24th September 2021

The tenth month of IMPALA's 20th anniversary programme



This September, we prepared our tenth set of posts, interviews and playlists for our 20th birthday programme, available below and on our IMPALA20 blog page where you can discover all our featured items. Also this month we continued with our One Step Ahead reports and webinarselected a new board and launched an extended membership programme to boost diversity as well as issued a statement on the UK government's response to DCMS committee report on economics of streaming, 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 #23

20Tracks#23 – IMPALA 20th anniversary #23 – 20 tracks in Finnish

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


20Tracks#24 – IMPALA 20th anniversary #24 – 20 classical tracks

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


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 22: Evelyn Sieber and Nuno Saraiva

Evelyn Sieber from Reeperbahn and Nuno Saraiva from AMAEILusitanian and WestwayLab on European projects and their importance for both local and European music sectors. Our guests cover how EU projects work, the value of inclusivity and capacity-building through projects like IMPALA Campus and the importance of EU support for cultural initiatives. They also share what they learned during the pandemic, what organising a festival looks like these days and what they are looking forward to in the future. As always, our guests tell us what’s on their playlist.

On Evelyn’s playlist: Bear’s DenLewis CapaldiNicklas Sahl

On Nuno’s playlist: José AfonsoExotic Quixotic – Lusitanian GhostsMisia Furtak

Find it on SpotifyApple Podcasts, Google Podcast and Deezer.

Episode 23: Kenny Gates

Kenny Gates from [PIAS] on being one of the most important independent music label groups in Europe and globally. Our guest covers how the [PIAS] family of labels was built, its unique international setup and evolution, what being independent means today and what you need to build a successful music company. Kenny also talks about [Integral] , [PIAS]’ recently renamed distribution and services department, the people who inspired him and what’s on the menu for [PIAS]’ 40th anniversary next year. Kenny also gives us a chance to discover what’s on his playlist.

On Kenny’s playlist: Naima JorisHank Mobley

Find it on SpotifyApple Podcasts, Google Podcast and Deezer.

Episode 24: Justyna Masalska and Anca Lupes

Anca Lupes from Indiero and Justyna Masalska from ANPM on opportunities for women in the music industry in Central and Eastern Europe. Our guests talk about how they started their career in Romania and Poland, how the local market is developing in both territories and what they are currently working on. They also share some tips to fulfill your career in the industry and highlight why it’s a thriving sector to work in. Anca and Justyna also share what’s on their playlists. 

On Anca’s playlist: Fresh jazz and classical music from her favourite “discover weekly” playlist.

On Justyna’s playlist : Kwiat JabłoniDawid PodsiadłoDaria ZawiałowBillie Eilish, and also check out Justyna’s own group VOYSYS.

Find it on SpotifyApple Podcasts, Google 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 the places where the industry meets, where deals are finalised, where new talent is first showcased and where long-standing business relationships are built. We look here at 20 European showcase festivals and conferences, with whom IMPALA has had the pleasure to collaborate over the years.  

1. BuSH (Budapest, Hungary)

BuSH, short for Budapest Showcase Hub, is one of the leading music events for Central and Eastern Europe. It aims to represent the best that the Eastern European music industry has to offer and to be the ultimate showcase event for the best regional bands. BuSH’s goal is to foster a regional market and build a strong image for the rest of the world to see. Its hashtag: #newkidsfromthebloc.


2. by:Larm (Oslo, Norway)

by:Larm is a music festival based in Oslo. It was first held in 1998 and, for the first ten years of its existence, moved between different Norwegian cities, before settling permanently in the capital in 2008. by:Larm was formed as a way for the Nordic music business to get together for both conferences and a concert programme, consisting of new music from the Nordic countries, often on the verge of success. Since it started in 1998, the festival has gradually increased in prominence and size. As of 2019, it gathers 5000 festival guests alongside 3000 delegates from the Nordic and international music industry, making it the most important meeting place for the Nordic music business.

3. c/o pop (Cologne, Germany)

c/o pop (short for Cologne On Pop) is a music festival that has been taking place in Cologne since 2004. It replaced the now disappeared Popkomm event once it moved to Berlin. c/o pop is both a festival and a music convention. Its latest edition attracted more than 30,000 visitors and 1,200 industry representatives.

4.ESNS (Groningen, Netherlands)

ESNS – short for Eurosonic Noorderslag – is an annual four-day music showcase festival and conference taking place in Groningen, in the very North of the Netherlands. The first three days of the festival (Eurosonic) feature artists from all over Europe, while the last day of the festival (Noorderslag) features only Dutch artists. The conference part of the event is held during all four days. ESNS is the leading professional music event in Benelux and is also home to a set of award ceremonies, including the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards


5. Fifty Lab (Brussels, Belgium)

Launched in Brussels in 2019 by two Belgian companies (Five Oh and Kurated By), Fifty Lab is a brand-new showcase festival with the particularity of delegating the curation of its line-up to other festivals. Various European festivals are invited to select one artist to play at one of the five venues welcoming the festival (Ancienne Belgique, Beursschouwburg, Viage, Bonnefooi and l’Archiduc).

6. Indirekt (Belgrade, Serbia and Umag, Croatia)

Indirekt is an independent music and art festival taking place both in Umag (Croatia) in June and Belgrade (Serbia) in October. The latest edition in Belgrade in 2019 featured more than 20 artists as well as a music conference attracting representatives from more than 10 European countries. The founder of the festival, Dejan Bošković, also widely recognized for his activities with Ammonite Records and RUNDA, unfortunately passed away to covid earlier this year. Indirekt Festival will continue and carry Dejan’s legacy, with a new team on board.

