Norwegian muscles flexed at Womex 2002

This year’s Womex marked the strongest Norwegian presence ever. With one of the fairs biggest stands, the activity was hectic throughout the duration of this world/ethnic/folk/crossover music trade expo.

Womex 2002 Norwegian Stand (Photo: Norwegian Traditional Music Agency)

The Norwegian delegation comprised a cross section of the industry; record labels, festivals, concert networks, managements and information and export bodies. Continuing the Norway Now theme branded at fairs Midem and Popkomm, the Norwegian stand was one of the biggest at this year’s Womex – no doubt an indication of the industry’s growing international ambition.

Says Norwegian Traditional Music Agency’s Ola K.Berge: We’re very satisfied. We have had two main aims: to have Norwegian traditional music released abroad and to bring these artists and performers on tour. In this respect we have met some very interesting contacts, and we are now starting the most important phase of the participation to the fair: the following up. One other important aspect to Womex is that the Norwegian participants get to meet each other – we felt that the inter-communication with the Norwegian delegation was very good and that our presence was strong. I think it’s a strong signal to the rest of the world when the Norwegian delegation unites at a joint stand.

The activity at the Norwegian stand was at times nearly frantic. Friday in particular was hectic; artists, record labels, managements and agents seeking opportunities in Norway were among the most frequent visitors to this one of the biggest stands at Womex. But the Norwegian delegation was not a passive one, awaiting international initiatives. Most of the participants were highly proactive, seeking out possible co-operation partners. Several processes were started at Womex: licensing deals, distribution or future tours were among the topics discussed. What a remains is for many the most vital part of the process: following up on all of the contacts gained at Womex.

Only the months to come can prove whether if Womex has been a Norwegian success. What remains a certainty however is that this was the strongest presence at Womex ever and the effort put into it by the Norwegian delegation was among the fair’s most energetic.

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