The nation that gave the world Mø, Lukas Graham and Agnes Obel will be the Groningen mainstay's focus country next January
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Dutch showcase conference celebrates its 30th event in 2016.
By IQ on 10 Jan 2016
The great and the good of the music industry will gather in the city of Groningen, 13-16 January 2016, when Eurosonic Noorderslag celebrates its 30th year. Eamonn Forde charts the development of the showcase conference.
As the seventh biggest city in the Netherlands and with a population of around 200,000 people, Groningen is not somewhere you would automatically presume to be a hothouse for new music. Yet for 30 years it has grown to become one of the key springboards for launching new European acts – and that is entirely down to the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival.
“We did it because at that time there wasn’t very much awareness and recognition that there were great bands around in Holland.”
Set up in 1986 by Peter Smidt, it had an initially small but precise remit – to redress the balance and give new Dutch and Belgian acts a proper international profile. (It began operations under the Noorderslag name but this was to evolve as it broadened its horizons to cover all of mainland Europe.)
“It was a relatively small event if you look at it now, but at the time we thought it was pretty big by doing 20 bands from the Netherlands and Belgium,” explains Smidt of the event’s origins. “We did it because at that time there wasn’t very much awareness and recognition that there were great bands around in Holland.”
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