7. Linecheck (Milan, Italy)

Linecheck is both a “music meeting space” and a festival, taking place in Milan in November as part of Milano Music Week; a full week of concerts, meetings, performances and conferences rocking the beautiful city in the North of Italy. 

8. M4Music (Zurich / Lausanne, Switzerland)

M4music is a music festival that has been organised since 1998. It takes place in two Swiss cities: Zurich and Lausanne, showcasing both local and international artists. The event also runs the Demotape Clinic, a competition focusing on young and emerging Swiss artists and accommodates a significant conference which is the go-to place for the Swiss music sector.

9. MaMA (Paris, France)

With more than 5,300 music professionals in attendance, the MaMA festival and convention is one of the largest French music industry events. MaMA hosts a conference programme both at Elysée-Montmartre and at Le Trianon featuring over 140 panels, keynote speeches and workshops, while the festival accommodates 120 shows across 12 emblematic venues of the French capital.

10. MENT (Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Ment Ljubljana or MENT is an international showcase festival taking place every year since 2015 in Ljubljana. It replaced the former Slovenian Music Week. It is part of INES, the EC-funded Innovative Network of European Showcases. On top of its focus on local, ex-Yugoslavia and Eastern European artists, MENT hosts a conference, which attracts close to 500 international delegates. MENT is the recipient of two EFA (European Festival Awards) for Best Small and Best Club Festival (2017 and 2019).

11. MIDEM (Cannes, France)

MIDEM (an acronym in French for Marché International du Disque et de l’Edition Musicale, meaning International Record and Music Publishing Market) is organised every year in Cannes, in the South of France. The event has been taking place every year since 1967 and attracts representatives from the music sector from all over the globe. IMPALA has been partnering with MIDEM since its inception in 2000. 


12. MMB (Bucharest, Romania)

MMB, short for Mastering the Music Business is the leading Romanian music conference and showcase festival. It was founded by now IMPALA board member Indiero’s Anca Lupes in 2017 and has been growing fast since its launch. It was also one of the very first European conferences making a post-pandemic come-back to in-person meetings in early September 2021.

13. Musiikki & Media (Tampere, Finland)

Musiikki & Media (or Music & Media in English) is the biggest Finnish professional music conference. It takes place every year in October in the city of Tampere, in the North of Finland, attracting more than 1,000 representatives from the sector, from Finland and beyond. The event takes place over two days and culminates in the Industry Awards night, celebrating the Finnish music industry. Concerts also take place all over the city under the “Lost in Music” banner.

14. PIN (Skopje, North Macedonia)

PIN is the first and only international music conference and showcase festival in North Macedonia. Since its first edition in 2012, the conference is organised by the Association of culture and arts “TAKSIRAT”, as part of the renowned Taksirat Festival (a member of European associations Yourope and ETEP). The conference’s goal is to enrich the local music sector by bringing the diversity of best practices, up-to-date knowledge and people who will be part of the sector’s development in Macedonia and the Balkans region.

15. Primavera Sound (Barcelona, Spain)

Primavera Sound is one of the biggest European music festivals and has always offered a significant part of its line-up to indie acts, since its first edition in 2001. It takes place in Barcelona in June, on a site used for the 1992 Olympic games. Before 2005, the event was taking place in Montjuic. For more than 10 years, the festival has been coupled with Primavera Pro, a music conference attracting more than 3,000 music executives from all over Europe.


16. Reeperbahn (Hamburg, Germany)

Reeperbahn Festival and Conference is one of the biggest club festivals in Europe. It has been taking place in the infamous Reeperbahn neighbourhood of Hamburg since 2006, first as a festival, then, from 2009 onwards, as a conference and platform for music professionals. Taking place in late September, it will be in full swing at the time of publication of this list.

17. SPOT (Aarhus, Denmark)

SPOT is an annual music festival taking place in the city of Aarhus. It showcases up-and-coming Danish and Scandinavian artists, with close to 200 acts from various music genres playing the event. It attracts close to 8,000 music fans, as well as 1,500 music professionals from Demark and abroad. 

18. The Great Escape (Brighton, United Kingdom)

The Great Escape Festival is a three-day music festival held in May in Brighton and Hove, in the South of England. The festival was founded in 2006 and roughly hosts 300 bands across 30 venues throughout the city. There is also a music industry convention section to the event, which is attended by over 3000 delegates. In addition to the main festival, there is also The Alternative Escape, a further strand of ‘unofficial’ shows.  

19. Waves (Vienna, Austria)

The Waves Vienna – Music Festival and Conference is a yearly international showcase festival taking place in Vienna, Austria. Its line-up is mainly focused on alternative and independent music. The festival takes place in a series of music venues across the city. Its conference side has been growing steadily over the past few years, attracting more and more music business executives from all over Europe. 

20. Westway Lab (Guimaraes)

With 8 successful editions under its belt, Westway LAB Festival is a collaborative platform, a kind of living laboratory of experimentation and stimulus to creativity whose goal is to bring together, in the old Portuguese capital of Guimaraes, innovative and purist artists for two weeks. These residencies culminate in a festival, coupled with talks and a pro conference.

Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA)
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