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ESNS announces Spain focus for 2022

Spain will be the focus country for Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) 2022, the Dutch conference and showcase event has announced.

Eurosonic typically puts the spotlight on a single European nation each year (Switzerland was the focus country in 2020) but opted instead to focus on Europe as a whole for this year’s virtual edition, which took place in January. In partnership with Live Nation Madrid and export initiative the Spanish Wave, ESNS 2022 will highlight the diversity of musical talent in Spain.

César Andión of the Spanish Wave/Live Nation says: “We are thrilled to bring to ESNS 2022 a great roster of panels and artists that will showcase the strength, quality and diversity of the Spanish music industry and future stars. For years Spain has had artists performing in Groningen, and professionals attending the conference, so it was about time that we became the focus country to show how professional, large and diverse Spain is for touring, releasing music and trade.

“We look forward to getting started on bringing an eclectic selection of new music to Groningen”

“The Spanish focus will join forces and work together with labels, promoters, media, festivals, artists and private and public agencies to make this special spotlight a success in business, networking and talent. The Spanish Wave showcase will bring a wide palette of young, emerging and talented acts from all over Spain to show what fresh, alive and exportable artists we have in our country. Thanks to ESNS for giving us the support and opportunity to do so.”

“The Spanish music scene has a lot to offer for the international market,” comments Robert Meijerink. “While there is a growing interest in music in the Spanish language in Europe and beyond, we’d like to focus on all its different regions and lively scenes, from emerging electronic acts to the new wave of indie bands hailing from the big cities, the islands and everything in between. Together with the Spanish Wave and Live Nation Madrid and their partners, we look forward to getting started on bringing an eclectic selection of new music to Groningen.”

Eurosonic Noorderslag 2022 takes place in Groningen, Netherlands, from 19 to 22 January. Artist applications open on 1 May; registration for delegates will open later this year. To pre-register, sign up here.

 


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All-digital ESNS 2021 attracts 4,000 visitors

The first edition of Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) to be held entirely online “exceeded all expectations”, say organisers, welcoming nearly 4,000 people from 124 countries to its digital conference and festival platforms.

ESNS 2021 – originally announced as a hybrid event, retaining an in-person component in Groningen, but later forced fully online – took place from 13–16 January, marking  the 35th edition of the Dutch conference and showcase festival.

“We are truly overwhelmed by the positive feedback, with many saying a new standard has been set, which is amazing,” says Robert Meijerink, ESNS’s head of programme, “and the digital edition has exceeded our wildest expectations.

“The ESNS platform is focused on new emerging acts from Europe, and to bring together music professionals from all corners of the world to discuss the current and future of the music sector and its industry. Thanks to NPO 3FM and members of the EBU, ESNS was able to reach an even bigger audience in Europe and beyond. We really hope we can organise a physical edition in 2022 and be together once again, but we will also expand our online ventures next year.”

“We really hope we can organise a physical edition in 2022 and be together once again”

Built in partnership with NPO 3FM, the festival platform hosted live sets from 189 acts across 36 European countries, broadcast daily on four channels. All ESNS showcases, many of which saw Dutch acts performing at (empty) venues in Groningen, are still available to watch back at 3fm.nl/esns.

The conference’s 66 panels, meanwhile, featured 274 speakers, with the most viewed including ‘Successful Covid festival formats’, ‘Streaming is here to stay!’ and ‘Platform workshops with Bandcamp & Spotify’. Keynote interviews included Wendy Ong (a manager of Dua Lipa), Scott Cohen (Warner Music) and Neil Warnock (UTA).

On Friday 15 January, the winners of the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards 2021 were revealed on the ESNS digital platform and the NITE Hotel, presented by Melanie C. The eight winners are Inhaler (IE), Julia Bardo (IT), Lous and the Yakuza (BE), Melenas (ES), Rimon (NL), Sassy 009 (NO), Vildá (FI) and Alyona Alyona (UA), with Alyona also winning the Public Choice Award 2021. This was publicly announced by the European commissioner for culture, Mariya Gabriel.

Eurosonic Noorderslag will return next year, with ESNS 2022 taking place 19–22 January 2022 – “preferably as a physical edition” in Groningen, the Netherlands, say organisers.

 


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ESNS announces keynote with Dua Lipa’s manager

Dutch conference and showcase festival Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) has announced a keynote interview with Wendy Ong, Dua Lipa’s manager and US president of Tap Music and Tap Records.

Ong will be in conversation with artist manager and board member of Music Managers Forum (MMF) Netherlands, Lijne Kreupeling, discussing the evolving profession of modern artist management.

As president of Tap Management and Tap Records US, Ong oversees all US-related management and label activities for a diverse roster of artists including Lana Del Rey, Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding, Hailee Steinfeld, and more.

The US music manager and executive is the latest addition for the 35th edition of the Groningen-based festival, which will take place digitally between 13 to 16 January.

The digital edition will consist of Eurosonic, the showcase festival for emerging European talent; an online edition of the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards ceremony; the celebration of native talent, Noorderslag; and this year’s conference, titled Road to Recovery.

