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A Brief Outline of the Slovene Music Market

Concert Venues

The most important venues for concerts of classical music in Ljubljana are the Cankarjev Dom - Culture and Congress Centre and the Križanke Open Air Theatre, both of which offer multi-genre programmes (including jazz, world music, pop, etc.), as well as the concert halls of the Slovenian Philharmonic. First-rate performances of classical music in Maribor can be heard primarily in the Union Hall and in the opera theatre of the Slovene National Theatre Maribor. In addition to the above-mentioned larger venues, the fever of jazz can most easily be experienced in smaller clubs, such as Ljubljana’s Gajo Jazz Club and Klub CD, Maribor’s Satchmo or the Bar Gabrijel in Cerkno, while the Ljubljana club Zlati Zob specialises in world music and Romani music.

One of the key venues for a diverse range of musical events is the Metelkova Mesto Autonomous Cultural Zone, which is made up of a network of numerous independent clubs with various genre orientations, predominantly alternative (Channel Zero, Gala Hala, Menza pri koritu, Gromka, etc.), located in the buildings of a vacant army barracks in the very centre of Ljubljana. Maribor’s Pekarna is a similar story. One of the most important organisers in Ljubljana is the Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, which offers a broad programme of trendy urban musical currents, with an emphasis on indie rock. Amongst rock venues, particular mention should be made of Ljubljana’s Orto Bar and the larger club Cvetličarna (which also regularly hosts pop stars) as well as Maribor’s Štuk. The Portorož Auditorium is an important venue for pop music, while the best platform for becoming familiar with the electronic dance scene in Slovenia is offered by the Ljubljana clubs K4, F-Club and Channel Zero.

The Festival Caravan

Slovenia boasts a complex mass of festivals of extremely diverse size and genre orientation, ranging from those that cover all of the musical genres and last for more than a month (such as Maribor’s Lent, which has on several occasions been recognised as one of the best European festivals by the European Culture programme, the IFEA and the organisation Local Festivities), to smaller and very genre-specific festivals. The central festivals of classical music remain the Ljubljana Festival, the Festival Maribor, Seviqc Brežice and the Radovljica Festival. While the latter two festivals are devoted primarily to early music, the festivals in Ljubljana and Maribor have a broad programme scheme and host international stars who attract a wide audience. Contemporary music is the focus of the Slowind Festival, Unicum and the Slovenian Music Days. The largest jazz festival is the Ljubljana Jazz Festival, while other major jazz festivals include Jazz Cerkno, Izzven (Maribor), Jazzinty (Novo Mesto), Marezijazz (Marezige; dedicated to big bands), Jazz Ravne, Jazz Kamp Kranj, etc. The greatest contribution to the presentation of contemporary folk, ethno and world music is made by Bled’s Okarina Etno Festival and Ljubljana’s Druga godba, while a very diverse programme of more experimental, contemporary musical content and sonic art is offered by Sajeta, held in Tolmin, and the EarZoom Sonic Arts Festival, which takes place in Ljubljana.

Due to the small size of the market, the Slovene rock festival scene can hardly match the larger festivals in the region in terms of size. One exception is the festival Metalcamp/Metaldays, set in the idyllic surroundings of the alpine town of Tolmin, which has been attracting some of the most important players in the world metal scene for nearly a decade. This is followed by the middle-sized festivals Punk Rock Holiday, also held in Tolmin, Schengenfest in Vinica and Rock Otočec near Novo Mesto, and then by small but very agile festivals such as Koperground in Koper, the FV Festival in Ljubljana, No Border Jam, Garage Explosion in Maribor, etc. New acts on the indie rock and electronic scene gain their best opportunity to establish themselves in the local sphere, and to perform to a wider public, by participating in the Klub Maraton, a club tour throughout Slovenia organised by Radio Študent. For this kind of scene, the showcase festival and conference the Slovenian Music Week (a partner festival of Waves Vienna) represents an excellent springboard for presentation to the international environment, as individual groups selected by an international expert jury gain an opportunity to present their music on the largest festival stages in the region.

