by Eleonore Witschaß
Anne Haffmans (http://www.annehaffmans.de) has been part of the music business since 1994. She gained a lot of experience during her work promoting bands of British labels in Germany. Currently she is working for Domino, a British Indie label, for which she does all the international work and publications in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (http://www.dominorecordco.de/). Her references include artists such as ‘Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’, ‘Franz Ferdinand’ and ‘Daft Punk’. This year she joined the SPOT in Aarhus for the first time and was “completely without a task“. Instead, her goal was more to capture the vibe and the different directions in music nowadays. “I mean, I need to be able to estimate my own artists in the context of the current international concurrence. Of course I try to take a look at other markets then, like the Danish one”.
“It fulfilled my expectations very much“
Haffmans shared her first impressions about SPOT. What she liked most is that it is “so central in the city“. “I have the feeling, that the whole city is taking part in that. It seems to be a very well-integrated festival“. Her line-up favourites were ‘Goss‘ and ‘Velvet Volume’. But quite surpringly she met the band ‘Apples In Space‘ from Berlin, whom she worked with before. They just came around to meet friends and listen to some Danish music. For Haffmans it was also nice to just meet the labels and journalists. She liked the “exchange and transfer of information with colleagues from Germany and Denmark”. “It is just interesting to adjust with each other and compare the markets and what is happening there…The technological development forces the industry to evolve extremely fast. Therefore it is important to exchange views with the colleagues. One has to react somehow to all these reforms. Talking about it, that’s what I find really important on these festivals”.
“There is so much, and everything is available, always”
Haffmans sees the potential of Scandinavia as the “right example for technology” but is also critical about it. “The situation becomes more rival”. In her opinion it is not necessary to make international deals any more. Instead Spotify and social media platforms such as Facebook can do enough publicity abroad. Managing a big label herself, she advises musicians against the offers of label service companies that pretend to be labels but are not as reliable in the long-term. Yet, Haffmans likes the attitude on the festival. “I get small flyers and notes all the time. Of course it is perfect for bands and managers to engage like that and track people to the concerts”.
SPOT as state-funded publicity
Haffmans admires the export work in Denmark for supporting so many bands. To her, the big investment in this festival shows the general interest of the Danish state in promoting and developing the Danish music infrastructure. “That works a bit different in Germany”. Beside the music, Haffmans is a huge fan of the show technology. “Every venue has good light and sound, amazing! Like Ridehuset, which is such a difficult, rectangular room, not exactly built as a venue. But then they installed this sound supporting sails, and I thought ‘Wow, someone thought this through!’. Because else it would give an awful sound in there in this empty, big room. I’m impressed. Also in Godsbanen, where all the rooms just have a perfect sound. And then they have good light as well, maybe so good you can hardly see the artist on stage!”
Would you come back?
“Yes, I think so. It is happening in a good time of the year and the weather is nice. I am excited. I already saw some nice stuff, but I did not have a wow-effect yet. Where I thought it is ground breaking. If I did not like one of the things, it was mostly because they already exist elsewhere, just not in Danish. I presume that the music is good, the question is only whether it contributes an unknown element. There has to be something new”.