Young managers, aspiring producers, bookers, resident every(wo)men of the music industry, here we go! These hardcore young music industry professionals are making big things happen in the Balkans. They’re badass drummers, assistant beekeepers – they are the ones with idealistic vision AND a practical mindset, too. Welcome to the MOST Music programme’s Management Training pillar!
“Committed to becoming a well-rounded music professional – I worked, consulted and collaborated with an array of music entities and artists. Today, I work as an independent consultant in artist, project and production management, alongside being devoted to curating music from contemporary ex-Yu artists and nourishing opportunities around this music scene. What drives me is sharing precious knowledge I gained from leaders in music industry education nd connecting with like-minded and trailblazing music professionals from the region that share the same mission.”
“Currently I am a PhD student on the same University and a research assistant on Creative Industries subject. I worked as a manager in creative venues where we organised concerts and music festivals. I was a producer of a first international saxophone festival, Belgrade Jazz Festival and I’m currently working as a program producer at Belgrade Youth Center. I want to become an expert in music industry management and to organize my own music festival in future.”
“For the past six years, I have been one of the core members of the Goulash Disko Festival team. Goulash Disko Festival is a small independently funded music and arts festival that takes place in Vis, Croatia. My official role there is to communicate with all artists before and during the festival, to make sure their raiders are accommodated, integrate them in and inform them about our community and that they have a memorable experience.”
“I run an organisation that works with small music events, helps young, unknown local artists have their first performances and get managers. There is a new generation of artists that desperately needs managing services, help if they are to improve their work and promote it outside their local city. Someone needs to get acquainted with current networks of festivals, clubs, bookers, promoters, agencies etc. that exist all around Balkans and Europe and help these young artists get exposure and know-how that they deserve. I can do that and I want to do that.”
“Although I study psychology, music is the one thing that brings me the most satisfaction in life. I played in bands at a young age. I learned how to be a stagehand and started working in a beloved music venue in Zagreb. I fell in love with this way of life, but as I started organizing events I discovered a great love for presenting bands to an audience.”
“My interests are further expanding my knowledge on how the music industry functions, from festivals to all sorts of entertainment events, what is the process behind branding an artist, how bookings really work. In 2018 I started as part of a technical support crew which buildt and demolished venues and festivals. I decided to go further into technical production and later started to lead a team of technicians. We do plays, concerts, music jams, lectures and art exhibits. I want to start learning about music production so that I can put out original pieces of art and embed myself as a true electronic artist/producer.”
“While my experience is concerning mostly event management in the Human Resources sector, I am passionate to develop my career towards music and cultural industries. I have lived in Berlin for the past three years, where I was trying to visit as many cultural and musical performances. These experiences, although I was in the position of the viewer, have inspired me to become a part of these productions – mainly because these experiences have brought passion for me to start thinking about developing career in this domain.”
“I am currently working as a programme coordinator at the European Capital of Culture – Novi Sad 2022. I am the head producer of a programme platform called the Danube Sea, coordinating technical production, marketing and project management teams. I also oversaw different specific projects including one where I created and organized a programme for young music talents from the region. This experience has showed that I have capacities to work within the field of the music industry.”
“Since May 2018 I have been working as a Project manager at the Foundation „Novi Sad – European Capital of Culture“. This is also my first experience in project and cultural management, during this period of 4+ years I have managed more than one hundred small and big projects including the organization of concerts of world music, classical, jazz, and other genres. Some examples of the recent music events I have been part of the organization are Jazz Marathon, NU Jazz, Pavilion on Štrand and Danubian Cultural Festival.”
“Music was always a part of me in one form or another. Either as a melophile at heart or later as a photojournalist with a focus on the music industry. While interviewing and photographing musicians, festival managers and other industry professionals I have gradually developed a natural interest in the details of an artist’s management.”
“I am a manager in the music industry who represents artists and connects them with prominent and established publishing houses, helping their music and visual identity to reach the largest possible audience. I intend to focus my future education, personal evaluation, and professional development on management, event organization, booking, and similar activities.”
