Press release – Creators Conference in Belgrade


September 21, 2018 

The 2018 edition of the Creators Conference took place on September 19th at the Kolarac Hall in Belgrade and was co-organised with the support of the Composers Association of Serbia (CAS). The focus this time was on “Serbian Music and Innovative European Programs of Synergy, Creativity and Business”.

The three panel discussions addressed respectively: the development of the Creative Industries, the different music tourism strategies and the situation of the music sector in Serbia.

The overarching theme of the welcome speeches was the importance of having European cultural projects in Serbia to strengthen exchange and collaboration among different cultures. This notion was stressed by ECSA’s President Alfons Karabuda, Paul-Henri PRESSET – Head of Information, Communication and Press Section of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia, Ivana Trišić –President of Composers Association of Serbia (CAS) and Martin Cuff who spoke on behalf of Prime Minister Ana Brnabić.

Dr Milena Dragićević Šešić, professor of Management in Culture and Theory of Media at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, started the first panel on Creative Industries, by outlining the state of play of music within the Creative Industries in Serbia. Antun Tomislav Šaban, Secretary General of the Croatian Composers’ Society, Vice- President of ECSA, composer and conductor, continued describing how stakeholders of the creative sector in Croatia united successfully to have a stronger voice when confronting the Croatian government in order to advocate for policies that would help grow the sector. He identified the biggest challenge in reaching other Ministries than just the one responsible for culture. He believes effective measures for improving the climate for Creative Industries should be implemented horizontally, taking into consideration more than just cultural policies, like for example, looking at fiscal policies.

Ana Ilić – Advisor to the Prime Minister of Serbia for digital and creative industries, film and tourism, explained that her work has been made easier as the development of the Creative industries became one of the main focuses of Prime Minister Ana Brnabić’s agenda.

The second panel focused on Creative Industries and Music in Tourism. Miodrag Popović the CEO of the Tourist Organization of Belgrade moderated the panel and let Sales and Marketing Manager from Salzburg Tourism Andrea Minnich start the discussion. She explained how, not only major cultural events in Salzburg attract visitors, but that also smaller music events contribute to Salzburg’s economy. Martin Cuff (strategist, marketer, speaker, writer and trainer in the development and marketing of Creative Industries) instead, discussed the benefits of connecting creative industries with tourism strategies.

Olaf Furniss the Managing Director of Music Tourist, pointed out how even peculiar music events have the potential to become tourist draws. All speakers agreed that successful tourism strategies have to be based on the authenticity of the local culture and history.

In the last panel, the situation of the music sector in Belgrade was highlighted with presentations from Srđan Hofman (composer, professor emeritus of composition at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade and president of the governing board of SOKOJ), Aleksandar Kovačević (CEO of SOKOJ), Vladimir Grajić (composer, Head of RTS Music Production) and moderated by Dr Ivana Medić (Research Associate, Institute of Musicology SASA, Belgrade and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal Muzikologija/Musicology). Everyone agreed that the challenges of the music sector in Serbia lay in the commercialisation of music taste, the new digital means of distributing music and the recent changes in the copyright law in Serbia.


About the Creators Conference

The Creators Conference was initiated in 2009 by ECSA President Alfons Karabuda as a project of SKAP, the Swedish Association of Popular Music Composers. The first Creators Conference took place in 2009 in Stockholm, with two further editions in 2012 and 2013 in Brussels. The purpose of the event is to create new and unique synergies for music composers and European policy makers.

Throughout the years this event has developed as a high-level European Platform for creators, music business representatives and EU policy-makers to exchange views on on-going issues affecting music authors such as freedom of expression, author’s rights, new economic models, international cooperation or fair remuneration.


About ECSA

ECSA is an umbrella association of over 50 professional guilds of songwriters and composers of any genres of music. ECSA’s core mission is to defend and promote the rights of composers and songwriters with the aim of improving their social and economic condition as well as their artistic freedom. ECSA is registered under Belgium law as international non-profit organization and is financed by contribution of members, as well as by Creative Europe.


For more information, please contact:

Alicja Swierczek, EU Affairs and Programme Manager

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