I did two festivals on the same weekend. First Focus Wales where The Magnettes was playing. Then New Skool Rules where Adée and Tale the Rapper where playing. So, during six hectic days I did two panels, two speed meetings sessions, over 30 booked meetings sessions. Traveled to two countries and two cities. Saw over 50 showcases and meet people. Yes, it is a hectic time right now. And it di not stop there. Many more festivals came in May and they all collided. Youbloom in Dublin, Midem in Cannes and Medimex in Bari and of course Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan at the end of June.
Some people ask why I'm doing so many festivals. I guess we can reveal now why. Three years ago I decided to build a network all over the world so I have the contacts myself to evaluate different offers and situations. In the end, I want to have such a vast network that I can break an artist on a global scale. I guess right now I'm pretty close. They have been joking around me in meetings I always answer, well I know someone that can provide that if they asked a specific knowledge or service in a certain area.
The thing is that we are all connected digitally. A rather interesting discussion came up during Enea Springbreak, the importance of the physical meeting. It seems like some people mainly think if you are friends on Facebook they are included in your network.I feel that Facebook is a good tool to just keep up but the real stuff where things happen is live face to face. It is in these situations you find these small but crucial leads will go to something bigger. Just the way people say stuff is revealing. All that is lost in social media. And you can easily see when a person is out networking in a physical world move very much faster than the ones that rely most on social media contacts.
If your manager, booker, record label only visits one event in the year and it's always the same, you probably have hit a dead end. That was the old days when you just needed to go to Midem once a year and do your business. Today that is not good enough. Yes, Midem is a crucial meeting point but the industry is going so fast that if you only do it once a year you will miss out on so much new fast information that is not on social media. They are just in the discussion between people in the industry on these events.
It seems like the industry have seen my work with this network going on and now we are getting more and more projects that are based on this whole concept. Today’s music industry is built on opportunities not a built-in same old system like in the 90’s where if you have distribution and a co-publishing in an area was enough. Times have changed and we need more real facetime not social media time.
Still, a lot of work must be done. Specially to maintain the whole thing. I guess I must wait and see when enough is enough.
Editor's Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 30 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals.He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and SuperBowl.