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2021 - IMC Online

Thursday 22. April

Opening speech by Norwegian Minister of Culture, Abid Raja (NO)         


Norwegian Metal Today: SITREP

The marriage of Norway and black metal was supposed to last forever. The Norwegian scene of the early 90s produced some of the most iconic and influential artists of black metal. What is the current status of this scene? Is Norwegian metal still seen as true? Are its artists and venues still relevant? Is the heritage from the 90s still relevant? Or has global black metal already taken over?          

Mod: Guro Kleveland (Ballade, NO)        

Sten Ove Toft (BLå, NO)

Linda Melsom (Indie Recordings, NO)    

Togrim Øyre (Beyond The Gates, NO)    


Festival identity: Approach From The Livelihood of Things           

How to administer and enlarge the identity and experience of your event or festival with the booking of specific artists? How do agents decide, which booking will add to the musical identity of an artist? Do agents, labels, managers, and even festivals over-think the profiling of artists? Does anybody even need a profile? This panel will give an insight of how to sustain the heart and soul of both artists and bookers.  

Mod: Mark van Schaick (NL)                    

Luc Favié (Doomstar Bookings, NL)         

Seb Bailly (Bad Behaviour Management, FR)      

Silje Wergeland (Beyond The Gates, The Gathering, NO)             

Chuky Garcia (Rock Al Parque, CO)         


World Metal Congress presents: Metal vs. The Climate Crisis     

In time for Earth Day, this round-table discussion will ask what the music industry and the live event and touring sectors can be doing to adapt to a more sustainable model, and what music fans can do to influence the drive for change in the face of the looming climate crisis.               

Mod: Alexander Milas (World Metal Congress, US)                       

Lina Khatib (World Metal Congress, LB)

Nika Brunet (MetalDays, SI)       

Fay Milton (Music Declares Emergency, UK)       


Rewriting The Metal World: presentation by Joe Saw (Fanbytes, UK)      

The rise of TikTok as a major platform with many promotional benefits makes the metal industry appear to fall behind in the rapidly evolving algorithms of social media. Assuming that music marketing works similarly across all genres, we invited the experts to explain their methods. Mr. Joe Saw from Fanbytes (UK) has kindly agreed to give a keynote presentation regarding TikTok marketing for both settled and emerging talent.  Reaching target audiences and launching young talent has become even more of a challenge.  Joe has worked with global companies such as Nike, Deliveroo and Universal, Warner, and Sony to engage with millions of people worldwide.        


Keynote Interview: Fruits From The Atomic Garden with Jack Shirley (US)           

Jack Shirley is a self-educated record producer with over 17 years of experience. Based in the Bay Area, his The Atomic Garden studio has helped shape some of the most influential bands evolving from post-black metal such as Deafhaven, Amenra and Oathbreaker. In an in-depth interview, questions will revolve around topics such as: Have Norway, Grieghallen and Pytten been influential in any way to the post-sound? How did Jack start out and has his touring experience as a musician played a role in his approach in studio? This is a great opportunity to get to know Jack and The Atomic Garden.            

Mod: Frank Godla (Metal Injection, US)


Mental Health: Six Stages Of Fame with Hilde Spille (Paperclip Agency, NL)         

Hilde Spille presents the “Six Stages of Fame “. Hilde works as a booking agent at Paperclip Agency, based in Nijmegen (NL).  With over 25 years of experience in the international live business, Hilde started to write about the mental challenges of artists in her blog Compass for Creatives in 2012. Hilde’s blog is inspired by her MA in cultural psychology. Hilde created a model of the “Six Stages of Fame”. She will discuss the opportunities and issues for musicians at every stage. Her model can aid musicians to recognize at which point of their career they currently are, how to anticipate future developments and how to avoid career-killing traps.      


Friday 23. April


Opening speech by Music Norway

Importance Of Network in the Digital World      

Networking has always been central to the music business. The global pandemic has reduced contact mostly to the digital world. What does that mean for existing networks and how important is it exactly to meet up for breaking artists and finding new markets? World Metal Congress and Music For Nations have kindly agreed to discuss this subject with us.

Mod: Gunnar Sauermann (SPKR, DE)                   

Alexander Milas (World Metal Congress, UK)     

Kristoffer Neegaard (Inferno Music Conference, NO)     

Julie Weir (Music For Nations, UK)


The Guiltiest Sinners: Extreme Heavy Metal Music In Iran and Saudi Arabia         

Metal as an art form is often facing adversity in strongly religious societies, especially when actively dealing with anti-religious or openly blasphemous content. The renewed legal proceedings against Behemoth by the Polish state are just one example. In other countries, musicians are threatened with far graver consequences than “just” prison or a fine. Members of the Iranian extreme metal band Confess were arrested by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on November 9, 2015 on charges of blasphemy, propaganda against the system, and conducting interviews with foreign media. On July 2019, Khosravi was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison and 74 lashes, while Ilkhani faced 2 years in prison. Both musicians escaped and are now living in Norway as political refugees. Saudi Arabia has even stricter laws against music. The black metal band Al-Namrood, whose lyrics condemn organized religion, breaks Saudi laws by merely existing. Its members are forced to hide their identities as they are threatened by torture or even the death penalty. Although Al-Namrood cannot perform their music live, they inspire many musicians who are equally oppressed or face prosecution.

Pasqualina Eckerström (FI)


The War Of Art: Blasphemy and Propaganda Against The System             

American journalist and musician Frank Godla will conduct an in-depth interview with Polish lawyer Małgorzata Ciuksza, representing Nergal, Nikan 'Siyanor' Khosravi of Confess and Sina Winter of From The Vastland. They will discuss living in a society with a constant fear of being accused of blasphemy and facing severe punishment for playing music. Expect a talk about freedom of expression, freedom of speech, religious oppression, and forbidden art.

Mod: Frank Godla (Metal Injection, US)              

Nikan “Siyanor” Khosravi (Confess, IR)  

Małgorzata Ciuksza (PL)

Sina Winter (From The Vastland, IR)


SBOA presents: Learnings in times of Corona - shaking up the old ways 

Did the pandemic boost digitalization as it has been often claimed? If so, does this concern heavy metal, which has traditionally been based upon a strong live sector? Will the cycle of albums, festivals, and touring start turning again once the lockdowns will have become history or have something changed beyond repair? This panel will discuss the digital perspective for bands, distribution, venues, and festivals. Topics will revolve around streaming, fan communication, fan budgets, and merchandise by providing positive and negative examples.

Mod: Roman Hilser (Summer Breeze Open Air, DE)

Adam Gregory (Bloodstock, UK)

Dave Kaiser (Blood Blast Distribution, DE)           

Jens Uhre Karlsson (Heartbeat Management, DK)

Alex Härtel (Summer Breeze Open Air, DE)         


The Future Of The Music Industry: Are you the Jack of all Trades?           

Jack of All Trades, Master of Plenty? Professionals in the music business often diversify beyond just one field of activity. This panel will discuss the necessity to invest in more than one business or if it is really a good idea to bet on more than one horse instead of focusing on just one activity. Booking legend Merle Doering, managing director of Black Harbour Entertainment and the owners of leading independent labels Prophecy Productions, Martin Koller and Season of Mist, Michael Berberian will give insights on how to stick out.

Mod: Gunnar Sauerman (SPKR, DE)

Michael Berberian (Season Of Mist, FR)              

Martin Koller (Prophecy Productions, DE)

Merle Doering (Black Harbour, DE)                       


Closing talk by Inferno Music Conference

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