“In 2012 during my long travels I’ve started to play some instruments. I was more than lucky to join some “closed doors” ceremonies from different cultures around the world, where music was playing a big part of it. This deeper view of the science & power of music hooked me and made it part of my life. I was lucky to meet great musicians, to see inside the Iranian music academy and how it is smartly organized, and to play in unusual places.”
“I have been working in event organisation for 6 years and have organised a wide range of events, from workshops to festivals and classes, parties and similar culturally progressive things. But I feel that the musical part was always lacking, until recently it was not my primary focus. My motivation is to expand my knowledge and experience by bringing the musical parts of our events to a bigger level.”
“I am a part of and co-manage the band Perija since 2015. I started to develop a strong interest in the music industry and in the way it works, and as I was learning by trial and error all these years, my biggest motivation is to finally learn directly from music professionals. I would also love to learn about booking, because I believe presenting an artist is one of the key connection points between the music and the listeners.”
“I am educated in visual arts and social sciences, but my work experience with music is quite limited, altough I have a clear vision and pretty extensive knowledge when it comes to music and world music in particular. I am open and quite eager to learn and my experience as a curator/cultural manager has given me important insights. I would like to start a world music festival in Montenegro. “
“As a project manager employed in culture for three years, I am interested in developing new music programs in my organization, the Association Kulturanova, based in Novi Sad, Serbia. I would like to learn more about the management of music festivals and other events, as well as the possibilities for their fundraising, marketing and promotion. I would like to network with cultural managers from other countries and develop cooperation with them and work with young, unestablished bands and music creators who do not find a place to promote their music in the mainstream media.”
“Andra began her journey in the ‘biz as a volunteer for the Filmul de Piatra film festival in 2013. But in 2018, when Vlad, one of her closest friends started his own band (Adam’s Nest), she was ready and able to accept the manager role. Shortly after, she enlarged her artist portfolio and took on the duty for the bands Fine, It’s Pink & Sea Section.”
“I have been a profesional musican for nearly 30 years. Working with numerous bands and projects on an international level has brought me in contact with many aspects of the music industry. I have played at some of the major festivals and concert venues around Europe, as well as other continents. I have worked with agencies, production companies, festival organisations, labels, educational organisations, etc. based in the Netherlands and other parts of Central Europe. After returning to Bulgaria I’m trying to establish connections with other Balkan countries.”
“For almost 15 years now, I have been actively involved in the organization and implementation of projects for several associations and institutions in the field of preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am highly driven by great passion in preservation of tradition, heritage and altruism.”
“I would like to take part in the programme because music management is my great passion, and I think that there aren’t enough places where we can learn about it and meet people from the industry.”
“Having taken myself on a music journey ranging from Los Angeles to Ho Chi Minh City with many stops in between, coming from, in comparison, the small city of Zagreb, it occurred to me that, perhaps, I could consider myself a successful manager after all – given that everything I accomplished I did it on my own. That said, my motivation, too, stems from the desire to manage my career more successfully, and possibly the careers of others.”
“My experience in management is mostly based on management in the performing arts – as a director, as a manager of a company and as an artistic director of the ACT Festival for Independent Theatre. My interest in music arose naturally on the one hand by curating festivals and their side-programme, as well as one off events, and secondly – as a manager of a post-world-punk band called KAKE?. “
“I graduated in Public Relations and Communications and I have a profound interest in arts, both presenting them in open spaces and communicating them as an important tool for integration and education.”
“After 5 years of managing my music band, now is the time to learn something professional about managing groups, artists, festivals, etc. I hope that during and after this training I will learn how manage and create connections with artists, festivals in Europe or in the world, where we can perform our music. The main motivation is to be able to lead my own band to perform on different stages and festivals all over the world.”
“I have been the manager of my own group, Muzicanții for three years. During these three years, I observed how complex is the process of promoting such a group, and this made me determined to learn more about it. I studied anthropology and carried out field research in different areas of Eastern, South-Eastern, and Central Europe. One of my main interests was traditional music and how one can promote it in a proper way for the general public, musicians, and the local communities.”
