FAREWELL 2020!

What a hell of a year it’s been! If the previous 10 months were particularly upsetting for everyone, everything wasn’t negative for the music sector and many creations of artists from Wallonia and Brussels have kept us dazzled. Art has been, for many of us, an unvaluable way to get through this storm and musical creation in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation has played an important role there.  This was also an occasion for many new initiatives to flourish. Among them, great successes, both for artists and professionals who are helping to give structure and to feed the sector’s appetite for new encounters, discoveries, connections and ear worms. In this regard, events such as Bel Jazz Fest, Les Résidences du Botanique, Fiftylab or Francofaune managed to deliver in a surprising but efficient way, while working in changing and gloomy conditions.

Unable to meet with you as we used to do, we had to rethink our operating methods to continue providing relevant support to the music sector, to cope with the shutdown and the sudden stillstand it involved, particularly in regards to international development. We refocused our activities on personalized support, virtual networking and training; We have set up new projects to highlight artists and musicians from Wallonia and Brussels to foreign professionals, in particular from the three neighboring countries (Germany, France & The Netherlands) and Quebec ; we strengthened our ties and worked in collaboration with most of the key-players in the sector (curators) and finally, we paid attention to the creation of new relationships, in particular through La Cohorte which is now working to bring French-speaking professionnals together in partnership with Switzerland and French-speaking Canada. We have also reinforced the cohesive image of our artistic scene by working with talented visual creators to illustrate our various promotional tools.

2020 is also a year marked by our evergrowing investment for more equality between women and men in the music sector. Either from a more local perspective within Sciviasthe project to support musicians and music professionals that we co-founded — but also on an international level, since we have now joined the European mentoring project Mewem (which will take place in 2021 and 2022). This investment goes hand in hand with increased attention in our daily work towards problems faced by minorities and victims of many disparities, some of which have clearly been made worse by this crisis.

2021 opens up on a period of uncertainty during which our agency must continue to respond to the radical changes that affect our industry. It will all be about being responsive, opportunistic and creative. WBM will offer new services and adapt other ones, with a main focus: keeping close to the realities and projects of our operators.

In order to definitely say farewell to 2020, we are pleased to share with you a brief overview of some of the initiatives that have marked the last 12 months.

Our best wishes for 2021!

INSIDER’S TIPS & PRESS REVIEW

In order to improve its support for the international exposure of artists from the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, WBM now presents two monthly playlist including fresh music from Wallonia and Brussels-based artists to foreign professionals: Insider’s Tips & Press Review. These selections have been adapted all year round by our PR partners in France, Germany and Canada.

Insider’s Tips is a playlist dedicated to fresh, under-the-radar talents, curated by a wide array of Belgian industry professionals. It’s adapted for local markets and addressed each month to relevant booking offices, venues and media in our focus countries.

DISCOVER THE PLAYLISTDISCOVER OUR MONTHLY SELECTIONS

The press review is constantly updated with minutes-old interviews, features and reviews that FWB artists score in international press. These articles are then translated in a monthly playlist, forming truthful snapshots of our vibrant scene.

DISCOVER THE PLAYLISTDISCOVER OUR MONTHLY SELECTIONS

10 VISUAL ARTISTS FROM WALLONIA AND BRUSSELS

Whether it’s drawing, painting, photography, weaving, collages, we called upon the talents of 10 visual artists in a bid to highlight the cohesion and diversity at work in our artistic sector at large! A special thanks goes out to Cécile Barraud de Lagerie whose paintings have accompanied our entire visual identity for this year 2020.
They also shared their work with us: Charlotte Chauvin aka @Chaacoco, Roberta Miss (@rob_miss) aka +nurse+, Merlin Meuris, Morgane Le Ferec, Eva Le Roi, Hélène Bedouet, Diane Steverlynck, Julie Guiches, Jules Rousselet.

