96 folk artists from around the world are launching a digital festival of discovery

The Covid-19 pandemic has paved the way for a number of exciting initiatives, while we wait for live music touring to return to the fore. From the amazing Isol-Aid weekly streaming event, run out of Melbourne, to festivals like Americana in Nashville moving digital with the “Thriving Roots” initiative, the opportunities for live musicians have never been more diverse in an industry that has never been moving faster to innovate.

This week it was announced that 14 export agencies from around the world, led by Sounds Australia, Showcase Scotland Expo and Canada’s East Coast Music Association (ECMA), have been doing just that – working to create what may be the largest online matchmaking of musicians ever undertaken, Global Music Match.

Focusing on artists from the folk worlds (“acoustic, folk, roots, traditional and world music genres” to be specific), the project is pairing up 96 artists from 14 countries in 16 groups of 6. Each group will be spending the next 6 weeks creating unique content across social media and sharing it with their audience, helping grow their digital profiles in new markets, at a time when the artists themselves can’t reach them physically.

The press release said this of the purpose of the project:

“Global Music Match is a pilot initiative created to continue raising the profile of local artists in international music markets within the challenging parameters of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is a unique response to the limitations imposed on the music industry, that makes use of one of the only available platforms – social media and peer-to-peer collaboration – to increase networks and exposure for export-ready artists internationally.”

“Breaking artists into a new territory or country is a challenging process, exacerbated by the pandemic as traditional international showcasing opportunities reduce. This programme aims to develop new audience bases for artists in a range of international locations, providing a groundwork for future international touring development. The programme will also support participating artists to upskill their social media activity, as well as encourage cross border artist collaboration by connecting musicians from around the world.”

The project officially runs from 31st August to 11th October, with artists announcing their involvement this week.

The official website gives you the chance to watch the social media posts come through in real time.

It’s been revealed that 12 artists from Australia – curated by Sounds Australia – are among those participating, and they are: Charm of Finches, Colin Lillie, Fanny Lumsden, Hussy Hicks, Kaurna Cronin, Little Quirks, Riley Pearce, Saije, Shelley Segal, STAV, The Heart Collectors and William Crighton.

The join artists curated by Catalan Arts (Spain), East Coast Music Association – ECMA (Canada), English Folk Expo, FOCUS Wales, Folk Alliance International, Iceland Music, LUCfest Taiwan, Music Estonia, Music Finland, Music Norway, Puglia Sounds (Italy), Showcase Scotland Expo and Spectacle vivant Bretagne (Brittany, France).

Head to globalmusicmatch.com for more details and to see the full lineup of artists involved.