Puls is the Nordic Culture Fund’s music initiative for 2017-2022 which has created a network of Nordic venues and festivals that aims to provide music experiences of high artistic quality to a wider Nordic audience.
Puls has been a springboard for the creation of a Nordic music network which seeks to bring musical experiences of high artistic quality to a wider Nordic public. It is therefore designed as:
Puls is The Nordic Culture Fund’s five-year music initiative 2017-2022 aiming to strengthen the Nordic live music scene. Puls does not accept applications from new applicants.
With Puls, the Fund has wanted to help live music transcend national borders, including national borders and narrow genre boundaries, to support new bands, up-and-coming talent and new trendsetters, and to act as a counterweight to the purely commercial approach – which, although important and vital for growth in the music industry, has a tendency to dominate the scene unless new, less immediately commercial music is also supported.
Puls has sought to be relevant for all kind of music that operates freely in networks of creatives, performers and publicists, and involves both funding bodies and market forces. The so-called ‘rhythmic genres’ are ideal for this. There is also freedom of movement between genres, as many stakeholders move between or across multiple genres, including experimental music and sound art. Puls is based on the bottom-up principle, so the promoters curate the content.
In 2017-2022 Puls has allocated approximately DKK 21 million to venues and festivals throughout the Nordic region. The funding is for promoters as curators, as points of contact between artists and new audiences.
The Nordic Culture Fund has financed the Puls programme. In 2019-2020, Puls was additionally financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers for Culture, the Danish Arts Foundation, the Finnish Music Foundation (MES) and the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland.
The Nordic Culture Fund has facilitated the development of arenas and networks to discuss live music in the Nordic region, find common solutions and ensure the practical realisation of the meeting between Nordic live music and audiences. This has involved, for example, an annual network meeting for all the Puls promoters.
The Puls initiative has been based on several assessments and discussions on the current challenges and potential in developing the Nordic live music scene. The Nordic market has great but untapped potential for recorded music, live music and jobs.
Together, the Nordic countries comprise one of the largest economies in the world and have similarities in arts funding, labour-market structures and patterns of consumption.
In an era of digital streaming, live gigs are increasingly essential to a thriving music scene. Live music is a world of unique experiences. This is where the market is really changing, which makes it paradoxical that Nordic artists rarely perform in other countries in the Region. People have only limited knowledge of music in the neighbouring countries, and artists need an international hit to make a breakthrough that resonates throughout the Region.
The Culture Fund has wanted to change all that, and the Puls programme has been designed with this purpose in mind.