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WOMEX 13, Cardiff 23-27 October Call for Showcase Applications now open
WOMEX the World Music Expo will take place in Cardiff, Wales from Wednesday 23 October to Sunday 27 October, 2013. WOMEX has fast become the most important international professional market for world music of every kind including folk, roots, ethnic and traditional music. The four-day event attracts over 2,250 delegates from over 90 countries, including hundreds of concert and festival bookers, labels, publishers, distributors, managers and the world's media.
Applications are now open for trad, folk, roots and world music bands/artists to showcase as part of WOMEX 13. By submitting a showcase application, Irish bands/artists will have the opportunity to be selected to showcase either on the WOMEX programme or as part of the Horizons stage.
A world of music from England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, Horizons is a new partnership that has been developed ahead of WOMEX 13 to bring together England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in a celebration of the wealth of music traditions and cultures within a world music market. Three bands/artists from Wales and two from England, Scotland Ireland and Northern Ireland will be selected to perform on the Horizons stage at WOMEX 13.
A tip sheet with further information on applying to showcase at WOMEX 13 can be found below.
Details on what you need to submit an application here
Artists/bands who wish to apply to showcase at WOMEX 13 should register and apply through Sonic Bids
Deadline for submission of a showcase proposal is Friday 12 April, 2013.
Artists/bands who are selected to showcase will be invited to apply for funding support to Culture Ireland towards the costs of performing at WOMEX 13. A call for delegates to attend the event as part of the Irish delegation will be held after the showcase application process has been completed.
Horizons is a partnership initiative which includes the Arts Council England, Arts Council Northern Ireland, Arts Council Ireland, Cerdd Cymru : Music Wales [incorporating Arts Council of Wales / Wales Arts international & Welsh Music Foundation], Creative Scotland, Scottish Music Industries Association and Culture Ireland. The partnership is supported by the British Council.
Review the tip sheet:
What is a showcase at WOMEX?
A WOMEX showcase is a 45 minute performance slot. Some are held during the day, and some during the evening. They are an opportunity to perform to some of the most influential agents, promoters and managers in the world music industry.
How do I apply to showcase at WOMEX?
If you are interested in performing a showcase at WOMEX 13, then you need to submit a proposal. The proposal process consists of two steps:
Step 1: Submit a digital EPK (electronic press kit) through Sonicbids: http://www.sonicbids.com/womex2013
Step 2: Send two CDs and video material (if available) to the WOMEX office.
You can find full info on the process, terms and conditions here: http://www.womex.com/lnk/showcase-proposal
There is a charge to apply through Sonicbids - $20 until 31 March and $30 after.
If you are new to Sonicbids this will include a six month free membership so you can use your membership to apply for other events.
One application – two chances
Artists from the UK and Ireland have an additional chance to showcase on the Horizons stage. There is no separate application process. Artists from these nations not selected for showcase by WOMEX will automatically be eligible for consideration for the Horizons stage, with the selection being made by a panel of Horizons appointed music experts. These selected acts will be offered an opportunity to showcase on the Horizons stage.
What is the Horizons stage?
It is the ‘local stage’ at WOMEX 13 which will showcase acts from the Horizons partners across the night time at WOMEX. Horizons is a partnership between England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Who chooses the acts that play?
Both the official WOMEX acts and Horizons acts are curated by jury.
Official WOMEX acts are selected by five of the ‘Seven Samurai’ – a panel of music experts that changes every year and which is announced in March.
What happens next?
Call for artist proposals: 25 February 2013
Deadline for artist proposals: 12 April
Notification for official WOMEX showcase: End of May/beginning of June
Notification for Horizons showcase: End of June/beginning of July
What if I get selected to play?
If selected by the Jury, you'll play in front of the largest audience anywhere of international world music concert and festival bookers (over 700 last year), labels, distributors, journalists and industry professionals - everyone you need to help launch, re-launch, sustain and expand your career.
You need to consider the costs as WOMEX is not in the position to cover any fees, travel expenses or other costs. What WOMEX does provide is the stage, the necessary equipment to perform, local transport to and from the airport and the venue (for official WOMEX showcase, only).
There is extensive promotion on an equal basis with all other WOMEX Showcase artists. That includes promotion of the show itself, newsletters, online promo, publication of full bios and contact details in the WOMEX Guide, and much more.
Additionally, all invited artists will get free full access to WOMEX 13, plus one free registration for an artist representative, such as a manager.
The Horizons partners may be able to provide assistance. If selected, a representative from your nation will be in touch to let you know what support is available (this is still being finalised at time of print).
Any advice before I apply?
We asked former WOMEX Jury member Maarten Rovers for his personal tips:
- Only submit music and video tracks that you want the Jury to hear and see (up to the minimum number of tracks required). This way you control your own selection. If necessary, ask professionals around you, which of your tracks they like best. This might help you in making the right selection.
- Only submit materials that do your music justice. This applies as much to sound and video quality as to track selection. If you don't have a reasonable quality video, don't send it. If you don't have good quality audio, then ask yourself if you are ready to go international. If your repertoire is very diverse, then don't put your most avant-garde stuff first. If your repertoire is too diverse to be represented by one or two tracks, then make this very clear in the application. If your art is radical, then it's probably best to make this clear from the start. If your music is inaccessible and not easily judged by listening to it once, then challenge the Jury to listen to it twice. Always try to make the Jury curious.
- Don't raise expectations that you cannot fulfil. For instance, if you have done a project with a famous musician, but this musician is not included in the proposal, then don't send materials that include this famous star. In general the Jury will only be disappointed that he/she is not coming along. The same applies to any claims you make about the "uniqueness" of your project. Don't exaggerate. Jury members generally know their stuff.
- Brevity is effective. Keep your bio and press footage short. Half a page should be enough to explain what your music is about. Use press quotes selectively. Two or three will normally do the job. Submit only good quality photographs. Be sure to know your own limitations. If you are not good at promoting your own music, ask a professional (a manager, a label, an agent) to help.
- WOMEX is a marketplace so also consider the economics of your proposal. If your music is great but you happen to be an unknown 23-piece band from Alaska, don't be surprised that you didn't get selected. Instead, consider if you could create a touring group of a more economical number of musicians.
- Never get frustrated! If you don't get selected, just try again, and again, and again...The Jury might have liked your music, but the competition from your own country or region might just have been too strong that year. Or the Jury might have had other (non-artistic) reasons for making an alternative choice.