In May the final conference of the Baltic Music Network was held in Visby, Gotland, Sweden.

A Baltic Music Network is born,
Welcoming all music organizations to join in!

The Swedish regional music foundation GotlandsMusiken, on the most central spot in the Baltic Sea, is coordinating the one-year pilot project ”Baltic Music Network: Resounding Sea” 2015-16 with financial support from the Swedish Institute. The project aims at strengthening musical crossborder exchange in the Baltic Sea Region by identifying professional music organizations, educational institutions and music business entrepreneurs in the countries around our common sea, and initiating future crossborder collaboration and define common areas for project development in the region.
The project has included a desk research to identify existing music organizations in the region, visits to the target countries Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, followed by well attended Networkshops in the capital cities of aforementioned countries during March 2016, where the national situations of music and young people – as creators, musicians and audiences – have been analyzed and discussed, thereby defining what issues are common for us all.
These preparatory measures have all steered towards the final conference, organized in Visby (Gotland, Sweden) May 15-18 2016 with representation from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden. The participants had been selected as to represent the greatest possible variety within the region’s overall music sector, from formal, state funded and regional institutions, orchestras and educational entities to music NGO’s and music entrepreneurs with an international scope, as to inspire information exchange and cross- sectoral collaborations.
As the main conference topic was ”music and young people”, and thereby the music of tomorrow, key-note speakers addressed the future of music and how to relate to anticipated change in the music sector, including a local house music record label, ”Imagine”: an all- styles music competition for young people, insights on prospects of regional funding and expert advise by Blasko Smilevski, Executive Director of the Brussels based JM International, the world’s biggest youth music NGO.
On the conference’s last day, a Memorandum of Understanding was adopted, which:
o EstablishedtheBalticMusicNetworkasanopenandnon-formalnetworkofmusic
organizations with ability and interest to actively involve themselves in future regional
o DefineditsprimaryscopetomusicandyoungpeopleintheBalticSeaRegionand
o Young audiences development
o Exchange of young musicians
o Capacity building and sharing of best practices
o Laidouttheprospectsforfuturecollaborationintermsofbuildingastrongernetwork and the development of common projects
o Definedthedesiredfunctionsofthenetwork’scommunicativeplatform: (opening in September 2016), welcoming all music institutions, organizations and private companies in the countries of the Baltic Sea Region to register free, interact, share information and find local and regional partners