WOMEX 19 Wraps Up A Successful 25th Anniversary Event

Kayhan Kalhor by Yannis Psathas

The 25th Anniversary edition of WOMEX, the World Music Expo came to an end on Sunday.

Over the course of five days, 23 - 27 October, the event hosted over 2,500 music professionals from 83 countries, more than 60 musical acts with 260 artists representing over 47 countries, 17 music-based documentaries from across the globe, 25 conference sessions with 110 speakers, mentoring opportunities with 8 experts, 20 network meetings and offWOMEX presentations.

The WOMEX Academy, in its second year, welcomed the young generation of music professionals consisting of 32 candidates from 15 countries through 3 different projects in partnership with SuCarMus, the World Pitch Programme and the Sibelius Academy.

Being held in its northernmost location to date, WOMEX was well-received by the local community and saw the highest participation from the wider Nordic region and Baltic states. The Finnish debut saw first-time exhibitors in the Trade Fair from China, Taiwan and Japan and a record number of Russian and Indigenous delegates. WOMEX was once again a celebration of both diversity and inclusion.

The WOMEX 2019 Awards:

On this remarkable 25th Anniversary edition of WOMEX, the organisers, Piranha Arts took a new direction for our Top Label Award. Instead of presenting an award to any individual record label, the Top Labels list itself (drawn from World Music Charts Europe and the Transglobal World Music Charts) was celebrated on-stage with a film commemorating the top albums of each label, and an on-stage group photograph with representatives of the music charts and record labels, acknowledging their collective efforts, dedication and commitment to recording and broadcasting music.

On receiving the WOMEX 19 Professional Excellence Award, representing Julie's Bicycle (UK), Knowledge and Sector Intelligence Lead, Chiara Badiali shared:

"We are really honoured to be recognised today and to be given the Professional Excellence Award, from a community of music, which is where our roots are and also in the very best of company, our global music community. There isn't another recognition that could mean more to us.

Accepting the WOMEX 19 Artist Award, Kayhan Kalhor (Iran/USA) shared:

"I am very touched and honoured and it's nice to be appreciated during your lifetime when you can see it. However, I don't see this as a personal achievement. I think a lot of wisdom, history and hard work went into this and I represent the great Iranian musician community here. I am honoured to represent them. On behalf of the Iranian music community, I dedicate this award to Mohammad Reza Shajarian, the great master of Persian music who has been fighting a nasty illness for the past few years. We need his voice and we need him to be with us, so we wish him well and I hope the musical community accepts this from me."

WOMEX also took the time to acknowledge a key group of delegates: those who have been a part of each edition over the last 25 years.

WOMEX 19 at a Glance:

• More than 2,500 professionals (including 260 performing artists) from 83 countries representing 1,250 companies.
850 event promoters.
520 labels, publishers and distributors.
410 governmental, educational and other institutions.
660 individual booking agents, 610 managers and 300 producers.
250 national and international journalists.
• A bustling Trade Fair with 670 exhibiting companies from 55 countries at 250 stands.
• More than 60 showcase acts with 260 musicians representing 47 countries on 6 stages.
• The eighth WOMEX Club Summit
110 speakers and mentors from 40 countries in 25 conference sessions; 20 network meetings and offWOMEX presentations and 8 expert Mentorings.
17 music-based documentaries from across the globe divided into Market and Public Screenings alongside a Film Library, with 13 attending filmmakers, producers and artists representing their films.

•The Opening concert 'Arctic Fire - POHJOISET TULET'.
• Two WOMEX Awards honouring Kayan Kalhor from Iran/USA; Julie's Bicycle from the UK.

• WOMEX Academy 2019: welcoming the young generation of music professionals this year with 32 fellows from 15 countries through 3 different projects! (From Aruba, Bulgaria, Colombia, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Nepal, Palestine, Poland, Romania, Serbia!)
• The WOMEX Radio Studio organised by NRK (Norway), RBB (Germany), EBU/Euroradio (European Broadcasting Union) and this year's local media partners Yle (Finnish Broadcasting Company)

WOMEX will once again return to Budapest, Hungary next year from 21 - 25 October 2020.

See you next year!

article posted by:Francisco Gonçalves Silva, Piranha Arts