The latest industry news to your inbox.

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy


ESNS: ‘The digital edition will still fulfil our mission’

Ahead of next week's Eurosonic Noorderslag, the organisers tell IQ what delegates can expect from "the best online edition ever"

By IQ on 11 Jan 2022

Froukje performs to a near-empty Oosterpoort at ESNS 2021

ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) organisers have promised that the upcoming digital-only edition will still “fulfil our mission to network, connect, inspire and promote”.

For the second consecutive year, the European festival and conference in Groningen, Netherlands, has moved entirely online from 19–22 January 2022 in response to the government’s latest Covid-19 measures.

Conference director Ruud Berends says that, while the biggest challenge was accepting that they could not hold an in-person event again, the team has worked to make this year’s event “the best online edition ever”.

“We learned a lot from our first online conference and festival. It was beyond our expectations – the standard is high,” added head of programme Robert Meijerink. “We would like to service both our audience, artists and delegates even better than last year.”

Confirmed speakers for the conference include Claire O’Neill (A Greener Festival), Fruzsina Szép (Goodlive), Hannah Shogbola (UTA), Henk Schuit (CTS Eventim NL), Lotje Horvers (Backstage Pass), Mia Ternström (Keychange/Musikcentrum Öst), Mikko Niemelä (Ruisrock), Morten Therkildsen (Roskilde Festival/RF Experience),

Natasha Gregory (Mother Artists), Ruben Brouwer (Mojo Concerts), Sally Dunstone (Primary Talent International) and Stuart Galbraith (Kilimanjaro Live) will also be making appearances during the conference.

“I really think the programme is very relevant and diverse and really captures the whole music sector”

The conference last week announced an opening keynote speech from executive VP of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, who is responsible for the Green Deal – aligning with the conference’s ‘Building Back Better Together’ theme.

Also confirmed last week was blockbuster panel ‘Festival Season 2022’ with Marta Pallares (Primavera), Codruta Vulcu (ARTmania), Paul Reed (AIF), Christof Huber (Yourope) and Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio).

Delegates can expect a conference programme that spans the metaverse, ticket scalping, cancel culture, mental health, diversity, equity and inclusion, streaming, Brexit, Covid, gender equality, the agency business and more.

“I really think the programme is very relevant and diverse and really captures the whole music sector – focussing on solutions, information and answers we all need to hear so we can move on in the most beautiful industry in the world,” says Berends.

Alongside the conference programme, the digital edition of ESNS 2022 will feature the usual festival programme of Noorderslag, Eurosonic, as well as the Music Moves Europe Awards award ceremony.

Tickets for the digital conference cost €99, and are available via www.esns.nl. The festival will be available – free of charge – with sessions recorded by Dutch broadcaster NTR in collaboration with NPO 3FM, to be broadcast by NPO 3FM, NPO 3 and the digital festival platform, hosted by VPRO 3VOOR12.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.