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MCV reports: European survey shows alarming figures

MCV attended the seminar today Jazz musicians all over Europe unite! at Jazzahead, where the results of a new major survey were presented.

When the stages are closed - clubs, concert halls and festivals - the jazz actors have been hit particularly hard:
1) The working conditions for practitioners are very fragile, often without any forms of employment at the bottom, which makes safety nets very weak.
2) Musicians are generally dependent on working internationally, which has been impossible during the pandemic.
3) In addition, there are generally relatively low levels of cultural support for the organizers.

Despite the fact that the governments of many countries have pushed for crisis support, many musicians are still very hard hit.

A European collaboration between fourteen jazz music collecting organizations (including the Association of Swedish Jazz Musicians and Swedish Jazz) took shape in May 2020. After monthly meetings, a common cause was made in December last year - a European survey was conducted and the results and analysis of this survey were in focus. at today's seminar.

Those who presented the survey were Urs Johnen from the German Jazzunion, Fleurine Mehldau from BIM, the Dutch jazz organization and Pedro Cravinho from the Portuguese jazz network (as seen in the picture above).

The survey in fast (scary) figures:
1500 musicians from 23 countries have responded.
80% of the respondents are men.
73% are musicians who play live, 24% are also teachers.
72% are freelancers, 16% employees (eg big bands or radio orchestras).
82% are full-time musicians, 12% part-time musicians.
91% have had less than 20 gigs in the year 2020, most just a few.
53% assume that they will stop being professional musicians and change jobs after the pandemic.
Only 38% believe that they will continue with their profession as musicians.

(As soon as we find a link to the survey, we will publish it here!)

Invited to the seminar were Barbara Gessler, Head of the EU Creative Europe Cultural Program, European Commission.

Gessler said that a new program, which will be aimed at supporting the music sector, will be launched within a month (something that will take over after the Music Moves Europe program).

Gessler expressed that it is good and appreciated by the EU that jazz musicians organize themselves in Europe. Even more important, however, is to be able to speak with one voice for the entire musical life, according to Gessler. She says that both the Commission and Parliament are very aware that the music sector is particularly hard hit during the pandemic.

Also participated Franz Romeo, Vice-Chair of the European Parliament's Culture and Education Committee, also a musician.

He believes that the survey shows that the pandemic has hit the music sector enormously and that the situation can almost be described as a disaster.

The representatives of the organizations told the EU that it is fantastic with these large crisis support from both nations and the EU, but that the survey clearly shows that there is relatively little support that reaches the most vulnerable: freelancers.

How can the EU support musicians and help improve conditions?

Romeo recalled the direct funds that still exist for the music sector (Music Moves Europe) but noted that the large funds go to the countries' own institutions and authorities that are much closer to the practitioners.

Gessler recalled that the EU today provides support for networks, such as Europe Jazz Network and the importance of gathering broadly. She also referred to FIA, the European Association of Musicians' Associations.

In conclusion, the seminar organizers encouraged all musicians to join and get involved in their jazz organization.

MCV reports: How are the organizers thinking and planning right now?

A moment from the digital seminar. Annamaija Saarela from Livelab Tampere, Finland

Here is a quick report from the seminar What promoters want for now? at the digital fair Jazzahead.

How are the organizers doing right now? How do they think and plan for the future? And how do they want musicians to contact them right now?

Four bookers at four clubs in four different countries shared the situation right now:

Martyna van Nieuwland, Katowice City of Gardens, Poland
Has decided to spread the festival throughout the year this year, so that it will be open to live audiences sometime during the year.

Frank van Berkel, Bimhuis, Amsterdam
More TV studio than concert venue nowadays. Sad, but the club can at least help local musicians during this difficult time. Feels important to take breaks from the screen.

Thomas Wingren, Fasching, Stockholm
Have no hope of opening this site this summer. Plans for opening in September.
Streams concerts twice a week. Streaming technology has improved a lot during the year and may even be used after the pandemic. Musicians travel to the club to play - but only within the country's borders.

Thomas is also booking right now as if it were a regular Stockholm Jazz Festival in October. The autumn at the club is largely fully booked.

Annamaija Saarela, Livelab Tampere, Finland
Hopeful situation regarding the infection situation in Finland. Hope to be able to start up properly again in the autumn.

It is very much booked, as things have been moved forward, so new bookings apply right now, especially in 2022.


