Discover the Music Moves Europe – Cooperation of Small Music Venues’ Projects

Back in 2019, the European Commission launched the Pilot Call “Cooperation of Small Music Venues“, as part of the Music Moves Europe programme.
In this framework, 12 consortium of music venues under 400 capacity were selected to run a 12 months cooperation project.
This article intends to give a thorough overlook at the project selected and the actions they were able to achieve.

Live music places as drivers of diversity

About: “The aim of this project is to promote the role of the music scenes as safe meeting places in society and in meetings with a more diverse audience.

Through various activities such as meetings, seminars, workshops and events, the project will ensure increased competence among the project partners, form the basis for new collaboration structures, and provide increased visibility for the music scenes among the public and among public authorities.”

Partners: City of BergenBergen KunsthallLandmarkKulturhuset ØstreBorealis (NO)

Budget: €30 000 (part given by Music Moves Europe programme)

Learn from your neighbours!

About: The main purpose of the project is to amplify the communication of the small (up to 400 capacity) venues in Estonia and Finland. As part of the project, a research is…

conducted to map the opportunities and challenges of the small venues. One of the goals is to also impact the way small music venues are seen by the local governments and reflect with them how surprisingly similar the issues the venues face in different countries are.

Additionally, the participating venues get a chance to visit each other’s places and learn from each other, discuss about the ways the venues are operating and expand their networks, which also helps to improve the exchange of artists between Estonia and Finland in the future.

Partners: Music Estonia (EE), LiveFIN (FI), Bar Loose (FI), Kultuuriklubi Tempel (EE), Genialistide Klubi (EE), Philly Joe’s Jazzclub (EE), Sveta Baar (EE), 45 Special (FI), G Livelab Helsinki (FI), Maanalainen (FI), Torvi (FI).

Budget: €50 000 (part given by Music Moves Europe programme)

Create dynamics and opportunities

About: The goal of the project is to create a dynamic between Portugal and Spain that represents new opportunities for musicians, agents and the public.

Partners: A macho alfa – Associação CulturalMaus Hábitos and La Melona

Budget: €50 000 (part given by Music Moves Europe programme)

All music grows from the grassroots

About: “EEnlarge Europe is an educational and cooperational project tailored for the grassroot scene’s needs. Our goal is to keep music alive by supporting and cooperating

with each other, sharing knowledge, achieving a high standard of quality and helping emerging artists, because music is the oxygen in our blood.
Grassroot venues have a cultural mission and they know what good music is, but they need help and need cooperation within the scene.

Music venues are disappearing due to gentrification, economic problems and/or political reasons, therefore bands have almost nowhere to play and develop their live performances early on in their careers. This situation had become even more polarized by COVID crisis.

Venues need to improve all sorts of skills, help each other and share the workload, and by improving their soft skills and cooperating with each other they can strengthen and make more independent the whole music scene. It has to start at the grassroots. Enlarge Europe wants to be a Europe-wide cooperation hub that actively provides knowledge in order to shift from harmful market-based competition into a healthy transcultural and transnational mutual assistance. »

PartnersChannel Zero from Ljubljana (SI), Nappali from Pécs (HU), Moszkva Kávézó from Oradea (RO), Kvaka 22 from Belgrade (RS), Zentropia from Senta (RS)

DeliverablesAudience Research Survey Template // Toolbox will be soon available

Budget: €70 000 (part given by Music Moves Europe programme)

Cooperation to support the sector

About: “The objective of the project is to highlight and contrast different music scenes around Europe, their invaluable influence on the development of creative communities,…

test new business models and promote local music talents.

The project is a digital exchange program aimed to test the differences in venues’ business models, share the experience, learn the opportunities to cooperate in such a long distance between them and work together on the capacity building of staff and its local music community. Along with that, the organizers will support local talents in the times of uncertainty and ban of live music events with the series of streams aired in all 4 countries.

This will help artists to promote their music abroad and reach a potential new audience. As part of the project, organizers will test new business models on how to improve the communication and cooperation in the business triangle promoter — venue — artist. 

As a consequence of the pandemic, music venues have closed their doors, making it hard for their stuff to make ends meet and for artists to take the spotlight and reach potential new audiences. Venues have long ago became the ideas hubs and the instrument of creative progress around them. With this in mind project organizers would like to compare and re-think their business strategies with the help of technology, and help themselves stay afloat and their local music communities to grow.”

Partners: Podium Asteriks (NL), Belvédère Namur (BE), Firlej (PO), Mezzanine (UA)

Budget: €47 285 (part given by Music Moves Europe programme)

Perspectives for a prosperous nightlife

About: The project wants to create a sustainable, internationally meshed and competitive ecosystem for small music venues in one of the liveliest music cities in Europe.

The project will professionalise the activities of the Leipzig’s live music scene network as a blueprint for similar initiatives in other cities. The action focuses on transnational knowledge exchange for capacity building, engages policy and administrative authorities and makes visible the role of venues in the cultural and creative ecosystem.