“Currently I am pursuing my studies at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje, precisely movie and theater production. I am passionate, hard-working person eager to learn new skills, gather new experiences and take different challenges. I was born in the music industry, I know what it’s like to live and keep up with everything that happens related to it.”
“Music has been my primary love and interest since childhood. Now in my mid-20s, I want to pursue it professionally, both as a musician and artistic director. My country, Croatia has a very rich cultural heritage and many talented and interesting ethno and world music artists.”
“I really want to continue my journey in music and arts management in an efficient way delivering professional opportunities, a wider professional network and challanges that will improve my personal qualities as manager. I believe my potential is yet to be explored and I would like to gather expertise and help more local artists widen their market, export music successfully and profit from music production.”
“I started playing piano profesionally six years ago, studied conducting and had many concerts with big orchestras and as a solo pianist. After university I opened an art agency where all kinds of artist could find jobs – it went very well until coronavirus hit. Now I’m more into electronic music, becoming a producer and DJ, launching my own music label soon!”
“I first started organizing techno and house parties in Belgrade in 2010 and during college I founded a production that recorded live bands. My focus shifted to recording and sound processing and soon I met the band “Buč Kesidi”. I worked with them as a sound engineer and tour manager then slowly started learning about record label management, became the executive director of the record label Kontra Right. Now I’m arranging concerts and advise the band “Vizelj”.”
Yana Ivanova is a marketing student from Sofia who works as an office assistant in an international communication company. She was a volunteer for Bansko Jazz Festival for years, then a co-host and leader of press conferences. Her duties now include communicating with international artists and their managers: from making first contact and negotiating, throught keeping their on locale needs requirements satisfied; to keeping in touch after the festival, making sure they have acces to all the publicity of their concerts and interviews.
„I work as a technical writer for a Prague-based IT company called Wolkabout, as well as a freelance content writer.
When it comes to music, I am present in multiple roles: as a singer for cover band Whiskey Smile, band manager for a Serbian band Neozbiljni Pesimisti, and as one of the organizers of Bajmok Rock Fest, which takes place every first Saturday in August. I also write short stories, dabble in photography, and have also picked up a guitar for the first time at a tender age of 36.”
„I am an emotion hunter and as such music is a big part of my existence. I did not choose it as part of my professional path – it chose me and introduced me to amazing talents who deserve to be heard. My main purpose when it comes to music is to help artists to go beyond the borders of their own country and reach new audiences.”
„Probably I am one the youngest in the music industry, having been born in 2000 from Split, Croatia. I’m an event manager and booker at Street Pulse Music. We’re managing artists like Kries, Justin’s Johnson, Barbara Munjas, Tate Romanova etc. and we’re organising festivals like Paiz Music Festival on Hvar and Fido Music Weekend in Split. Also I’m a lead vocalist, guitarist, songwriter and composer in the pop punk rock band, Zo from Split.”
I have 21+ years of experience in the software development industry. I’m the founder of VBU Music Registry – an informal registry for Macedonian music releases. I love to use Mr. Satoru Iwata’s phrase in my context: On my business card, I am a consultant. In my mind, I am a software developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer and a music lover.
Tomislav is Founder and Strategy Director at Museit Network marketing agency. The agency connects brands and musicians through creative projects focusing on new digital platforms like TikTok. While creating a new channel for musicians to showcase their talents, Tomislav is not a stranger to writing lyrics.
„Coming from a background of practical academic, artistic studies (design, sculpture, creative coding, performance), I began to dive into curatorial, managerial and production waters only a few years ago when together with my colleague from the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, we came upon an opportunity to establish an independent cultural center in a modernistic villa a few minutes away from downtown Novi Sad, today known as Cultural Center LAB (KC Lab). My artistic practice soon began shifting into curation of exhibitions and other happenings such as concerts, hybrid events, artist in residence programs etc. Soon after I took up the opportunity to start working at the European Capital of Culture Novi Sad 2022 as a curator and producer. Having no formal education in the field of production and management I learned everything „on the go”.”
