culture, the implementation of the EU copyright directive, cultural diversity, regulation mechanisms, loan guarantees and more. He talks about how the covid crisis impacted the sector and what the CNM did to support creators during this period. Guilhem also explains what UPFI’s goals are for the future and what he’s currently working on. As always, discover what’s on his playlist.

On Guilhem’s playlist: De Pelicula by The Liminanas and Laurent GarnierMogwai

Find it on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcast and Deezer.

Episode 29: Csaba Nasz

Csaba Nasz, co-president of HAIL, on developing the independent music sector in Central and Eastern Europe, how HAIL was created and what has been achieved in the past 5 years. Csaba talks about the business potential of the region and what’s needed to support the local music scene, including more studies and relevant data on the industry. He also explains recent developments in Budapest with the showcase festival BUSH, the Music competence center project and what’s next to come. And, always, discover what’s on Csaba’s playlist.

On Csaba’s playlist: Garry Clark JuniorGreen Day.

Find it on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcast and Deezer.

Episode 30: Keith Harris OBE

Keith Harris OBE, one of the most high-profile and respected executives in the music business, a brilliant artist manager and record label executive, talks about his career, diversity and inclusion in the music industry, his IMPALA Outstanding Contribution Award, and his current work with IMPALA’s diversity task force. Keith also talks about the open letter he sent for Blackout Tuesday, and how important it is to speak out to bring change in the industry. He shares his plans for the future, and what’s on his playlist.

On Keith’s playlist: Tiken Jah Fakoly

Find it on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Podcast and Deezer.


Discovery lists

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. Discover all lists here.



 These events are usually marked in every music fan’s calendar months ahead and are gathering thousands of music fans each year. They are also key events to look at for every single booking agent. 
We look here at 20 European festivals known for putting numerous independent acts in the spotlight. 

1. ARCTANGENT (United Kingdom)

ArcTanGent Festival (also known as ATG) is a three-day British rock festival held annually at Fernhill Farm in Somerset (England) since 2013. It is the most popular British summer festival for math rock, post rock, progressive metal and experimental music in general.


2. BEST KEPT SECRET (Netherlands)

The Best Kept Secret festival is a three-day music festival held inside the Safari Park Beekse Bergen within the village of Hilvarenbeek in the south of the Netherlands, since 2013. The festival has a line-up in which big names are alternated with new discoveries from indie, folk, hip-hop, rock, electronics or a mixture of styles. The festival’s centre piece is a lake at the back of Beekse Bergen safari park.

3. CONGES ANNULES (Luxembourg)

Hosted by local music venue Rotondes, the Congés Annulés festival is a whole month of concerts, showcases, DJ sets, screenings, events and “all-around fun” taking place in Luxembourg. Music invades every corner of the site: rock, electro, indie, pop, etc.


4. COLOURS of 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. It takes place in a unique location in an old industrial site of former ironworks and steelworks in Dolní Vítkovice in the city of Ostrava.

5. DOUR FESTIVAL (Belgium)

Dour Festival is an annual festival in the municipality of Dour in Belgium (near the French border). Since its creation in 1988, the festival has grown to an attendance of about 225,000 participants in 2015 (over 5 days). The first year, only five bands were programmed. The festival format now consists of 5 days, 9 stages and more than 280 bands and DJs. The festival’s acts come from a wide range of genres, such as electro, rock, drum and bass, reggae, house, punk, hardcore, metal and techno.


Electric Castle is an annual music festival held on the Transylvanian domain of the Banffy Castle near Cluj-Napoca in Romania, and combines music, technology and alternative arts. It features many genres of music including rock, indie, hip hop, electronic, techno, and drum and bass as well as art installations. Its first edition took place in 2013. In 2020, the festival has received the award for the Best Medium Sized Festival at the European Festival Awards.

7. EXIT (Serbia)

Exit is a summer music festival which is held at the Petrovaradin fortress in Novi Sad (Serbia.  Founded in 2000, it has twice won the Best Major Festival award at the European Festivals Awards. It gathers more than 200,000 music fans over four days of concerts. 


The FuturFestival or, for sponsorship reasons, Kappa FuturFestival is an electronic music festival that has been held, since 2009, in Turin, Italy. The FuturFestival was born to commemorate the centenary of Futurism at the Lingotto Fiere and was first hosted in collaboration with the city council of Turin. It has grown into the biggest electronic music festival in Italy.

9. LE GUESS WHO (Netherlands)

Le Guess Who? is a Dutch music festival featuring different music genres: from avant-garde, jazz, hip-hop, electronic, noise rock, indie rock, world music and others. The festival, founded by Bob van Heur and Johan Gijsen, has been hosted in the city of Utrecht since 2007. It takes place on various venues such as theatres, club venues, churches, galleries and warehouses across the city. 


