This weekend saw Scandinavia’s biggest music industry event, Norway’s by:Larm being held in Oslo for the first time. For the last decade, the festival and conference has maintained a nomadic nature, being held in cities Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger and Tromsø.
The move to Oslo was welcomed by many, as it is a destination that is easier to reach for an international audience, has a large local audience and a high number of professionally run venues. Turnout proved to be substantial during the three nights of the festival with more than 25 000 Oslo citizens hitting the city’s pulsating club-scene. A 400 strong international VIP music industry/media contingent served as proof of the event’s position as Scandinavia’s most important music industry event.
The talk of the town on last Saturday was unavoidable; who will win the NOK 800k StatoilHydro grant? Not surprisingly, hot-tipped SonyBMG UK-signed Ida Maria pocketed the coveted award and promptly declared that she will head out on “the greenest and most environmentally friendly tour ever!”
by:Larm is not all about (expensive) beer, networking, loud bands vying for attention and packed venues – the event’s seminar program traditionally features several interesting topics and knowledgeable speakers. Some of the weekend’s highlights in this regard were Paul Brindley of MusicAlly and Andrew Dubber of New Music Strategies/UCE Birmingham. Brindley gave an outlook of trends and predictions for sales in the digital marketplace while Dubber held a very well received talk on the use of Widgets. The debates and seminars for the domestic music industry centered on well-known topics; 360 degree deals and filesharers vs. anti-piracy campaigners. To say that new and visionary ideas came out of these debates would be to exaggerate – the arguments voiced were more or less the same as in most other territories.
International delegates MIC spoke to during the weekend praised by:Larm’s professionalism, the high-quality venues, the Scandinavian mix of bands and well-planned activities such as the Speed Meeting sessions (short one-on-one meetings between most international and selected Norwegian music industry professionals). Apart from the usual complaints over $10 beers, some international delegates wished for more spectacular social activities to brag about in their respective offices. Past by:Larms have featured spectacular treks in the high country, husky trips in Arctic cold and Aurora Borealis watching in hot tubs - seems that some spectacular event needs to be planned for next year.
As of writing, by:Larm has not declared 2009’s host city. A board meeting is scheduled for mid-March and a decision is expected to be made official then. However, if one is to trust the rumors that are currently circulating, one could soon be adding “by:Larm 2009 Oslo” to next year’s calendar.
Mic.no/English’s by:Larm delegate managed to catch quite a few bands over the weekend and here’s the official MIC Norway’s by:Larm 2008 Top 10 list:
1- Alog with Sheriffs of Nothingness
2- Truls and the Trees
3- Det är jag som är döden
6- Sigh & Explode
7- The Thing
8- Pirate Love
9- Rumble in Rhodos
10- Next Life
A few images from by:Larm can be found here.sd
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Music Industry, Festivals