We find out what's going down in the Russian music industry at it's largest music festival, 'Picnic Afisha', held in the rock n' roll capital of Moscow.
British Council Russia and its Cultural and Creative Economy team participated in Picnic Afisha, the biggest music festival in Moscow on 31 July 2010, with Re-Sound music forum, a one-day program of public talks and presentations of UK music industry experts.
In almost +40 degrees heat, luckily right before the smog came into the city, Arwa Haider, Music Editor of Metro, Dorian Lynskey, music critic from Guardian, John Dyer, Director of Domino Records and Jon Mclldowie, Producer of Mean Fiddler shared with Russian music entrepreneurs their knowledge and practical experience of working within the UK music industry.
Among the issues discussed at the forum were club culture and world/ethno music mixing up as a current global trend, digital marketing and using social media to promote a music band, factors depending on a local band to become internationally acclaimed and others.
The programme was mainly developed for the young music entrepreneurs. John Dyer, Director of Domino Records, whose stable includes Franz Ferdinand, the Arctic Monkeys and Eugene McGuinness, praised the forum for its Creative Economy approach saying,
“I like the British Council cultural programmes when they come with a commercial and art mind set, it feels useful and practical, linked to an export mind set.”
The forum also generally opened the conversation between people from music industries of the UK and Russia helping the UK experts better understand what is going in Russia and building contacts for potential collaboration.
“I think it’s been useful in creating a dialogue between British and Russian writers and music industry figures and revealing how many concerns and interests we have in common, as well as a few localised differences”, said Dorian Lynskey.
Despite the unbearable heat all the sessions were fully packed with the audience actively participating in the discussion and challenging the speakers with provocative questions. Ksenia Prilepskaya, a Russia famous music critic and the moderator of the forum stated,
“The high attendance, persistence and sincere interest of the public to the forum in this heat impressed not only me but all the speakers.”
This audience was attracted by the well developed programme and high profile speakers, and also by the style and atmosphere of the Re-Sound forum tent spreading around the UK spirit through Selector radio shows which were heard in the radius of the nearest hundreds of metres, and the interior design of a UK music studio created by UK Style boutique.
“I think the forum tent was one of the best places at Picnic Afisha this year – both from the design and the content point of view”, wrote Yuriy Saprykin, Founder of Picnic Afisha festival.
During the whole forum the tent was visited by 12,000 people leaving with us their contacts and desire to collaborate in other music-related projects. For some of them it was a pleasant surprise to see that British Council Russia still exists which is great for the local team who by their work still cures “the British Council Russia doesn’t exist” syndrome.
Re-Sound music forum had such success due to the trust-worthy and professional partners, Afisha Picnic festival, UK Style boutique and others of smaller scale who all together contributed more than 60% to the forum costs letting British Council lead on its main task of bringing the UK expertise.
This is only the start of British Council Russia music activities with Creative Economy angle, and we will develop more of them nurturing our relationship with Picnic Afisha festival, and they seem to be absolutely eager to do so. Evgenia Galetka, Marketing Director of the festival remarked, “Picnic Afisha has got the potential to be become an internally acclaimed festival and we won’t be able to achieve that without you”.