Estonian Music Industry Awards ceremony 2023 opening speech by Ave Sophia Maria Tölpt, Director of Music Estonia

Dear colleagues in the Estonian music industry, partners and friends!

What a show and what an evening! I am extremely pleased to welcome you all here. Valter just shared with us some truly remarkable numbers. Indeed, we are giving out the largest number of awards tonight, and there are so wonderfully many of us here at Kultuurikatel.

In our organisation work, we have been thinking more and more about how to recognise professionals who have already established a strong foothold in the music field and to also extend our recognition to narrowly specialised areas. Additionally, it is very important that these companies that truly invest in the field of music are again highlighted and acknowledged. It is thanks to such contributions that our local cultural field and entrepreneurship are seen as inspiring, profitable and sustainable. We are once again giving away several dazzling special prizes. All this only testifies to the expansion of the music business, as well as to the increasingly higher level of specialisation.

Having led jury work for cross-industry awards, I know how much the experts were fascinated by the versatility of this year’s nominees and the risks that music entrepreneurs have taken, both by launching new events and by developing their companies to achieve significant results. It is wonderful to see various actors in the form of technology companies, sound studios, publishers, agencies, record labels, management etc. operating side by side in a productive manner, developing and promoting the music industry. This is significant!

 It is equally wonderful to see all this materialise on an international level: our professionals are doing well, we are well networked, we have good contacts, we are highly valued and sought after as cooperation partners. This is at every level and subarea, which is only guaranteed by a strong foundation and conscious operation in our own market. Especially when we know that we need to continue to build a very strong bridge between Central European, Northern and Baltic partners. The goals of the music policy announced today at the opening panel of the focus day for the music market are also a witness to this – systematic development of the field, contacts and export are the decisive force behind it.

 Thank you for your relentless contribution, passion and interest in advocating for the advancement of this field! Outside of Estonia, many people have asked lately what makes us special as a country of music. One expert very aptly answered this: “You are in the present, precisely in the right moment.”

Let us keep our momentum!

 I would like to say a big thank you to our co-organisers Estonian Association of Phonogram Producers, Estonian Authors’ Society and Estonian Performers Association; to our strategic supporter Tallinn Music Week; to our supporters Cultural Endowment of Estonia, City of Tallinn, Enterprise Estonia; to our main sponsor Piletilevi; also to sponsors Öun Drinks, Meeskond and AdGorilla. A huge thank you to Kultuurikatel for hosting us, Radiustech for taking care of the production, our wonderful project manager Taavi Eskperk and everyone who contributed to this event. Also a big bow to all of the nominees!

Happy celebration!