Waves Vienna 2014
Vienna (AT) / Bratislava (SK)
October 2 – 5, 2014
Four years ago, Austria’s already festival-rich landscape gained a further figurehead when the first Waves Vienna Festival & Conference took place in the country’s capital city. In the years since, the international festival has continuously expanded its scope, while remaining true to its original theme of “East meets West.” From October 1. – 5., 2014, more than 100 concerts will take place at 12 venues throughout the city of Vienna, with an additional 70 acts performing in the neighboring capital of Slovakia, Bratislava. This will be the second time that the festival expands to include Bratislava as a second club and showcase festival hub.
International headliners such as Scott Matthew, The Hidden Cameras, First Aid Kit, Mirel Wagner, and Manu Delago Handmade will be among the many electronic, rock, and club acts performing at this 5-day event at clubs and venues throughout Vienna’s historic city center. The successful juxtaposition of the city’s romantic backdrop of cobblestone streets and glorious classical and art deco architecture with the cutting edge quality of the showcase acts (and venues!) is an important part of what makes this festival so unique. The fact that it works is surprising, and surprise is the element that best describes this festival: While the Waves Vienna Festival & Conference functions primarily as an international industry get-together and networking event, its showcase concerts (which are open to the general public) provide ample opportunity to discover exciting new performers from around the world.
Festivals such as the classical Austrian summer music festivals in Salzburg and Bregenz, with their world premieres, star studded events and wide-ranging international media coverage need no introduction. Large scale rock festivals include the FM4 Frequency Festival in rural Lower Austria, which featured headliners such as Macklemore and Queens of the Stone Age in its recent August 2014 installment. Nova Rock, a three-day smorgasbord of heavy metal featured the likes of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Slayer, Austrian ingénues White Miles, and even David Hasselhoff this past June.
But it is the many other festivals such as Waves Vienna that continue to ensure that Austria lives up to its reputation as a place where music across all genres is celebrated and where vibrant musical currents continue to emerge and flourish. The country’s festival landscape is ripe with options to choose from, all of which encourage the discovery of new artists from a wide range of genres, as well as geographical and musical backgrounds.
The poolbar Festival takes place every summer in Austria’s westernmost province of Vorarlberg, in close proximity to neighboring Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, and Italy. The name is a reference to the main venue: a former indoor swimming pool since converted to an expansive event space. For 7 weeks every summer, more than 20,000 guests come together to explore music, DJ culture, visual arts, design, and even architecture: “I suspect that more than a few people have gone to the festival initially to see their favorite bands, but then returned to the world with their taste in music forever altered,” said Johnny Bliss of FM4 radio.
Donaufestival, which has taken place for the past 10 years in the city of Krems, has become the go-to event for the international music and performance Avant-garde. The roster features the likes of John Cale, William Kentridge, Antony and the Johnsons, Sonic Youth, and many others. A further international highlight in Krems is the annual month-long Glatt&Verkehrt world music festival, which showcases artists from all over the world in a relaxed setting amid the rolling hills of Lower Austria’s premier vineyards.
Popfest Wien is a free annual four-day festival that showcases young Austrian artists. Situated smack dab in the middle of Vienna’s Karlsplatz with its impressive baroque church, it attracts around 60.000 visitors during the warm summer nights of July, much to the delight of many a tourist, who feels as if she’s stumbled into a lively summer fête. The annual sound:frame festival, which focuses on the visualization of electronic music, and features live programs, installations, exhibitions and a conference, is probably among the most visible – literally! – of Austria’s many non-classical festivals.
Collaboration with Bratislava
What is unique about the Waves Vienna Festival & Conference collaboration between Vienna and Bratislava is that nowhere else in Europe are two capital cities located in such close proximity to one another. Apropos of “waves” – it is the Danube River that connects the two cities: a one-hour boat-ride on the “Twin City Liner” along its majestic waterways covers the 50-mile distance in style.
The collaboration is emblematic for the festival’s function as a hub and gateway for pan-European networking: For the first time ever, the Waves Music Conference will also be taking place in Bratislava. The conference provides the international music business – opinion leaders, festival and concert organizers, labels and publishers, managers and media representatives – ample opportunity to interact, and to discuss music-related issues in a series of keynotes, panels, and workshops.
October 2nd, the first day of the conference, will take place in Vienna, at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (Anton-von-Webern-Platz 1, 1030 Vienna, Austria), in collaboration with and alongside the 5th Vienna Music Business Research Days. The second and final day of the conference, Friday, October 3rd, will take place at Bratislava’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. The two conferences will be open to delegates of both events, providing opportunities for networking meetings and mutually inspiring exchanges between the music industry and academia.
This year’s conference will touch on subjects such as revenue from sales, creating successful festival line-ups, and touring in remote regions as a formula for success. The keynote address, “The Future of Music Management,” will be given by music industry legend Keith Harris, and further speakers will include producer and manager Peter Jenner (UK), music journalist and consultant Allan McGowan (UK), Kristin Thomson of the Future of Music Coalition (US), and agent, manager, and label exec Robert Singerman (US).
The Waves Vienna Conference is organized by Waves Vienna and Austrian Music Export, which is a joint initiative of mica – music austria, the Austrian Music Information Center, and the Austrian Music Fund. Austrian Music Export activities include providing financial support to Austrian musicians and ensembles for international performances, international networking and promotion, providing information about target markets, as well as representing Austrian music at international trade shows, conferences, and festivals.
Detailed information about Austria’s countless festivals is available in the Austrian Heartbeats Music Travel Guide, which was published earlier this year, providing a host of useful information on the country’s vibrant music scene. It is available to media upon request, and can be purchased in English or German language editions at https://www.vfmk.org