Kaisersaal SAE (c) Patricia Weisskirchner
Kaisersaal SAE (c) Patricia Weisskirchner

In September 2020, the Waves Vienna Music Conference, organized by Waves Vienna and Austrian Music Export, will take place for the 10th time. National and international music experts, label owners, bookers, and musicians will meet online and at the SAE institute Vienna for lectures, discussions and networking events.


This year’s conference program addresses the challenges for the music industry triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic in a variety of ways. International experts from the music industry will share their experiences on panels and the umbrella organization of the European Music Export Agencies EMEE will host a discussion with political decision makers and organizations on the future of the European music sector. In addition, alternative sources of income and innovative ways of communicating and disseminating content will be explored in workshops and presentations. For example, Bandcamp, a service that has been able to make positive headlines through effective support actions for artists and labels, will hold a webinar. The Vienna Club Commission and the local indie label association VTMÖ are inviting everyone to discussions about coordinated support measures for clubs and promoters and fair payment on streaming portals. This year’s host countries UK and Ukraine will present their music scenes and markets, and special networking sessions will provide an opportunity to establish contacts with important industry representatives from both countries. A workshop will explain the expected effects of Brexit on the cooperation with the UK. Feedback Listening Sessions and numerous viral networking formats complement the future-oriented program.

Confirmed conference speakers include representatives of the European Commission, EMEE, Live DMA, BPI, IMMF, Impala, Bandcamp and Sound Diplomacy. Festivals like The Great Escape Festival, Focus Wales, Primavera Sound, Atlas Weekend, MENT Festival and Wide Days will also take part in various panel discussions and meeting sessions.

Studyroom SAE
Studyroom SAE


THU 10.SEP.2020

11.00-11.45 Meet the Ukraine (Speed Meeting)
Closed meeting for selected applicants only.

12.00-13.00 The Future of the European Music Eco System hosted by EMEE
The COVID-19 crisis has a huge impact on the music eco system, that will certainly need a lot of support and smart ideas. EMEE, the European network of music export offices, invited representatives of the European Commission and the most active music networks to hear about their evaluations, ideas and initiatives.

13.15-14.00 Music Cities hosted by Vienna Club Commission
Every city has a music scene. Each music scene defines a city. In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, Sound Diplomacy has developed a 9-point plan on how cities can strengthen this aspect. Setting focus on Vienna we will discuss about how music creates better cities and urban development for all of us.

13.30-14.30 In Conversation with Roedelius
A talk with the legendary ambient and experimental electronic musician, best known for his work with Cluster and Harmonia.

14.15-15.00 Closed Music Cities Workshop hosted by Vienna Club Commission
Closed workshop for invited applicants only.

15.00-16.00 Feedback Listening Session 1
International professionals give constructive feedback on up-and-coming acts with international potential.

15.30-16.15 Hack Day Panel

16.30-17.30 Feedback Listening Session 2
International professionals give constructive feedback on up-and-coming acts with international potential.

FRI 11.SEP.2020

11.00-11.45 Meet the Germans (Speed Meeting)
Closed meeting for selected applicants only.

12.00-13.00 Focus Country Ukraine
Each year true to the motto of the festival “East meets West” Waves invites two focus countries for the festival and the conference. Find out more about the rich and lively Ukrainian music scene. Networking opportunity with key players of the Ukrainian music market, facts & figures, country presentation

12.15-12.45 The Future of Booking: Sold out Shows using Data How does music streaming influence the live music industry?
Data from all concert-goers and/or music lovers are now available. Spotify sold out their own concerts making booking decisions based on streaming results rather than just focusing on big names. How to access this data in the whole industry? The artist discovery and booking platform gigmit initiated a pilot project LASER (Live Artists Search Engine & Recommendations) with the support of the European Union (Music Moves Europe) to access, gather and display streaming and fan data and give a guidance on how active and how big an artist is in any region. How does this look like? Join the presentation! A MUSIC MOVES EUROPE INITIATIVE

13.15-14.15 Focus Country UK
Each year true to the motto of the festival “East meets West” Waves invites two focus countries for the festival and the conference. Find out more about the rich and lively UK music scene. Networking opportunity with key players of the UK music market, facts & figures, country presentation

13.15-14.15 Fair Streaming? hosted by VTMÖ

  • Streaming a 2 min. 30 sec. track is generating the same amount as an epic 20 min. suite.
  • A “family account” enables up to 6 persons to stream “as they wish” for an only 50% higher monthly rate than an individual is paying.
  • A fake user account that streams 24/7 can create an income of app. € 45,- per month whilst the subscription fee only is € 9,99 – a nice business model for criminal minds.

Questions to be discussed at this panel:

  • How fair is the current “pro rata” accounting model?
  • Would “user centic” make a difference?
  • How can streaming services improve fairness of revenue distribution?

15.00-15.45 Bandcamp Webinar
Aly Gillani, Bandcamp’s European Label and Artist Rep will take lead this webinar, taking participants through the key principles behind a successful (and money-making!) presence on Bandcamp

15.00-15.45 Brexit Workshop
In February 2020, Brexit became a reality and since then, the music industry has been discussing its impact on live music and performance opportunities in the UK. A lack of information and many misunderstandings about visa requirements and work permits as well as ever changing regulations have a profound impact on current and future plans of artists, booking agencies and promoters alike. This workshop wants to inform artists seeking work in the UK about current developments and answer questions about visas, carnets, tax issues and travel regulations.

16.15-17.00 Earning Money in Times of Crisis
Musicians, managers and labels discuss their ways of dealing constructively with the difficult situation, opening up new opportunities.

16.30-17.15 Meet the Festivals (Speed Meeting)
Closed meeting for selected applicants only.

17.00-17.30 MUSEXPO Presentation
Presentation of the annual international music and media conference that takes place in Hollywood, CA.

17.30-18.30 Hack Day Kick Off


Due to Corona, the conference will only be accessible to a limited number of visitors. In the course of a partnership with the SAE in Vienna Waves Vienna has found a great alternative location to WUK. Due to the Corona requirements, however, the festival only has a very limited capacity of about 100 people at a time in the building and about 40 people per room. To attend the conference directly in Vienna, you need a Music Conference Registration.

In addition, the conference programme will be broadcasted live on the Internet and can be accessed with the Conference Streaming Ticket.