A record number of people visited Moscow Music Week 2020
Moscow Music Week 6th annual showcase festival and conference took place in Moscow from 2nd to 5th September with over 100 artists distributed across 24 thematic showcases and over 5000 visitors — a record number for MMW, which is especially remarkable considering the pandemic year with all its cultural events cancellations. Online showcases with live streams from Budapest, from the Moscow events and the live stream of MMW x IMI 2020 educational program were watched 55K times, which not only significantly enlarged the audience and festival’s borders, but also offered an opportunity to partially «visit» the festival to people outside Moscow.
Festival’s program presented a diverse multi genre line-up (MMW special feature often compared with American analogue — SXSW, which take place since 1987): from Caucasian peoples traditional music, contemporary fem-punk and new Russian wave to jazz, experimental improvisation and techno within day and night events.
Among MMW musical program participants are Turkish band Lalalar, CENTR, Hadn Dadn, SOYUZ (Belarus), Bad Zu, Zaur Nagoev, Intourist, Lucidvox, Fardi, USSSY, CEO Of Everything, Dima Midborn, Wooden Whales, Lutik and many more.
No matter how niche each of the offered directions of the music scene was (each wrapped in one or the other showcases), Moscow Music Week managed to get a full-house — organizers report about clubs and conference space full of people.
Eugeniy Gorbunov (Intourist and Glintshake bands participant): «MMW 2020 was very soulful. Like all that could happen considering all oddities of this year, the festival gained humble homey form and helped to take some kind of stock of the last several years, which very much changed Russian independent scene. It had a very soothing effect on me — it became obvious that all artists are very different, that there’s no one paradigm (like pervasive post-punk in 2014), at the same time everyone is on one common creative wave, nobody competes no one (at least at the moment) and everyone feel like a part of cool company and at the same time of a boundless chaos, where everything can happen. I see that together we create a new enabling environment for society consciousness evolution. Young musicians today are much more conscious and responsible than 10 years ago, and further it will get better».
Participating in MMW 2020 for many artists became the first performance after quarantine and let not only perform at one of the main stages of the country and show themselves to music journalists, promoters, booking agencies and labels representatives, but also reconnect live communication with listeners.
Nikita Rasskazov (V-A-C foundation showcase curator): «MMW 2020 became a restoring connection event not only between artists and listener, but also with «workmates». If one can maintain dialogue online, for the others it’s very important to communicate within reality, which in turn often leads to the birth of new ideas and creation of the music of the future».
Moscow Music Week x IMI (Institute of the Musical Initiatives — main partner of MMW educational program) conference program gathered musical industry professionals, who discussed the most vital and pressing issues affecting Russian market players including music distribution, digital marketing, working with streaming services and much more, in a difficult year that has changed the course of the industry. Among the themes raised within conference by representatives of the Russian and foreign clubs and festivals, marketing agencies, streaming and record labels were such topics as the search for a balance between creative work and management; future of the festivals in the terms of new reality, what will happen if restrictions will continue for the next year and how the events economy will change; how the perception of the clubs changed and do they have the ability to secure visitors from COVID; whether the musical spaces lost their credibility and many more. Among lectors, moderators and open tables participants were: Pavel Kamakin — partner of 16 Tons company group and eponymous club art director, Daria Shulga — Afisha Picnic director, Ksenia Shapovalova — Melnitsa agency and Park Live festival marketing director, Gleb Lisichkin — ONErpm digital distribution international company marketing director.
Tatiana Makarova (MMW x IMI 2020 conference director): «The main target of the festival and conference was to create a strong, independent musical community. And despite all twists and turns, already now we can say with confidence that we are on the way to reach it. There is a lot to be done, but the foundation for the industry in Russia to develop, improve and become independent has already been laid».
Once again, the organizers of Moscow Music Week showed a cut of the young Russian scene, presented new names that will potentially be popular tomorrow to the visitors and proved that love for music can break all obstacles and overcome any restrictions.