Festivals are financially dependent both on state support and on the support of local authorities and private funding (sponsors, donators), which, given the current economic situation in Slovenia, represents an increasingly insecure future, especially for festivals in smaller places.

Music Fairs

Due to the small size of the Slovene market, no domestic music fairs with a complete presentation of the music industry have developed. The festival Tresk does, however, organise a fair devoted to the presentation of Slovene music publishers, which is attended primarily by publishers with a more non-mainstream catalogue.

Music Publishing

Pop, turbo-pop, mainstream rock and the other more commercial genres are largely dominated by three record labels: ZKP RTV Slovenija, Menart and Dallas Records. In addition to these, there are smaller but penetrating labels with enviable catalogues (ZARŠ – Založba Radia Študent, Moonlee Records, rx:tx, FV, Front Rock, Kapa Records, God Bless This Mess, On Parole, Monofonika, Panda Banda, Downtown Recordings, Eat This Production, Synaptic Pathways, Rnka Rnka, Cheap Tunes, Beton Records, etc.). Since 2013, the Internet portal INDIE-GRAD (www.indie-grad.net) has been in operation, a platform that brings together and presents the majority of Slovene independent labels   of various genres, providing a good overview of the Slovene independent discography.

The key record label in the area of world music, folk revival and related genres, including jazz and pop, is Celinka, which operates on the principle of a cooperative. The specialised label Zlati zvoki covers Oberkrainer music (folk-pop). With its collection Ars Slovenica, the Society of Slovene Composers or its publishing house Edicije DSS is the most important publisher of contemporary Slovene music, as well as having a very important role in Slovene musical life in general. An essential contribution to the release of (Slovene) classical music is made by the publishing operation of the national radio and television, ZKP RTV Slovenija.

In recent years, just as elsewhere in the world, music publishing in Slovenia has been weakened financially, and consequently in terms of production, by falling sales of physical sound media, a fact that is evident primarily in reduced investment by record labels in new releases (above all by breaking artists) and in the decimated sales network of music shops.

Releases of Recordings

In spite of the decrease in sales, the number of officially registered newly released recordings has remained approximately the same over the last five years (around 500 per year), but the number of copies of each title has dropped significantly.




2008 431
2009 532
2010 500
2011 460
2012 476


For less commercial genres, there is a noticeable increase in interest in vinyl LPs, but the absolute number of vinyl releases is still very small.

The Digital Music Market

Although the Internet or digital music market in Slovenia is opening up and developing, we can safely say that compared with Western European countries it is still at its very beginnings. The first (and for now only) provider to decide to broaden its offer to the Slovene market is iTunes, which has been present since 2011. Elsewhere in the world, there is a trend towards more digital music content providers, and it is difficult to define exactly why there is not a greater (and consequently better) selection of providers in Slovenia. The key reason is probably the small size of the Slovene market, which, from a business point of view, promises a relatively small profit in relation to the large investment in setting up Internet services. Furthermore, a large amount of piracy – or the illegal circulation of music – is clearly evident.

Radio on Air

Radio is still the primary and most important music media in Slovenia. In an analysis of Slovene radio stations, it was found that music made up the greatest share of programme content, representing an average of 70% of content, and on some stations up to 85%. There are currently 90 radio stations in Slovenia, broadcast by 55 broadcasters, of which 9 broadcast nationwide (received by 50% or more of the population), while 30 broadcast regionally (received by 10–50% of the population) and 16 broadcast locally (received by less than 10% of the population). The national broadcaster Radio Slovenia broadcasts 7 stations, while the others are broadcast by local and commercial radio. Particular mention should be made of Radio Študent (a regional broadcaster), which is regarded as one of the oldest independent radio stations in Europe, having been in operation since 1969. The radio station with the most listeners in Slovenia is Radio Slovenia’s 2nd Programme (Val 202) with a 10.6% share of listeners, while the commercial radio network Radio 1 is in second place with 10.5% of listeners. Radio Slovenia also takes the third place with its 1st Programme (6.6%), followed by the commercial station Radio City (6.2%). The majority of radio stations do, of course, also enable Internet distribution.

