Conference 2016

Ex-YU Experience

Wednesday 3 Feb, 18:00 @ Komuna (Kino Šiška)

HOST: Hannes Tschürtz (Ink Music, AT)

SPEAKERS: Login Kočiški (Password, MK), Mirna Zarić (Charmenko, TR), Nikola Sekulović (musician, SI), Sanjin Đukić (LAA, HR)


During the opening panel, speakers from four different countries of former Yugoslavia and from different backgrounds (manager, musician, booking agent, PR, festival, label) will offer a broad introduction into the hills and valleys of the ex-YU music market – its specifics, differences, unwritten rules, best practices, opportunities, as well as bust some of the myths and mysteries of this restless region. It is the perfect opportunity to find out first-hand what you have always wanted to know about the regional music scene!

Speed Networking: Kafana Skopje – Ljubljana 

Thursday 4 Feb, 10:00 @ Komuna (Kino Šiška)


Kafana is the lively welcoming place where Balkan people meet, socialize, drink and discuss business, politics and life. Enjoy a coffee or even a morning rakija to boost your networking and meet influential people from the music markets and scenes of ex-YU countries. A great opportunity to network with delegates from all corners of the music industry (management, labels, booking agencies, festivals, journalists …) and to create new business opportunities!


Login Kočiški (Password, MK), Ivana Jelača (INmusic Festival, HR), Mate Škugor (Žedno Uho, HR), Vedran Meniga (Pozitivan Ritam, HR), Predrag Ivanović (Odličan Hrčak, Gun Club, Zaokret, RS), Oliver Belopeta (Skopje Jazz Festival, MK), Bogdan Benigar (Cankarjev dom, SI), Andrej Sevšek (Gala Hala, Punk Rock Holiday, SI), Sandi Maver (Rock Vibe, SI), Edo Plovanič (, HR), Krešimir Blažević (, HR), Jernej Sobočan (Val 202, musician, SI), Vladica Mladenovski (MKC Skopje, MK), Branimir Jovančević  (Drugstore, RS), Nikola Jovanović (Lampshade Media, RS), Bojana Ljubišić (KC Grad, Kišobran, RS), Samir Čulić (BH Radio 1, BA), Edin Zubčević (Gramofon, BA), Miran Rusjan (Moonlee Records, SI), Matjaž Manček (Kino Šiška, SI), Andraž Kajzer (MENT Ljubljana, SI)

To participate in the speed networking session, please register in advance – write to:

The number of participants is limited. Registration functions on a first come, first served basis.

Listening Session

Thursday 4 Feb, 12:15 @ Komuna (Kino Šiška)


HOST: Jernej Sobočan (Val 202 / musician, SI)

SPEAKERS: Si Hawkins (journalist, UK), Mariusz Herma (beehype, PL), Barbora Šubrtová (United Islands of Prague, CZ), Leo Vidmar (Potlista, HR)


A group of international music professionals will go on a blind date with songs by selected MENT artists, who will receive immediate, direct and honest feedback. We bet you don’t often get a chance to hear an honest analysis of individual songs by internationally renowned music experts – so don’t miss this one!

Festivals and New Talents

Thursday 4 Feb, 11:00 @ Katedrala (Kino Šiška)


HOST: Tatjana Domany (Austrian Music Export, AT)

SPEAKERS: Michal Kaščák (Pohoda Festival, SK), Slobodan Milunović (MetalDays, SI), Dan Panaitescu (Sziget, HU), François Audigier (Europavox, FR)


The festival industry has been on the rise in the last few years and it is no surprise newcomer bands often view festival performances as their main opportunity and the biggest step to success. But let’s check the reality behind it. How do festivals discover and select young and upcoming bands? How are the musicians treated? What is their standing in the festival line-up? Is there any room to promote newcomer bands within the festival promotion? Do festivals represent that big step forward in a band’s career?

The Echo of 2015, the Sound of 2016


Thursday, 4 Feb, 13:30 @ Katedrala (Kino Šiška)


HOST: Richard Foster (The Quietus, WORM, Smikkelbaard, NL)
SPEAKERS: Nick Hobbs (Charmenko, TR), Helen Sildna (Tallinn Music Week, EE), Scott Cohen (The Orchard, UK)


2015 is over. It is time for a music overview and analysis of the most notable events, interesting moments and key changes in the music industry that marked the past year. How did the concert and festival industries experience 2015? How did the record industry survive another year, and is vinyl still on the rise? What’s new in media/tech/business? Lastly, what do music professionals expect 2016 will bring?

