AME © Ben Palhov
© Ben Palhov

Austrian Music Export, the joint export initiative of mica – music austria and the Austrian Music Fund, can look back on an exciting year. Together with the Austrian funding bodies, institutions, supporters and international partners we were able to continue successful projects from past years while initiating new cooperations. According to Franz Hergovich (mica – music austria) and Tatjana Domany (Austrian Music Fund): “The current quality of Austrian music creation as well as the years of networking and development work are two reasons for the exceptional visibility of Austrian artists and the growing significance of Austria at the important industry events of the music scene.” 

For the second year in a row the international tour subsidy “Focus Acts” was awarded to six Austrian music acts. Sex Jams, Mia Zabelka, Leyya, White Miles, ROBB and Manu Delago each received 5.000 Euro to support their international performances. The NASOM programme and the longstanding showcase funding program have also made it possible for Austrian artists to perform countless concerts across the globe. Partner festivals like SXSW (US), Great Escape Festival (UK), Tallinn Music Week (EE) and many others have invited the most exciting Austrian newcomers to perform on their stages.

The year began with the 30th edition of the Eurosonic Noorderslag Festivals in January of 2016. The largest and most important showcase festival in Europe invited seven regional bands to Groningen where they were able to present themselves to festival representatives, bookers, labels and media from across Europe. HVOB, Julian & der Fux, Leyya, Mieux, Schmieds Puls, James Hersey and Filous were able play full houses where they successfully impressed the large audiences of industry insiders and music aficionados. In the course of the year the electro-pop duo Leyya turned out to be the fifth most booked act of the 320 that performed. An achievement that makes them front-runners in this years ETEP ranking. Read more…

Between the 21. and 24. of September the Reeperbahn Festival brought music fans and industry insiders from all over the planet to Hamburg, Germany. Austria, with 12 performing acts and 70 music industry representatives. was one of the largest international delegations at the event. “To be able to book so many great artists from Austria for the Reeperbahn Festival in 2016 was a great joy, and an easy one. It has rarely been so easy to select acts from the ever increasing number of super talents” said Bjorn Pfarr, director of the music programme, “Next to the successful showcase evening in HÄKKEN, artists including AVEC, Schmieds Puls and Crack Ignaz took part in curated performances in sometimes very large and well loved venues.”

Read more…

#AustrianHeartbeats tonight at #RBF16! Drinks on us & bands, bands, bands: Vague, @inner_tongue, @heartsheartsmusic & @ogrisdebris 🍸🍾🎈🎈🎈 20:00 @haekken

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Austria wasn’t just a pop powerhouse in 2016. Jazz from Austria also made some waves. At the Südtirol Jazzfestival Alto Adige young Austrian jazz musicians were the focus of the programme that took place between the 26th of July and the 3rd of June. 39 musicians performed in varying constellations of over 30 formations. They performed 80 concerts in 60 completely different locations. Diversity and quality are the core themes of the festival, and the Austrian ensembles that were invited were excellent examples of both. Read more…

The Jazzahead! in Bremen offered four Austrian bands a stage and made it possible for nearly 50 trade professionals to network with colleagues from across the planet. A heavily visited group-stand (organised by Heinrich Schläfer) and the traditional reception together with Switzerland (“Alpine Cocktail”) has come to define – just as it did at the WOMEX in Santiago De Compostela – the Austrian presence at trade fairs. The genres jazz and world music were also documented in two informational brochures highlighting artists, events, and agencies from Austria. The english language brochures featured portraits of the most interesting ensembles and were distributed in both digital and print form at music conventions and international trade events.

