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Open Air Festival presentation

A word from the upcoming and growing festivals in the world, insight in conducting their own profile and artistic decisions to enforce this growth. What choices do you make as a festival? What are the USP’s and how do you connect to your audience?

Friday 7. April 11:30 - Room 1

Mod: Gunnar Sauerman (Prophecy Productions/Metal Hammer, DE)

Gunnar Sauermann is well known in the dark music scene as a freelancer for Metal Hammer Germany, for which he has been writing since 2001. His focus has been on the Norwegian and other Nordic black metal scenes as well as on bands from Britain and Romania. He joined Season of Mist in 2008 and worked eight years in France and two more from the Netherlands as head of promotion for the renowned French label. In 2018, Gunnar was offered a position as senior press officer of the Wacken Open Air and moved to Hamburg. Two years later, he returned to promotion, as head of the department of the acclaimed German label Prophecy Productions and others under the umbrella of SPKR Media where he is now in his fourth year. In another life, the dedicated European from Germany has studied iron age and early medieval archaeology, and comparative linguistics with a focus on Celtic and Germanic languages at the universities of Marburg and Dublin. When Gunnar is not at work or reporting from studios and festivals across Europe, he can often be found visiting friends or going fishing in Bergen, Norway.

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Runa Strindin (Midgardsblot, NO)

Runa Lunde Strindin is the founder, owner and artistic director of the Midgardsblot Festival in Norway and has been working as a promoter and festival producer for the last 15 years. Since 2020 she’s been a board member of the Norwegian Live Organisation and also a juror for the Metal category at Norwegian Grammies “Spellemann” several times.


Growing up in the black metal scene she started out helping bands with bookings and promo, gaining first-hand experience in most sides of the live industry. She went on to work for the Inferno Metal festival, becoming head of PR.


In 2014 she commissioned Enslaved and Wardruna to write the piece «Skuggsjá» and produced the Eidsivablot concert for the 200th anniversary of Norway’s constitution. This led her to establish Midgardsblot in the Borre park by the Viking Grave Mounds.

Codruta Vulcu (ARTmania, RO)

Codruța Vulcu is the Director and Founder of the ARTmania Festival, East European Music Conference & Showcase Festival, Blaj aLive Festival and Romanian Music Export and AROC Vice president (the Romanian Association of Promoters of Concerts and Cultural Events), with an eighteen-year-long career in the artistic sector and a rich event portfolio which includes organizing the 2019 state visit of His Holiness Pope Francis, to Romania.


With a bachelor's degree in Art Photography and a master's degree in Art History, from the National University of Arts in Bucharest, Codruța was raised in the spirit of art. During her studies (2000 – 2005) she exhibited her artistic works in personal exhibitions at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest as well as in the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. During this time, she was also a press correspondent for various Romanian publications covering some of the biggest European festivals.


In 2019, Codruta received the trophy for the „Best Small Festival” category for ARTmania Festival, and in 2020, she received the „The Award for Excellence and Passion”, both at the European Festival Awards (EFA). Codruța is currently the Opening Program Coordinator for Timisoara 2023, as the city begins its journey as a European Capital of Culture. LinkedIn

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​Nia Pushkarova (Water Tower Art Fest, BG)

Nia Pushkarova is an artist and organizer of the Water tower art fest. As an artist, she does painting, video installation, photography, art lecturing, and performance. She is a chairwoman of NGO-IME since 2004. Founder, curator, and organizer of Water Tower Art Fest 2006-2019, and won the award of European Festival Label year 2015-16. Nia is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Bulgarian Festival Association since 2015. Powered by Active citizen Fund Bulgaria. 

Jarek Szubrycht (Mystic festival, PL)

Jarek Szubrycht is Head of Communications at Mystic Festival. Music writer, and author of numerous books on music, including the world's first biography of Slayer, the official biography of Vader, and the subjective history of metal "Skóra i ćwieki na wieki." Former vocalist of the band Lux Occulta, Decapitated lyrics writer. A journalist working with many mainstream media outlets, incl. Gazeta Wyborcza, the biggest daily newspaper in Poland. He is also a show host on Poland’s biggest rock radio Antyradio. 


Mystic Festival is all about music. Some of the biggest stars in and around metal have already performed under this banner, including Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Slayer, King Diamond, Slipknot, Nightwish and Celtic Frost. We host both living legends and the hottest phenomena of the season. Mystic Festival is also a unique space in the Gdansk Shipyard. We have five music stages – open-air and indoor – as well as a cinema, exhibitions, and a venue for meetings and debates. There is also a foodtrack, craft beer and entertainment zone where you can relax in between concerts. Mystic Coalition is an alliance of companies with rich experience in the concert, festival and publishing industries, comprising Knock Out Productions, Mystic Production, and B90.


In 2023 festival’s line-up includes more than ninety bands, including: Ghost, Danzig, Gojira, Meshuggah, Behemoth, Electric Wizard, The Hellacopters, Testament, Dark Angel, Watain, Moonspell, Perturbator, Exodus, Dismember, Voivod, Alcest, Sleep Token, and Unleashed

jarek szubrycht fot. jakub wlodek  gazeta wyborcza.jpg
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