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ESNS 2018: Groningen prepares for annual industry invasion

Eurosonic Noorderslag and the 2017 European Festival Awards are just around the corner, with the business once more preparing for its yearly pilgrimage to the Netherlands

By IQ on 20 Dec 2017

Shame, IFF 2016, M3Hcreative, European Talent Exchange Programme, ESNS 2018

ETEP champs Shame at IFF 2016

image © Martin Hughes, M3Hcreative

Barely had the festive parties started when agents began talking up some of the acts they will be showcasing at Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) in the Netherlands in mid-January.

Combining daytime panels and keynotes with a packed programme of evening gigs, ESNS will welcome Denmark as its focus nation for 2018, with a number of Danish acts rubbing shoulders with musicians from around Europe, vying for success in the European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP), which continues to go from strength to strength.

Last year’s big ETEP winners were British punk band Shame, who achieved a record number of 17 ETEP festival bookings throughout 2017, while the scheme as a whole secured a total of 424 festival slots, involving 164 acts from 24 countries.

Elsewhere, ESNS will kick off with the EBBA Awards, which recognise ten European acts who have been successful in developing their careers outside their own country. The current crop include Skott (SE), Off Bloom (DK), Blanche (BE), Alice Merton (DE), Alma (FI), Kristian Kostov (BG), Sigrid (NO), The Blaze (FR), Youngr (UK) and Salvador Sobral (PT).

More than 400 acts from 30 countries will showcase their talent during ESNS, in the hope of catching the attention of some of the hundreds of festival bookers who will be in Groningen for the 17– 20 January event, which also hosts the European Festival Awards on the opening night.

Among the European Festival Awards 2017 nominees are Sziget and Lowlands (both best major festival and line-up of the year), Pohoda (best medium-sized festival and promoter of the year), Sea Star and Labyrinth Open Croatia (best new festival), festival drug testing service the Loop (health and safety innovation award), Rolling Stone Weekender, MENT Ljubljana (both best indoor festival) and late Primary agent Dave Chumbley (award for excellence and passion).

A full shortlist is available from the European Festival Awards website.


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