The Fira Mediterrània is leading a euroregional project involving participation from Occitanie and the Balearic Islands

The other partners in this project are Le Silo, the cooperative creation centre dedicated to world and folk music in Occitanie, and the Palma City Hall.

The other partners in this project are Le Silo, the cooperative creation centre dedicated to world and folk music in Occitanie, and the Palma City Hall.

The project will receive a grant of €22,500 to promote artistic mobility and professional meetings for world and traditional “root” music.

The Fundació Fira Mediterrània de Manresa is leading a euroregional project which aims to generate artistic mobility and promote professional meetings for world and traditional “root” music in Catalonia, Occitanie (France) and the Balearic Islands. The other partners in this project are Le Silo, a cooperative creation centre dedicated to world and traditional “root” music in Occitanie, and the Palma City Hall (Mallorca, the Balearic Islands). The project, which is due to receive a grant of €22,500 from the Pyrenees–Mediterranean Euroregion over the course of 15 months, forms part of the Fira Mediterrània de Manresa’s National and International Action Plan. The Pyrenees–Mediterranean Euroregion is a political cooperation project between Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Occitanie, which seeks to create a pole of sustainable development in the north-west Mediterranean based on innovation and the social and economic integration of the territory, while highlighting cultural and patrimonial diversity and becoming a benchmark space of artistic creation.

Artistic mobility

This musical project operates under the slogan “The Bridge. Connecting the music and world sectors of the Euroregion”, which defines its main objectives. Firstly, the artistic mobility of the world and folk music groups of the three participating regions (Catalonia, Occitanie and the Balearic Islands) will be promoted through various artistic and professional events organised by the three partners: the Fira Mediterrània de Manresa, in Catalonia; Palma Folk and the Festival de Cançons de la Mediterrània, in Mallorca; and Les Automnales du Festival de Thau, in Mèze (Occitanie), with the latter due to take place in November. The idea is for the performances to leave a greater impact, thanks to the presence of artistic producers from the different distribution networks of the three territories. This, it is hoped, will help to connect the different markets. It is also expected for the increased mobility of the sector’s agents to help achieve this goal.

So far, only one partner in the project has held their main event. This was the Palma City Hall, who held an Iberian rhythm workshop with percussionist Aleix Tobias; a concert from Tobias himself and Carles Dénia; an Occitanie Polyphonic Song workshop delivered by Pascal Caumont; and performances from Vox Bigerri and Coetus. In Manresa, as part of the project, the Fira Mediterrània has scheduled a series of concerts between 10–13 October from the Occitanie artists Vox Bigerri (in a choral project alongside Roberto Olivan, Magí Serra and Laurent Delforge), San Salvador and the Duo Brotto Milleret; and the Balearic artists Ballugall, Joana Gomila (who forms part of the NewCat-The New Catalan Ensemble project) and Produccions de Ferro. Les Automnales del Festival de Thau will also see performances from the Catalan group Tarta Relena and the Balearic group Banda Zeitun.

Professional meetings

The professional meetings will promote a reflection on the cooperative network that exists between the three regions. These meetings are conceived to address issues such as the current status of world and folk music, mobility and artist exchange and the possibility of providing continuity to the euroregional project with the co-production of traditional “root” music with artists from the different territories. Within the professional activity framework of the Fira Mediterrània, debate and reflection sessions will be organised with a view to discussing the circuit and the traditional “root” music networks (with the presence of artists, producers and distributers), aiming to generate a comprehensive debate which seeks to improve internationalisation strategies and strengthen new circuits. A second debate session will be held in mid-November during Les Automnales du Festival de Thau as part of the Jazz & World Days, including workshops, conferences, artistic meetings and shows related to the euroregional project. Secondly, during the Popular Culture Week organised by the Palma City Hall from 4–10 November, the Euroregion partners will be invited to participate in the activities related to folk music and the evolution thereof, with the Occitanie group Chekidjy due to perform live.

Other objectives of “The Bridge” are to boost traditional “root” music by raising awareness of euroregional expressions and their visibility; to promote a cultural dialogue between the different territories; to promote the creative industry and cultural diversity in the Euroregion; to convert traditional “root” music into a pole for growth thanks to its cultural links; to promote artistic innovation and creative commitment; to spread the project to other countries and to establish inter-regional cooperation bases with a view to launching joint creations in the mid-term future.

The anticipated results are the creation of a cooperation network within the cultural sector which focuses on world and traditional music; a collaboration network amongst artists that seeks to promote creation and to raise awareness of musical proposals that allows them to reach new audiences, strengthening the platforms of this type of production in the territory.

The partners in the project

The three partners in the project are three strategic entities of the traditional and world music sector, working together to reinforce and initiate new cooperation activities.

The main activity of the leading project partner is the organisation of the Fira Mediterrània de Manresa. This is a performance market which, using Mediterranean tradition as an axis, moves within three main areas: world and folk music, popular culture and performing arts. Le Silo, a cooperative creation centre dedicated to world and traditional music in Occitanie, works to help local groups renew their repertoires, promoting the cooperation and association of the entities within the region’s musical sector. The third partner, the Palma City Hall, organises one of the most prestigious Mediterranean music festivals, Cançons de la Mediterrània. It also organises Palma Folk, a regular schedule of traditional and world music concerts and workshops in the various municipal theatres of Palma. The capital city of Mallorca also hosts the FiraB! during the month of October.

La Fira’s internationalisation plan

The euroregional project is included within the Fira Mediterrània’s National and International Action Plan, broadening its horizons compared to the previous year. Besides the euroregional project, the Fira is also expected to renew the main agreements from previous editions with countries and regions within Europe, Africa and America, such as La Pulla (Italy), Turkey, Portugal, Morroco, the Valencian Community, the Balearic Islands, the Basque Country and Castile and León. The Plan comprises various forms of interchange (whether artistic, professional and/or communicative), with the primary aims of increasing professional work flow and offering new exhibition channels to creative entities in Catalonia.