We want to develop and implement innovative concepts to make the nightlife of the future sustainable, economical and climate-friendly while improving the ability of small music venues to act in order to meet new challenges and improve the position of music venues in the long term.

The planned actions focus on transnational knowledge exchange, the search for sustainable ways of running venues, engage communication with political and administrative decision-makers and make the role of venues in the cultural, creative and economic spheres of influence more visible.

Leipzig’s music venues are thus empowered to maintain their contribution to cultural diversity and their function as a platform for young and emerging female artists, and to promote business development in an increasingly complex environment.”

Partners: Debreceni Campus (HU), University of Debrecen (HU), Cap 10100 (IT), Fontaine Palace (LV)

Budget: €70 000 (part given by Music Moves Europe programme)

Innovative spaces for creative music

About: “With Offbeat, we want to promote a process of recognition of the work and projects of these live music venues in Europe with the construction of a common

label, based on the experiences of the 3 main partners of the project. This label would cover two missions:

 To highlight these projects to the public by presenting all that they represent beyond the concert activity.
 To enhance the value of these actors among partners by putting them in perspective with numerous European venues.”

Partners: Le Périscope (FR), Budapest Music Center (HU), Le Petit Faucheux (FR)

Budget: €27 000 (part given by Music Moves Europe programme)

Securing the sustainability

About: Reykjavík Music City and a consortium of small music venues in the city are working on a 14-month project to secure a sustainable future for small music venues in the city.

This will be done through three main actions:

  • Creating a platform where public institutions and offices involved in operating licenses share knowledge with the music venues. Supporting a constructive dialogue between these parties and the music venues about what can be improved upon.
  • Educate venue operators and musicians about event management, promotion, and marketing with the main focus of reaching new audiences – young people and tourists. Emphasis will be placed on innovation and collaboration between the music venues.
  • Shaping the collaboration between music venues in Reykjavík by establishing an association or formal organization to support further cooperation and ensure the continuation of the actions that have been initiated through the project.

Partners: Reykjavik Music CityMengiGaukurinnHannesarholt and Dillon (Reykjavik, IS)

Budget: €30 000 (part given by Music Moves Europe programme)

Set the volume of your city!

About: The program addresses issues such as how young people aged 16-23 can be involved as volunteers in small music clubs, how they can become the audience of…

the future, thus strengthening the often struggling live music venues in small and medium-sized European cities. Also on the agenda will be how to better involve the public in decisions about the lives of clubs, how a light music venue can become an integral part of the urban and university cultural ecosystem. We will also conduct a study on the role of involvement and participatory decision-making in the future of music clubs.

Partners: Debreceni Campus (HU), University of Debrecen (HU), Cap 10100 (IT), Fontaine Palace (LV)

Budget: €70 000 (part given by Music Moves Europe programme)

More on the project

The pop venue as community space

About: “Throughout the year the different partners will work together by combining their experience and inviting several speakers to share their ideas. The result of the

collaborations will be a toolkit that can be used for local governments and fellow pop venues when setting up partnerships with new metropolitan communities.

“The Pop Venue as an Experimental Community Space” will look to develop alternative scenarios for the rapid and multifarious changes that small pop venues are currently dealing with. Specific attention and resources are reserved for creating collaboration strategies that engage marginalized and culturally diverse communities in their cities.”

PartnersWORM (Rotterdam, NL), Dabadaba (San Sebastian, ES), VK (Brussels, BE), Kvaka 22 (Belgrade, RS), Studenterhus Aarhus (Aarhus, DK), Termokiss (Pristina, XK) and Elementarz dla mieszkańców miast (Krakow, PL).

Deliverables: Toolbox will be soon available

Budget: €67 270 (part given by Music Moves Europe programme)

Synergies towards sustainability

About:  “SCENERGIES is a good practice exchange and network platform for the sustainability and progress of small music venues in Europe. The main goal of the project is to…

address the survival difficulties of small music venues by establishing synergies between music spaces in Europe, to promote the role of small music venues and ensure their relevance and sustainability in European cities.

SCENERGIES is based on the identification of good practices among the five experienced small music venues from five European countries (France, Belgium, Croatia, North Macedonia and Spain), the transfer of these good practices through training activities and the dissemination of these competitive strategies to ensure a wide coverage of the project’s impact.

SCENERGIES focuses on the exchange of best practices among the partners involved, their improvement and the creation of a Toolkit and its related online Platform with instructions on the application of good practices for competitive small music venues, which can be used by the staff, trainers or managers of any music venue in Europe who is struggling to keep relevant in the current context or that simple wishes to improve the venue’s performance by carrying out innovative and ethical practices.”

Partners: Sala X (ES), Muziecklub 4AD (BE), MKC Skopje (MK), Mochvara (HR), Le Grand Mix (FR)

Deliverables: Access the Toolkit

Budget: €62 672 (part given by Music Moves Europe programme)