Q&A: Quirina Geijsen

Folk Spot Denmark is an opportunity for folk musicians and industry professionals to meet and establish new connections. In 2023 delegates from near and far joined to experience Tønder Festival and the selected orchestras.

We have spoken to some of these to gain a little insight into their work with folk music elsewhere, and their experience with Folk Spot Denmark.

Quirina Geijsen

Name: Quirina Geijsen

Company: MOJO Concerts

Title: Booking assistant ‘heavy’

Based in: the Netherlands

What was your purpose for participating at Folk Spot 2023?

I was invited to join Folk Spot, because of my different background but my wide taste in music and honest opinions. I never dove this deep into the folk scene before, so, to me, it was all about experiencing this culture and learning to appreciate its different outputs. I could share my visions with other delegates and artists, and hopefully, I did give them some ‘other’ insights from a broader market perspective. 

What trends and tendencies do you see in folk music right now?
I don’t really know much about the Scandinavian folk scene, but music involving physical traditional ritual elements and putting that in popular (commercial) music to me is an interesting development which I think we’re only at the start of seeing on more commercial festivals. Think of the band Heilung, having a major spot at Lowlands Festival in The Netherlands, which is one of the biggest festivals there. 


What is your impression of the Danish folk scene versus folk music in the Netherlands? (Differences and similarities)

My impression is that the Danish folk scene has much more inspiration from their own roots and ground, keeping traditions lively and sharing them amongst people. This gives a certain magic that is very special to the people, creating a wider audience. I would say the Folk Scene in The Netherlands is much smaller, and often inspired by foreign traditions. You have to really look for the festivals celebrating Folk Music. When you look at the commercial festivals and club bookings, we see traces of traditional folk music in ‘new’ popular music and sometimes a daring combination of the two. And, of course, old commercial heroes still work.

Did you make some new contacts relevant for your future work?
I did, mostly by meeting other internationally focused music professionals which I hopefully can work together with in the future. 


Which were the best musical experiences during Folk Spot Denmark and Tønder Festival?
Folk Spot Denmark is a great opportunity for musical talent to speak to delegates, get some experience, connect and also jam with musicians late in the night. The stories about the latter, I loved the most. Because, the connection of music is what, in the end, matters. Optur got the crowd in that moment of looseness the most. What I liked most at Tønder Festival most certainly is Niteworks. I was very intrigued by their combinations of techno music with traditional instruments. I think it would be great if the future has more like this in store.