Showcase Scotland Expo promotes Scottish music and artists to markets and countries outside the UK.
Who are we?
Showcase Scotland Expo exists to further the live export opportunities for Scottish based artists working in the genres of folk, traditional, world and acoustic music. We aim to forge relationships with overseas music trade events and to lobby for showcase opportunities for Scottish based artists.
It is a project that was initiated by Active Events who pulled together a steering group of industry professionals and collectively asked the question of ‘where we best felt Scottish artists could build a career and where we could intervene to enhance opportunities’.
Showcase Scotland Expo Limited is now a company in it’s own right as indicated below.
We concluded that:
Australia and New Zealand
Australia and New Zealand are largely undeveloped for our artists and yet a huge Scottish heritage exists there. Successful touring in these areas would also provide a gateway to Japan, China and Malaysia. Equally the festival season is January to April, which is not the UK or European Festival season, opening up opportunites for artists to maximise their income. We showcased five Scottish artists at AWME in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and two artists at Australian Music Week in 2016.
In 2018 we produced the Visit in Perth for delegates from Australia, New Zealand and China. This was phenomenally successful with a number of artists gaining agency representation and festival bookings. Most significantly this led directly to the Year of Scotland in Australia 2020 which saw a number of Scottish artists touring Australia in early 2020. The Year was cut short by the Covid pandemic but will return as soon as travel to Australia becomes possible again.
France is on our doorstep and the connections between our nations are ‘ancient’. It is a notoriously difficult territory and Scottish artists have found it difficult to break out of Brittany. We all felt that an increased profile for Scottish artists in France was important and so for the past two years we have attended Babel Med in Marseille. In 2013 this resulted in a French partnership being concluded for Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections in 2016. The Visit 2015 was also produced for the French Music Industry (more below)
In 2014 The Visit was produced for the first time in Paisley, the Isle of Mull and Edinburgh. 40 delegates attended from Canada and North America and 21 artists performed 30 minute sets in each location.
The Visit is designed to look at each territory individually giving a concentrated and strategic approach to developing opportunities for our artists. The results in 2014 were phenomenal and 7 artists secured agency deals with at least 100 individual bookings being secured to date for artists. (We are still analysing results as many of the bookings are still in the summer and autumn of 2015 - we expect this figure to significantly increase).
In May 2015 The Visit was delivered for 30 French delegates with a few also attending from Benelux and the very North of Spain. This time the concerts took place in Paisley, Stirling and Edinburgh. This was once again very successful.
Babel Med in 2016 featured a showcase by Breabach. This was the first time a Scottish artist had ever been given this opportunity at the event. They were also the only UK act to showcase this year. We are also working with the Lorient Festival in Brittany to lobby for a focus on Scotland and its Music in 2017.
A report was also commissioned into the French market and can be found in the artists support section.
Research was conducted into the German market (report published in artists support section) and it was universally agreed that there is a market here for our music. It needs a pro active approach and so we plan to produce The Visit for the German music industry in 2016.
This year will be year two in showcasing artists at The ECMA (Eastern Canadian Music Association), they have a large showcase for delegates from the US and Canada focusing largely on Eastern Canadian artists. Two Scottish artists a year will now also feature until 2016.
Showcase Scotland Expo is a SEPARATE initiative to Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections. Both events work closely together for the wider public benefit and for the maximising of benefit to Scottish based artists. Both initiatives are managed by Active Events who are employed by Celtic Connections to manage their showcase.
Our Directors and Steering Group
Lisa Whytock (CEO)
Lisa is the Director of Active and is also the Producer of Showcase Scotland expo and Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections. Active are an agency based in Scotland representing artists internationally, such as Capercaillie, Breabach, Love & Money and many others. Lisa also programmed The Spree, Bring it all Home Festivals and the Belhaven Birthday Bash.
Craig is a Partner in Active and is the Event and Production Manager for Showcase Scotland Expo and Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections.
Craig heads up CCM Live - a folk/traditional music booking agency working extensively throughout the UK and Europe, and in partnership further afield, based in Glasgow, Scotland. Since establishing in 2010, Craig’s international roster has grown to include some of Scotland’s leading, internationally renowned artists. With an approach more akin to management, focusing on long-term strategy, career trajectory and development, he has been instrumental in establishing both the domestic and international profiles of many of his artists. Craig is also Assistant Director of the Orkney Folk Festival - one of Scotland’s most respected folk festivals, now in its 35th year - with overall responsibility for the event’s marketing and publicity. Additionally, he sits on the steering group of both Showcase Scotland at Celtic Connections and has represented Showcase Scotland Expo at numerous conferences and events worldwide.
Associate Members – the directors are immensely grateful to the following individuals who generously give their time to our Steering Group.
Norah Campbell - Head of Arts, British Council Scotland, currently on the board or Puppet Animation Scotland, recently retired Chair of the Scottish Music Centre and on the committee for Showcase Scotland & Showcase Scotland EXPO. Past roles include Head of Skills Academy Scotland for Creative & Cultural Skills and Director of An Tuireann Arts Centre on the Isle of Skye.
