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Eurosonic kicks off today with Iceland the featured country

By | Published on Wednesday 14 January 2015

Eurosonic Noorderslag

The Eurosonic showcase festival and music convention kicks off in Gronigen in the Netherlands later today with Iceland this year’s featured country.

Amongst the topics up for consideration on the conference side is the cultural and economic impact of Iceland’s annual Airwaves festival, and CMU will be in attendance to delve into this theme in more detail for this month’s edition of the CMU Trends Report. Sign up now to receive your copy.

Ahead of the proceedings, Siggi Baldursson of Icelandic Music Export told CMU why having featured country status at events like Eurosonic is so important. He said: “It puts a special focus on Iceland at a really interesting point in the development of our music scene – overseas performances by Icelandic acts more than doubled between 2012 to 2013. And it gives us more exposure, with nineteen of our bands playing at one of Europe’s key events for breaking new artists this year”.

On his country’s presence on the conference side of the event, he explained: “On Thursday we will focus on Iceland Airwaves and its importance in the spectrum of cultural tourism in Iceland. We are delighted to have Kevin Cole from [Seattle radio station] KEXP join us for this discussion, as well as our Minister Of Industry & Commerce, the mayor of Reykjavik City, Airwaves’ manager Grímur Atlason and Anna Hildur from NOMEX”.

“Meanwhile on Friday, we will look at the development of Icelandic music since the early 1980s”, he goes on. That panel will feature Einar Örn, co-founder of The Sugarcubes, the writers Dr Gunni and Zoe Howe, Thomas Morr of Morr Music and Margret Magnúsdóttir from one of our upcoming new bands Vök”.

For more information on the Icelandic artists and events appearing at this year’s Eurosonic check