None of the clubs / festivals - except Livelab Tampere - have ticket systems linked to streamed concerts. However, the musicians are paid. Before the summer, several of them are planning for hybrid concerts that take place outdoors and are broadcast live at the same time - an arrangement that is certainly here to stay.

Bimhuis and Fasching perform their own streamed concerts via Youtube and Facebook respectively. They also collaborate with other clubs and festivals when it comes to recorded concerts, not live broadcasts.

Livelab, on the other hand, has a ticket system on its own platform. The club is also owned by the Swedish Musicians' Association. Most concerts at Livelab have been hybrids, as the infection situation in Finland has been good at times.

In Finland, there are several platforms with payment systems used by clubs and other concert venues. Now people are getting used to ticket systems. Tickets cost 9,99 euros.

Annamaija hopes that more organizers will be brave and introduce ticket systems in the future. We at MCV also hope so. Let's learn from Finland!

Everyone says that these are very stressful times and far too much screen time. The organizers ask musicians and bookers to be patient and flexible. Everyone needs to be there now, even the organizers themselves. Concerts have had to be moved or canceled at short notice for more than a year now.

In conclusion, the whole panel of course expressed their incredibly strong longing for when the live music is back!

MCV reports: The Swedish Cultural Council's crisis support affects the Swedish Tax Agency's adjustment support

The possibility of being granted The Swedish Tax Agency's adjustment support is affected by whether your company has received crisis support from the Swedish Arts Council. NOTE! This does NOT apply The National Board of Housing, Building and Planning's sales support which only individual companies can apply for.

This afternoon, the Swedish Arts Council invited cultural organizations to an information meeting. The Swedish Tax Agency has now established the rules that apply to the conversion support (for companies), which has a deadline now on Friday (NOTE! This does not apply to the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning's sales support for individual companies that also have a deadline now on Friday). If you have received the Swedish Cultural Council's crisis support for special needs, it affects the possibility of receiving adjustment support. In two ways.

Firstly: If your business has the opportunity to receive support from the Swedish Arts Council, it counts as "primary support". This means that you need to have applied for this support in order to even be able to be granted support from the Swedish Tax Agency's adjustment support, which is counted as "secondary support".

Second: Those who have applied for and been granted support from the Swedish Arts Council for the fixed costs of the activity - no matter how little or how much it is - cannot receive adjustment support.

This mainly applies The Cultural Council's support for special needs (for projects or activities). Support for canceled and postponed events do not collide in the same way, as this does not apply to fixed costs without loss of revenue. However, it is possible that any additional costs incurred (such as rent) may affect.

The Swedish Council for Culture nevertheless calls on the actors who live up to the criteria for adjustment support to apply for this no later than Friday.

Do you also find this difficult to understand…? The Swedish Arts Council will happily invite you tomorrow, Tuesday 27 April, to a webinar together with the Swedish Tax Agency.
See the recorded webinar here!

How does the Swedish Cultural Council's crisis support interact with the Swedish Tax Agency's adjustment support?
Employees from the Swedish Arts Council and the Swedish Tax Agency provide current information about the grants. It is possible to ask questions towards the end. The webinar is also recorded published on our website after editing and subtitling.

Hopeful seminar at Folk Alliance

Going Public: Putting Together a Promotion Plan that Works

Folk Alliance International assembled a panel with global focus, solid industry knowledge and experience. An inspiring and hopeful seminar where everyone agreed: Start with the Art!
Start with art in other words - the expression, the arrangement, the text, every word and tone is important. Twist and turn, ball with colleagues and friends! How do other artists who succeed in getting media attention? A tip is to follow them, subscribe to their mailings and pages on social media, follow them on Spotify, then maybe they will start following you. Be inspired by others!
There was also talk of a career plan and building a team around the business, about media communication and budget distribution.
Here you can see all the Folk Alliance seminars and the above can be seen in full here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9B5DaWL1a8

Watch out after Folk Alliance seminars and subscribe to their newsletter to learn more and participate in upcoming webinars!

Live Music from Sweden - apply with concert film now!

We are now starting the national venture Live Music from Sweden and need your concert films to be able to create a digital showcase channel for highly current Swedish live music.
Through the new concert channel Live Music from Sweden together we reach relevant bookers, internationally and nationally, with concerts in showcase format, max 15 minutes long.
 
Application for professional Swedish artists and music groups' current concert films has now opened! The application can be made by artists and musicians themselves, companies or organizations. Selection will take place continuously during the year, so do not wait to submit your proposals!
 
