FESTIVAL REVIEW – m4music, ZURICH – 16.03.2019

The 22nd edition of m4music, the pop music festival of Migros Culture Percentage was a success. Over three days, 6000 music lovers attended the conferences and concerts in Lausanne and in Zurich.

© Alessandro Della Bella | Ennio Leanza

The Saturday at m4music was blessed by Spring weather and sun. The Openair Stage with its free concerts attracted many people, giving a glimpse of a Summer festival.

The conferences

Saturday was filled with many very interesting conferences, I attended those which for me were more useful.

© Alessandro Della Bella | Ennio Leanza

European Hotspots

In this conference five festival directors, programmers or concert organisers presented their work and their festival. Among the highlights, the peculiarity of the festival Rockomotives in Vendôme, France, which doesn’t follow the buzz in the music business but hosts artists which didn’t necessarily just released an album or made a million views on YouTube. This festival seems also very interesting for the culinary and wine tasting evolving around it.

Another highlight is Eurosonic Festival in Groningen, Netherlands, in a way it is similar to m4music because it’s also a platform offering conferences, showcases and such, but it’s much bigger and an unmissable place for music professionals and artists. In 2020, the focus of Eurosonic will be on Swiss music.

Monopoly of the global concert business – keynote with Berthold Seliger

© Alessandro Della Bella | Ennio Leanza

Berthold Seliger, German author and concert booker, gave a speech about how the global music market is ran by a few powerful concert organizers which are not necessarily interested in music but that just want to make money out of it. Therefore small and independent clubs struggle to survive and, in order to do so, need to find alternatives, such as ticketing options with not too many fees. In his speech Berthold Seliger anticipates what he wrote in his new book “Von Imperiengeschäft”.


5.15pm-6.15pm, Schiffbau Foyer


Plàsi is a Swedish singer with Greek roots, he plays a sweet indie-folk, accompanied by a guitarist. Outside the sun is shining but Plàsi plays on a small stage inside the Schiffbau Foyer. Despite the surrounding noise he manages to create a cosy atmosphere patterned by acoustic notes and his calming voice. A moment to sit back and relax and be cuddled by the gentle picking of the guitar strings.

Given his Greek origins and living in Sweden, he says he never feels to belong somewhere and that is reflected in his music.


8pm-8:45pm, Openair Stage

The Two

Initially I wanted to see only a bit of The Two’s concert having seen them multiple times but they’re so good live that I couldn’t just leave half way through the gig. Yannick Nanette and Thierry Jaccard are The Two and they don’t need any introduction anymore, they’ve made a name for themselves.

They offer the audience a touching moment of blues, with strings that caress your soul and Yannick’s powerful voice that gives you the chills. They create a bond with the audience, interacting with them and always smiling. You can feel they love what they do and so does the public, from “Promise” to “Blues in my Bones”, without forgetting the songs from their new album Crossed Souls (2018), the sing along is assured.

9.15pm-10pm, Openair Stage

Black Tropics

© Alessandro Della Bella | Ennio Leanza

Black Tropics is a rock trio from Lausanne formed in 2017. Some obvious influences in their music can be heard throughout the gig: Muse in the rambling drums and the disruption of the singer’s voice, Royal Blood in the fast-paced and powerful bass lines and Queens of the Stone Age in all that desert rock atmosphere.

Their rock is loud and intense, the singer’s voice is sometimes high-pitched like in the song “Dragon Blood”, where the normally sweet vocals “la la la la” acquire an entirely new connotation. What is missing throughout the gig is a bit more interaction with the audience.


Demotape clinic

Demotape Clinic Session Electronic am m4music, das Popmusikfestival des Migros-Kulturprozent, aufgenommen am Freitag, 15. Maerz 2019 im Schiffbau in Zuerich. © Alessandro Della Bella | Ennio Leanza

The Demotape Clinic is a competition divided into four categories: pop, rock, urban and electronic. For each of the categories the bands and artists present one demo (one of their songs) which are judged by a jury competent in that type of music. For each category three finalists are chosen and the on Saturday during the award ceremony the winners are announced.

© Alessandro Della Bella | Ennio Leanza

Here are the winners for 2019:

Pop: Quiet Island
Rock: Asbest
Urban: Cobee
Electronic: La Colère

The band Asbest from Basel wins the prize for the “Demo of the Year” which consists in 5’000.- CHF.

© Alessandro Della Bella | Ennio Leanza

See you in 2020, from the 19th to the 21st of March for the 23rd edition of m4music in Lausanne and Zurich!

Simona @TakeMe2aConcert

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