Athens Music Week 2023 

Submitted by Boyan Pinter

Athens Music Week is a week-long boutique conference & showcase festival based in Athens, Greece attracting music fans & industry experts, celebrating cultural & creative diversity! This year it was an immersive and dynamic event that brought together music industry professionals, artists, and enthusiasts from around the world. These sessions fostered valuable networking opportunities and facilitated the exchange of ideas, empowering attendees with the tools and strategies to navigate the ever-evolving music landscape.

One of the standout components of AMW 2023 was the presence of HEMI (Hub for the Exchange of Music Innovation), a collaborative initiative that aims to support and promote music talent from Central and Eastern Europe. HEMI organized a series of workshops, mentoring sessions, and showcases, providing emerging artists and music professionals and innovators with a platform to connect with established industry figures. This inclusion of HEMI at the event added a vibrant and diverse element to the conference program, and we consider it a vital component of every showcase conference in the Balkan region. 

In my opinion, Athens Music Week succeeded in creating a dynamic and immersive experience for all participants. From thought-provoking conference sessions that provided insights and practical knowledge, to the presence of HEMI, promoting talent from Central and Eastern Europe, and the exceptional musical performances, the event fostered creativity, collaboration, and inspiration. It served as a valuable platform for networking, learning, and celebrating the vibrant music industry, leaving attendees with a renewed sense of passion and a deeper understanding of the ever-evolving music landscape.

I can’t think of a better setting for both reflection and future discovery than the amazing and cosmopolitan city of Athens. The venues that AMW selected for the showcase program were a key factor in the enjoyment of all international delegates and the selection of artists was well matched with their respective stages. At Crust, we had the pleasure to immerse ourselves in the electronica-supported vocally driven musical landscapes created by local artist Juno. At Six Dogs were enjoyed famed experimental artist Elizabete Balčus (LV) whose pièce de resistance is throwing her “gear” at the audience at the end of every performance. Look it up to learn more! 

The venue Boiler held the biggest number of surprises for me. Above ground, a relaxed street corner bar where locals sit long-hours smoking cigarettes and listening to the American rock-oriented the barman had selected. Below ground, a seedy underground lair where showcase circuit regulars Cinemon (PL) kicked up enough smoke and dust to fill up a stadium with their blend of raw blues-driven, yet melody-infused rock and roll. On day 2, the biggest surprise came from local youngsters, The Lobsters, whose small-town roots and rock and roll swagger won them instant fans with international delegates attending AMW. Best moment of the show: in a haze of clean modulated and delayed guitars, the lead singer pulled out a sax for a surprise solo! 

The stage at Technopolis brought the showcase production to a whole new level and all the acts delivered amazing performances to the delight of the international pool of delegates and local audiences alike. A particular highlight was the local band The Steams!