09.01.2019

MENT Ljubljana – Festival & Conference

The fifth edition of MENT, produced by Kino Šiška and coproduced by the Slovenian Music Information Centre - Sigic, will fill different venues in Ljubljana with performances of more than 70 musicians and shed light on their individual creativity as well as the inner workings of the music industry at the international conference.

Maia Juvanc

MENT Ljubljana – Festival & Conference
Photo: Kaja Brezočnik

The fifth edition od the three-day showcase festival MENT Ljubljana will feature budding international artists from all over Europe and beyond. Between 30 January and 1 February 2019 the festival, produced by Kino Šiška and coproduced by the Slovenian Music Information Centre - Sigic, will fill different venues in Ljubljana with performances of more than 70 musicians and shed light on their individual creativity as well as the inner workings of the music industry at the international conference.

Just like last year's MENT, which had a total of 4,500 visitors, including more than 550 registered music professionals from 37 countries, the festival will again focus on regional and Eastern European scenes, as well as musicians and specialists in the music field from all over Europe.

As part of the INES network (Innovation Network of Showcase Festivals), which includes 12 European festivals, MENT promotes Slovenian artists and offers an effective networking platform for domestic as well as international participants. Such activities are encouraged through the MENT platform also with the cooperation of other events and venues, among them the Tallinn Music Week and Pin Conference. In 2017, for example, three Slovenian music performers, Bowrain, Jardier and Širom, took part in the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival. In 2016, altogether 12 Slovenian musicians and bands played at various foreign festivals and venues, performing a total of 38 shows within the framework of the MENT platform. Many Slovene bands have travelled far and wide to the edges of Europe and beyond, and presented their musicianship in Moscow, Skopje, Liverpoole and Guimarães.

In 2017, MENT received further international recognition at the European Festival Awards when it was awarded the Best Small Festival and Best Indoor Festival.  

This year's festival edition will be opened by the Iranian-Dutch singer and songwriter Sevdaliza and the Danish punk rock band Iceage. Later the festival will explore the edgy electronic sounds of the Russian record label Hyperboloid, the ruggedness of French metal and pop, and embrace the mathematical realms of Norwegian music, Belgrade's dream pop, Poland's dub, Slovakia's noise, Swiss indie and punk from the Netherlands, among many others.

MENT's conference will feature a think tank session, which will address the question "How to Make Music Conferences Great again" and will be moderated by Kerstin Saathoff.

MENT will also host Lina Ugrinovska (Password Production), an ambassador for the initiative for mental health in the music industry. Its editor, the esteemed Gordon Mason, is also coming to Ljubljana, along with Stefan Reichmann (Haldern Pop Festival), Nis Bøgvad (Copenhagen Film Music), Ross Miles (Scorched Asia), Rod Jones (Idlewild, The Fruit Tree Foundation), Claire O’Neill (A Greener Festival), Natasha Padabed (More Zvukov Agency), Didier Gosset (IMPALA), Marcus Linde (Thag’s Agent), Laura Hofman (King Sepi, Roodkapje), Urszula Andruszko (Radio Wroclaw) and many others.

MENT Ljubljana is also the first festival in its region to join the international initiative Keychange, which empowers women to transform the future of music and encourages festivals to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2022.