Lesson 14 - Trade Fairs To Check Out


In this lesson I’ll review a few important music trade fairs you should get to know:

  • SXSW

Genre: Various music, film, interactive media

Where: Austin, Texas, US

When: mid-March

Professional delegates present: 28,000

No. of showcases: 2,000+

Showcasing application: online from July – end October

Showcasing application fee: $35-55

Registration fee: $225

Showcase jury: by panels


An annual music festival and conference, with more than 2,000 individual artist showcases and 28,000 delegates that takes place in mid-March in Austin, Texas, US. This is probably the most diverse Music conference I know, it’s Unlimited by genre or regional focus, so they pretty much accept artists in all music styles.

They have a straight forward online submission process that opens each year in june. An application for a music showcase costs between 35-55$. A panel of jury will review selects the final lineup.






Genre: Urban, Pop

Where: Canne, France

When: Beginning June

Professional delegates present: 3000

No. of showcases: 24

Showcasing application: online from february

Showcasing application fee: free

Registration fee: starts from €295


Showcase jury: changes annually


Midem, or Marché International du Disque et de l’Edition Musicale, is a French conference held in june, in Cannes, the same city as the film festival. With close to 5000 delegates and 40 showcases, they focus on Urban, Hip-Hop, Pop, Indie and Electro pop music. They also offer the Artist Accelerator program where you can get mentoring and guidance for a from music professionals as well as a showcase in the conference. Application is free and a ticket will cost you about 300€. Their submission period ends in february. 



Genre: World/Global Music

Where: Alternating between different European cities annually

When: End-October

Professional delegates present: 4,500

No. of showcases: 35

Showcasing application: online from march

Showcasing application fee: €15-€25

Conference application fee: free

Registration fee: starts from €295

Showcase jury: 7 samurai, changes annually


WOMEX is an annually WORLD/Global music Trade Fair that happens during october, in different European cities. WOMEX 2020 will be held in Budapest. It hosts about 3500 professional participants and about 50 showcases. A jury of 7, which they call the “samurai” will review your application. They also have an “Off WOMEX” stage, where some of the slots are usually offered to export organisations for lease, such as the cultural department of the ministry of foreigh affairs. Check in your country what is the individual application module for the OFF WOMEX showcase.

An application will cost you between 15-25€ and a ticket to the conference will be 300€. If your country has an umbrella stand, check if they can offer you a discount code.




Genre: Jazz

Where: Bremen, Germany

When: End-April

Professional delegates present: 3,500

No. of showcases: 65

Showcasing application: online from september

Showcasing application fee: €185 (can be refunded later, see more details below)

Conference application fee: free

Registration fee: starts from €295

Showcase jury: 7 samurai, changes annually


jazzahead! is a German annual Jazz trade fair held in Bremen on the last weekend of April. With 3500 professional participants and 32 showcases in 3 modules:

The European Jazz Meeting —> 16 showcases

The German Jazz Expo —> 8 showcases

The Overseas Night —> 8 showcases

Focus country —> 8 showcases (with their own jury selected)

Clubnight —> 25 showcases (selected by venue programmers directly)


You must buy a full registration for the conference to be able to apply for a showcase, which will cost you about €200. You can get a discount code from an umbrella stand in your own country. 

This is a special feature that is unite to Jazzahead: If you register as an ARTIST and your showcase proposal wasn’t accepted, you can then retract your registration and request for a full refund.

You might want to check out Jazzahead Clubnight as well, presenting about 30 events around the city. The submission process is separate from the conference, and you’d have to contact each venue individually,



Genre: Entertainment / Cross genre

Where: New York city, USA

When: Beginning January

Professional delegates present: 3,500

No. of showcases: 1,200

Showcasing application: online from april

Union registration fee: $500

Showcasing application fee: $1,200 (roughly)

Registration fee: $800

Brochour listing: $75

Showcase jury: individual per venue, read on.


APAP is the American Association of Performing Arts Professionals. They hold an annual convention in New York City with 1,000 showcases, and 3,500 delegates. This conference is for members only, so you’d have to register with them FIRST before you can buy a conference ticket. This also means you’d have to pay twice: $300 for your membership and another 800$ for your ticket. 

This is slightly a different model – as you would have to LEASE a showcase slot or join an existing promoter. So it might be a very tricky to recognise where you should showcase, when and what. Depending on the location, it can cost you up to an additional 1200$. They also charge you an extra 75$ just to list your showcase in their brochure. I’d recommend you to visit APAP once, before submitting a showcase application. 

Notice, that this conference is not only about music, but also about dance, theater, performance and more. So the focus is more about entertainment, rather than about a specific style. This also means the percentage of music professionals is lower than in other trade fairs. However, if you wish to break into North America, this might be a good place to start.





Genre: Classical / Contemporary

Where: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

When: Mid-May

Professional delegates present: 1,200

No. of showcases: 25

Showcasing application: online from august

Showcasing application fee: free

Conference application fee: free

Registration fee: starts from €295

Showcase jury: changes annually


Classical:NEXT, the little sister of WOMEX, and focuses on Classical and Contemporary Music. It’s held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands the 2nd week of May and attracts 1,200 music professionals and presents . A ticket will cost you a bit more than €300 and the showcase application is free. You can also submit a conference or a project proposal.






It’s important to consider, that visiting a trade fair once isn’t enough to say “I’ve tried”. This is something you’d have to do on a regular basis – and return to the same conference several times – to UP-KEEP & strengthen your relationships – and continue to meet new people.





Research trade fairs online and decide which one is the best for your music. Plan to visit it within a year, defining the projected costs, who would you meet, the materials you would take and how you’d follow up.