Thank you!

Viva Sounds 2018 was just the perfect thing. The weekend came and the weekend went – and we had so much fun living it up! 

Thank you so much, everyone, who made Viva Sounds 2018 such a magical gathering! Big ups to all the bands, artists, our fantastic speakers and guests, people helping us out, the venues and of course our beautiful audience who came out!

When we get time we’ll upload more pics (by Nikos Plegas btw) but for now we need the rest. Let’s get in xmas mode, get some time off and we’ll see you next year!

Revista Marvin in tha house!

We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to have artists to Festival Marvin in Mexico City for the last two years – The Bongo Club in 2017 and Linn Koch-Emmery plus Annelie this year. And since Marvin seems to be such a stellar set-up within both music media and live, we dared to invite them to Viva Sounds. Happily they accepted our invitation, so of course we had to do an interview.

This Saturday you’ll have the chance to meet Ceci Velasco and Uili Damage at our conference at Pustervik, and also around town checking our program out. Given their work they do give the most humble impression. Love people like that. Here’s what we talked about.

You’re running quite an impressive platform, all based on music. How did that all come together and what has been your strong points in making it happen?
– It all starts from our magazine Revista Marvin, devoted to music, arts, movies, literature, and now even stand up comedy. Having already taken over www (with the website and social media) it needed a final experience to live music culture in every way possible. The natural step was taken 8 years ago with Festival Marvin, which presents all this approaches to both burgeoning and consolidated music culture.

I know you travel as well, what is the most significant differences you see with music and the life around it looking at Mexico (plus the areas around it) and compared to Europe?
– Mexican modern music and its industry is still younger than its peers and we’ve having a hard time catching up due to economic differences mainly. Nevertheless, Mexico has gained favorite status along common tour destinations because of the ardent audience welcoming not just hip music but also a wide range of acts.

What is similar and what’s the bigger diffrences?
– From several years now, we’ve reached competitive standards for production to make an appealing healthy scene useful to many outputs in the industry.

What is still far apart?
– Economics are still a hassle, not taking in count the transportation fees. You can get to see top notch acts for really affordable prices week-round in many major cities worldwide, but the promoters still insist in elevating their fee rates excessively, just on the idea that the Mexican audience will pay anyway. With the rising number of show opportunities year-round we truly hope to even this scenario in order to have a more healthy circuit.

“Mexico has gained favorite status along common tour destinations”

Since you also run a festival, what makes your festival special – what is so Marvin about it?
– It’s a community gathering. It’s made possible with the participation of the people that lives and works in the Roma and Condesa neighborhoods. It has the high production standards of the main festivals and also works in an intimate, laid-back logistics and spaces where you’re not bounded by the site’s specified grounds. It happens in the heart of the city with the participation of the city.

What do you know about Swedish music?
– For years now we’ve received amazingly high level of several pop music creators (yes, ABBA, but also within this lines of The Knife and Refused) and then enjoyed the most audacious music experimentators. We perceive that the years have brought the most interesting blends along those lines and though today Berlin is an important creators magnet-location for art from all aver Europe, Sweden still have interest in projecting talent from the homeland rather than moving carrying the flag.

Or any other things you’re interested in checking out when over where?
– Of course there is the Marvin axis of interest but also the places and conditions that provoke this to happen as it’s happening today. How you approach it, how it affects you and then how it reflects on anywhere outside Gothenburg, Sweden and abroad. There’s The Swedish Theory of Love movie approach, the Millenium saga approach, some more pop culture to name here and there, but there’s also a number of faces of the Swedish culture to be showed and discussed to create both better understandings and collaborations between our societies.

Awesome, thanks – and welcome to Gothenburg. It will be quite dark, might get cold, please bring some warmth with you.
– Thanks, I’m sure we’ll love it!

Photo credit: Carlos Maycotte
(Linn Koch-Emmery at Festival Marvin 2018).

Pop culture at its best is about change and going forward!

John Robb formed The Membranes 1976 in Blackpool as punk rock saved his life, and he has ever since been part of music – as a musician, as a journalist and as an author. Given his broad experience we could not be more happy to have him part of Viva Sounds and had to get in touch to ask him a few questions.

