SPOT Festival 2018: is (DK) music business broken?

The opening lecture at this year’s panels programme of SPOT Festival was titled “The music business is broken and I know how to fix it”. Given by Scott Cohen, the lecture was focused on the business side of the music industry and actually stated that nothing is broken, there are just completely new opportunities which people from the business need to learn how to use and explore.

Where is music in all that? Well, that was a big topic of a discussion, which made us think a lot about the role of music and artists in the music industry. After yet another edition of SPOT Festival, we are happy to say that there is still great music and there are still great talents on the Danish music scene. They might or might not need more business focus – it is not really our field of expertise, to be honest – but some of them are definitely true gems, which we were happy to discover and to see live in Aarhus.

From pop to rock and electronic, through world music, folk and whichever other genres, each of us attending SPOT Festival on behalf of Good because Danish has found her own personal highlights. See what we have seen and find out on your own that Danish music isn’t broken and what is (at least for us) the most important – there are passionate and creative acts out there, deserving to be heard.

 

SPOT Festival 2018 by KATHARINA

It was my first time at SPOT and my first time in SPOT’s home city Aarhus. It could not have been a better time to visit. The city was buzzing, full of passionate and enthusiastic music lovers exploring and listening to new and established artists. The line-up was overwhelming and it took time of preparation not missing out on any potential future favourite artist (and a lot of running around from venue to venue). It wasn’t easy to decide but it was well worth it and I had the chance to see powerful and talented artists on stage.

The brilliance of performance was extremely high everywhere and even though they did not make it to my list everything was simply music and inspiration. Ida Wenøe’s concert makes you see that you don’t need much to make powerful and painfully beautiful music: a guitar and her voice is all she needs to raise your hairs on your body. I am glad to see Luster a relatively new project, and the band‘s energetic and captivating power indie pop melodies that persuade and put the audience in ecstasy. I will no doubt hear far more from them in the years to come. What a nice atmosphere at FOOL’s concert.  The two guys shined! The crowd was humming and singing along moving to Adrian’s and Jabs‘ beats. They really showed their talent.

My personal highlight was August Rosenbaum, just wow! He takes you on a splendid journey to unknown musical territories. It is a spectacular concert which sets the audience in ecstasy with his emotionally irresistible music. And a big shout out to the lighting technician. Impressive! And last but not less The Attic Sleepers. They exceeded every expectation, which was already high. Thanks for sharing the stage with all the instruments. Just stunning!

SPOT Festival 2018 by MARIE

As this was my first time at SPOT festival, every minute of it, every venue and every “hello” was a highlight in itself. I thought the lineup was extremely good this year, and definitely was worth a flight from Russia.

The first gig we went to was a Spot On Greenland event where I got to see Small Time Giants after having been a fan for years. Coincidentally, my first ever review on Good Because Danish was of their album “Stethoscope”, so it was even more meaningful to finally see the band. They were awesome, and it made my heart so full to see how much the audience loved them.

My biggest highlight, however, happened to be the gig I wasn’t particularly fussed about, to begin with. “I’ll just stay for 2 songs and come catch up with you guys,” I said to my friends, “I don’t really care about Bisse”. The moment Bisse came out on the stage of Musikhuset’s Store Sal, it felt like the whole venue instantly became sealed off from the outside world. I struggle to call it a concert – a theatrical performance would be a much better fit. Each song was its own different scene. First, he plays an acoustic guitar, then he thrashes the stage and spills fake blood everywhere, then suddenly he’s completely naked inside a glass box, then there’s a goddamn choir on stage. Needless to say, I did not “stay for just 2 songs”. The show only lasted for 40 minutes but I felt like I walked out a changed person – speechless, obsessed with Bisse and in desperate need of a drink to process the experience.

Another part worth mentioning was a showcase of Silvertip Agency at Aarhus Volume, featuring my old favourites The Radar Post and Virgin Suicide. While waiting for them, I also got to see John.Mesh – a new project of Jack from Slowes which recently disbanded. All three acts were absolutely beautiful and reminded me why Danish music has such a special place in my heart.

As I was on the plane to Moscow, I tried to plan my trip to SPOT 2019, but “Støvets År” by Bisse kept getting stuck in my head.

SPOT Festival 2018 by ARLETTA

This year was my 7th SPOT Festival and coming back to Aarhus felt like coming back home. I wasn’t sure what to expect and didn’t have too many acts I really wanted to catch. So I went with the flow and it paid off. I have been proved once again, that Denmark still has a lot to offer and can surprise with something fresh and different.

Top 3 of my biggest highlights were concerts of IDA KUDO, IKI and Rebecca Lou. The first one, was an incredibly vivid performance, with a pure, joyful energy. You simply couldn’t stand still, had to dance along with Ida. Her voice has an immense power too and makes pop tunes sounds like something more, something new, something different. In the sea of very similar music, Ida Kudo definitely stands out, in a good way. 

When it comes to IKI – it is a music from another dimension – can’t be compared to anything. The performance they gave was like walking into another Universe. The costumes, masks and amazing visuals just added more beauty to the unique sound experience. If you ever get a chance to see IKI live – just take it. Describing the whole experience has really no point if you haven’t seen in with your own eyes and hear it with your own ears. 

Rebecca Lou brought back the faith in me, that rock music still has a good quality representation in Denmark. The lead singer – Becca – reminded me a bit of Ann Wilson from Heart, especially when she sang a catchy, fast song with the line “Run run, gorilla girl”. Yes, it was simple, powerful rock’n’roll music, and yes – it was exactly what I needed it to be as a listener. 

I managed to catch a lot of concerts at this year’s SPOT Festival – both the official ones and the unofficial events happening around the city. One that really left me uplifted and happy to be back in Aarhus was Celebration Records day party and an intimate, cosy performance of Son Of Ceasar. A man with a guitar, funny, yet thoughtful lyrics and a super low-key attitude – this was exactly what I needed to be reminded, what music is really all about.

Danish music business – we don’t really know, but Danish MUSIC is definitely not broken! Next year we will be coming back to Aarhus for sure, for another SPOT Festival, which will take place between 2. and 4. May 2019. Vi ses!

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