Daniel is a founder member and accordion player with one of Scotland’s most dynamic Scottish folk bands, Skerryvore. He is also a co-founder and director of the multi-award winning Tiree Music Festival and Argyll’s largest live music event, Oban Live. Daniel recently completed a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Strathclyde as part of the global MBA25 corporate programme.
http://skerryvore.com, http://tireemusicfestival.co.uk, http://obanlive.com
Dougal is the Managing Director of Inner Ear, the digital media production and promotion company he co-founded back in 2000. An expert in podcasting, internet radio, streamed media and social media strategies, Dougal has been an SMIA director for seven years.
Having become Chair in April 2016, Dougal has been a guiding light in the organisation’s development. Following the SMIA’s success in gaining Regular Funding from Creative Scotland, Dougal’s has taken on the new role of Executive Chair, responsible for activating the SMIA’s new development arm where the organisation will deliver a pioneering innovation-led development programme, designed to help nurture business talent and build infrastructure in the Scottish music industry.
Gill Maxwell is the Executive Director of the Scottish Music Centre, a national organisation that supports and promotes Scotland’s music sector at home and internationally. Gill is on the the steering group of both Showcase Scotland and Showcase Expo, is the Made in Scotland music partner and and will lead Scotland’s first expo representation at Classical Next in 2017.
Off Site Productions was set up by Katch Holmes to present and represent exciting new and old music from Scotland and internationally.
Katch believes in emotionally resonant, contemporary artists with strong cultural grounding. She has been instrumental in shaping and programming Scotland’s longest running greenfield festival Knockengorroch since its beginnings over 20 years ago.
Off Site exists to promote cross cultural fertilisation, artist development, new music creation and audience development.
A well kent face on the Glasgow Folk and Roots scene, mandolinist, tutor, singer and composer Laura-Beth is a founding member of award winning folk bands The Shee & Kinnaris Quintet. She was nominated for the MG Alba Composer of the year award in 2013 after the success of her Celtic Connections commission and debut album ‘Breathe.’ She is an active tutor of mandolin and youth projects all over the UK.
Hailing from Lincolnshire, her parents immersed LB in a diverse range of musical influences from an early age. They ran a local session which lead to Laura-Beth’s background in Old-time, Bluegrass and roots music. Feeling a desire to progress further, she moved to Newcastle to study the mandolin and composition on the Folk Music Degree, where she discovered a love for exploring traditional music from all over the world, and met her fellow band members in The Shee.
After university, LB toured extensively as a dep in Frigg and Shooglenifty, and moved to her now home town, Glasgow. Years of sessioning in a musical melting pot, she’s now involved in a range of performance, composition and teaching projects within the Scottish traditional music scene – The Shee , VOX , Jenn & Laura-Beth, Kinnaris Quintet, The Daddy Naggins, & From The Ground.
Lesley is the festival manager for Celtic Connections. She is also tour manager for the 12-piece supergroup Treacherous Orchestra.
Andy Shearer has been Creative Director at Horsecross Arts with responsibility for music programming since Perth Concert Hall opened in 2005 and launched Southern Fried festival there on 2008. He was previously programmer at The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen from its opening in 1992 until 1999, where he established the Rootin Aboot Festival and built a formidable reputation for the venue as one of the finest of its size in the UK. He returned to The Lemon Tree on a freelance basis from spring 2002 to spring 2007, spearheading a revival in the venue’s fortunes. He also worked for major commercial promoters MCD in Dublin, setting up the Acoustica and Celtic Flame festivals. In 2016 he opened Noble Savage, a live booking agency representing a small roster of acoustic and Americana artists.
After studying English Language and Literature at the University of Edinburgh, Alan spent more than 25 years in arts journalism. With an initial specialisation in film, he has held the positions of Editor of The List, Associate Editor of Total Film, Reviews Editor of Empire and film critic of The Daily Record. He was also the Artistic Director of the Kirkcaldy Film Festival from its inception until 2016. As Group Arts Editor across all titles in the Herald & Times Group, he spent the better part of a decade championing the Scottish arts scene in print, particularly music in the Sunday Herald and The National. He instigated the Sunday Herald’s cross-genre Top 50 Scottish Albums of the Year list and spent many years on the jury selecting unsigned bands for the T Break at T in the Park. In his early days, Alan played violin with the Central Region Youth Orchestra and Scottish Schools Fiddle Orchestra, sang regularly in end-of-term stage musicals and spent a couple of happy but unproductive years in a teenage rock band after teaching himself guitar. Alan is now Head of Music at Creative Scotland, the main funder of Showcase Scotland Expo
Siobhan is a fiddle player who graduated from the BA Applied Music degree at Strathclyde University in 2011. She has performed with many bands including Rachel Sermanni, French Wives and Fatsuit. She has worked as a fiddle tutor and ceilidh trail co-ordinator for Fèis Fhoirt, tutored at the Lochgoilhead Fiddle workshop and helped reinstate the Killin Music Festival. She is currently working as a Music Officer for Creative Scotland.