Showcasing music from Flanders, home and abroad

The amount of new and exciting pop and rock bands and artist in Flanders/Belgium is inversely proportional to the size of the region/country. Therefore, it is not very surprising that Flemish/Belgian bands, in an early stage of their career, are looking to broaden their horizon by touring abroad and expanding their fan base all over the world.

Although it is significantly easier in the current digital age to access a broader public, still nothing is more powerful than a live performance before a live audience. Morevoer, if that audience happens to be packed with music journalists, bookers, labels, festival managers and so on, the chances of being spotted on an international level are all of a sudden much higher.

Over the past years, there has been a boom of showcase festivals, offering emerging bands and artists a chance to boost their exposure by playing before an audience of music professionals. Such festivals include: MaMa in Paris, France, Eurosonic in Groningen, the Netherlands, The Great Escape in Brighton, England and the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany.

Glimps: Tomorrow’s Music Now

For four years, Flanders can boast having its own showcase festival, Glimps, taking place every year in the city of Ghent. This year, from 11 till 13 December, more than 60 artists from all over Europe will play at 11 venues. These venues include concert halls like the Handelsbeurs to music clubs such as Charlatan and to lesser-known, yet charming venues like Lakenmetershuis.

Headlining as ‘Tomorrow's Music Now’, Glimps presents nothing but the very best of new European music, by welcoming not only pop and rock but also Turkish jazz, Slovakian indie, and French electro. As with many other showcase festivals, Glimps combines the festival with a music conference, tackling themes that are relevant for the times.

Flanders + Wallonia = Belgium Booms!

Under the rubric of ‘Belgium Booms’, Flanders Music Centre and Wallonie-Bruxelles Musiques support the presence of the Belgian bands at Glimps. Belgium Booms gives Belgian music professionals a helping hand in their international development and promotes Belgian artists at showcase festivals, invites foreign music professionals, organises network meetings, publishes promotional material, sends out info to selected pros, etc.

Another selection of Flemish/Belgian bands under the label of Belgium Booms is preparing its performance at Eurosonic/Noorderslag, taking place in Groningen, The Netherlands from 14 till 17 January 2015.

Eurosonic Noorderslag also combines a showcase festival and a music conference. This event, sold-out every year for many years, attracts over 3,200 professional delegates, including representatives from over 400 international festivals. The Eurosonic Noorderslag Conference also offers a daytime conference programme featuring 150 panels, keynote speakers, interviews, workshops, as well as pitches and meetings covering the latest developments in the international music, media and interactive industries.

Eurosonic is also the place where the yearly EBBA's (European Border Breakers Awards) are being handed out, highlighting European artists with international success. This year, Belgian jazz singer Melanie de Biasio was awarded the EBBA, following in the footsteps of compatriot artists like Milow, Selah Sue, Stromae and Gabriel Rios.

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