Why North America?
The United States and Canada have a potential audience over 100 times larger than our home. Over the last decade we’ve helped Georgia Ruth, Chris Jones, Delyth and Angharad, Siân James, 9Bach, Gwyneth Glyn, Calan, Danielle Lewis, Plu, Vrii, Rusty Shackle, Lleuwen, The Gentle Good, Lowri Evans, Olion Byw and Trials of Cato do business in this huge and sometimes overwhelming marketplace.
There is an audience for nearly every kind of music and we are very lucky that they’re really keen to learn about and listen to the music of Wales. But with more than 300,000,000 people on a continent that begins over 3,000 miles away getting to meet them seems a huge task.
That’s why we attend the Folk Alliance International Conference. The conference hosts two thousand showcases over four days and attracts over 3,000 delegates: musicians, festival organisers, agents, labels, publicists, mentors, clubs, venues and support agencies. All of these delegates are there to do business, form relationships and listen to new and exciting folk music from all over the world. Our role is to understand this community, help Welsh acts navigate their way through it and make sure they get the most out of their time there.
It’s part of a wider strategy to help professional traditional musicians from Wales reach new markets and make the kind of relationships they need to pursue a career in music. We do it with the financial support of the Welsh Government as part of a partnership called Horizons made of development organisations from across the whole of the UK and Ireland and co-ordinated by British Underground – the support agency for independent music in the UK. Together we
- co-ordinate the showcasing UK artists
- run a booth at the Trade Fair
- organise receptions & private showcases
- help the artists meet the people they need to
- support them at their showcases and meetings with music businesses
“The opportunity to represent your country at such a big event and play Welsh music in Welsh to an international audience was a privilege, and our profile there as a national group of individual performers from Wales was always evident and a source of real satisfaction.” (Chris Jones on appearing at Folk Alliance International)