SoAlive is over, but the good memories will remain

SoAlive ended

SoAlive is over. At the regional music conference held in Sofia, Bulgaria from 19/10/2023 to 21/10/2023, participants from across the region gathered, and speakers from various parts of the world shared their insights. Macedonian representatives also actively participated in the conference and the concert program as part of this event.

The inaugural SoAlive Music Conference (SAMC) surpassed all expectations, bringing together more than 400 industry representatives, showcasing numerous dynamic bands, and captivating thousands of live music enthusiasts during three memorable days from 19/10/2023 to 21/10/2023.

This groundbreaking event featured enlightening speeches from industry giants. Azis, the music sensation with over 2 billion YouTube views, shared inspirational stories and insights from his illustrious career. Esteemed music journalist David Fricke delivered a profoundly emotional speech, and Dr. Mathew Knowles imparted enduring wisdom, emphasizing that “Failure is an opportunity to grow, not a reason to give up”.

said the organizers of SoAlive

Visitors had the opportunity to listen to speakers with exceptional experience and influence in the music industry. Some of the notable speakers included Mathew Knowles, best known as the manager of the music band Destiny’s Child; David Fricke, an editor at Rolling Stone magazine; Azis, a regional music superstar from Bulgaria; Jennifer Masset from Spotify; Alex Cotofana, Marketing Manager and Promoter at Global Records; and James Marshall, Senior Music Supervisor at Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, among others.

In addition to the speaker section, the event featured several engaging workshops that garnered significant interest, with all available slots filled to capacity. During these workshops, participants collaborated to create ten entirely new songs, exemplifying innovative “bridges” between cultures and music.

Naturally, such events wouldn’t be complete without a musical component. The musical segment of the festival primarily showcased talented musicians from the region.

Regional festivals provide a valuable platform for participants from various segments of the music industry. In addition to the excellent opportunity to gain insights from numerous experts, many of whom come from outside the region, these events facilitate the exchange of ideas, formation of connections with like-minded individuals, and networking with industry professionals.

For musicians and performers, regional festivals offer an excellent opportunity to introduce themselves to a fresh audience. These events also serve as grounds for establishing connections with fellow musicians, potentially leading to exciting collaborations in the future.

SoAlive may be over, but the memories and positive experiences from this event, driven by organizer Ruth Koleva, will be cherished by the participants and attendees of this regional music gathering that took place in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Impressions of the Macedonian Representatives

In the conference segment, Nela Peshovska from Password Production represented Macedonia. She took part in two panel discussions that focused on fostering collaboration in the Balkan music scene (“United in Harmony: Fostering Collaborative Ecosystems in the Balkan Music Scene“) and the revitalization of music festivals in the Balkans (“Festivals Unplugged: The Resonance and Ramifications of Balkan Music Festivals“).

Нела Пешовска
Nela Peshovska

We asked Nela about her experience at the conference.

I am delighted to see the growth of the Balkan music scene through events like SoAlive. These initiatives create new opportunities for artists and professionals in the music and culture industry by opening up new markets and fresh perspectives. They also facilitate the European networking of our regional artists.

I participated in two panel discussions at the inaugural edition of the SoAlive music conference. The first was on the topic of “United in Harmony: Fostering Collaborative Ecosystems in the Balkan Music Scene” with fellow panelists Ruud Berends, Zorica Tepic, Miran Rusjan, Geogres Perot, and Cosmin Ionescu. The second panel was titled “Festivals Unplugged: The Resonance and Ramification of Balkan Music Festivals” where I was joined by Holger Jan Schmidt, Nick Hobbs, Nick Drozg, Vedran Meniga, and Stefan Elenkov.

In my perspective, the topics we discussed hold immense significance, given the shared challenges we encounter in the Balkans, often operating with limited resources. Nonetheless, the interconnections among Balkan festivals serve to position the Balkans prominently on the European music projects landscape. The conference reinforced my belief that the quality of work in the Balkans is on par with major global and European festivals, with the only distinction being the number of zeros at the end of the budget. (laughs) ?

Password Production has a well-established presence in such events, boasting a rich background and extensive experience. However, given the ever-evolving nature of the industry, continuous upgrades are necessary.

The excellent organization of the first edition of the conference gives me the right to believe that next year Sofia and the SoAlive conference will be an inevitable place on the calendar of many European and world music professionals. That’s why I encourage all Macedonian artists to apply to the contests to participate in the festival.

Nela also reminded us that music lovers and participants in the music industry are waiting for the PIN conference in Skopje at the end of November.

Until then, you are welcome to this year’s edition of the PIN Conference (30/11 – 02/12), where you can meet the organizers of SoAlive and of over 400 other festivals, promoters, publishers and over 45 artists from all over Europe.

From Macedonia, Dina Jashari, Yon Idy, Zarina Prvasevda, and Red18 participated in the music part of the festival. The rock group Zanadu was supposed to perform, but unfortunately, they had to cancel the performance.

We received statements from the band Red18 and from the winner of the Upbeat platform, Zarina Prvasevda, about their presence and impressions from participating in the showcase festival.

SoAlive is Over – Impressions of Red18


“Our experience was flawless. Participating in the conference significantly aided in promoting our band and our music to a completely new audience. We’ve established connections with numerous regional music industry experts and are excited about future collaborations. Organizationally, this conference might just be the best-run event we’ve ever attended.”


SoAlive is Over – Impressions of Zarina Prvasevda

Zarina Prvasevda SoAlive
Zarina Prvasevda

“We had an amazing time at SoAlive. The excellent technical support enhanced our stage experience, allowing us to connect with the audience and deliver our best performance. The feedback from the audience was fantastic. Following the concert, we established contacts with professionals from our region, and we’re already in discussions regarding potential collaborations.

Being part of this inaugural event was a tremendous pleasure for me, especially knowing Ruth and Mila personally and their exceptional capabilities. I had no doubt that everything would be of the highest quality, and indeed, it was. Congratulations to them, and I wish them continued success and growth!

Thank you for everything!”

Zarina Prvasevda

SoAlive is over, but the memories of this great conference will remain. You can get a sense of how the event unfolded by browsing through this photo gallery by Pavel Koev.

Hey Douglas!, Photo by Pavel Koev
Hey Douglas! Photo by Pavel Koev
Mathew Knowles @ SAMC, Photo by Pavel Koev
Mathew Knowles @ SAMC 2023 / Photo by Pavel Koev
Photo by Pavel Koev
David Fricke @ SAMC, Photo by Pavel Koev
David Fricke @ SAMC 2023 / Photo by Pavel Koev
SoAlive is Over / Аzis & Ruth Koleva @ SAMC 2023 / Photo by Pavel Koev
Аzis & Ruth Koleva @ SAMC 2023 / Photo by Pavel Koev
SoAlive is Over / SAMC 2023 / Photo by Pavel Koev
Photo by Pavel Koev
SoAlive is Over / SAMC 2023 / Photo by Pavel Koev
Photo by Pavel Koev
SoAlive is Over / SAMC 2023 / Photo by Pavel Koev
Photo by Pavel Koev
SoAlive is Over / SAMC 2023 / Photo by Pavel Koev
Photo by Pavel Koev
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