Anna Lewis

Wales at EFEx 2018

The background

1. What is EFEx?

English Folk Expo is a three-day showcase festival and international folk music trade fair, featuring talent from England plus an annual ‘international partner’. It attracts bookers, festivals, arts centres, folk clubs, agents and promoters from all over the UK, Europe and Canada (and elsewhere), and happens in Manchester in October, the week before WOMEX.

According to the EFEx site "English Folk Expo provides an effective and previously unavailable route into the English folk, roots and acoustic market. Delegates are given access to all Manchester Folk Festival performances, as well as additional industry-only showcases and events which will provide opportunities to make links with and form new working relationships with industry gate-keepers to the folk, roots and acoustic music industry in England."

https://www.englishfolkexpo.com/

Each year the event features an ‘International partner’ and in 2018 this will be Wales. It’s a unique opportunity for Welsh folk music to be heard on the stages of our nearest neighbour. (No flights, no visas!) Applications are invited for performers to represent Wales’ folk resurgence to new and accessible audiences. The event is a trade fair, so as well as your artistic excellence, you will need to demonstrate that this is the right point in your musical career for you to take maximum advantage of EFEx as a business opportunity.

2. What’s the selection process?

The closing date for applications is 30 November. Applications will then be considered by a panel of ten industry professionals including representatives from ACW, trac, WAI, Theatr Mwldan, BBC, the media and PR. The panel will score each application and will finalise a shortlist of ten acts. This shortlist will be submitted to the programmer of the Manchester Folk Festival who will select four acts to appear.

3. What do the successful artists get?

The successful four acts will be booked for a paid gig at the Manchester Folk Festival (the public face of EFEx) and will perform at a Wales Reception for EFEx delegates.

The six shortlisted acts who don’t get the chance to perform will still be able to send one representative to the event for free, to meet bookers and promote their band/themselves.

Over the weekend artists will attend a ‘speed-dating’ event with bookers, and there are networking opportunities all weekend with industry professionals and other artists.

Your application

Please complete the four questions below:

1. ARTISTIC WORK

Please describe your work and to what extent you consider it to be influenced by the Welsh folk tradition. (250 words maximum)

2. EXPORT READINESS

Please give details of all (or most significant) UK and/or international performances in the past two years e.g. venue/festival, date, headliner or support (if the latter, please name the main artist).

Please give links to full press reviews if possible

3. PROMOTION

Please provide details of your current marketing/PR activities, and support. This should include information on whether you are self-marketing; supported, and by whom; size of mailing list.

Please provide information about the ways in which you communicate with fans and industry contacts via the internet. Include details of the social networking platforms you use (Twitter, Facebook etc) with relevant links and where applicable indicate the number of "friends" and "followers" you engage with.

Do you have an Electronic Press Pack (EPK) or live footage available of your work? Please detail contents of footage, how and where it can be viewed.

Please provide information about your most current CD e.g. title, release date, availability, and links to press reviews.

4. CAREER RELEVANCE

Please outline why you want this opportunity to perform at an international showcase. Why is this opportunity relevant for your career ambitions; what do you expect to gain from the experience; and how will you evaluate success? (250 words maximum)

Guidance notes for applicants

  1. Artists must have their main postal address in Wales.
  2. Artists’ work should demonstrate some relationship with the Welsh folk tradition.
  3. Artists will have a demonstrable track record, including recordings and performances, e.g. reviews of CDs and performances.
  4. Artists must be able to demonstrate the ability to maximise the promotional opportunities that EFEx offers through e.g. their own strong web and social networking presence, credible mailing lists, promotional product for the event, or availability of an Electronic Press Kit (EPK) or live video footage.
  5. Artists must be able to articulate their rationale for applying and relevance to their career development.
  6. Artists must be willing to undertake press interviews and photoshoots as required for the Wales at EFEx project.
  7. Artists must be able to provide access to their current tracks online e.g. Soundcloud, Spotify, websites.
  8. Evidence of existing international music industry interest or support is desirable.
  9. Artists must be available to perform in Manchester between 18 October and 20 October 2018.

Please email your application to info@wai.org.uk reference EFEx 2018 by 5pm on 30 November. We will send you an acknowledgement that your application has been received.

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