From October 24th to 26th, in collaboration with UNESCO Music City Tallinn and Music Estonia, a contact trip to Liverpool took place to explore and network with the local music scene. The contact trip aimed to involve music companies that already have ongoing export activities in this market or well-thought-out plans to start operating there, as well as representatives of the live music sector interested in the operating logic of local businesses. Five music companies were selected to participate in the contact trip through an application process: Piidivabrik (Paap Uspenski), Sveta Klubi (Madleen Teetsov-Faulkner), Genialistide Klubi (Jaan Kroon), Funk Embassy (Ingvar Kassuk), and Paavli Kultuurivabrik/Damn.Loud Agency (Mihail Makoshin).
Culture Liverpool, which coordinates the activities of UNESCO Music City Liverpool, was the partner of the contact trip. Marili Randla served as the coordinator for Music Estonia. One of the goals of Music City Tallinn is to support music entrepreneurship, and contact trips provide an opportunity for cooperation between UNESCO Music Cities. During the contact trip, a total of six music companies were visited: Invisible Wind Factory, EVOL, Sentric Music Group, Future Yard, Yaw Owusu and Sound City.
Project Manager Marili Randla stated, “The goal of the contact trip organized in collaboration between two UNESCO Music Cities, Liverpool and Tallinn, was to connect the Estonian music industry delegation with local music companies and establish mutual contacts. One of the most inspiring aspects was getting to know the local (more than) concert venues, such as Future Yards and Invisible Wind Factory, understanding their operational mechanisms and business models, how they have created multiple side activities alongside their core operations, such as workshops for building large production elements, studios for creative individuals, mentorship programs for artists and young music industry professionals, rehearsal spaces, community meeting places, roller skating rinks during the daytime, and more. In addition, we met with creative consultant Yaw Owusu to discuss how to better involve funding from the private sector as well as city and state levels. We also gained insights into the operations of Sentric Music Group, a publishing company actively expanding in Europe while promoting the ‘fairest publishing deal.’ We learned about the presentation festival Sound City and their record company Modern Sky, which is largely based on Chinese private capital, for example. Furthermore, a networking event with local music industry professionals was organized under the leadership of Kevin Mcmanus, the head of Liverpool’s Music City.”
The Liverpool contact trip undoubtedly provided the participating companies with a lot of food for thought and ideas on how to operate more sustainably, develop additional areas of activity alongside their core operations, and utilize the contacts established in their future work. The greatest value of the Liverpool contact trip lies in the exchange of experiences and practices and the creation of initial contacts for potential future cooperation. These contact trips are valuable for Music Estonia in terms of creating contacts and mapping markets, which can be applied for the benefit of the industry in the future.”
We would like to thank UNESCO Music City Tallinn and Culture Liverpool, led by Kevin Mcmanus, for making the contact trip possible.