Bild (c) Elevate Festival/JOLA
Bild (c) Elevate Festival/JOLA

Applications are open for artists and creatives to showcase at numerous music industry events throughout the year. Read up on some selected European festivals if you are keen to take your artist on the road. This article will be updated as more festival announce the opening of applications. Please be aware of changing festival dates throughout 2021.


Eurosonic Noorderslag (NL), Groningen 

About: Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) is the key exchange and networking platform for European music, with a proven track record for helping new acts break into the international music scene. Selling out each year Eurosonic Noorderslag attracts over 4000 delegates, including 400 international festivals.

Dates: 13-16 January 2021

How to apply: Artist application for the 2021 edition is closed. Applications for ESNS 2022 will open on 1 May 2021.

SXSW Online (USA), Austin

About: SXSW is launching SXSW Online as part of the 2021 offerings. The digital experience will feature conference keynotes and sessions, screenings, showcases, networking, and exhibitions. South By Southwest dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities.

Dates: 16-20 March 2021

How to apply: Applications for the 2021 online event is closed now. In line of the standard showcase application process, the Music Festival will be curated by programming staff with priority given to showcase presenters and artists who were scheduled for the 2020 event.

M4Music (CH), Zurich

About: m4music, the pop music festival run by Migros Culture Percentage, is a gathering of the national pop music scene and a must for all music fans. The festival is the ideal place to discover new talents, get to know music business professionals and enjoy fantastic concerts by bands from Switzerland and abroad.

Dates: 25–27 March 2021

How to apply: More information will follow.

Tallinn Music Week (EE), Tallinn

About: An international line-up of over 200 artists will unfold in Tallinn’s best concert venues. Expect a multi-genre mix of regional headliners, up-and-coming names, cutting-edge acts, and established heavyweights from avant-garde to pop, from dance to metal and to classical music.

Dates: 6-9 May 2021

How to apply: Artist applications for TMW 2021 festival are open until 20 January 2021

Westway LAB (PT), Guimarães

About: Westway Lab is Portugal’s first showcase festival, featuring a PRO conference and artistic residencies yielding unique performances. The festival’s goal is to bring together acclaimed and emerging, international and national, innovative and purist artists.

Dates: 7-10 April 2021

How to apply: More information will follow.

c/o pop XOXO (GER), Cologne

About: Founded in 2004 as a response to Popkomm festival’s move to Berlin, c/o pop has established itself as a staple on national and international festival circuits. c/o pop is considered a genuine festival for the up-and-coming: bands like Arcade Fire, Maximo Park, The Whitest Boy Alive and a host of others have played the festival long before their international breakthroughs.

Dates: 22-23 April 2021

How to apply: More information will follow.

Jazzahead (GER), Bremen

About: The music fair jazzahead! is an exhibition and meeting point for the international jazz scene. Since its premiere in 2006, the event has enriched the regional and national cultural scene with its high quality and diverse jazz as well as with international flair. In 2021, the trade fair will take place as a digital event again, in keeping with the motto “close together from afar”.

Dates: 29 April – 2 May 2021

How to apply: A selection of 32 bands, originally chosen to play at the cancelled 2020 edition, are invited to perform their showcase gigs live in Bremen in April, provided the situation will allow it. The registered delegates will be given access to the live stream performances. More Info here.

Classical:NEXT (NL), Rotterdam

About: The music fair Classical:NEXT unifies the global classical and art music scene, enabling it to work better together. Its focus is on innovation, increasing relevance and effectiveness in both business and creative aspects of the industry. The structure of Classical:NEXT consists of four sections – showcases, conference, project pitches and expo.

Dates: rescheduled to 27-30 September 2021

How to apply: More information will follow.

The Great Escape (UK), Brighton

About: The Great Escape is the festival for new music, showcasing 450 emerging artists from all over the world in 30+ walkable venues across the city. It’s the first place to discover your new favourite artist and see them in an intimate setting before they go on to headline major festival stages. TGE is also attended by the music industry who are on the hunt for the next big thing. TGE runs a convention alongside the gigs featuring insightful panels, topical debates, keynote speeches and networking opportunities in abundance.

Dates: 12-15 May 2021

How to apply: Artist registration for The Great Escape 2021 is open now. Artist registration will close on 17 March 2021.

Operadagen Rotterdam (NL), Rotterdam 

About: Operadagen Rotterdam belongs to an important international opera and music theatre network. Professionals from around the world fare present during the festival, where they can monitor the latest developments in opera and music theatre, meet colleagues, exchange ideas, and find new inspiration. Operadagen Rotterdam collaborates with several international festivals, companies, and organisations to optimize the experience.

