Sponsorship by Coca Cola, the beer brand Krombacher or even energy drink Red Bull? Certainly not at OBS, due to their awareness of aspects of disregard for fair labour conditions, ‘green washing’ or the political mind-sets of Company owners, not exactly in favour of democratic standards.
Instead OBS is a festival that applies a very polite policy for festival goers, featuring a kid-friendly approach, pursuing sponsors that may not be the biggest, such as Sinalco-Cola, involving charity organisations such as Sea-Watch, or offering water for free on the site. And yes, of course, there is music! Including, among others, this year’s ETEP artists The Holy, Lewsberg and Linn Koch-Emmery.

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ETEP.nl spoke with Rembert Stiewe, the OBS festival director about ETEP, culture policies and the impact of music and festivals in terms of ‘Love, Peace & Happiness’

ETEP.nl: ETEP is one of the very few support-programmes for festivals on an EU-level. Do you think we should have more of these for festivals or live events and if so, what kinds of support are needed?

Rembert Stiewe: As proven by ETEP’s success, support-programmes can work for the benefit of all involved parties – and without too much bureaucratic effort. So, yes, I think there should be more of this kind of support for festivals. This could be programmes that e.g. enable festivals to focus on sustainability, to minimise their carbon footprint, or to optimise their waste management. Often investments are needed to start a process like smart waste management etc. – and due to limited budgets they often fall through before they get started. There’s certainly room for support programs in this area.
I think a support program calling for inventive and sustainable ideas and projects would help to boost awareness and help festivals to become future-proof. In any case, any support program should not add to the bureaucratic nightmare festivals have to struggle with anyway. Ideally it should be set up to be as lean and easy to operate as ETEP.

ETEP.nl: You work as a journalist for WDR-Rockpalast.yourself. The loss of music magazines all over Europe is massive, mostly lost due to the emergence of online giants such as Facebook, Instagram, Spotify or Youtube replacing music media. Should this development be left to pursue the idea of a ‘free market’-philosophy or is there a political need for protection such as is afforded public broadcasters?

Rembert Stiewe: This is a delicate topic, of course. The ‘free market’-philosophy certainly is rubbish.  Yes, I see a political need for protecting media – though without transforming them into their own lobby.

ETEP.nl: The Council for Culture in the Netherlands came up with the recommendation to support popular music in a similar manner to classical music, arguing that all parts of society should have the same access to the funding of culture according to their cultural preferences. Do you think that the majority of the current generation of politicians is ready for such a policy?

Rembert Stiewe: Hell, yes! Why shouldn’t they be? No, just kidding. I don’t think they’re ready yet. I never got why there’s so much denial of the idea that popular music should be treated like classical music. No one ever could give me a reason why there’s a lack of the same access to the funding of culture according to people’s cultural preferences. C’mon, this is elitist bullshit. Of course popular music and classical music should be supported equally. The “classical music is superior to popular music”-agenda some politicians still seem to be after is a sign of ridiculous  “my shit doesn’t stink” –arrogance!

ETEP.nl: When Roger Daltrey, frontman of The Who, was asked at ILMC 2019 about the band’s concert at Woodstock (1969), he said that it was “the first nail in the coffin of the Vietnam War, the first thing to make the government sit up and take notice.” Today we see spending on military budgets reaching a new level of $1.8trn! Should there now be a return to a demand that festivals should again empower ‘Love, Peace & Happiness’ (The Chambers Brothers )?

