RUNDA – A new champion for the Balkans’ independent record labels

Today marks the official launch of RUNDA – complete name Regionalna udruga nezavisnih diskografa – the regional association of independent discographers for the Balkans, whose work and membership will cover the whole of ex-Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Macedonia) as well as Albania.

Based in Zagreb, the trans-national association – a very first structure of this type in Europe – was established by leading local independent records labels including Menart (Croatia), Moonlee Records (Slovenia), Kontra (Serbia), Dancing Bear Records (Croatia), IDJ (Serbia), NIKA (Slovenia), Ammonite Records (Serbia) and Dallas Records (Croatia), and will aim at developing its local membership at great speed in the coming months.

RUNDA is a voluntary, non-partisan, non-profit, non-governmental association which promotes the interests of independent record companies in the Balkans. It promotes a level-playing field in a region in which the music market is very fragmented and encourage collaboration between local players. It also actively supports a balanced music market for independents in the region and aims at tackling the various issues that might affect the music sector at both national and regional level.

RUNDA is a fully-fledged member of IMPALA, the European association of independent record companies, and is already working closely with its European counterparts all over the continent. Some IMPALA members, including Kees van Weijen (STOMP, NL), Csaba Nasz (HAIL, HU), Jonas Sjöström (Playground Music Scandinavia) and Didier Gosset (IMPALA), are also members of the RUNDA advisory board.


RUNDA will of course be present at MENT, the leading regional showcase festival and music conference taking place in Ljubljana later this month.

To mark the occasion, MENT will be the very first event in the Balkans to host dedicated presentations by leading streaming platform SpotifyThese two workshops, respectively aimed at record labels and artists/managers, will be powered by RUNDA. Conducted by Spotify representative Jeff Stempeck, they will both take place in the afternoon of Friday 1st February and are registration only.

RUNDA will also conduct a presentation of its plans and strategy to seek solutions and answers to the numerous challenges of music recording and publishing in the region, including the issue of streaming. This will be the occasion to talk about RUNDA is intended for, why its existence is not only sensible but also necessary, and, above all, how the mountains in the hilly Balkan music scene are expected to move in the foreseeable future. This presentation will take place at MENT on Friday 1st February, starting at 1:00pm.


On the launch of RUNDA, the association President, Dario Drastata (Dallas Records, Croatia), commented: “RUNDA is the very first step on a long journey for the Balkans independent record labels. It is our intention to be the voice for all indie labels in the region no matter how big or small or where they come fromWe know there will be many challenges on the way but, as the saying goes, we want to believe that luck favours the brave”.

RUNDA vice-president, Nikola Jovanovic (Kontra, Serbia) added: “We are convinced that RUNDA is a stride in the right direction to tackle the many issues faced by regional independent record labels. There is incredible quality in the regional music sector, it is necessary to make sure it is properly empowered and allowed to thrive”.

Kees van Weijen, president of European independent music trade body IMPALA concluded: “RUNDA is established by long-term members of IMPALA and independent record labels with a proven track record in the music business. We wish them the very best and have full confidence in the fact that RUNDA is on its way to achieve great things on behalf of the independent community.”