Electric Picnic is an annual arts and music festival which has been staged since 2004 at Stradbally Hall, County Laois in Ireland.  The Picnic has been described as “Ireland’s version of Glastonbury”. It differs from other festivals in Ireland in that the music choice is more eclectic than the other mainstream events and there is more emphasis on quality festival services (such as food and sleeping arrangements), a generally more positive and relaxed atmosphere and numerous eco-friendly initiatives.


The Eurockéennes de Belfort (in English: Eurockeans of Belfort) are one of France’s largest rock music festivals. Les Eurockéennes, a play on words involving rock (rock music) and européennes (Europeans), is a festival based in a nature reserve beside the lac Malsaucy near Belfort in Eastern France. It attracts close to 135,000 festival goers.


Mad Cool is a music festival held annually in Madrid, Spain. It has been taking place since 2016 and mainly features pop, rock and indie performers.

The first two editions of the festival took place in the Caia Magica. The festival then moved to an open-air space in Valdebebas. It is gathering 240,000 participants over three days. 

13. MS DOCKVILLE (Germany)

Dockville is a music and art festival taking place in Hamburg, Germany, on Europe’s biggest river island. It took place for the first time in 2007. Many parts of the festival area are located directly in front of the river Elbe in a territory which is not protected against floods. The festival is best known for its combination of music and visual arts.

14. PALEO FESTIVAL (Switzerland)

The Paléo Festival de Nyon, usually just called Paléo, is an annual rock festival held in Nyon in Switzerland. It started in a small way in 1976 as the Nyon Folk Festival. The first edition took place in the village hall of Nyon. From 1977 to 1989, the festival moved to Colovray, nearby Lake Geneva before moving to its current location in 1990 at the Plaine de l’Asse. It has since grown to become one of the major open-air music festivals in mainland Europe and the biggest in Switzerland. 

The festival lasts six days at the end of July, and the final main stage concert is preceded by a great firework display with music.

15. PRIMAVERA SOUND (Spain and Portugal)

Primavera Sound is a music festival that takes place in Barcelona, Spain. The first edition took place in 2001 in Poble Espanyol, and moved to the Parc del Forum, a much larger site on the seafront, in 2005. The nature of the festival (urban and an integrated part of the city) and the wide range of bands represented have made Primavera Sound a meeting point for artists and spectators from all generations. In 2012 the festival expanded to Porto, in Portugal under the name NOS Primavera Sound. A spin-off of the festival titled “Primavera a la Ciutat” takes place in selected places in Barcelona from plazas to churches and offers free concerts a couple days prior to the festival’s inauguration. A third counterpart of the festival, named Primavera Sound Los Angeles is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles as of 2022. 

16. ROSKILDE (Denmark)

The Roskilde Festival is a Danish festival held annually south of Roskilde in Denmark. It is one of the largest music festivals in Europe and the largest in the Nordic countries. It was created in 1971 by two high school students and a promoter. In 1972, the festival was taken over by the Roskilde Foundation, which has since run the festival as a non-profit organisation for development and support of music, culture and humanism. In 2014, the Roskilde Foundation provided festival participants with the opportunity to nominate and vote upon which organisations should receive funds raised by the festival.

17. SIDEWAYS (Finland)

Sideways is a boutique music and arts festival based in the Helsinki area. It welcomes nearly 80 live acts every year, as well as side activities such as an “animal karaoke”, art exhibitions or 80’s arcade games competitions. Sideways is located at Nordis in the Töölö district in Helsinki – including Eläintarha park areas and Helsinki Ice Hall’s surroundings. Its main stages are located outdoors, and there are also three stages inside the Ice Hall.

18. SZIGET (Hungary)

The Sziget Festival (Sziget meaning island in Hungarian) is one of the largest music festivals in Europe. It is held every August in Budapest, Hungary, on the “Old Buda Island”, an island on the Danube, welcoming more than 1,000 acts every year.  The week-long festival has grown from a relatively low-profile student event in 1993 to become one of the prominent European rock festivals   with about half of all visitors coming from outside Hungary, especially from Western Europe.

19. TRAMLINES (United Kingdom)

The Tramlines Festival is an annual music festival held in Sheffield, England. The festival was originally free to attend, but now requires tickets. The line-up consists of national and local artists. The festival is curated and organised by a panel comprising local venue owners, promoters and volunteers. The name of the festival is inspired by the city’s tram network. Tramlines held its first festival in 2009, which attracted 35,000 fans and was seen as a huge success, and 2010’s event doubled that figure.

20. ZAXIDFEST (Ukraine)

Zaxidfest, previously known as Zaxid, is an annual international music and art festival held in the middle of August near Lviv in Ukraine. The festival was founded in 2009 as a festival of Ukrainian rock and ethno music. It has since lost any attachment to a specific music genre and expanded its line-up to include foreign acts. Each year, the public is invited to complete an online survey to propose and/or vote for artists to play the festival. The festival is also known to include secret artists in its line-up, whose identity is only becoming known once they hit the stage.

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