The Share of Slovene Music on Radio and Television Stations

It is legally determined that at least 20% of all music broadcast daily on every radio and television station must be Slovene music, that is, music produced by Slovene composers and performers. In the case of radio and television stations of special significance (of which there are currently around 30), at least 25% of the daily music content must be Slovene, while for stations broadcast by the national broadcaster RTV Slovenia the share of Slovene music broadcast daily must be at least 40%. Due to the fact that there is no legislative regulation defining how the quota must be met, the majority of Slovene music is broadcast during the night, particularly in the case of commercial radio stations. Expert opinion is divided with regard to the influence of the quota on the development and quality of the Slovene music market, as is public opinion.

Other Music Media and Webzines

All of the major print (Delo, Dnevnik, Večer, etc.) and digital media (TV Slovenija, POP TV, Siol TViN, etc.) devote part of their content to music. Alongside television channels with a narrower genre profile – mainly Oberkrainer music (e.g., Golica TV, Veseljak TV) – and those with a more mainstream pop or even turbo-pop orientation (e.g., Čarli TV, Idea TV, GTV), MTV Slovenija or MTV Adria is regarded as the platform that enables the broadest recognition of rock, pop-rock and indie music in the region. There are also a number of Webzines that can be credited with the up-to-date following of events and a relatively high level of attentiveness: RockLine (rock, pop, indie), RockOnNet (rock, pop, indie, jazz, electronic, etc.), Profanity Webzine and Paranoid (metal, hard rock), 13. brat (punk, hardcore, hard rock) and Nova Muska (all genres). The only two music magazines that operate on a professional basis are the printed Glasna (aimed primarily at school pupils) and the web music magazine Odzven, which covers all musical genres but is focused primarily on the Slovene scene. The latter is produced by the Slovene Music Information Centre – SIGIC.

The Management of Copyright and Related Rights

The area of copyright and related rights is managed by three collective organisations:
- The Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers of Slovenia – SAZASis a full member of the international confederations CISAC and BIEM, and has concluded contracts on mutual representation within numerous foreign authors’ societies.
- The Collecting Society for Asserting Rights of Performers and Producers of Phonograms of Slovenia – Zavod IPFis active in the field of protecting the related rights of performers and producers of phonograms. It collectively asserts and protects the rights of Slovene performers and producers of phonograms both in Slovenia and abroad, while, on the basis of international contracts, also asserting and protecting the rights of foreign performers and producers of phonograms in Slovenia.
- The Collecting Society of Authors, Performers and Film Producers of Audiovisual Works of Slovenia – Zavod AIPAis a collective organisation whose main goal and function is the assertion and protection of the rights of authors, performers and producers of audiovisual works. Zavod AIPA is a member of the international society for the protection of performers SCAPR and the European umbrella organisation for performers AEPO-ARTIS.

Financing Music

There are four public institutions in the area of music whose founder and principal financer is the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia. According to data for 2012, these four institutes received approximately €31,675,000 in funding: Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana (ca. €9,950,000), Slovene National Theatre Maribor – Opera and Ballet (ca. €10,675,000; including Slovene National Theatre Maribor – Drama), the Slovenian Philharmonic (ca. €5,700,000) and the Cankarjev Dom – Culture and Congress Centre (ca. €5,350,000). 
In 2012, the Republic of Slovenia supported music projects of non-governmental organisations to the extent of €1,750,000. Data show that approximately half of this funding was devoted to classical music (in the broader sense), followed by contemporary (experimental) music and sonic art, jazz and folklore.
The division of music funding by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia according to individual genres:

classical 29.78 %
choral 10.79 %
ballet 6.02 %
contemporary, experimental and sonic art 9.72 %
folk music and dances  2.91 %
jazz 8.73 %
popular 16.18 %
other 15.88 %
TOTAL 100.00 %

(data of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia for 2012)

The Promotion of Slovene Music

The systematic international promotion of Slovene music is overseen by the Slovenian Music Information Centre – SIGIC – which releases a series of compilation CDs surveying various genres (classical music, jazz, world music, experimental music, etc.), organises presentations of Slovene music at international trade fairs and festivals, and facilitates international networking.