Ong oversees all US-related management and label activities for artists including Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding and Hailee Steinfeld

Highlights of the Road to Recovery programme include:

Other confirmed speakers for the conference include: Annabella Coldrick (Music Managers Forum), Beverley Whitrick (Music Venues Trust), Claire O’Neill (A Greener Festival), Eric van Eerdenburg (Lowlands/MOJO), Fruzsina Szep (Goodlive), Hannah Shgbola (Echo Location), Helen Sildna (Tallinn Music Week), Helen Smith (Impala), Henrick Bondo (Roskilde Festival), Jess Partridge (Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing), Keith Harris (Keith Harris Music Ltd), Michal Kascak (Pohoda Festival). See the full conference programme here.

Tickets for Eurosonic Noorderslag 2021 are available at a discounted price of €50, which includes access to the digital environment with live streams, on-demand panels, keynotes, sessions and showcases, access to a networking platform and database. The showcase part of the festival will be completely free.

 


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ESNS 2021 to go ahead in hybrid format

Dutch conference and showcase festival Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) will go ahead in a part-virtual, part-physical format next January.

Taking place in Groningen from 13 to 16 January, the in-person aspect of ESNS 2021 – the event’s 35th edition – will be “widely supported in a digital form”, including both the conference programming and showcases, say organisers.

All parts of the programme will be “organised with the safety of visitors, delegates and artists as the highest priority”, they add.

Eurosonic creative director Robert Meijerink comments: “There’s all the more reason to get together again in Groningen in January 2021 and to review and anticipate the future. It is precisely these uncertain times that call for an opportunity to open the dialogue, to support and inspire, to learn from each other and, ultimately, to regain trust for hopeful times ahead.

“Last but not least, ESNS wants to organise an event that does justice to its mission: stimulating and promoting the circulation of new European music. The necessity has never been so great.”

“There’s all the more reason to get together again in Groningen in January 2021”

ESNS 2021 will be preceded by European Music Week, a new digital platform showcasing the best new European music. Whereas ESNS has previous chosen focus countries, the 2021 event will focus on Europe as a whole.

“The music sector has been hit hard. But we feel strengthened by the hundreds of music professionals from home and abroad who have still bought a registration for ESNS 2021 in recent months, despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic,” says ESNS director Dago Houben. “We feel that as a call from the sector”

Tickets for Eurosonic Noorderslag 2021 will go on sale “as soon as possible”, say organisers, and will available at a substantial discount compared to previous years: €195 for a full conference ticket, or €50 for digital only.

“[W]e receive tremendous support from a large number of partners, not to mention the authorities who indirectly supported us to let us do what we are good at: stimulate the circulation of European music. This extra support gives us the opportunity to drastically reduce the price of our event to make it as accessible as possible for everyone,” continues Houben.

“We are developing an accessible digital edition for people who are not yet allowed, or who are otherwise not able, to travel.”

 


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ATC Live acts dominate first Etep charts of 2020

ATC Live acts are off to a strong start in this year’s European Talent Exchange Programme (Etep), making up half of the top ten most-booked artists so far.

A total of 58 acts from 23 different countries have secured 94 festival slots through the Eurosonic Noorderslag-run programme this year.

Squid and Black Country, New Road – who are both repped by ATC outside of the US – top the charts with six shows a piece, followed by fellow ATC-repped act Georgia with five.

In the US, the acts are represented by Paradigm, Ground Control and Partisan Arts respectively.

A total of 58 acts from 23 different countries have secured 94 festival slots through the Eurosonic Noorderslag-run programme this year

Altin Gün (four shows) and Los Bitchos (two shows) are the other ATC artists to make it into the top ten. Altin Gün are booked by Paradigm in North America.

Italian electronic trio Meduza (Spin Artist Agency in North and South America; CAA in RoW), Greek-Sudanese singer Marina Satti and Fonés (Dionysiac Tour in Europe), Muthoni Drummer Queen, Arlo Parks (UTA) and Inhaler (WME in North America; 13 Artists RoW) make up the remainder of the Etep top ten.

Dublin post-punk band Fontaines DC topped the 2019 Etep charts, with appearances at 14 festivals. The band is represented by ATC in Europe and Paradigm in the US.

 


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European Festival Awards unveils 2019 shortlist

The nominees for the 11th edition of the European Festival Awards have been revealed, with the ceremony due to take place on 15 January at Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) in the Netherlands.

Over 350,000 votes have been cast for the 2019 awards across the main public categories, which include best major, medium and small festivals, as well as the best new and best indoor events.

The awards will present accolades across 15 categories in total, with the shortlists available for all but one category – the lifetime achievement award – which last year went to ESNS co-founder Peter Smidt.

The nominees for the 11th edition of the European Festival Awards have been revealed

The shortlists can be viewed here across categories including the year’s best line-up, promoter, agent, new artist and brand activation, as well as awards for social activism, excellence and passion, and green operations.