Talk: Helen Sildna / Tallinn Music Week  – A Tool for Change

Thursday 4 Feb, 16:00 @ Katedrala (Kino Šiška)

SPEAKER: Helen Sildna (Tallinn Music Week, EE)


Tallinn Music Week was founded in 2009 with a very clear goal – to make the music industry work in Estonia. The festival steadily grew stronger and broader and became a launching pad for both local and also regional artists from all music genres, providing them with a fair chance in the international music industry circles. Today it is a major international event with around 25.000 visitors and international participants from more than 50 countries. Music, from classical to punk, remains the core part of its programme, but the festival hosts a variety of creative and educative programmes for a curious mind: design, arts, cuisine, technology, science, urban spaces, talks and discussions. Through its seven years of existence, TMW has played a significant role in setting up the Music Estonia music export office and lobbying for creative industries policies and tourism strategies on a governmental level, as well as standing up for some of the core values in the society – openness, equal opportunities and respect for all cultures and forms of free self-expression. In 2015 the festival’s founder Helen Sildna was awarded the Citizen of the Year title in Estonia for backing a citizens’ initiative in support of a tolerant society. TMW has become a tool for change, a tool for a better society and an inspiration on how creativity can drive the whole country. Let’s hear Helen’s vision and story at MENT!

Music Export Office in Action


Thursday, 4 Feb, 12:30 @ M Hotel


HOST: Virgo Sillamaa (Music Estonia, EE)

SPEAKERS: Michał Hajduk (AMI, PL), Riku Salomaa (Music Finland, FI), Hannes Tschürtz (Ink Music, AT)  


Ever wondered what “Music Export Office” means and what it really does for artists? We will discuss the basic idea behind MEOs, their roles and missions, how they work, their advantages, best practices, results and long-term effects, various experiences, organizational forms, as well as how they ensure a representative selection of artists and maximize their benefits.

The New Life of Indie Labels

Thursday, 4 Feb, 15:00 @ M Hotel


HOST: Chris Eckman (Glitterbeat Records, SI/US)

SPEAKERS: Tony Duckworth ([PIAS] Poland and Eastern Europe, PL), Andy Bibey (One Little Indian Records, UK), Dace Volfa (I Love You Records, LV), Miran Rusjan (Moonlee Records, SI)


In a time when artists can publish their music directly and promote their work independently, many expected that the digital world would render record labels obsolete. However, despite all the digital possibilities and the reputation of labels (be it justified or not), bands still want to sign with record labels and record labels still have something extra to offer. There is still an obvious need and a place for independent record labels in the digital age. Let’s find out how record labels cope with the present situation and survive in these turbulent times.

Lost & Found in Digital

Thursday 4 Feb, 17:00 @ M Hotel


HOST: Scott Cohen (The Orchard, UK)

SPEAKERS: Simon Wheeler (Beggars Group, UK), András Bozán Bodrogi (Google Ground Budapest, HU), Dartsya Tarkovska (Soundbuzz, UA)


It seems that the digital age has brought about endless new possibilities in the music industry – streaming, digital distribution, social media, Youtube, various digital platforms – all of which are fantastic, user-friendly promotion tools with immediate effects. However, one can quickly get lost and miss out on the main benefits, due to a lack of understanding of what is actually happening in the broad picture. What is the role of promotion in the digital world, the value of data and the importance of analytics, the need for understanding the shift from ownership to access to music, and recent changes in revenue flows? All this needs to be taken into account before opening a discussion of the possibilities, common errors and misunderstandings, best practices, tricks and secrets of each specific platform.    

The ABC of D: Social Media in Music

Thursday 4 Feb, 14:00 @ M Hotel 2


SPEAKER: Andrew Apanov (Dotted Music, US)


You are likely to agree: there are too many social media platforms available for musicians, and there is too little time to manage even a few, let alone all of them. What social networks are worth focusing on in 2016? Which tools to use to spend as little time as possible on managing your social media world? How to combine different social media platforms and what should be the interaction between them? What is too much and what is not enough? Andrew Apanov will run through the key social media platforms that every artist needs these days – from Facebook and Twitter to SoundCloud and Patreon – and explain exactly how each of them is applied to the world of music. By the end you will know exactly where to invest your time and energy.

The Future of Music Media

Friday 5 Feb, 11:00 @ Komuna (Kino Šiška)



HOST: Izak Košir (journalist, SI)

SPEAKERS: Jan Clausen (Factory 92, DE), Daniel Koch (Intro Magazine, DE), Michael Luger (They Shoot Music, AT), Lenart J. Kučić (Delo, SI)


Digitalisation has turned the music media sphere upside down – and keeps turning it to this day (anyone remember Myspace?). Let’s question the future of music media and see where radio, web/printed magazines, blogs, music journalists, live sessions, new media formats and platforms are heading. Which media will new generations turn to in the future?