Rembert Stiewe: To quote Elvis Costello: “I ask myself: Is all hope lost? Is there only pain and hatred, and misery? (…) What’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding?”, Yeah,what IS so funny about it? It might sound naive – but I think that every engagement for the collective good counts, even small-scale activities. That’s why Orange Blossom Special has always had an attitude, we are aware of the social responsibility that we all – especially we as festival organizers – have. We reach more people through our events than it would otherwise be possible in our private environment and in other professional networks. We transport a way of living. That’s why all festivals should take a stand to take on board social responsibility; they should raise awareness of grievances, and should support tolerance, respect, openness, peacefulness and demonstrate and discuss solidarity. Not just lip service, but action.
We know that we may, for the most part, preach to the converted – nevertheless, it can certainly be positive to keep pointing out what is obviously going wrong. This does not mean that we only pursue altruistic goals here. Pretty much all festivals are forced to compromise here and there when it comes to preserving the future of the event. It’s that simple and not very romantic. But we try our best to be good – and to become better. Every festival should at least try to do so. Because nothing is funny about peace, love and understanding!

ETEP.nl: OBS is sold out. Any idea how many visitors usually come from abroad?

Rembert Stiewe: This is hard to tell –there are quite a few guests from the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria coming to OBS every year. But I’d say all in all no more than 5% are coming from abroad.

ETEP.nl: Which other festivals will you go to  this summer?

Rembert Stiewe: I’m planning on going to Maifeld Derby, Haldern-Pop, T-Mania, Rockpalast-Crossroads and Reeperbahnfestival.

For more information on OBS, please check this

Text: Manfred Tari /Allan McGowan

The line up for this mission is impressive, featuring non-Yourope industry professionals as well as the current membership of the organisation itself. The message is clear; European citizens should support European values and become actively involved by voting in the upcoming elections.

Yourope issued the following joint statement,

“Today, for some of us, it may appear that there is nothing left to fight for. But many of you still fight, and must fight, for many things; for the climate; for the end of sexism; for the right to love who you choose to love; and to be who you are. We must also fight for an end to atrocities like gun violence and injustice throughout the world.

We, the festivals in Europe, try our best to keep pace with you, your needs, wants, and opinions, and create spaces where everybody can be free and enjoy each other and the music. Thank you for engaging. Thank you for celebrating your freedom at our festivals. Thank you for participating in the fight for a better world and for voting in the European Elections for a future in which we can continue to celebrate together at the European Festivals.

We want to demonstrate the results of voting. We want to celebrate and stimulate solidarity across Europe. We want to encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote in the European Election.”

The range of festivals includes big and small events from all parts of Europe, from Portugal to Finland and even from the UK, which, due to various reasons, will be taking part in the current elections.With the current campaign Yourope, also one of the co-founders of ETEP, aims to stand alongside those music initiatives actively addressing and supporting civic engagement.

For further information please check www.wevoteforeurope.eu and spread the news about #WeVoteForEurope.

TGE is also about networking and of course, let’s not forget, parties; both essential elements necessary, besides the joy of music, to move things forward in this business! However, at the end of the day there must be those that put in all the work to make such events possible. Adam Ryan is one of these, to complete his work as a booker for TGE he apparently uses Google Doc and says about the Internet: “It’s pretty good. I think its gonna catch on.” It seems he also travels a lot, mentioning, for instance in a recent interview with Festicket.com, long distance trips to Australia and China. In January this year he stopped over in Groningen for one of the famous Beer Crate Sessions at Eurosonic 2019. Regarding ETEP a highly relevant connection reveals that TGE leads the current ETEP Festival Chart with 25 bookings.

For ETEP.nl Adam responded to our questions about support programmes, the role of showcase festivals and which other festivals he will attend this summer:

ETEP.nl: Would you like to see a similar support programme such as ETEP set up for artists and festivals in the UK as well?
Adam Ryan: Any additional support you can give to emerging artists is always welcome in my eyes.

ETEP.nl: Particularly for new acts, the music business has of course become highly competitive. Please explain the role of showcase festivals for artist development these days…
Adam Ryan: Showcase events are the best way to perform in front of as many music industry bods at once. Some of them may seem a little sterile as they’re not open to the public and others might not give you a sound check but one things for sure, if your live show is good you’ll grab someone’s attention and get something out of it. Could be festival bookings. Could be a live agent. Could even be a big money sync for a chocolate bar advert.

