Athens Music Week (AMW) was launched for the first time last year, as a weeklong music marathon aiming to "celebrate cultural and creative diversity", turning Athens into a showcase for the contemporary Greek music scene. This year, the AMW International Conference and Festival (6-21 June) takes a "phygital" form, combining physical events with a high-quality digital experience, in keeping with the current social distancing requirements.
The international conference and festival will feature 50 speakers in 12 panels, 10 meet & greets and 5 webinars, and also 28 showcases by young artists from 17 different countries; the events will take place in front of live audiences but will also be broadcast for online audiences, who will even be able to participate in Q&A sessions. Discussions and lectures will predominantly focus on the issues faced by the music industry in light of the latest worldwide developments.
AMW is hosted by Technopolis - City of Athens, in cooperation with the non-profit organisation M.E.S.O. Music Events, whose team is responsible for the national coordination of the European Music Day organisers network in Greece. This year’s edition also marks Technopolis’ collaboration with the European network Jump – European Music Market Accelerator, and also the network Hub for The Exchange of Music Innovation (HEMI), both co-financed by the EU’s "Creative Europe" Programme.
The covid-19 era has posed a number of challenges, especially regarding the future of live concerts and tours: How do managers, booking agents and festivals react to travel bans and new guidelines for limiting audiences? Are online concerts and phygital festivals the new trend, and can they replace the experience of live gigs? How can artists and music professionals be supported today? How can one promote their music business today, access new markets and get in touch with new partners? These are some of the questions to be addressed at the conference.
More than 30 acclaimed professionals from abroad will livestream their presentations; online participants include representatives from international music networks (European Music Exporters Exchange (EMEE), International Music Managers Forum (IMMF), IMPALA, YOUROPE),music conventions and major international festivals (Exit Festival - Serbia, MENT - Slovenia, Mastering the Music Business - Romania, Milano Music Week - Italy, Tallinn Music Week - Estonia),institutions promoting innovation and music business schools (Almost Famous Music Business School - Hungary, Music Innovation Hub - Italy, The School of Music Business – UK) and other music-related hubs and initiatives (The State51 Conspiracy, Wallifornia MusicTech - Belgium, TheLynk - France).
AMW of course also features representatives from the Greek music industry, including the country's largest festivals (Release Athens, EJEKT Festival, Plisskën Festival, Sónar Athens, Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival), producers, music producers, promoters, journalists, and other figures from the fields of culture and tourism, as well as local administration, who will discuss current as well as enduring issues faced by the sector, in Greece but also internationally, in the hope of developing and promoting viable solutions.
Given that AMW is an event dedicated to music, it goes without saying that it will also feature a number of performances and special showcases by young, up-and-coming artists from Greece, Turkey, and Central and Southeastern Europe, who will give a taste of the latest trends and innovations in music production. The live acts will culminate on Sunday, 21 June, on the occasion of European Music Day 2020: a music event will take place across 12 European capitals, with live broadcast around the world.
Read also via Greek News Agenda: Athens Music Week - First edition; Arts in Greece | Antonis Zouganelis on the 18th Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival; Radio Producer Makis Milatos: "There’s a Vivid New Greek Music Scene Out There"; Giannis Petridis: "We live in an era that ultimately favors commercial music"