Ten promising young music professionals selected by the regional music scene

For the first time ever, the new regional initiative NEW FACES 2023 has selected ten promising young music professionals (under the age of 30) who are actively involved in the music industry of the former Yugoslavia region. The selected ten have already made a big impact in their local and wider musical environment, and are very motivated in their work, which is already showing results.

With this open call, which received over 100 submissions, the festivals and conferences MENT Ljubljana (Slovenia), Kontakt (Serbia), SHIP (Croatia), and PIN Music Conference (North Macedonia) aim to provide an incentive for young professionals, who are crucial for the growth of the regional music scene.

“We hope that the NEW FACES initiative will become a yearly event. By offering young people the opportunity to further develop their knowledge and skills, we also give meaning to our work. We often forget that the music scene isn’t only about performers we see on stage, but also about many others who work diligently behind the scenes. This includes event promoters, journalists, publishers, managers, and many other sometimes-hidden protagonists of the music business,” say the festival partners.

The ten selected young music professionals will receive tickets for regional conferences and festivals, access to online delegate databases, as well as covered expenses for travel and accommodation at partner conferences abroad.

New Faces 2023 are:

Dino Grgurić (concert promoter; Velvet Festival, HR)
Erik Omeragikj (lighting and sound designer, stage manager; MKC, MK)
Lana Bauman (concert promoter; Lacha, SI)
Luka Zadro (manager, booking agent, concert promoter; yem, HR)
Monika Gava (producer; Krokodil studio, RS)highway
Nela Peshovska (booker; PIN Music Conference, Taksirat, D Festival, MK)
Nik Drozg (concert promoter; Kino Šiška, Channel Zero, SI)
Rastko Tomić (music editor; Highwaystar magazine, RS)
Stanislav Drča (curator, concert promoter, producer; European Capital of Culture Novi Sad 2022, KC Lab, RS)
Tena Šarčević (music editor; glazba.hr, HR)

Nela Peshovska (booker; PIN Music Conference, Taksirat, D Fest, MK)

If you ask Nela’s parents what she does, they will probably say: “We don’t know, something with music.” If you ask her friends, they will reply: “She gives us free tickets to concerts.” The truth is that after a couple of years in the IT sector and a mid-pandemic eureka moment, Nela drifted into the music industry. She is now booking artists and working for the biggest festivals in Macedonia (Taksirat, D Festival, PIN Music Conference).

Nik Drozg (concert promoter, Kino Šiška, Channel Zero, SI)

Nik is a freelance concert promoter, working primarily with the venues Kino Šiška and Channel Zero. He has worked as a music journalist at Radio Študent since 2014, specialising in events and organising the grand 50th anniversary concert in 2019 and two editions of Tresk, a festival of independent record labels, in the following years. In 2023, he organised the first regional festival and conference of small music venues SUBSTRAT, powered by EEnlarge Europe. A regular guest of international festivals for music professionals, he holds courses on music business at the United POP Academy Ljubljana and has played extensively (locally and internationally) with his band Lynch.

Tena Šarčević (music editor; glazba.hr, HR)

Tena graduated from journalism at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Zagreb. She started her journalism career working for one of the leading daily newspapers Jutarnji list where she primarily covered pop culture, lifestyle and social phenomena, with a significant focus on music. Tena had a column dedicated to electronic music in the magazine Svijet kulture. In 2020, she won the prize for best reportage at the Fra Ma Fu reportage festival for her article on the devastating earthquakes in Croatia. She works as an editor and journalist for Glazba.hr, the only Croatian music platform covering music of all genres, styles and forms.

Stanislav Drča (curator, concert promoter, producer; European Capital of Culture Novi Sad 2022, KC Lab, RS)

Stanislav began to dive into curatorial, managerial and production waters only a few years ago when, together with his colleague from the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, they got the opportunity to establish an independent cultural centre in a modernist villa in Novi Sad, today known as Cultural Center LAB (KC Lab). His artistic practice soon began shifting into curation of exhibitions and other happenings such as concerts, hybrid events, artist in residence programmes etc. Soon after, he took up the opportunity to start working at the European Capital of Culture Novi Sad 2022 as a curator and producer. Having no formal education in the field of production and management, he learnt everything on the go.

Dino Grgurić (concert promoter; Velvet Festival, HR)

A walking music archive since the age of 12, Dino organised his first concert at the age of 16. He is co-founder and art director of Velvet Festival which introduced 200+ international artists to the island of Krk. He is an advocate for Mediterranean culture, and has organised many cross-discipline collaborations and events throughout Europe.

Erik Omeragikj (lighting designer & technician, stage manager; MKC, MK)

Erik Omeragikj is a musician, lighting designer & technician and stage manager. Since December 2017, he has worked in the Youth Cultural Center in Skopje as a lighting technician. Inspired by musical self-expression, he has toured as a musician, lighting technician and stage manager, both in North Macedonia and Europe. During his lighting technician/stage manager tenure, he has had the chance of working with many globally successful bands. With more than 50 theatre plays and over 300 concerts under his belt, he has had the chance of working on renowned domestic festivals like Zdravo Mladi, D Festival, Skopje Jazz Festival, Street Mode Festival and Exit Festival.

Lana Bauman (concert promoter; Lacha, SI)

Lana Bauman is the executive producer of Lacha, a company dedicated to working with upcoming artists who show a higher quality of work. Established in 2020, Lacha has already organised more than ten mini festivals, including concerts and jam sessions, and collaborated with some of Maribor’s leading cultural institutions to co-produce some of the city’s biggest festivals and events. By creating events that have a supportive system and bring together artists, audiences and organisers, Lana is helping to foster a vibrant and thriving music community in Maribor.

Luka Zadro (manager, booking agent, concert promoter; yem, HR)

Luka Zadro is one of the cogs in the local and regional music industry machine. He started his amateur-professional career as a concert organiser in KSET and during this time organised various programs and concerts, becoming increasingly involved with the alternative scene. After completing his studies, Luka continued his journey in the music industry by working at a concert and festival organisation agency, as well as managing bands and music publishing. He currently collaborates with bands such as Porto Morto, nemanja and Prazna Lepinja.

Monika Gava (producer; Krokodil studio, RS)

Monika is a graduate student at the Faculty of Philosophy in the field of adult education and human resource development. Working at Krokodil Studio, a recording, publishing and radio production company from Pančevo, she is gaining experience in the music industry world as an office manager, PR, booker and digital distribution officer. She has experience working with various associations and NGOs in the field of non-formal education, as well as organising and coordinating various events, music and eco-friendly festivals and international workcamps. 

Rastko Tomić (music editor; Highwaystar magazine, RS)

In 2019, Rastko Tomić founded the cultural and musical magazine Highwaystar. Through the magazine, which ranks among the more popular music magazines in Serbia, he follows a wide range of musical events. He organised his first concerts in 2021 in Belgrade and a year later in Valjevo. Thus, he became familiar with the organisation and promotion of music events in Serbia. Last year, he organised the first Highwaystar Fest in Valjevo, which will be continued.