Just to add to the picture, John was probably the first person in Europe to interview Nirvana, he coined the phrase Britpop, did the first interview with The Stone Roses plus most of the bands from the emerging Manchester scene. He runs the magazine and online music platform Louder Than War and the festival Louder Than Words, he interviews people on stage at various events, he makes Ted-X’s, spoken word performances, and is still active touring with his band, who inspired both Big Black and Sonic Youth.

Hey John, you’ve spent your life in music, has the industry gotten better or worse in general, in your opinion?
– It just fluctuates and changes. Pop culture at its best is about change and going forward. There was no golden era when it was ‘easier’ or music was ‘better’. If you exist outside the whims of fashion and on the edge of culture it’s never easy! Technology means you can get yourself listened to outride the circus but that’s not a given either. When I started it was about records first, you toured to promote the album, now it’s about live music and pushing on through the internet – this means there’s a million gate keepers and that’s reflected by the music which has become more and more diverse and this should be celebrated. There is no-one in control and I celebrate that.

“There is no-one in control and I celebrate that.”

With music being more and more driven digitally, what role do you see the live game playing now?
– The live experience is more important now than ever – in a world where everything is shrunk onto an iPhone screen it’s great to be in a room with the shamanic tribal and powerful force of music in full flow – also enhancements in technology have meant that its possible to create quite ambitious music and live experiences that can be really diverse – I love the way that music can be a myriad of styles from Aphex Twin byte-techno to primitive guitar bass and drums sonic violence to orchestras or choirs hooking into ancient melodic structures – in 2018 you can listen to all of these and they all make sense. Post Spotify all music is on the table and the tribal restrictions of my youth have been shattered.

As we’re running a conference and club festival, and I know you travel a lot, what makes a conference being a good one in your eyes and experience? And what makes a bad one?
– I love the conferences where music and culture are centre stage – there is a polarisation between the business orientated events which I’m sure are really important but mean little to me and the events where a real imagination and care is taken over the music, like Tallinn Music Week in Tallinn or MENT in Ljubljana, where you see bands that blow your mind and spend time with people who are as immersed in art and culture as you are – Tallinn gets extra points for still believing you can change the world with culture – a big plus in the cynical times.

You will be talking on music journalism when at Viva Sounds, and our under-label is “Can we shake it back to life” – where do you think it’s all headed?
– New punk can’t happen. Punk was a moment in time in the UK where a small amount of people tore a hole in the stuffy fabric and let the madness out. That is not to say there can’t be new revolutions – there are always musical revolutions – acid house was a massive musical revolution but very few music writers were involved in it so it is not written about much. Black metal was a music revolution and post black metal is where some of the most fascinating modern music gets made.

“These days you can hear the music yourself and make your own mind up”

Music writing now is vastly different from what it used to be but don’t be fooled by the idea that there was a golden period – the 60 year old writers like to tell you that they were in the golden era of writing but there are great writers now as well – their voices are harder to hear in the avalanche of media but that’s not a bad thing – these days you can hear the music yourself and make your own mind up – the role of thew writer is not dead – just changed – now it’s about saying “listen to this!”. Some writers still believe that slagging off a Mumford and Sons album will end that bands career but Mumford and Sons fans are not reading those reviews – they follow the bands facebook pages instead and listen tot heir streams. Our job now is to say: look there’s loads of other great stuff going on like the current Russian music scene and try and tell people how good it is and why it’s there…

Last, what’s your opinion on Swedish music? Any bands, artists that you like now, or in the past? 
– Sweden is fascinating really – it is a high flyer in music for a relatively small country – I guess the Abba factor helps there. It has always been good at pop music but the darker underground of bands like Opeth is interesting and fascinating to see and how big they have become on their own musical agenda. I also really love The Hives – I saw them play recently and they were as good as ever. I also like choirs and Sweden has some of the best choirs in the world.

John Robb will be talking on MUSIC JOURNALISM
Saturday 12.30

Closing party with Pale Honey!

We are so getting there, and we are turning it loose. Cos it’s a mother.

Since adding up things vs Viva Sounds by the day we now got all things in place. Conference is complete and same thing on the live program. Good news is that most of the festival will be free of charge – we are only accepting your hard earned dollars for the conference and for the closing party. The rest – come get yours.

