Estonian Music Industry Awards 2024 opening speech by Ave Sophia Tölpt, Music Estonia’s Director

Dear Estonian music industry, colleagues, friends,

This year’s EMEA is particularly special as we have reached our 10th anniversary, where we celebrate music entrepreneurship in Estonia, highlight the achievements of our companies together, and take pride in all individuals and teams operating in this field. This is a tremendously important milestone and a moment that holds and unites our sector.

Thank you for being here!

Recognition serves as a sign of support, provides motivation to act, and encourages us to fulfill further ambitions. Looking at the achievements of the companies, actions, and individuals nominated last year, we see that a greater ambition has emerged among those working in Estonian music – the desire to perform at stadiums, the passion to create new types of festivals and establish new performance venues, the drive to bring big names to Estonia and take our talent to foreign markets that may seem distant but offer plenty of new opportunities when invested in. We must experiment, be brave, and not let this desire wane. That’s exactly what we need – the will to break through and the will to act. We must support new initiatives in the domestic market; this forms the basis for further progress.

Of course, the challenging years gone by have done their work and reshaped our entrepreneurial landscape. Beloved places may not last forever, cherished formats may dissolve, influential companies may step back, and we must now, more than ever, preserve what we have. Our music entrepreneurship and those continuing to operate in this field are valuable. You are valuable. As we heard at today’s Estonian music market focus day: mere potential success should not satisfy us – true success stories require serious work, striving, and inspiration beyond Estonia’s borders, while also providing local competition. A long-term view, a strong aim, and continued courage to try new things are needed – this is how we maintain a diverse music landscape, provide input for national vision, and protect both our sector and its broader value.

At this year’s EMEA, we have also focused on two additional areas of activity – music synchronization, which offers us new potential for intersectoral collaborations, and songwriting, which lays the necessary groundwork for further creative outputs. I am delighted that we can celebrate tonight with 300 representatives from the music industry, dear partners, and supporters, amidst such dignified achievements, marking both the EMEA and Music Estonia’s 10th anniversary.

Music Estonia would like to thank the initiator of this event, the Estonian Association of Phonogram Producers, who stood behind the organization of EMEA for over half of its inception, or six times. Let’s please give them a big round of applause. I also thank the Estonian Authors’ Society, which has consistently contributed to this event and recognized the need and importance of supporting our talent. Thank you to the Estonian Performers Association for being with us!

Furthermore, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the other supporters of this year’s EMEA: Piletikeskus, Finora Bank, Music City Tallinn, the Estonian Cultural Endowment, Enterprise Estonia, the Ministry of Justice. And those involved in today’s organizational aspects: JAIK, Radiustech, AdGorilla, Meeskond, Elisa Stage, Nudist, Punch Club and SUHE. And of course, thank you to our strategic partner, Tallinn Music Week. Thank you to my team at Music Estonia, our members who are with us, and I would like to especially highlight tonight’s coordinator – please let’s give a big round of applause, thank you, Taavi Esperk!

Congratulations to all of us, a salute and respect to all the nominees for the work done, and here’s to an unforgettable evening!