Photo: Allan Niss

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SPOT Festival begins this week, bringing together music fans and local musicians in the heart of Aarhus. But it’s not all about the entertainment; SPOT has a heavy focus on business, with seminars happening on Friday and Saturday as part of the SPOT+ conference.

by Louise Soares from Jutland Station

The SPOT+ conference is the business side of SPOT Festival, where Danish and Nordic music talents get the chance to meet with representatives of creative industries such film, fashion and design. The conference, which happens this Friday and Saturday, is an opportunity to network and discuss some of the music industry’s hot topics, like branding and digitisation.

“The main idea behind SPOT+ is to reflect tendencies, new challenges and areas, new business opportunities and also help to discuss interest-related topics within our business. That’s why we call it SPOT+; it’s an added value,” says Jesper Mardahl, representative for Promus and one of the organisers of the conference.

Mardahl explains that the most important thing that SPOT+ is that it provides a backdrop for people to get connected and, hopefully, to create business links that will flourish long after the festival ends. One example is the one-on-one speed networking, where Danish and international music business-people can meet with local artists and representatives.

“There are many levels to SPOT Festival. If you can imagine years back, when a Danish band played in Germany or France they could perform in a club with two people, more or less. SPOT is the result of a long-term strategy started out around the millennials.

“We got together and realised we had to get focused and give Danish artists a chance to perform or be presented in front of an international audience. SPOT has been one of the key platforms when we try to do that in Denmark. This idea of inviting and bringing key persons to present new talents and meet with business-people from local and international businesses,” explains Mardahl.

Let’s Talk
One of the highlights of SPOT+ is the ‘Let’s Talk’ seminars, in which topics such as branding, media sync and digital content in music will be discussed.
“What we are trying to do with SPOT+ is not only these really intense two days in three conference venues. I’ve been travelling a lot to those international showcase festivals in Europe and the US, and one thing that sort of annoyed me is that the scheduling was not rational. Sometimes you had to skip a panel so you wouldn’t miss another. What we’re trying to do is put up a line through the program with the SPOT seminars, like ‘Let’s talk digital’, which is quite interesting, focusing on various topics within the area of digital music. You can stay there for two or three hours and then you’re done with digitals, so to speak,” says Mardahl.

Two of the ‘Let’s Talk’ seminars will be presented on Friday. ‘Let’s Talk Music & Brands’ discusses the latest trends in creative collaborations, featuring an artist talk with rapper Emil Simonsen from Suspekt.

The ‘Let’s Talk Sync 2.0’ panel follows, with presentations on the history of music and advertisement and how to pitch your music to Hollywood productions. This panel closes with ‘How to Breaking Bad’, a presentation by Thomas Golubic, music supervisor for hit TV series ‘Breaking Bad’, who will share his experience with music placement in the television industry. On Saturday, it’s time to discuss the Digital Media Market at ‘Let’s talk Digital 2.0’ and, later, the electronic music scene in Denmark and in the world at ‘Let’s Talk Electronic’.

SPOT+ also offers other talks besides the ‘Let’s Talk’ seminars, such as ‘Artist Managers: The New A&Rs?’ and ‘Music Lawyers & Their Roles in the Modern Industry’, discussing the re-shaping of traditional business roles in the ever-changing music industry. So, make sure to check out the seminars and experience the business behind the music.