Here we have it, the year that everybody will forever remember as the year of change, 2022. I just completed the first showcase festival in Europe, Future Echoes, post-COVID restriction, with a full live schedule. Not an easy task, even after the restrictions are gone the effect of them is still there. This morning I woke up to that Putin had attacked Ukraine Suddenly we now have a full-scale war in Europe. And if this wasn’t enough, you have the most important climate crisis we have ever seen and needs to be addressed with expediency.
It's not looking good right now. At the same time changes are happening with a chain reaction and all these events will form a new world. Of course, this is happening right now, as we have been in lockdown for over two years and forces have been created in many sectors just sitting and waiting for the pandemic to calm down or come to an end.
There are a lot of questions and scenarios that you could look at, but I wonder what will happen with the music? Of course, it’s impossible to say. When the world is in such turmoil music is not the first thing you think about but music is though important. Music affects a lot of things, minds, and feelings.
We all remember the musical protest that happened during the Vietnam War in 1969. Summer of 69, the summer of love is still remembered as a point of change and great music was released around that time. Many as a protest of the war. At the same time remember that music also has been a big part of the propaganda for war. All these military marches and songs that the soldiers sang are also music that was used to create a feeling.
How this will spread I don’t have a clue, but my guess is that the new media landscape with social media and everybody hooked up will provide a platform that no one could have predicted. People will in their frustrations write songs that will search for their own life and purpose in this new landscape. Maybe these songs will change the minds of so many people that they even will turn against their leaders and make a big change.
I guess in the darkest hours we create the best music. I wish it wasn’t so. If I just look at what kind of music will be created this year, I’m intrigued. At the same time for the planet, I’m not intrigued at all. My hope is that we now can create the music that can put people into the right mind to start working together to save what we must save, and stop the stupid actions from leaders that should have been put into the trashcans already from the 40’s. Music is a force to be reckoned with, I guess the music industry has a very big challenge to spread the right music into the right channels to be part of the force that stops all the madness that is going on. We can only do it together.
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 and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. In 2021, he worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes futureechoes.se/. Peter is a Managing Partner and Editor of the newly launched Record World International.