The closing party will be at Pustervik and we got our headline Pale Honey giving their last set of the year. The duo has been moving on up over the last years and if you miss them at Viva Sounds, you won’t get a second chance in months to come. We also got the death-funk by The Exorcist GBG to get the dance floor on fire afterwards and into the future.

Our full program, both live and conference, will be revealed soon as well.

Viva Sounds is a club festival and music conference in Gothenburg, happening for the second time  7th-8th of December 2018. The conference will be inspiring and educational with amazing networking opportunities and the live program will blow your mind at multiple venues around town.

Tickets – 150 SEK – conference:
Tickets – 150 SEK – closing party:

Zandari Festa, Seoul, Korea

*Started in 2012, Zandari Festa quickly established itself as South Korea’s largest music showcase festival. The annual event takes place in Seoul’s Hongdae area, the epicenter of youth culture in South Korea and ground zero for the country’s indie music scene. For three days each October, Zandari Festa brings together acts and music industry professionals from around the world for concerts and conferences at more than 10 unique venues around Hongdae.

Landing in Seoul early Thursday morning after 18 hours of travel was quite the shock and the cities vibrant pulse showed itself right away.  We decided before leaving the airport, smart/stupid, to go with the idea of killing jet-lag at once by staying awake the first full day, then we got us a nice driver and off we went to the city, with no real idea of what was to expect.

Three hours into our 76 hours stay later, after a shower and getting sorted in the hotel with an amazing view of the city we hit the streets for lunch in the neighborhood of Hongdae, same area as where the festival was gonna be over the coming three days. The welcoming was warm and the food was good, and sitting down without moving a relief.

A bit later on, early Thursday night, the opening of Zandari Festa took place at the double venue of The Stage and Convent. Everything seemed to be working just perfect and a lot of people started to check in, making it packed inside with a lot of catching up’s going on outside. We hung out until 22.00 when we felt good about hitting the beds, staying awake for some cold 36 hours since leaving home.

Friday started by a great welcome and kick-off at the very nice Ryse Hotel, who hosted the conference and most of the delegates coming in from other countries. First shows of day two were held at Veloso, mid-day showcases are pretty nice and these were no different. Kinda like drinking before drinking time or something, a bit different. The rest of Friday went in style with a lot of shows at more venues in the Hongdae area, before we finished off with our own, Browsing Collection, just pouring out rock at the club Strange Fruit around midnight.

Saturday followed the same way, conference program during the day and then off to the shows at night. First off were Dabda, playing a great set in a surprisingly well equipped basement, hard to find but really rewarding once there. Same night we got probably the best show for the whole festival at the MUV Hall with Koreas own Idiotape on stage. Really intense, the all-in-electronic-dance-rock-trio were just amazing, and the energy onstage really carried its way to the audience. We managed to also see legend Glen Matlock along UK’s Red Rum Club before calling it a night, well aware Sunday had a grim, early call to do the same silly hours going back to Europe.

All in all, Zandari Festa proved to be a wonderful event where the best feature must be the overall vibe the team behind the festival created. Zandari uses the slogan: “listen to music, drink beer, make friends” so that’s what we did, and it worked really well. At all times all the people part of the festival were all smiles, and easy to approach and talk to. We met and hung out with a bunch of sweet people from England, Wales, Brazil, Indonesia, France, Netherlands, India, Belgium, Hungary, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Australia, and of course, Korea. To keep level all of the venues and the program were pretty much great most of times and the setting of Seoul as a city around the event made an impact as well, just constantly happening and every time we popped out on the streets after a show it was right there. Vibrant.
We can only say we hope to be back next year again. And the year after that as well. Repeat. Might wanna stay a bit longer tho as our 76 hours this time were packed and soo not enough.

Zandari Festa FB
Zandari Festa official site:

When in Hamburg!

Field report from Hamburg last week: Reeperbahn Festival did it again, and we’ll be back for more of those treats you got. Loved it.

