MOST – the Bridge for Balkan Music
The mission of MOST Music is to boost the music market of the Balkans by connecting and supporting actors of the world music scene; artists, managers, festivals and institutions. MOST builds a bridge connecting the Balkans and the global music market, a bridge made up of personal connections, experience and exchange.
This Creative Europe-supported project channels the amazing potential and exciting cultural mix of the South East European region into the larger European circulation. MOST is focused on creating buzz around the contemporary Balkan music brand, actively looking beyond the stereotypes.
A Complex Strategy for the Balkan Music Industry
The Balkans is a region of amazing resources and untapped potential. Most people associate its music with blaring brass and boisterous party tunes, but the peninsula boasts a complex and precious musical heritage that has inspired and shaped European music for several centuries and is vibrant and multifaceted to this day.
However, music from the Balkans has still not reached its deserved place in the global market, with artists, festivals and professionals lingering in relative isolation. The MOST Music project aims to correct this through professional training, audience development, supporting mobility of artists and professionals, event management, platform development, policy suggestions and pilot projects, empowering the region and its representatives within a wider international context.
Our program promotes the Balkan music sector in multiple ways. First of all, we promote the Balkan music industry’s sustainable growth through our complex strategies for artists, young professionals, events, venues, and even project through our project incubator. Secondly, we focus on long-term capacity building with training, mentoring, impact-focused investments. We believe in building bridges between the South East and West of Europe through personal connections and professional relationships.
Who is MOST For?
MOST targets many groups of the music industry with different programs, called pillars. Our four pillars target
- bands & managers
- young managers, bookers & promoters
- festival organisers and club owners
– all world music professionals who are ready and keen to step onto the international scene. We also look for people with creative project ideas who want to boost the local or regional music market of the Balkans: urban creatives, local decision makers, activists, public servants, NGOs, students and researchers working in the cultural field and urban planning are all within our target groups.
Geographically, the project’s scope includes: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania and Serbia. One exception is for festivals & clubs – in the Festival & Club Exchange pillar we recruit from any Creative Europe member state.
The Four Pillars of our Bridge
MOST has four pillars of training programs, each have several rounds. The pillars target different sectors of the music industry: musicians, managers, event organizers and project managers. Learn more about the pillars by reading about the Balkan Music Export for artists, the Management Training pillar for young music industry professionals, the Festival & Club Exchange pillar for event organizers and the Urban Project Hub for those with creative project ideas.
MOST Music is a 4-year-long project. During these 4 years, a total of 3 Rounds will complete the training programs – this means, we have multiple groups of “MOST Alumni” who form an ever-growing network of “graduates”, supporting each other.
The program offers different value for the different target sectors – from performance opportunities to job-shadowing and traineeship positions, artist exchanges and more. MOST is present at major world music events, such as Budapest Ritmo or WOMEX, and supports its participants with access to these important events.
We already hit milestones such as the first MOST-supported performance at WOMEX 21 by the band Naked, or the outstanding success of Oratnitza’s new album, Zavrzlama, produced with support by MOST, trending on the European and Transglobal World Music Charts for weeks.
We Stand for the Values of World Music
Participants of MOST Music come from all walks of life and many different segments of the music industry. We encourage this diversity, and believe in the power of music to open doors and build bridges. Music, specifically world music (you may know it by different names, such as roots, global, etno, fusion, or else) is especially suitable for cultural exchange. These genres, rooted in tradition and inspired by contemporary globalist culture, are great ambassadors for opening hearts and minds and for preserving cultural heritage – both core values of the MOST Music project.
An International Community
An important element of MOST Music is relationship-building. The project was initially hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic, but even during the months of lockdown, the network provided opportunities for international collaboration and later for in-person meetings and exchange. This is a core value in the MOST project – we believe that building bridges across the European music industry is best done through personal connections and professional relationships.
To best benefit the partcipants, MOST Music is run by a consortium, a network of 11 partner organisations across Europe, from Bulgaria to the United Kingdom. The project is led by the Budapest-based Hangvető. Our partners cover a large geographical and cultural area: Password Production, the EXIT Foundation, the Bulgarian Music Association, the Timisoara European Capital of Culture project, and REK Remont Kapital, as well as Songlines magazine, WOMEX (Piranha Arts), Bozar and Pro Progressione as associated partner. Click here to learn more about our partners, who you will be able to meet at various MOST events, workshops, or may even apply to work with them personally.
MOST is supported by Creative Europe, the European Union’s framework programme for support to the culture and audiovisual sectors.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence