Submitted by Record World International
It was the first full edition of Future Echoes in Norrköping, Sweden, 17 to 19 of February 2022. The
Festival planning had begun in 2020 when participants from various showcase festivals in Sweden joined
together to build a new International Showcase Festival in Norrköping, Sweden.
While the planning was discussed and the first actions were taken to start the Festival,
COVID hit the world, and everything was pushed. The first edition was first postponed from February
2021 to September and then from September to the original dates on February 17 to 19, 2022.
Then the variant Omicron hit and Sweden was put in lockdown as of January 2022. The Festival then
made a decision to make it with the restrictions just to make it happen. Luckily the restrictions in
Sweden were lifted on the 9th of February, just a week before the Festival.
That made Future Echoes the first Showcase Festival to return without restrictions after COVID. Still,
some of the COVID effects were hanging over the Festival, but even with that issue, Future Echoes
became a huge success and a celebration to meet people again after two years of lockdown.
The first edition held 80 bands from 22 countries on eight stages in a small area in Norrköping. The main
place where all the conferences and four of the stages were located is called Hallarna. It’s a cultural
center with rehearsal rooms, studios, and live stages. The four other stages were just a five-minute walk
away and made the whole Festival an easy layout to see many bands in a short time of space.
From the start. Future Echoes was already a very sought-after event. 5,423 artists applied to play at the
Festival from 89 different countries. Of course, due to COVID the lineup had changed, and also the
applications have been pushed but it still became the record of statistics in Sweden for the most
applied Showcase Festival. During the event, unfortunately, COVID still had some after-effects that saw
some of the acts replaced just days before the event.
Future Echoes also reported back that over 600 delegates were on the ground for the festival. As many
as 14 Export Offices also came to represent acts from their country. The Festival also had a conference
component with ten panels, all directed and created for the artists that played on the Showcase Festival,
including tips on how to navigate in the new music industry. The deep panels about the future were not
happening this year since COVID was just starting to end and it was impossible to make predictions at
this early stage. Peter Åstedt one of the organizers told us that their aim was more this year to create
space for people to just meet and chat. They even had created a VIP area in one of the studios in
Hallarna to let the industry meet and talk.
Future Echoes also held a writing camp in collaboration with Australian APRA called SongHUB which is a
concept that APRA does around the world. In addition to this, they also let local writers and
international writers meet in other studios to write new songs.
The post-festival results already show many success stories resulting from Future Echoes. When Focus
Wales released new acts for their May edition several acts were booked from them actually seeing them
perform at Future Echoes in Sweden. In addition, several acts have been taken into new booking
companies and record deals on the spot and are currently under discussion.
In all Future Echoes came off as a real success and the planning has commenced with the announcement
of next year’s date 16 to 18 of February 2023.