Behind the investment Live Music from Sweden stands Music center, Export Music Sweden and The administration for Cultural development VGR. And more partners are on the way in.

Jazzahead in digital form - are you going?

From April 29 to May 2, the largest international jazz fair will take place, Jazzahead, of the stack.
Are you going there?
Keep in mind that:
Today, April 16, is the last chance to apply for a free participant pass at Export Music Sweden!
Notify us that you are going there!
Update artistsidor and links!
The fair will not be what it used to be - fewer delegates and a digital program!
Read about key people who are going there!
Check out the program and decide what to participate in!

Today, 16 april, is the last chance to apply for a free participant passport at Export Music Sweden. But you can also pay yourself and register yourself via the fair's own website until it starts.
In normal cases own Jazzahead place in German Bremen but now the fair will be held in digital form. What does that mean? Is there any idea to participate? Musikcentrum Riks international coordinator, Ragnar Berthling - who is also the operations manager for Musikcentrum Öst, answers:

Why go to Jazzahead?

- Jazzahead is the internationally largest meeting place for jazz music. But IRL participation requires a fairly extensive effort. I start booking appointments a couple of months in advance and maintain continuous contact with key people on an annual basis.
- In order for a freelance musician to be able to properly use his time there, a lot of preparation is required. It is about defining their long- and short-term goals. I have previously had a voluntary online workshop for all music center members who want and should be in a place where I go through the practicalities. Possibly I will have a similar one this year for the digital. The problem is that the organization of Jazzahead is pretty loose on the edge right now so it needs to clear up a bit more but everyone who is registered and members of any music center will be contacted before the fair and I will support in the way I can.
- In addition to the preparatory work and the work on site, you need to spend additional time on finishing work when the fair is over.

Why should you "go there" this year when the fair is digital?

- I have participated in about fifteen international music fairs during the pandemic and the quality has really varied. WOMEX, which is the world music version of Jazzahead, for example, was rather disorganized and took place on a bad platform - but became an opportunity to keep the network going and I had a series of zoom meetings off the platform.
- Now it is a completely different situation because the live scenes will most likely start to open up this autumn and I will try to get as many meetings, matchmaking (I hope that Export Music Sweden's matchmaking will be off) and other updates of my own contacts and knowledge as possible.

- IF there is an opportunity for more concrete discussions about livegig, I look forward to it. So I have high hopes of getting a lot done during the fair. Right now, there are just over 500 delegates registered, of which about eighty musicians and as many agents, but only about forty "presenters" - festivals, clubs and so on. so It is now a clear predominance for sellers and significantly fewer buyers. I personally think that a lot will happen before the fair starts - but you have to be prepared that it will not be even close to a normal fair. In 2019, there were 3400 delegates.

- I think it is obvious that everyone with international ambitions should apply for ExMS support and if you are selected - make sure you are free on those days! Check out as many seminars and showcase gigs as you can, read on and book appointments! And as before all trade fairs, you should prepare your digital material, think about your elevator pitch when you book appointments and make sure that you can get what you want in a maximum of 5 minutes.
- You who have been there before should think through how you want to transfer that work to digital form and I recommend that you use the slightly smaller amount of participants to try to read about key people. My experience is that they are the most important people who also go to digital fairs.

How can you benefit from being a member of the Music Center if you go there?

- IRL is about me coordinating the mediation work for the three associations and supporting all members. Now I will get in touch with everyone registered and offer some form of kick-off snack with advice and tricks. But this year, Musikcentrum Riks has given the opportunity to all associations to have a representative there - so there is also the opportunity to get support from their regional association. I will support everyone on site, but of course I know the MCÖ artists better and can give a more personal support there. Possibly I will be able to have a "morning meeting" on Thursday and Friday for those who want.
- Whether you take the cost yourself or seek support from ExMS - make sure you register as soon as possible! If there will be a short pre-fair meeting on zoom, it will take place early the same week as Jazzahead begins.

- Then it is always important to see the collective image. What benefit does our entire network have from the Music Center working internationally? Every time a representative of the Music Center participates in an international context, a panel or a trade fair, a new window opens to the Swedish music scene. As a whole, this work, which all members are involved in and support through their membership, will make us much more ready when the wheels start to spin again. All efforts that are made are based on members coming up with input, telling us about things that are happening, informing us about what priorities you want to make, when you plan international initiatives, when you release new music, when you have new collaborations. If we get that kind of information and ideas, we can include them in our meetings with the international music scene.

