Who I am

Hannes Tschürtz

HannesTschuertz Born in 1977, i grew up in rural Burgenland – a literal stone throw away from the iron curtain, but far away from the big city lights. Not necessarily coming from any sort of music related background at all, i started to develop a certain passion for music at a very early age. I started to do mixtapes in school and got some of my first english lessons from trying to translate pop song lyrics. So I started to DJ at 16 in a local bar – and continued to spin records in different locations, for different purposes and audiences for more than a decade.

Right after school I was hired by nearby Festivals Wiesen, the legendary birthplace of the Austrian Festival Scene. As a rather small team we handled a number of great music events from a Jazz Festival with a long tradition to a World Music Festival to new formats around the up and coming Alternative and Indie Rock Scene.

During this time I not only took my first steps in the ‚industry‘, it was also the time i stumbled upon a young band from the region. Trying to help them out with shows, contacts and advise, I quickly became their „Manager“. To this date we continue to be friends and learn from each other. It laid foundation to what was later going to become Ink Music.

After moving to Vienna, studying Public Relations and following my childhood dream of working as a journalist (at one of Austria’s leading quality papers Die Presse), i couldn’t really get out of the music game that quickly. For one I started to promote shows with local bands at a new club in town regularly. Also I moved over to a newly founded music PR company, monkey. I was able to connect my different types of experience by then and also bring in a few of the local bands i liked. When one of these bands desperately needed a label for their upcoming debut album I asked my then-boss: „Why don’t we run a label, too?“. He didn’t find it the right time – so in fall 2001 I created one myself: Ink Music.

By 2003 I made the decision to run it as a full-time-operation and actual company, fueled by the label and my management and booking activities. Over the next few years i discovered, released and booked acts like Ja Panik, Bilderbuch, Ezra Furman, Trouble Over Tokyo (later to be known as Sohn), Clara Luzia and many more.

Expanding to the field of publishing and consequently Sync Rights, I founded an agency around that topic, Swimming Pool (2010-2015). It got me deeply connected with one of my other interests: Film. In the following years, I was given the job of a Music Supervisor for a number of films. And i also created and led a dedicated festival for films about music: The ‚Poolinale‘ (2011-2016; these days the format runs as an event series at Viennas Filmcasino throughout the year).

While the core company grew and flourished, a then office-mate confronted me with the idea of building an entirely new, independent, easy going, simple ticketing system based on smartphone technology – so I co-founded a ticketing Start-Up called NTRY, in 2012.

For a long time I’ve been speaking at panels at countless international conferences, giving courses and lectures already. But only in 2015 I finally was able to initiate a Music Business Course (‚Lehrgang Musikwirtschaft‚) on University level. With writing still being one of my favourite things to do (as you can tell), I occasionally comment current industry developments in newspapers and magazines.

Around the 20th anniversary of Ink Music in 2021, the team made a joint decision to let go of the long running live department, with a number of those longtime friends and allies longing for change – not least as a result of an exhausting pandemic. I was one of them – and therefore decided to lay back my management roles with beloved artists like Mira Lu Kovacs, Leyya, Lou Asril and My Ugly Clementine by the end of the year. Together we enjoyed tremendous success (i.e. 11 Amadeus Austrian Music Awards; an Award for the European Independent Album Of The Year) and I feel blessed having worked for and with all of them for such a long time. While Ink Music now focusses on label and publishing work, I will guide a dedicated team into this new era.

I still use my network, knowledge and responsibility in several roles as an IFPI Board Member, in the steering comitee for the Amadeus Austrian Music Awards, as the Labels Representative in the General Assembly of the Austrian Music Fund (OMF) and Head of the Labels Committee in the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

For my current activities see Projects & Activities.

Other curious things from the past 
2009 Nominated „Austrian of the Year“ (Creative Industries)
2006-2010 Member of the Board of the Austrian Independent Labels Association
2012-2014 Head of the Advisory Board of the Austrian Music Fund (to create and install a concept for an Austrian Music Export Office)
2011-2016 Festival Director Poolinale Music Film Festival Vienna
2011-2017 Member of the Advisory Board of the Social and Cultural Fund of AustroMechana (Collecting Society).
2018 Austrian Juror for Eurovision Song Contest

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