Sonja Đurić is a creative producer, singer, songwriter and a dreamer, who is in love with arts, culture, media and education. She is currently working as a Teaching Assistant at the Academy of Arts in Banja Luka, where she teaches Theatre and Radio Production, as well as Management of the Arts. She is the founder of the Association for Promotion of Arts and Culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina called „CreArt”.
Petya is a cultural producer and founder of Dance BG association and WATER international festival for contemporary arts in Burgas. She is most experienced in contemporary dance because of her dance company DUNE, but in later she was also managing the „A cloud embraced” music band from Burgas. She is fascinated by, in love with African culture, which inspired her to organize the Days of Africa festival in Bulgaria.
„I wasn’t aware of the opportunity music industry to even be a job on the Balkans until several years ago. I was always obsessed with the local music scene and supporting the young local musicians was a hobby of mine for a long time before I got invested into the music industry as a full-time job. During the pandemic, the organisation I started hosted 10 events – for four of the perfomers it was their first concert ever, a fact that makes me really proud.”
„My name is Niya and I am from Sofia, although people tend to assume I’m Asian… 🙂 I am a musician, an event manager for a big multifunctional space and a social worker. Аll the things I do are somehow connected with each other and I can’t imagine giving up on one.”
„I am a professionally educated programmer that you can find with headphones on, exploring new music constantly. After a couple of years in IT and pandemic EUREKA moment, I suddenly found myself booking artists and working on biggest festivals in Macedonia like Taksirat, D-Festival, PIN and many many more events.. My Password Production team and I can rock every event that seems crazy and impossible.”
„I have always liked art. Got my diploma in playing the clarinet. I am currently in the first class in Kosovo* to graduate with a Music Management degree. I still haven’t got the chance to introduce myself to the community, to show what I can do and can’t wait to bring new things to Albanian culture. I mean Carlos Santana said, “There is no greater reward than working from your heart and making a difference in the world.”
„I am a student of Genetics and Bioengineering (soon to be student of Jazz piano and ethnomusicology), and to make it in this field you have to be really curious about everything. And personally, that is what makes me stand out – curiosity. I am interested in people of all ages and their life stories, the music they bring through their performance but also in their hearts, and most of all I am really curious if I can make (with a little help from my friends), our little town of Tuzla a great cultural center of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and may I say the Balkans. If I were too confident, I would say the world.”
„I am co-founder of the Cluj-Napoca (Romania) based booking agency, called Stairway Booking, we organize tours, parties, live concerts. I am also the booking coordinator of our festival called Mumush, which is a small festival focusing on psychedelic live and electronic music, world music, house and techno. I’ve played as a guitarist for 9 years in a touring funk band and I like to produce electronic music also, I am working also as a video editor and director, we are making music videos for bands, artists. I like everything what involves creativity, originality and adrenaline.”
“Ethnomusicologist from Belgrade in Zagreb, professional lover of all kinds of traditions. Member of a Svetlana Spajic singing group, and managing one of my own called PJEV, choir director of two activist choirs, working on safeguarding of “ojkača” song, and world music scene in Zagreb. Hope to spend future days hosting great world music artists in Zagreb, and all over Croatia.”
A musician, an ex-music journalist, and an overall indie music nerd, Ivan currently works as a booking agent for Aquarius Records in Zagreb. Although a history teacher by profession, he found himself to be intrigued and excited by the music business. Ivan’s interests include just about anything music-related, American modernist literature, digital marketing, and dad humor.
“Journalist, activist and a producer who adores what she’s doing. Almost 28, but my inner child simply doesn’t want to leave and I love that. I know how to go to the moon by bike.”
„Since 2017 I am also one of the co-founders and the executive director of the „DoART” NGO. „DoART” is a bilingual name, Albanian it means „to love art” and in English it means „make art”. Our main event is The Festival of Street Performers, the one and only so far in Albania. To create and organize events like this, one needs a good taste of music, to find the best collaborators, but also a great spirit for managing it and making it more popular without losing the core idea of art.”
