May 07, 2020

Together With INES We Celebrate Europe Day 2020


It’s Europe Day on 9th May 2020! Europe Day is the perfect occasion for celebrating the goals and values of the European Union, such as peace, freedom, equality, democracy, cohesion and solidarity in the EU.

In this context, we would like to highlight INES – Innovation Network of European Showcases, a project initiated by gigmit together with 8 founding member festivals. INES is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union and its mission is to create a strong and united European music market and to drive international synergies for music professionals and artists throughout Europe. For this purpose, four outstanding programmes were established: INES#festival, INES#talent, INES#pro and INES#conference.


INES#festival: Network of 20 Showcase Festivals All Over Europe

The objective of INES is to connect the music business and innovation hubs of each country with each other – on Europe Day, before and beyond. We foster cultural exchange and international cooperation. Since the start of the project in 2017, 12 more festivals joined INES as associated members, so INES has now grown to a network of 20 European showcase festivals in 19 different European countries. An overview of all participating INES#festivals can be found here. 

Of course, INES also promotes gender equality: women are often underrepresented in music festival lineups. We are excited that a growing number of INES#festivals book more female artists and their line-ups have a better gender balance than average. 10 of them are members of the Keychange initiative and we are proud that one INES#talent, Mounqup, has been selected as a future leader taking part in the Keychange development programme.

INES#talent: Stepping Stone for International Careers

One of the main goals of the project is to enable promising European artists to drive their international careers forward by giving them the opportunity to present their music to tastemakers and professionals from all over Europe. Corresponding with the EU values equality and democracy, every upcoming band from the participating countries can apply to become an INES#talent. Each of the INES partner festivals then has the right to nominate between 3 to 10 promising and exportable artists from their own country to the INES#talent pool. In the following year, all INES#festivals will book foreign artists out of the INES#talent pool. That way, 349 artists have been selected as INES#talents so far. 187 of those have already been booked at INES#festivals and therefore received the opportunity to tour in Europe and reach audiences outside their home countries!

It is an industry-standard that remuneration for playing showcase gigs is rather low. Especially for international artists travel expenses can be high. Therefore INES ensures that every artist receives a basic package when booked as an INES#talent. It includes a fixed minimum fee of 250€, accommodation, a basic backline, catering, and festival/conference passes. This allows every band to be able to afford to play abroad. INES gives them equal chances to further their international careers. Regardless of their financial means.

INES#talent Amparito from Madrid

Amparito (ES): “We are really excited to be an INES#talent because it’s a great opportunity to travel to another country and to reach a new audience. INES#talent is helping us with accommodation: sometimes you don’t make money with music, so having help for accommodation and travel expenses is always a plus.”

A number of #talents even managed to play at several INES#festivals in one year. In 2019, the Lithuanian band Timid Kooky played INES showcases in five different countries and British artist Eckoes was booked at four different INES#festivals in the same year. 

INES#talent Eckoes from London

Eckoes (UK): “My INES showcases have been amazing. Playing other countries is opening so many different markets to you, it helps discovering so many different fans across the world and sharing your music with different people.”

This year, unfortunately, it is uncertain, whether all of the INES#festivals can take place due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The INES#talent pool 2020 includes many awesome and promising bands, handpicked by the bookers of the finest showcases which we don’t want you to miss! Based on a survey with responses from 10 INES bookers, some of the most booked talents at this year’s INES#festivals would have been Amorante (ES), June Cocó (DE), Karpov Not Kasparov (RO), shishi (LT), Trupa Trupa (PL) and Ynys (GB). Three of them are also featured in the gigmit GROWTH CHARTS.

INES#talent Noair from Koper

The network is still active. Even though playing live gigs might not be possible this year. Some partners are planning online versions of their festivals. Also, all the INES#talents get a spotlight on the gigmit & INES marketing channels, for example by sharing their live streams with the INES community.

Noair (SI): “This network isn’t just something you cannot touch, something that is only on the internet: it’s visible that you are really taking care of us.” 

INES#pro: Connecting European Music Industry Professionals

There is no use in playing showcases if the professionals aren’t there to see you. Therefore, the INES#pro programme was established to support professionals in attending all the great showcase festivals of the INES network where they can discover what the music industries of the other European countries have to offer. Until this year’s Europe Day INES offered 950 free accreditations to #pros. INES is enabling them to discover many exciting artists and forming powerful synergies and networks with other industry professionals from all over Europe.

 INES#conference: Shared Knowledge Accessible Everywhere

Thanks to INES#conference, internationally relevant sessions and panels are video recorded and made available in the #conference library and on the INES YouTube page. That way, all the information and the learnings created at the events can be accessed by all actors of the European music industry. As all of the INES#talents receive a conference pass in addition to their festival pass, they are encouraged to participate in the panel. This may help them to professionalize and engage in deeper exchanges with professionals from across the industry. These opportunities to connect and network are valued by talents and pros alike.

Amparito (ES): “As an artist, you need the network and the connection to the industry. So being an INES#talent will open us big opportunities.”

Music Industry Benefits from European Cooperation

INES, as well as other great European initiatives in the music sector, such as MOST or HEMI, contribute to the goals of the European Union. We are building bridges between the music markets of the participating countries, while also promoting the core EU values of equality, democracy or solidarity. Many mutually beneficial opportunities arise from the cooperation of all the partners, which is what the European Union is all about. Therefore, let’s use Europe Day to appreciate the European Union with all its benefits!

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