Apr 07, 2020

Q&A: Mastering the Music Business vs. Coronavirus


Anca Lupes is the founder of Mastering the Music Business, the leading music showcase event in Romania which is also a member of the INES project. The showcase festival was planned to take place from the 17th until the 19th of March in Bucharest this year before Europe’s live music industry was hit by the Coronavirus and everything came to a halt. We asked her how the organizers are coping with the situation and she gave us an outlook on the future of the festival.

Anca Lupes - MMB Bucharest
Founder of Mastering The Music Business conference, Anca Lupes is one of the most experimented music industry professionals in Romania.

gigmit: How did the Coronavirus affect Mastering the Music Business?

Anca Lupes: We at Mastering the Music Business had to suspend the event one week before because of the precautions that were taken in our country to prevent the coronavirus crisis. We did not decide to postpone it as there is a lot of uncertainty regarding how things will unfold, how long it will take and how we are going to emerge from all this mess. The safest would have been probably to move in late autumn, but then there were already lots of conferences programmed during that period, not to count the postponed ones, so we decided to wait and see and make a decision when things will settle a little bit.

What are the main things you are struggling with currently? Are you booking acts for this or next year?

Currently, we are dealing with the financial hit we took. Ending the conference one week before meant that we had already made a lot of expenses. As a compensation to the fact that the international showcase bands also had some expenses paid for travelling to Bucharest, we decided that next year we will go on with the same line-up that we announced for this year (except if one of the bands decides not to come anymore). It seemed the right thing to do for us. And it is a great line-up too.

What can artists do while stuck at home?

I would suggest that all the artists should use the free time they have now to study and learn about online marketing, as this is the next thing that can bring them some revenue. Also, use this time to get closer to your audience, engage with them more, increase the number of fans. You will need them when live concerts will be back.

How is the music community reacting to this crisis in your country?

Everybody is worried as everywhere else about what the future will bring. Our government announced today that there will be financial compensations for companies and individuals in the live music sector, so that takes a big burden from the shoulders of artists and other music business professionals (especially the small ones) at least for the upcoming month or two. People have started to organize also and there are a few initiatives destined to help solve immediate needs. A few calls for projects with small funding, but easy to get in order to have at least some money circulating. Record companies have rallied to try and increase the quota of local music played on the radio etc. The music sector on higher levels has started to organize and prepare for the recession that will follow.

Many festivals and artists are trying to implement digital editions of their shows. Is it a possibility for your festival?

We are considering an online version of the conference, but not for the showcase festival. We will decide in a few weeks how we are going to act. Local artists have found a few interesting ways to organize live online concerts, but not on a large scale.

We also asked other INES#festivals how to act vs. Coronavirus. Find out more…
If you are organising a festival, please let us know more about your experience and your plans in the coming months, here.
Here you can check out which festivals have been cancelled or postponed.
Get important information and links for music makers during the corona crisis and learn how can gigmit help in this situation here.

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