Europe’s showcase festival network keeps growing

Februar 25, 2019

It only started just over a year ago, but already Europe’s new network of showcase festivals has almost doubled in size. This year, as of now, five new members have joined the Innovation Network of European Showcases (INES). Another five members had already joined the network in 2018. Together with the network’s founding members, INES now connects 18 of Europe’s most dynamic live music industry events.

The new members that have joined in 2019 are Mastering the Music Business (Romania), m4music (Switzerland), PIN Music Conference (North Macedonia), Sharpe Festival (Slovakia), and What’s Next in Music? (Lithuania).

The first of these kicks off in March, when m4music takes place in both Zürich and Lausanne. To celebrate their induction, Portuguese band and INES#talent member :papercutz have been invited to perform at the festival.

INES is a unique and dynamic platform that fosters exchange and interaction between Europe’s vital showcase festivals, which are small to medium events that combine live music performance with music business conferences. INES is co-funded by the Creative Europe program from the European Union. It includes actions to help artists and music business professionals develop their careers, cross borders for transnational growth, and embrace digitisation.

With the addition of new members, Europe’s music industry can enjoy even more interconnection and cooperation. More European musicians now have the chance to perform on stage at an international showcase festival. And more professionals can build cross-border contacts to create new business opportunities outside of their home markets.

The new INES members affirmed that joining the network will help them boost their local music industry by broadening opportunities for both artists and professionals:
“We were founded in 2016 with the aim of connecting local artists and music business professionals with their peers from all across Europe and increasing the mobility of Romanian musicians abroad. This is why becoming a member of Innovative Network of European Showcases (INES) is a very important step for us. We are very proud to be partners with all the other fantastic festival members of INES.“ – Carina Sava, Artist Manager, Mastering the Music Business, Romania (20-22 March 2019)

„Thanks to joining INES, the m4music festival team is happy to shake hands with musical friends from all over Europe. Music doesn’t know boundaries, and creativity has to be thought on local and global levels at the same time. Switzerland has a vibrant live music scene, and its professionals are keen on exchanging with partners from abroad.” – Philipp Schnyder, Festival Director, m4music Festival, Switzerland (14-16 March 2019)

„We are delighted to join INES and in that way to widen our international focus even more, which has always been one of the core goals of our event. With its programmes INES#festivals, INES#talent, INES#pro and INES#conference, it offers a perfect tool that will surely foster the exchange of our talents and future collaborations.“ – Vilma Dzienaitė, Conference Program Manager, What’s Next in Music?, Lithuania (12-14 September 2019)

„In 2012 a group of perpetual enthusiasts formed The PIN conference, believing that one day it will become the essential catalyst for bettering the music scene in Macedonia and the region. By joining the INES Festivals Network, this vision has grown to become a real-time achievement. PIN is now ready to become the new boiling point of artist’s opportunities, music culture exchange, experiences and providing a positive reaction for the everlasting development process in the European Music Scene.“ – Gorjana Jordanovska, PIN Music Conference, North Macedonia (28-30 November 2019)
The new members have already started to engage with the network by nominating artists to the INES#talent pool and opening calls.

Today Sharpe Festival (Slovakia), which takes place in April, opens the calls for INES#festival and INES#pro. The festival also added the Shoegaze Rockers The Ills to the INES#talent Pool.

Mastering the Music Business (Romania) has opened applications for professionals seeking free accreditation through INES#pro until March 10. The event has selected five Romanian artists to develop their European careers:

And What’s Next in Music? (Lithuania) has put forward three local acts to join INES#talent:

Last but not least m4music nominated JESSIQUOI as an INES#talent for Switzerland.

These new #talents will have the chance to perform at up to 18 showcase festivals in 2019, thus presenting themselves to an international audience and the international music industry.


The complete list of INES members:

  1. c/o pop Festival & Convention, Germany
  2. Budapest Showcase Hub, Hungary
  3. Enea Spring Break, Poland
  4. FOCUS Wales, United Kingdom
  5. Linecheck, Italy
  6. Live at Heart, Sweden
  7. Liverpool Sound City, United Kingdom
  8. Mastering The Music Business, Romania
  9. MENT Ljubljana, Slovenia
  10. m4music, Switzerland
  11. Monkey Week, Spain
  12. Nouvelle Prague, Czechia
  13. PIN Music Conference, North Macedonia
  14. Sharpe Festival, Slovakia
  15. Sonic Visions, Luxembourg
  16. Waves Vienna, Austria
  17. Westway LAB, Portugal
  18. What’s Next in Music?, Lithuania
  19. Kontakt, Serbia

With gigmit as technology partner for digital infrastructure and know-how.

The four key program areas of INES are:

  1. INES#festival: the online application platform to open showcase festivals to all musicians
  2. INES#talent: exchange program for emerging artists to increase transnational mobility
  3. INES#pro: exchange program for music business professionals to develop international careers
  4. INES#conference: series of conference sessions and online video library of music business topics