„I am a communications manager and producer with a diverse experience in the fields of marketing, media, arts & culture. For more than 3 years, I was part of the Publicis Groupe as a copywriter and digital campaign manager. Recently I came to the conclusion that I need to focus substantially on my wide variety of interests and I co-founded „Atrium”, a civil organization for cultural & musical events, theatrical production and research based projects.”
Ana Vrbaški takes art seriously – but also plays with it. She’s a musician, singer, body percussionist, composer, theater performer and manager and PR of Alice in WonderBand living in a forest near the Fruska Gora national park, in Sremski Karlovci. She’s been making art and culture independently for 25 years from the thin air of Serbia.
„Hey, I’m Dan, I run an independent music management company L’Evil Music, and I promote young artists from Bulgaria through my project Пред Блока (Pred Bloka). In the past I was working for leading management and booking agencies in the U.K. and Europe. I’m all about new music, new artists and new events, so lets grab a drink and talk about anything up and coming in the music industry :)”
Alex is a Gypsy punk soul who really enjoys going to and working at festivals and concerts. She is a music manager at the Student Cultural Center of Kragujevac, Serbia. This role brought her amazing experiences: she’s exploring new music, meeting various fellow musicians and learning tricks of the trade. She works at ESTAM world music festival, thanks to them she can explore more of the diverse music scene.
I work as a journalist, photographer, and editor at the culture section of the Serbian weekly Hét Nap. I’m organise and manage Windmill Festival the international contemporary theatre festival, Desiré Central Station. I was the assistant of theatre director Kokan Mladenović. I illustrated two books and had my own photo exhibitions in Serbia and Hungary.
Tamás Horváth is an orgnanizer of Windmill Festival (Malomfeszitvál) in Orom, Serbia where he is responsible for the coordination of the musical programming of the festival. He is also the vice president of Wemsical Serbia, a Kanjiža based NGO working for the general development of youth culture and education – good music included.
Tejka is a one-woman show. She plays drums in YÖU, drives bands on tour, does TM, works as backliner, promotes independent bands, and loves stage diving. She’s a production manager in Password Production, the Head Representative for the Balkans in Women in Live Music, and CEO of Skopje Drum Talks.
Stefan is the founder of Ethno Fusion Fest, promoting under-represented cultures in Serbia, the wider Balkans and the Mediterranean region. The festival takes place in the beautiful courtyard of the Belgrade synagogue. Stefan is the founder of the Shira U’tfila, preserving Sephardic musical heritage of the Balkans, Mediterranean and North Africa. He also directs theatre.
With a background in communication and new media, Sabina has been working in the past 12 years at various jazz festivals (Jazz in Church, Green Hours International Jazz Festival), film festivals (ShortsUP), visual arts exhibitions, trainings in entrepreneurship in creative industries, conferences dedicated to the creative sector, and even educational projects (One World Film Clubs, […]
Ovidiu works both as an organizer and promoter of local and national cultural events. Always oriented on finding sustainable solutions for project writing and project implementation processes, Ovidiu constantly follows classes and workshops that offer him the opportunity to enrich his managing abilities, here mentioning SuCarMus și Lab for European Project Making.
Milan is an independent cultural producer and a president of Association Kulturanova. He was involved in countless international projects and almost all important events in Serbia, such as EXIT festival. He is always learning and doing residencies from Paris to the USA. He is also board member of several international networks.
Born in Slovenia, but mostly raised in Zagreb and on the island of Ugljan, I understand the beauty of diversity. I work as program manager at Greta Gallery in Zagreb. Event management fulfills me both professionally and a personally. My safe place is anywhere where I can be close to music, concert venues, and musicians.
I’m an independent music promoter and also into digital marketing. My favorite topics are indie record labels, new music, and food. I love attending concerts (or better yet organising them). Professionally, I did many things from artist development at a small label to festival and concert organisation.
Ever since my first job (bass tutor) I was committed to the music industry. I did music production with various studios in BiH and Croatia, learning the psychology behind music production and working with musicians. Having finished the Music Production Academy in Zagreb, I now manage Mostar Rock School’s studio and audio engineering education program.
