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Going Dutch: What to expect from ESNS 2020

The 34th edition of Eurosonic Noorderslag gets underway tomorrow in Groningen, the Netherlands, with a jam-packed schedule of award ceremonies, panels and showcases

By Anna Grace on 14 Jan 2020

What to expect from ESNS 2020

Conference sessions will take place at De Oosterport in Groningen

image © Niels Cornelis Meijer

Much of the European music industry is preparing for its yearly pilgrimage to the Netherlands, as conference and showcase festival Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) is set to commence tomorrow, 15 January, in the Dutch city of Groningen.

Combining a daytime conference programme with a packed evening showcase schedule, ESNS 2020 welcomes Switzerland as its focus nation this year, with over 20 emerging Swiss acts performing throughout the event and aiming to impress in the European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP), which saw success for ATC Live-repped punk rockers Fontaines DC last year.

The 2019 European Festival Awards kick off proceedings on Wednesday evening, hosted by IQ Magazine’s Gordon Masson and A Greener Festival’s Claire O’Neill, and featuring performances from artists including Swiss singer-songwriter Marius Bear.

Wacken Open Air founders Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen are set to receive the lifetime achievement accolade at the ceremony, which will see winners crowned across 15 categories.

Over 150 panels, along with keynote interviews, workshops and networking opportunities, will take place at ESNS 2020

Over 150 panels, along with keynote interviews and workshops, will take place at ESNS 2020 from 16 to 19 January at conference centre De Oosterpoort, with a new city-centre location, Forum Groningen, hosting sessions over the weekend.

Highlights of the conference programme include ‘the Dickins Dynasty’, which sees ITB co-founder Barry Dickins and his daughter Lucy, head of WME’s UK music division, and son Jonathan, founder and CEO of September Management, in conversation with ILMC MD Greg Parmley, as well as a keynote interview with Isle of Wight Festival and Solo Agency’s John Giddings.

Other notable sessions include a keynote from Ticketmaster’s Don Pawley, ‘the Agents Panel’ with Paradigm’s Paul Buck, ATC Live’s Alex Bruford, X-ray Touring’s Beckie Sugden and CAA’s Maria May, and a panel on boutique festivals featuring representatives from Openair St.Gallen, Bluedot/Kendal Calling, Westway Lab and Release Athens.

ESNS 2019 attracted over 42,000 guests from 44 countries, including 4,100 conference delegates and representatives from 423 festivals, and showcased 342 acts across more than 40 stages.


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