Local Festivals as a stepping stone

2016 saw the intensive use of cooperations with regional festivals as platforms for international exchange. For decades now, the international Jazzfestival Saalfelden has been considered one of the most important windows on contemporary jazz in Europe. The newly formed ensemble Shake Stew with Lukas Kranzelbinder opened that prestigious event with a commissioned  work. Nine international festival promoters were invited in order to experience the numerous Austrian acts perform live at the festival. Read More…

In December the premiere of the Kick Jazz Festival took place in one of the most important jazz clubs in Europe: the Porgy & Bess in Vienna. Six young bands – David Helbock Trio, Edi Nulz, Namby Pamby Boy, ChuffDRONE, Kompost 3 and Mario Rom´s Interzone met 12 European festival producers who were invited to Vienna in order to experience the bands up close and live. The guests came from Finland, France, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Juhamatti Kauppinen from Tampere Jazz Happening was euphoric: “I have been at a lot of showcase festivals this year. And I can tell you from my heart, this was the best by far. We saw a lot of really good young bands with a fresh sound and very diverse styles.” Read more…

The panel “CASES: Hollywood Calling – Music Usage in Film” took place as part of the Popfest Wien Sessions. The panel featured the high calibre guests Andrea von Förster (US) and Jesper Gadeberg (DK). In a workshop the two music supervisors gave local labels and publishers a look into their work with film and advertising. Countless Austrian bands were presented as part of the workshops and live at the Popfest.

The sixth Waves Vienna Music Conference took place on the 30th of Vienna as part of the showcase and club-festival Waves Vienna in WUK. Next to acclaimed guests like Scott Cohen (The Orchard), and Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio) the conference also featured prominent artists from Austria. Conchita Wurst talked about her career path, personal challenges, views and goals. Another highlight of the conference was the networking session “Women in the Music Business”. It was very well received and will be expanded as a fix-point of the conference next year.
On the first of October over 80 trade participants from 10 countries took part in the Austrian Heartbeats Delegates Tour. The bus tour began at the festival centre in WUK, included an intimate session with Inner Tongue at Cobenzl, continued on to a visit at Ludwig & Adele on Yppenplatz and concluded at the Ottakringer Brewery. Participants had a chance to see Vienna from a different side and spent their time off the beaten path networking in a relaxed atmosphere. “And of course as always sugar on the end – the Saturday trip” wrote a Croatian festival producer as feedback. Read more…

New Formats and International Cooperation

In 2016 new formats and cooperations were developed and realised together with international partners. Austrian Music Export cooperated with Radio FM4 and Music Finland to take part in an international producer camp for the first time. The local hiphop producers Alex the Flipper and Fid Mella as well as the rappers Average and Mavi Phoenix met Finnish colleagues in Suomenlinnan Studio Helsinki. After an intensive three day work-session Alex the Flipper and Mavi Phoenix performed live at the Music & Media convention in Tampere. A presentation of the Austrian music scene, a networking event and a panel rounded off the Finnish-Austrian cooperation. The first results of the musical cooperation have already been played on Radio FM4. Read more…

#Repost @maviphoenix ・・・ studio session Helsinki :))) 🇫🇮#beatsrhymeshelsinki @musicfinland

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At the end of the year Austrian Music Export continued their event series “Austrian Heartbeats” – this time in Israel. More than 20 Austrians travelled to the showcase event featuring Austrian bands, presentations and matchmaking sessions with Israeli industry representatives in Tel Aviv. More than 70 Austrian acts applied to take part, in the end three were selected by the Austrian Cultural Forum Tel Aviv and local promoters. At Pavillon, Clara Luzia and Mynth performed live in the renowned club Kuli Alma. The event also featured the premiere of the “Music Tech & Innovation Showcase”, which offered startups focused on music a chance to present their works and network in one of the most important startup hot-spots. Read more…

Austrian Music Export also visited two of the oldest and most important festivals for Contemporary Music, the Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik in April and the Donaueschinger Musiktage in October 2016. The cooperation with the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK), which is one of the most important festivals for Contemporary Music in Europe was continued and countless ensembles and composers from Austria were represented. Ö1 dedicated an extended Zeitton programme to the festival. As part of the Musiktheatertage Wien a producers meeting and a panel discussion laid the foundation for further export projects.


The new year sees us moving full steam ahead with countless concerts as part of the Eurosonic Festival 2017, the Kulturbörse Freiburg and the Ment Ljubljana in Slovenia. The membership in EMEE, the network of European music export offices, has seen the development of interesting new ideas for cooperation that should be further developed in 2017. And, for the first time, as a result of focus groups with trade representatives, Austria Music Export has decided to make a two year genre spanning focus on one region: 2017/18 will see multiple projects focusing on the (West-)Balkans.