Waves Festival 2020 as a successful hybrid between on- and offline

14. September 2020

With the presentation of the XA – Music Export Award to the Viennese musician OSKA on Saturday evening, the tenth edition of the Waves Festival at the Vienna WUK came to an end. More than 18,000 people took part in the hybrid version of the festival, which was specially conceived for the Corona year 2020.

The path to the final set-up of this year’s Waves Festival was a long one: a multitude of possibilities and variations were worked out and played through – even including a local installation. In the end it was clear that the Festival 2020 Corona would have to do without live concerts on location.

Streaming and public viewing

As an alternative, pre-recorded live sets were shown on three online channels and at the public viewing at WUK Hof during the three days of the festival from 10 to 12 September, which had been recorded by more than 70 national and international acts especially for Waves. The live sets were recorded by more than 70 national and international acts especially for Waves and featured highly acclaimed artists such as Porridge Radio, S1MBA, Fo Sho and TseSho from this year’s two focus countries UK and Ukraine.

The audience accepted the adapted festival concept very well: a total of 261,383 minutes were streamed online by 17,456 different viewers. At the same time, a total of 533 visitors were present on site at WUK Hof during the three days of the festival.

Participation in the Waves Conference, which took place for the first time at the SAE this year, was also possible online and offline. The programme included feedback listening sessions, panels and workshops on topics such as music cities, the effects of brexit, the European INES network co-founded by Waves Festival and fair payment on streaming portals. 97 conference participants were present on site during the two days of the conference. The conference was broadcast live on the internet and the individual events are still available for download.

XA Award for OSKA

The highlight of the Waves final evening was the presentation of the XA – Music Export Award. The expert jury, consisting of seven international industry representatives, chose the singer-songwriter Maria Burger alias OSKA. The musician, who comes from the Waldviertel and lives in Vienna, was thus able to prevail over the seven other nominated Austrian newcomer acts.

The XA – Music Export Award is a joint initiative of mica – music austria, Austrian Music Export, Austro Mechana/SKE Fonds, Radio FM4 and Waves Vienna. The aim is to support Austrian artists at an early stage of their career and, after building a national base, to help them make the step out of Austria onto the international stage.

As the winner of the XA, OSKA will receive 3,500 Euros and the promise of support from Austrian Music Export, FM4 and the Waves Festival for the following year, including integration at partner festivals and showcases.

Pictures of the Festivals can be found on Facebook:

Waves Festival Day 1

Waves Festival Day 2

Waves Festival Day 3

Waves Festival Conference

Recordings of the Waves Festival Conference are online on Youtube:

Waves Festival Conference Day 1

Waves Festival Conference Day 2


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