From October 25th to 29th, the world music trade fair and showcase festival, WOMEX (Worldwide Music Expo), is taking place in A Coruña, Spain. Every year, WOMEX attracts nearly 3,000 visitors from over 90 countries and stands as one of the most important gatherings for professionals in traditional and world music. Among the representatives from the Baltic states, Kristiina Alliksaar, the Chancellor of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Estonia, Dace Vilsone, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, and Daina Urbanavičienė, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, are present. Puuluup is featured in the festival’s official program.
WOMEX hosts a delegation of nearly 30 members from Estonia, coordinated by the music industry development center and export office, Music Estonia. The Estonian Traditional Music Center is also a partner in this effort. This year, Latvia and Lithuania have joined their delegations with Estonia to create a joint Baltic focus. On Saturday, October 28th, a grand Baltic reception will take place, opened by representatives of the cultural ministries of the three countries.
Ave Tölpt, the Director of Music Estonia, remarked, “Presenting the Baltic focus and the presence of Baltic chancellors at one of the largest industry showcase festivals and conferences holds significant importance. We have increasingly planned the promotion of the Baltic joint music market, both through focus areas and collaborative projects. This year, we are co-coordinating our second focus, the first of which took place in March during the MENT showcase festival, where a meeting at the ministerial level also occurred. I believe that cultural diplomatic ties and their strengthening will create a better foundation for more strategic international cooperation. Discussions between the ministries and the organizers of the Baltic focus at A Coruña over two days aim to identify common topics for the Baltic music industry and possible next steps.”
In their welcome message to participants, the chancellors of the three countries expressed their pleasure in discussing the future of the field and planning strategic steps to bring greater international attention to our music industry professionals and talents.
This year, the official presentation program of WOMEX includes the “zombie folk” ensemble Puuluup, known for blending electronic elements with the traditional Estonian kannel (a plucked string instrument). Previously, Estonian artists such as Duo Ruut, Maarja Nuut, Trad.Attack!, Mari Kalkun and Cätlin Mägi have performed at WOMEX. WOMEX has been instrumental in boosting the careers of numerous bands and artists, making it a significant event for international musicians. Puuluup will perform on October 28th at 23:15 CET on the Parrote Stage. Latvia will be represented by the dynamic musical duo ZeMe, and Lithuania will showcase Jausmė, a group that artfully blends various genres.
In addition, on Friday, October 27th, there will be a networking event for music professionals from the Baltic and Spanish regions. The event is in collaboration with export offices from the Catalan and Basque regions.
Estonia’s WOMEX partners include the Estonian Traditional Music Center, Klassikaraadio, and Tallinn Music Week. Sponsors include Euronics, Punch Club, Studio Sound, and Valge Klaar. Supporters include the Estonian Ministry of Culture and the UNESCO City of Music, Tallinn. The partners for the Baltic focus are the music information centers of Latvia and Lithuania (as coordinators). The Baltic Culture Fund supports the Baltic focus, aiming to promote cultural cooperation among the Baltic countries and strengthen the internationalization of Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian culture through joint cultural projects and events.