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Budapest Ritmo, the definitive showcase festival of the CEE region showed the benefits of UPBEAT in action: fresh talent on stage, dedicated professionals networking, new ideas springing forth from the collective mind of music enthusiasts.

On the 13th April Ritmo’s showcase stage was powered by UPBEAT, the financial and networking support system of European world music festivals. In line with Ritmo’s mission, 3 regional and 3 Hungarian bands got a chance to impress an invited group of international experts, paving the way for the next step in their career. Delegates were charmed by the Transylvanian fusion of Koszika, Zarina Prvasevda‘s rendition of Macedonian vocal heritage, and Bulgarian ethno jazz by Jazzanitza. The local scene was represented by BudaPesme’s beautiful Balkan melodies, charming etno-chansons by Ephemere and fiery vlach gypsy music by Amaro Duho. The bands received valuable feedback from not only the crowd, but savvy world music pros, and bagged several invites to unchartered ground: the European festival scene. 

On the 14th and 15th of April, Friday and Saturday 14 concerts and DJ-sets were held at Akvárium Klub in the heart of Budapest with world music from the Sahara to Spain, from Romania to Cyprus. Emerging and headliner artists created the real Ritmo vibe: a journey of discovery through music.

Ritmo’s Conference section was hosted by the scenic Hungarian House of Music, seeing inspiring talks and impassioned discussions around the power of music.

Participants, many UPBEAT partners among them, delved into how music can ease, even beget social change, how it can remedy personal and collective suffering. Reflecting Ritmo’s locally rooted yet globally tuned mindset, the panels on Ukrainian and Iranian events with relation to music were followed with keen interest. Geared towards an honest exchange and active participation, Ritmo Conference aims to be a professional hotspot where delegates get inspired and connect. UPBEAT takes on to aggregate these local hubs and strengthen a Europe-wide network. 

If you see a pattern, you’re a keen observer or a member of the ‘Ritmo Bubble’: Balázs Weyer, Director of Programming of Hangvető, in charge of Ritmo’s general vibe and impressive lineup, is one of UPBEAT’s initiators. Catch him for a chat at the major stops of the world music festival circuit, by joining the UPBEAT Universe, or come straight to our festive kickoff in Tallinn.