ETEP.nl: When an artist is booked for TGE, how do you advise them to go about gaining the best results from playing your event?
Adam Ryan: Try and turn up to the venue early and catch a few of the other acts on the same stage. Learn from their performance. Be prepared to not have a sound check so make your first track something simple and straight forward to help set the levels. After that I would play your best tracks and keep it short. Also make yourself available after the gig, go into the crowd and if you’re any good people will approach you.

ETEP.nl: Which other music conferences do you usually visit and which ones of those do you enjoy most?
Adam Ryan: Reeperbahn, Eurosonic, Big Sound and any other one that drops me an invite outside of my booking period.

ETEP.nl: More than 100 festivals are active members of the ETEP programme.  Which festivals you are particularly looking forward to visiting to this summer?
Adam Ryan: The ones we run. Lovebox, Wilderness, Reading and Leeds, Wireless, Latitude. Outside of that I’ll be going to Glastonbury, Greenman, End of The Road, Primavera.

The list of ETEP-Acts appearing at TGE features: Pip Blom, Jarreau Vandal, EUT, blackwave., The Mauskovic Dance Band, Any Other, 5K HD, girl in red, Vulpynes, Amanda Tenfjord, Fieh, Juniore, Kojaque, Long Tall Jefferson, Petrol Girls, Portland, The Murder Capital, The Pier, whenyoung, Whispering Sons, Lewsberg, BRIET, Thorsteinn Einarsson, The Visual and FATA BOOM…

For more information on TGE please check: https://greatescapefestival.com/

Text: Manfred Tari /Allan McGowan

ETEP artist top 10:

Superorganism (gb) – 19 shows
Zeal & Ardor (ch) – 13 shows
Altin Gün (nl) – 10 shows
Sigrid (no) – 10 shows
Tamino (be) – 10 shows
Cari Cari (at) – 8 shows
Tshegue (fr) – 8 shows
Alma (fi) – 7 shows
Dermot Kennedy (ie) – 7 shows
Alice Merton (de) – 6 shows

ETEP 2018 Festival top 10:
Reeperbahn – 33 ETEP acts
The Great Escape – 29 ETEP acts
Iceland Airwaves – 16 ETEP acts
Waves Vienna – 15 ETEP acts
Roskilde – 13 ETEP acts
Lowlands – 11 ETEP acts
Rock Werchter – 11 ETEP acts
Tallinn Music Week – 11 ETEP acts
By:Larm – 10 ETEP acts
Haldern Pop – 9 ETEP acts

View the full ETEP results via here. Please filter on the year 2018.

ETEP 2019: even more possibilities!

We proudly welcome Clockenflap (cn), Kendal Calling (gb), Mad Cool festival (es), Rolling Stone Park (de), Stereoleto (ru), Truck Festival (gb), Wacken Open Air (de) Y Not Festival (gb) to ETEP in 2019, bringing us to a total of 128 ETEP festivals. Furthermore, we’d like to welcome our new partners: Czech Music Office, LaLa Slovak Music Export and Italia Music Export to the platform. By bringing them in to the ETEP family, ETEP further strengthens the opportunities for emerging European artists both inside and outside Europe.

Looking back at 4.001 ETEP shows

Since the start of the programme in 2003 ETEP has facilitated 4.001 shows by 1.445 acts in 34 countries, and we are very proud to have contributed to the careers of so many talented European acts. Many acts that received support from ETEP at the start of their careers have grown out to be very successful. Over the past 17 years, acts such as Agnes Obel, Ásgeir, Ben Howard, Benjamin Clementine, Calvin Harris, Franz Ferdinand, James Blake, MØ, Noisia, Selah Sue, The Editors, The Kooks, The XX, Within Temptation and Years & Years have greatly benefited from the support of the ETEP programme. More recently, acts such as Idles, Shame, Alma, Aurora and Dua Lipa played some of their first international shows with the support of the European Talent Exchange Programme.

We’re looking forward to seeing what the future brings, but one thing is set in stone: ETEP will continue to grow and offer even more artist great opportunities!