Dates: More information will follow.

How to apply: More information will follow.

Primavera Pro (E), Barcelona

About: Primavera Pro is a global meeting for the music industry of today. For 5 days the present and future of the music business are debated with experts in the field, dozens of newcomer bands and all the tools necessary for the professionals from all around the world who attend the meeting. Reduced prices for Austrian delegates are usually available for the Primavera Pro Basic and the Primavera Pro Premium accreditation. Please note there is a limited quantity of accreditations, and they are running fast due to the high demand.

Dates:  2-6 June 2021

How to apply: Get in touch with Austrian Music Export

Ment Ljubljana (SLO), Ljubljana

About: MENT Ljubljana is a three-day showcase festival of fresh artists from all of Europe and beyond, during which around 60 acts perform at different venues in Ljubljana. The international conference focuses on the music industry and creativity.

Dates: 9-11 June 2021

How to apply: Artist application for the 2021 edition is closed now. More information will follow.

Waves Festival (AT), Vienna

About: Waves Vienna is the city’s first club- and showcase festival. The festival motto is „East meets West“; numerous international alternative, electronic, rock, and club acts will be performing around Vienna’s 9th district. Additionally, local artists and sophisticated musicians from Eastern Europe form an essential part of the festival’s programme. The Waves Vienna Music Conference constitutes a part of the festival and offers the possibility to attend lectures and panels and participate in workshops. International delegates can apply to take part via the INESpro program.

Dates: 9-12 September 2021

How to apply: Applications for Waves Vienna 2021 will be online soon. Please sign up to the Waves newsletter to be notified when applications open for 2021.

Future Echoes (SE), Norrköping

About: Future Echoes is a new showcase festival that kicks off the16-18th September, 2021 in Norrköping, Sweden. The festival but will be held annually in February starting in 2022. The festival will have 100 artists from around the world and an international music conference with international speakers. The festival is held at several venues in central Norrköping.

Dates: 16-18 September 2021

How to apply: Applications can be made via INES/Gigmit or directly via the festival website. Applications will stay open until June.

Reeperbahn Festival (GER), Hamburg

About: Since its debut in 2006, the Reeperbahn Festival has grown to become one of the most important meeting places for the music industry worldwide, and, as Europe’s largest club festival, it boasts a broad spectrum of emerging and more established artists. In addition to some 600 concerts by international artists held in a wide variety of venues, the festival programme includes events in the fields of fine art, film, and literature. The Reeperbahn Festival conference programme is designed for professionals active in the music and creative digital industries and features sessions, showcases, networking events, or awards ceremonies. Reeperbahn Festival also runs a series of international events throughout the year.

Dates: 22-25 September 2021

How to apply: Applications for the Reeperbahn Festival 2021 are accepted via the following application tools: Artists | Agencies. The application deadline is the 23 July 2021.

Focus Wales (UK), Wrexham

About: FOCUS Wales 2021 will take place 7-9 October. The festival welcomes over 15,000 people to the town of Wrexham and showcases 250+ bands during one weekend. Throughout the festival there will also be industry sessions, art events and film screenings.

Dates: 7-9 October, 2021

How to apply: Find out more on the festival website.

MaMa (F), Paris

About: MaMA is a music festival and convention for the international music industry based in Paris. This event offers a gateway to the French music market and offers a place to meet majors or independents, producers and promoters, venues and festivals, bookers and agents, record companies, publishers, promotion companies, media… – and obviously artists!

Dates: 13-15 October 2021

How to apply: More information will follow.

Womex (PT), Porto

About: The music fair WOMEX – the World Music Expo – is the most international music meeting in the world and the biggest conference of the global music scene, featuring a trade fair, talks, films and a showcase festival. Since 1994 WOMEX has been travelling all across Europe. Its 2021 edition will take place in Porto, Portugal.

Dates: 27-31 October 2021

How to apply: The call for proposals for showcases, conference and film for WOMEX 2021 will open in February 2021.

Iceland Airwaves (IS), Reykjavik

About: Halfway between North America and Europe, Iceland Airwaves brings together emerging Icelandic talents and the most promising acts from around the world. Every November, Reykjavik comes to life for a four-day conference and non-stop music. The deadline for international bands to apply for Iceland Airwaves is usually end of June.

Dates: 3-6 November 2021

How to apply: Acts originally chosen to play at the cancelled 2020 edition, are invited to perform their showcase gigs live in 2021. More Info here.