50 CURATORS FROM WALLONIA AND BRUSSELS

While not being able to allow professionals from Wallonia and Brussels to go on international markets, we wanted to shine a light on their initiatives and show the wealth of their projects. Here is the list of the professionals who have shared their musical highlights with us this year! Thanks to:

Jeff Lemaire (Goûte Mes Disques) / Bénédicte Deprez  (TipikRTBF, DJ) / Olivier Vanhalst (Botanique) / Eve Decampo (PoxcatPoint Culture) / Céline Magain (Festival FrancoFaune) / Samy Wallens (Commander SpoonOyster NodeNiveau4) / Fred Fournes, Quentin Velghe (Le Brass) / Rrita Jashari (VK Concerts54KOLAKTIV) / Coline Cornelis (Passa Porta, DJ) / Souria Cheurfi (Vice BelgiumPsst Mlle) / Nicolas Bucci (Listen FestivalKiosk Radio, DJ) / Jacques Prouvost (Jazzques) / Thomas Duprel aka Akro (Tarmac) / Alexis Courtin (La VénerieParanthèse Records) / Nathalie De Lattre (EdenDeep in the Woods) / Philippe Schoonbrood (Jazz@round) / Vanessa Fantinel (Musiq3Radio Panik)/ François Custers (Atelier 210Guilt) / Rokia Bamba (Radio Campus) / Laurent Hoebrechts (Focus Vif) / Margaux Bernard (Court Circuit) / Sebastien Desprez (Five OhBon Public) / Alexandra Vassen (Sacré français ! – RTBF) / Gilles Vanneste (Les Actionnaires) / Hélène Defosse (Igloo RecordsVoix de Femmes) / Véronique Laurent (Larsenaxelle) / Jean-Yves Reumont (Les ArdentesRonquières FestivalReflektor) / Flavio Sillitti (La Vague Parallèle) / Zoé Devaux (Paradise Cityrebel)

Angelina Tirard (Les Hallucinations CollectivesLadyfestSchiev Festival) / Sylvain Chauveau (Delicate Music Festival) / Mathieu Fonsny (Dour FestivalKuratedBySurfing Leons) / Fabien Leclercq (Le Motel) / Charline Cauchie (Festival Picture!)/ Pauline Rivière (Radio Campus Bruxelles) / Thomas Vanlishout (SabamConseil de La Musique) / Barbara Decloux (CC Jacques Frank, Gnignignignigni) / Igor Karagozian (Point Culture) / Hélène Many (BeCult)/ Isabelle Bonmariage, Pierre Vangilbergen, Frédéric Brichau et Renaud Linguelet (Shoot Me Again) / Valérie Defrène (Jazz9) / Sacha Jourion (PIAS Belgium) / Jean-François Jaspers (KulturaMicro Festival) / Diego Cortez Salas (DC Salas) / Lucie Rezsöhazy (FabiolaLes JuliensCondore) / Kevin Guillaume (dear.deer.records, La Carrière Fest) / Delphine Prouteau (La Ferme du Biéreau) / Junior Goodfellaz / Fabrice Detry (EndzFabiola) / Manou Milon (Bruxelles Ma Belle) / Diane Dernouchamps (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles) / Michael Sacchi (Rockerill) / Elise Phamgia (Liveurope) / Benjamin Tollet (DJ Mukambo) / Lucile Beauvais (Lux Montes, UneFois)

AND MANY NEW BRIDGES

And in addition to the numerous initiatives mentioned above, there’s Belgium Booms, our collaborative project with our Flemish colleagues VI.BE whose goal is to support and promote Belgian artists abroad with a unified, coherent voice. We’re now opening it up to all music genres, after a growth achieved primarily on a pop/rock & electronic diet! We are currently working on refreshing the graphic identity in order to stick with our national motto: Strength lies in unity.

Best wishes,
Take care, 

Julien Fournier (Director)
Alex Tabankia (Project Manager)
Jessica Dupont (Project Manager)
Liliana Graziani (Project Manager)
& Élise Dutrieux (Communication Manager)