Keynote Interview: Martin Elbourne (Glastonbury Festival)

Friday, 5 Feb, 12:45 @ Katedrala (Kino Šiška)

MODERATOR: Dijana Lakuš (MusicGlue, UK/HR)
SPEAKER: Martin Elbourne (Glastonbury Festival, UK)


Dijana Lakuš will interview Martin Elbourne, whose career spans an impressive 35 years in the music industry (primarily live music). Let’s hear his experiences from when he was the agent for The Smiths and New Order and co-founding WOMAD festival with Peter Gabriel, all the way to working with the Glastonbury festival, co-founding The Great Escape festival in Brighton, and everything in between. Get ready for some spicy “backstage” stories!

Talk: Bastl Instruments 

Friday, 5 Feb, 15:00 @ Katedrala (Kino Šiška)

Bastl Instruments is a dynamic and community driven company focused on producing hand-made electronic musical instruments. The products they make mainly spring from their needs they have as musicians and range from tabletop instruments and utilities to modules for eurorack modular systems. They are based in Brno, Czech Republic where they also run a small shop called It all started in 2011 as Standuino and transformed into Bastl in 2013. MENT (with Ljudmila) will hold a 2-day workshop which will end with a little performance on Friday night.

Keynote Interview: Jeff Owens (Ghostly International)

Friday, 5 Feb, 16:00 @ Katedrala (Kino Šiška)

MODERATOR: Relja Bobić (Dis-Patch, RS)
SPEAKER: Jeff Owens (Ghostly International, US)

Independent record labels that have endured the rapidly changing landscape of the music industry in the last 15 years are much more than mere music publishers. They have become globally recognizable platforms for showcasing the best music, visual arts and creative innovation in terms of connecting to new audiences and following the digital business trail. Ghostly International is exactly that – a multi-platform cultural curator, tightly knit aesthetic universe fulfilling the roles of art gallery, design house, clothing designer, technology innovator, music-publishing company and – yes, a record label. Jeff Owens has been with the company for about 11 years, and is currently director of the Ghostly International and Spectral Sound labels. In conversation with Relja Bobić he will reveal some of their creative and business strategies and reflect on the ever-changing state of the independent music industry. Good, quality music is just the foundation for building a great record label. Jeff will reveal all of the other ingredients.

Introducing Belarus

Friday 5 Feb, 11:30 @ M Hotel


HOST: John Robb (Louder Than War, UK)

SPEAKERS: Dmitri Bezkorovainyi (, BY), Natallia Kunitskaya (Mustelide – artist, BY)


Belarus is a country of almost 10 million people, a thriving music scene and growing presence on the European showcase festival circuit. It is next door to Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Ukraine, which makes it a market you cannot afford miss, should you go on tour to the Baltic countries or Russia. In honour of the premiere performances of two Belarus artists at MENT Ljubljana, we invite everyone to learn more about Belarus and its music scene. Meet Dmitri Bezkorovainyi ( journalist and promotion manager) and Natallia Kunitskaya (Mustelide).

Agent’s Panel – The Art of Band Picking

Friday 5 Feb, 14:00 @ M Hotel


HOST: Jake Beaumont-Nesbitt (IMMF, UK)

SPEAKERS: Bob Van Heur (Belmont Bookings, Le Guess Who? Festival, NL), Steven Thomassen (Toutpartout, BE), Anita Richelli (Paper And Iron Booking, DE), Mirna Zarić (Charmenko, TR)


Young artists often dream of playing at popular festivals and legendary venues, and a good booking agent should be the person to make their dreams come true. However, the reality is that agents often strive to work with established and popular artists. It is therefore interesting to find out how agents find and choose the artists they work with; how much room is there for upcoming bands, especially if they come from smaller, less established and more difficult markets? What are the agents’ expectations, plans and strategies for young artists? Are booking agents also the labels’ A&R people? Let’s dive into the agents’ mindset and understand their perspective!

Ex-YU Express 

Friday 5 Feb, 15:00 @ M Hotel 2


HOST: Maja Valjak (Menart, HR)

SPEAKERS: Bogdan Benigar (Cankarjev dom, SI), Login Kočiški (Password, MK), Dijana Lakuš (MusicGlue, UK/HR)


It is no secret there are not many instances of bands, festivals, managers and labels from former Yugoslavian countries breaking through and gaining recognition on the international stage. Let’s hear the main reasons for this situation, the key deficiencies and what needs to be done to change it, as well as examine and analyze some of the success stories, attempting to define long-term strategies for more frequent international success stories.

Presentation: Stereosun

Friday, 5 Feb, 17:00 @ Kino Šiška – hall – UP



Stereosun is a tool for DJing and live performance for producers, developed by a small team of Slovenian music and UX enthusiasts. Instead of using faders, knobs and buttons, you control your tracks by moving them around in space. It is not just another controller, but unique software that is designed specifically for touchscreen technology. It is currently available for the iPad and packed with standard sound controls and other exciting features. Check it out live at MENT!