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!
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.