Katarina is a musicologist, music supervisor, and creative marketer. She worked for Warner Music Group and 20th Century Fox, right now she is a PR and Marketing Manager at Charm Music and works on Rock Camp for Girls in Serbia. She also launched her own platform – Music Storyline.
Jasna is a jazz saxophonist and composer from Serbia. After her studies she continued to work and study around the world from India to New York. She released 5 solo albums, teaches music, and instructs yoga. She is a founder of multiple projects affirming gender equality and improvisation, such as Balkan Women in Jazz.
Gorjana has dedicated most of her existence to Password Production, working on the biggest festivals in North Macedonia, such as Taksirat, D Festival, Green Beach Festival, PIN Music Conference & Showcase Festival, etc. In 2019 she was made project manager of the Creative Europe project HEMI (The Hub for the Exchange of Music Innovation).
With twenty years of experience in journalism and production, I can finally bask in music! My experience as a booking agent made me uniquely fine-tuned and qualified to produce and set up quality shows for the bands I represent. I adore my profession, it opens many doors to discover great music.
Georgi from Sofia is a percussionist, a Capricorn, and a guy who loves to cook. He is addicted to tahini, reading, and traveling. He loves to sample original music tracks. His favorite musical trip was to Cuba, one of the most inspiring places he’s ever been to.
Filip is classically trained violinist who performed with various world music, jazz, pop, and classical projects all across Serbia and in almost all countries of Europe. He works as the artistic director of the “Ethno.com” World Music Festival in Pančevo, Serbia, and was involved in creating local cultural policy at the city of Pančevo.
Dubravko is the CEO of a the independent label Only Records. He built the label from scratch, he is leading an experienced team that includes well established, top industry artists, producers, and songwriters. As CEO his goal is to give th industry a new, positive voice. Only Records has a growing catalog of 500+ records.
Dragana is a professional accordionist and teacher. Driven to give more, she founded an NGO and the festival Eufonija in Novi Sad, which quickly became popular. She plays in Serboplov, in the Serbian production of Fiddler on the Roof, and in her free time she’s an assistant beekeeper and a mom of two boys.
Danilo is a music and entertainment professional with 20 years of experience. He led or been a part of hundreds of projects from idea to realization, always keeping a finger on the industry pulse. Recently he focuses on executive production and led a bootstrap music startup for over 4 years.
Ciprian co-produced the acclaimed revival of “West meets East” the iconic project of Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar. He created Jazz Fan Rising, an association of jazz aficionados organizing concerts in Bucharest and Cluj, with top-notch musicians. Ciprian has 25 years of experience in business consulting.
Boyan started his manager career driving the van of the band he played in, booking hotels and taking care of payments at the end of the night. He worked with some of the biggest names in music, from Sting to Roger Waters. The artists he managed played at Glastonbury, and toured as far as China.
Anna Dantchev is a singer, composer, and co-founder of the label Glomama Music. Though she lives in Helsinki, she has a strong connection to Bulgarian culture and cultural sector through her family, which shows up in her work. She has worked in a cultural sector and music business and have knows the scene deep down.
András is the director of Méra World Music Festival in Transylvania, Romania. He is an active community catalyser and cultural manager in the rural area around Cluj-Napoca. He is a lawyer by profession, but is deeply knowledgable about traditional folklore of the region. He believes in sustaining local culture and communities through international events.
Anđela works as curator apprentice at Sinj Cultural Arts Centre, creating all sorts exhibitions, film screenings, performances, plays, panels, film and music festivals, and enriching local community. She also works at the small team of Kamičak Ethno Festival, selecting performers and participating in all stages of organization.
I am that kind of person that is 27 and feels like 67, but has the energy of a 7-year-old. My team and I are writing, organising, implementing, and evaluating events that are created to positively impact the wellbeing and education of communities from a young age through music. That gives me hope every day.
Hello dear people! I am Ana, half Serbian and half Macedonian, from Belgrade. I am a founder of Iberia Fest, and have over 8 years experience in cultural management and organization. I founded an Association for Promotion of Arts and Culture, ”Artiana”. I am also a board member of the World Music Association of Serbia.