Top to bottom, from the bottom up, thanking all you players onstage: Easy October, Bottlecap, Linn Koch-Emmery and Baby Jesus, and all supporting us: Adore Music, 40ft, KulturUngdom and Welfare Sounds, to the villains running the streets: Backseat, Klubb Undergrunden, Up The Punx to the costume makers: Lect Production and Pooca Bar:


After summer, there is work!

Summer’s almost gone, and a wicked season is upon us. This year we’ve already been out quite some but still we got more to do.

Westside Music Sweden reps and/or artists will be taking part in a number of events starting late August spanning all the way to  December when we host our own event, Viva Sounds!

This be our schedule from here;

08.31-09.02 @ c/o Pop, Cologne, DE
WMS is visiting this classic festival for a possible, and coherent, co-op in 2019.

09.19-22 @ Reeperbahn Festival, Hamburg, DE
Hosting our own showcase at Europe’s finest, just like last year. Reception as well, come eat pizza and get inside before it’s too late.

09.28-29 @ Fira B!, Mallorca, ES
New partner in España, and Annelie is taking the trip along a rep from WMS.

09.28-10.06 @ Braga Music Week, Braga, PT
One of the coolest city (and street sometimes) festivals there is. We’re happy to be part of this again, having Tilde Hjelm doing duo-shows this year.

10.05-08 @ Zandari Festa, Seoul, KR
Our first Asian trip took place last year, and this year WMS is invited back – Browsing Collection doing it again, backed up by a grateful invitation for the platform.

10.26-27 @ BIME, Bilbao, ES
Moving on up here, this year we’ll double the talent by having Agent Blå and The Bongo Club playing, and next year we might be even more up in the mix of this fine event.

11.19-24 @ Monkey Week, Seville, ES
Ah, our fourth year in the south of Spain visiting Monkey Week, aka, Monkeys With Attitudes, aka The Mighty Gorilla. Thrilled as always!

12.07-08 @ Viva Sounds, Gothenburg, SE
Our own event is growing a bit, a few more slots, a few more venues, more music and a better conference. We did learn some stuff last year, and will try to use that knowledge to get on the map with this.


Hello Hamburg, again!

Since packing venue Pooca Bar from start to finish last year during Reeperbahn Festival, how could we say no to that stuff again? We couldn’t.

This year we’ll add up on guitars and noise when going down there as the line-up includes the following very much happening acts, thank you very much;
Easy OctoberBottlecapLinn Koch-EmmeryBaby Jesus

The evening will be called This is: Westside Music Sweden, because that’s what it is. No EDM, no in-house producers. Just music, real music. Catch us when there – Thursday 20th of September, bring all the glory you got.

Spring getting busy!

Action, only a few words. 

Festival season got us scheming with SWR BARROSELAS METALFESTMUSEXPOEast Coast Music Association (ECMA)Liverpool Sound CitySPOT FestivalFOCUS Wales and Festival Marvin CDMX – where we’ll be slinging sounds from from We Dream Alone, FIREBREATHER, The Bongo Club, Easy October, Tilde Hjelm & The Desert Orchids, Topplock, Orkan, Two Year Vacation, ANNELIE and Linn Koch-Emmery to the masses! Damn!

How about Wales?

In partnership with Focus Wales!

Proud to announce a partnership with FOCUS Wales, to strengthen the musical exchange between west Sweden and Wales. This May Orkan and Two Year Vacation will be live and loud in Wrexham during FOCUS Wales 2018. More to follow!

FOCUS Wales is a not-for-profit organization, established to provide the annual new music showcase event for the Welsh Music Industry. Our core work centers around the delivery of our annual multi-venue showcase festival taking place in Wrexham each Spring, which places the music industry spotlight firmly on the emerging talent that Wales has to offer the world. FOCUS Wales 2019 will mark the festival’s 9th edition, and will welcome over 10,000 people to the town, building upon 2018′s record attendance across a jam-packed weekend of events. There’s no place like Wrexham during FOCUS Wales, as we showcase 200+ bands from across the world, fill out a variety of spaces and music venues, using 20 stages, and hosting a full schedule of Interactive Industry Sessions, Stand-up Comedy, Arts events, and Film screenings, throughout the festival. In addition to the delivery of the FOCUS Wales festival, we also deliver a number international FOCUS Wales events throughout the year.