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The British musician and innovator Imogen Heap will be at Music Tech Fest. (Photo: Fiona Garden)

Music and technology in a festive combination

Published Apr 13, 2018

The campus will be swinging on 3–9 September, when the Music Tech Fest international music and technology festival comes to KTH. The event will also be enhanced by the inclusion of the Tekla festival for girls.

London, Paris, Berlin and now Stockholm. KTH is hosting the sixth of the travelling Music Tech Fest festivals, an arena for interdisciplinary exchanges between music, art and science. The idea is for students and researchers to meet designers, artists and innovators from around the world and for exciting new collaborations and projects to emerge.

During the week at KTH, Music Tech Fest will include activities such as creative labs and a scientific symposium. On the weekend of 8–9 September, the festival culminates in a 24-hour hackathon held in “undervisningshuset” at KTH. At the same time, the Tekla festival is entering into a partnership with Music Tech Fest, offering activities for girls between 11 and 18 years old over the festival weekend.

“Both events help break down the barriers between technology and creative expression and also sit well with KTH’s aim to attract more female students,” says Sanna Cedergren , meeting strategist at KTH and one of the team responsible for bringing the event to KTH.

It is necessary to pre-book several of the activities (see fact box) but it will also be possible to buy tickets for the programme items so that those interested at KTH, both students and staff, can attend.

“My hope is that a lot of fantastic things will happen during the festival and that exciting meetings will take place and new collaborations will be started that we can feed back into KTH’s work,” says Cedergren.

She says that it was easy to say yes when Music Tech Fest (MTF) asked whether KTH wanted to host this year’s festival.

“We have similar approaches to empowering women and uniting technology with art and innovation.”

For her initiative, MTF’s founder, Michela Magas, received an EU prize last year as the most innovative female entrepreneur. Magas says that KTH’s motto, Science and Art, and the university’s approach to gender equality and diversity, are a perfect match for the festival’s profile.

“KTH is also a world leader for innovation and innovative research in many fields that are particularly relevant to us, such as artificial intelligence and creative entrepreneurship,” she says.

Why should KTH’s researchers sign up to the festival?
“Many researchers find that they reach an extremely limited circle of people with scientific publications and at specialist conferences,” explains Magas. “Music Tech Fest offers a unique opportunity to collaborate and experiment across several disciplines with other researchers and entrepreneurs to put research into a wider context. Many collaborations that started at MTF have also gone on to become internationally-financed research projects or start-ups.”

“However, the main reason to attend is probably the same for everyone. MTF is an extremely fun, intellectually stimulating, exciting event full of surprises and great people.”

Text: Per-Ola Knutas

A week of music, technology and research

  • Music Tech Fest was started in 2012 by Michela Magas. The festival has grown into an ecosystem of 5,000 innovators, engineers, artists, researchers and hackers. MTF has previously been held in cities such as London, Paris and Berlin.
  • MTF Stockholm will be at KTH between 3 and 9 September. The event is open to all students, researchers and employees at KTH.
  • Pre-booking is required for some programme items such as the 24-hour hackathon, creative labs and symposium. Bookings must be received by 15 April. After this time, it is possible to buy tickets for several of the programme items. Read more about the programme :
  • Several artists and well-known researchers will be at Music Tech Fest, including Danica Kragic , robotics researcher and professor of computer science at KTH, the internationally successful Swedish artist Robyn and the British musician and innovator Imogen Heap. Other names will be announced.
  • The Tekla festival for girls between 11 and 18 is normally held in April and is taking a break this year but will be held on a slightly smaller scale with Music Tech Fest on 8-9 September.