BrETEP – Better Than Brexit

While the Brexit fiasco rumbles on in seemingly never ending fashion, ETEP continues to prove that collaboration works better than separation. In fact this year’s ETEP edition has worked extremely well for UK acts, scoring high in terms of the numbers of participating artists and overall shows.

One of the essential elements of the European Talent Exchange Programme since its launch in 2003, has been the support of the circulation of upcoming artists at international music festivals. But it seems somewhat ironic that in the year of the supposed departure of the UK from the European Union, UK artists should experience an outstanding ETEP season: With 91 confirmed shows for 30 UK acts the Brits lead the ETEP Countries Chart, followed by Ireland with 11 bands gaining 37 shows and  the Netherlands with 17 artists booked for 36 shows.

Five UK acts made it into the ETEP Top Ten Artist chart: Black Midi (9 shows), Flohio (9), Elderbrook (8), Octavian (7), Sea Girls (7), while Fontaines  D.C. from Ireland lead the chart with 13 shows and their countrymen The Murder Capital on place number nine secured 6 shows.  Despite this year’s UK-dominance the ETEP Top Ten Artist chart has nevertheless  demonstrated international artistic variety; Austrian artist Mavi Phoenix ranks on place five with eight shows, Pip blom from The Netherlands on place six with 8 shows and Iris Gold from Denmark comes in ninth with 7 shows. 

However, the circulation of artists on the ETEP-carousel kicks in to action when considering the overall results : Thirteen French acts gain 30 shows, another 13 from Belgium 30 shows, five Austrian artists 15 shows and four Danish acts 12 shows.

Currently ETEP provides a total of 327 festivals shows for 144 artists. But these are only the half time results as ETEP 2019 continues with a few more confirmations by international festivals still to be finalized.

Considering the number of 129 participating festivals across the world, ranging from major events such as Glastonbury, Coachella, Montreux Jazz Festival or Wacken to smaller but still prestigious boutique festivals such as Maifeld Derby, Les Nuits Botanique or Bad Bonn Kilbi, ETEP is undoubtedly delivering artists to a pan – European audience.

Bearing in mind that the British showcase festival The Great Escape alone booked  25 ETEP-artists, this year’s ETEP results delivered valuable reasons for UK artists & festivals to remain part of this unique programme.

So consideration of these arguments gives good reason to ask Greg Parmley, chairman of the UK Live Music Group and director of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) to comment on the success rate of UK artists in the ETEP 2019 edition :

“The UK has always punched far above its weight musically, and Europe is an incredibly important market – Ten percent of the UK music industry workforce is European, while Sixty percent of PRS for Music’s international revenue comes from the continent. It’s too early to understand the full impact of Brexit, but UK artists will be wanting to hone their skills in clubs from Amsterdam to Zagreb for many decades to come.” - Greg Parmley