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Palestine Music Expo Looks to Draw Attention to a Burgeoning Industry

posted on: Oct 5, 2016

by Richard Smirke


A team of leading British music executives have lent their backing to the first ever Palestine Music Expo — a three-day live music showcase that aims to shine the spotlight on the sovereign state’s burgeoning, but internationally little-known, music scene.

Due to take place April 5-7, 2017 across three Palestinian cities, Ramallah, Haifa and Jerusalem, the expo – entitled PMX – was developed by Martin Goldschmidt, the founder of British indie label Cooking Vinyl.

After seeing the lack of Palestinian representation at a music festival in Tel Aviv and meeting with a number of Palestinian musicians and performers, including Mahmoud Jrere from rap group, DAM, Goldschmidt was inspired to raise awareness of the territory’s cultural heritage and support local musicians.

\In order to get the showcase off the ground and help raise the $195,000 start-up costs, Goldschmidt has drafted in the support of several other prominent industry figures, including Glastonbury co-organiser Nick Dewey, Pledge founder Benji Rogers and African Express Project co-founder Stephen Budd. Also present on PMX’s special advisory board to support is The Great Escape founder and veteran Glastonbury festival booker Martin Elbourne, while charity organization In Place of War is among its partners.

“Starting out on this journey I have been thrilled by the interest, sympathy and broad based support for Palestinian musicians from artists and professionals, right across the industry,” enthused Goldschmidt, who said that the event will mostly be produced and staffed by people from the local industry.

“During conflict, one of first human expressions to be limited is a people’s artistic culture,” added Budd. “Its prominence in everyday society is relegated and the world is denied the positive messages that music and art delivers. PMX is being created to highlight and remind people of what music can do to reinforce a message of hope and bring Palestinian culture into wider consciousness by supporting some damn good music,” he went on to say.

“This is a great idea and an important step in the right direction,” echoed Dewey, who said that he was “looking forward to experiencing all of the fantastic music and culture that is there to be explored and bring some of this to Glastonbury soon!”