Brussels, 2 June 2021 

For the first anniversary of Blackout Tuesday, IMPALA has called on independent businesses to help build a picture of the sector’s diversity across Europe and map best practices for the future. IMPALA is asking as many businesses as possible to use the anniversary as an occasion to contribute to the debate by responding to IMPALA’s diversity and inclusion survey

IMPALA has also set out other ways members can get involved, with the organisation announcing its next training session for 28 September and publishing its guides for members with practical tips on what members can do.

With Europe made up of so many different countries, there is no one-size-fits-all approach and one of IMPALA’s early commitments was to map and exchange best practices across the whole of Europe. With IMPALA’s membership making up 30 countries already, this mapping exercise is essential.

For a quick guide to what IMPALA has committed to and how members can get involved:

Helen Smith, IMPALA’s Executive Chair commented: “IMPALA is marking the first anniversary of Blackout Tuesday by taking stock of what has been worked on in the last year and calling on independent businesses to respond to our survey so we can build a picture of the sector and map best practices for the future. As from today, members can also sign up to our next diversity and inclusion training. We also publish our practical guidance for members, both companies and associations. Last year was a day of reflection, let this year be a day of both reflection and action. Let’s build a picture of our sector across Europe and help it evolve.”

IMPALA also took stock on what it has been working on over the past twelve months to implement its charter:  

  • IMPALA’s diversity task force launch (advised by Keith Harris OBE, co-chaired by Eva Karman Reinhold and Paul Pacifico). 
  • Release of IMPALA diversity and inclusion charter.
  • Diversity advocates appointed in IMPALA’s board and committees to mainstream diversity and inclusion in all aspects of IMPALA’s work. 
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion training programme led by Vick Bain and Arit Eminue for IMPALA members available twice a year. The next training session is taking place in September, see below.
  • Launch of first cross border diversity survey for the European music sector for businesses, as well as a separate survey for associations.
  • Association network exchange best practices on diversity and inclusion chaired by Eva Karman Reinhold. 
  • Making diversity and inclusion part of our streaming plan, referring to our charter, speaking to digital services. 
  • Release of our guidance for members with practical tips (for businesses and also associations).
  • Participating in European Diversity Month in May – with our survey launch, our 20MinutesWith podcast guests focused on diversity and inclusion, plus our focus on mentoring with MEWEM, see below. Check out our podcast episodes with Eva Karman Reinhold, co-chair of IMPALA’s diversity task force here and also Ben Wynter from AIM here.
  • For International Roma day 2021, IMPALA put the spotlight on Marius Mihalache, the exceptional dulcimer player from Romania and his world famous career. Find the podcast here.  
  • On International Women’s Day, IMPALA highlighted 20 women contributing to IMPALA’s work in the last twelve months through a dedicated statement. 
  • IMPALA’s Helen Smith is MEWEM France’s godmother this year, a mentorship project for women in the music industry. We also promoted this programme with a roundtable session with mentees on 28 May. We attach more information about this as it is a great example. You can also find out more about the French edition of MEWEM here

Looking to the next twelve months, IMPALA underlines the following work that it will push forward with:

  • Continuing the main work with the task force, board and relevant committees (meetings, sharing best practices, implementing the charter, new awards etc).
  • Making IMPALA’s diversity training as widely available as possible – this is led by Vick Bain and Arit Eminue for IMPALA members, next session is scheduled on September 28th.
  • Promoting diversity and inclusion campaigns and programmes in the independent sector through IMPALA’s network and socials (MEWEM, PowerUp, etc).
  • Publishing IMPALA’s first annual report on diversity and inclusion work on the anniversary of our charter. 
  • Analysing and reporting on IMPALA’s diversity and inclusion surveys to start mapping the sector and exchange best practices in the European independent music sector. 
  • Sending members information on EU project possibilities. 

IMPALA was established in 2000 and now represents over 5000 independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are small, micro and medium businesses and self-releasing artists. Known as the independents, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists – they produce more than 80% of all new releases and account for 80% of the sector’s jobs. IMPALA’s mission is to grow the independent music sector sustainably, return more value to artists, promote diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political access, inspire change, and increase access to finance. IMPALA’s work on diversity includes implementing its diversity and inclusion chartersurveying members and offering training to members as well as practical tips.  

More info here

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

Rue des Deux Eglises 37-39, 1000, Brussels, BELGIUM

+32 2 503 31 38