Education and pandemic at content-rich parliament

MCV's Lasse Franck was in (digital) place when the Riksting for Western art music was held on 23 March. It was a very eventful morning whose cultural-political ingredients were highly relevant to all musical genres - not just to art music. One of these ingredients was the Music Center's survey.

Susanne Rydén, preses i Kungl. The Academy of Music and CEO of Music in the South, began by telling about the initiative Singing children. She declared the National Agency for Education incapable of considering aesthetic subjects as areas of knowledge - aesthetic subjects no longer give credit points at upper secondary school level and it is now proposed that the student's choice should be removed from the compulsory school curriculum. In addition, the positive influence of music is not used in other subjects, even though research clearly shows that it promotes brain development and learning.
- How many studies on the positive impact of classical music on study peace and concentration need to be presented before we trust the results? Should we not take the signals seriously when higher education institutions such as the Stockholm School of Economics initiate courses in aesthetic areas to promote creativity - precisely because the students are not equipped with this in their previous schooling, Rydén asked.

Research and principals can promote music education
In the ensuing discussion, the moderates' education policy spokesperson pressed Kristina Axén Olin that the music lessons are few in comparison with other subjects and that we in Sweden have fewer lessons than in, for example, Denmark. She also believes that there are all opportunities to create good conditions for music teaching even if the student's choice should disappear and that it is largely up to each school's management and principal.
The Social Democratic chairman of the Education Committee Gunilla Svanstorp noted that many music teachers are worried about their services and think that politicians listen too little to research.
Axén Olin and Svanstorp agreed that research results and good examples need to be made visible and disseminated before Rydén concluded with the hope that a significant part of the country's principals will be present the next time the matter is discussed.

The cultural journalist, the musician and the music teacher Sofia Lilly Jönsson read his written and much appreciated speech You are the song. About the song as an emergency.

Can the live wind music live?
Noomi Hedlund
gave a speech about the future of wind music, which began with a look back where she stated that it had been threatened for a long time, that warning signals and alarm reports had been heeded, but that the negative development still seemed to continue. 50 years ago there were more than 30 professional wind ensembles - today there are only nine.
- If nothing is done now, we risk going to an increasingly quieter, grayer and more and more digital society where some wind instruments are only left in archives from a bygone era, said Noomi, whose speech can be read in full here.

Music life after the pandemic
Svensk Scenkonsts VD Mikael Brännvall talked about life after the pandemic and expressed optimism about the audience's return to the scenes. He does not believe that there is any risk that the consumption behavior forced by the pandemic - where we experience most things through screens - will continue. However, he expressed concern about the performers and took up the Music Center's survey which shows that every third musician is considering leaving the profession. He was also concerned that children and young people have now missed half of the school stage's encounters with culture.
Brännvall further stated that there is a lot of talk about what music and music life now needs to get from the state and said that it is equally important to turn it around and ask the question what music can give society when it is to recover.

Christer Nylander (L), Vasiliki Tsouplaki (V), Per Lodenius (C), Aron Emilsson (SD), Roland Utbult (KD) and Pernilla Stålhammar (MP) gathered at moderator Noomi Hedlund while Lawen Redar (S) and Viktor Wärnick ( M) participated via link.

United cultural politicians self-critical
The cultural policy spokespersons for all parliamentary parties then participated in a panel discussion, exemplified by Noomi Hedlund. The members of the Culture Committee show great agreement across party lines and seem to agree that the current situation has highlighted shortcomings in the social insurance system that must be remedied and created new pressure for it to work for combiners as well. As well as that they must do more to increase security for free actors - for example through investments in the center formations and cultural alliances.
Lawen Redar (S) stated that scholarships are not sickness benefit qualifying. But maybe they should be?

Christer Nylander (L) said that the restart investigation must be offensive and followed up properly. Viktor Wärnick (M) took the opportunity to mention the proposal for a 70% cost coverage for canceled events that his party raised and which the week after the Riksdag was presented by the government.
Everyone was also worried that fewer people were applying to the music academies' educations.
- It is not a cultural or educational policy issue - it is a societal issue, said Nylander who also claimed that digitalisation is admittedly necessary but not the solution to much or the future of Swedish culture.
While politicians now realize that they need to improve support and security systems, and adapt them to the conditions of cultural workers, they believe that cultural life itself also has lessons to be learned - for example about how to contract each other.

Riksting for Western art music is arranged by Kungl. The Academy of Music in collaboration with the King. The Academy of Music and Swedish Performing Arts.