Last year’s awards saw Wacken Open Air and Roskilde Festival pick up the biggest prizes of the night – best major festival and best line-up respectively. The Netherlands’ Mojo (Pinkpop, North Sea Jazz, Down the Rabbit Hole, Lowlands) won best promoter, with CAA’s Mike Greek earning the agent of the year award.

Tickets for the 2019 awards ceremony at De Oosterpoort, Groningen, are available here, with tribune tickets priced at €30. Premium tickets, which include access to the cocktail hour, a three-course dinner, a seat at the awards show and access to the after party, cost €100.

See all the winners from last year’s European Festival Awards here.

European Festival Awards 2018: The winners


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Ticketmaster signs Waves Vienna

Ticketmaster has added Waves Vienna, the Austrian conference and showcase festival, to its roster of industry events.

The company is now the lead ticket agent for Norway’s by:Larm, the UK’s the Great Escape and the Netherlands’ Eurosonic Noorderslag, and also tickets Wide Days in Scotland.

“We’re happy to welcome Vienna’s first music showcase festival, Waves, to the family,” says Jon West, Ticketmaster artist services marketing director.

“The magic of these events is their dual nature – the music right alongside the conference”

“We’ve been supporting important showcase festivals like the Great Escape, Eurosonic, by:Larm and more for many years now. We get a big kick out of supporting and spotlighting new artists, and festivals like Waves help us do exactly that.

“The magic of these events is their dual nature – the music right alongside the conference – and we have the technology and experience to handle both.”

 


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Fontaines D.C. close in on ETEP record

The latest European Talent Exchange Programme (Etep) results show swift progress for Irish post-punk band Fontaines D.C., with 18 festival slots booked including Glastonbury Festival, INmusic Festival, Trnsmt and Roskilde festival.

The results take into account 37 new confirmations over the past month, welcoming newcomers Penelope Isles and Sea Girls into the top ten most-booked artists. The same artists remain in the coveted top three chart positions, as Fontaines D.C. widen their lead from a three-show to eight-show difference.

With 18 festival slots already under their belt, Fontaines D.C. are shaping up to challenge last year’s top artist, UK eight-piece band Superorganism, who were booked at a record-breaking 19 Etep festivals. The Dublin-based band are represented by ATC Live in Europe and Paradigm in the United States.

Following Fontaines D.C. on the Etep chart are London-based artists Black Midi and Flohio, each with nine festival bookings under their belts. Austrian rapper Mavi Phoenix, Dutch quartet Pip Blom and British songwriter and producer Elderbrook remain hot on the heels with seven bookings each.

“As proven by Etep’s success, support programmes can work for the benefit of all involved parties – and without too much bureaucratic effort”

Now in its 17th year, Etep continues to support the booking of emerging acts at 129 festivals across Europe. Brighton-based showcase festival the Great Escape heads up the Etep festival chart, booking 25 acts through the programme. Iceland Airwaves and Hungary’s Sziget festival also feature a strong Etep representation, with 12 acts booked each.

In an interview with programme organisers, Rembert Stiewe, the director of boutique festival Orange Blossom Special, comments: “As proven by Etep’s success, support programmes can work for the benefit of all involved parties – and without too much bureaucratic effort.”

Etep, a Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS)-led initiative, has supported the early stages of successful careers for artists including Calvin Harris, Franz Ferdinand, the xx, Idles and Dua Lipa.

See the full chart below:

1. Fontaines D.C. (ie) – 18 shows
2. Black Midi (gb) – 9 shows
3. Flohio (gb) – 9 shows
4. Mavi Phoenix (at) – 7 shows
5. Pip Blom (nl) – 7 shows
6. Elderbrook (gb) – 7 shows
7. The Murder Capital (ie) – 6 shows
8. Octavian (gb) – 6 shows
9. Penelope Isles (gb) – 6 shows
10. SEA GIRLS (gb) – 6 shows

 


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Oosterpoort rebrands as SPOT Groningen

De Oosterpoort and Stadsschouwburg Groningen (OPSB), the organisation behind Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) venue De Oosterpoort, has a new name: SPOT Groningen.

The Oosterpoort in Groningen – which has been home to Dutch music industry conference ESNS (then called the Holland-Belgium Festival) since 1986 – merged with the Stadsschouwburg, a Groningen theatre, in 2002. The old name, says the former OPSB, “no longer does justice to who we are and what we stand for.”

“The new name fits in better with our mission: bringing the artist and the audience together to create an unforgettable experience,” says SPOT in a statement. “We no longer do this only in De Oosterpoort and the Stadsschouwburg, but also in other places in Groningen such as the Lutheran Church, the USVA, the horse racing track, EM2 and the Martini Church. Depending on the artist and the audience, we determine the place that fits best. In this way we create places of encounter and places of meaning.”

“The new name fits in better with our mission: bringing artist and audience together”

The 33rd edition of ESNS wrapped up on Saturday 19 January at the Oosterpoort in Groningen, Netherlands, having been attended by a total of 42,789 visitors, of which 4,135 were conference delegates.

Speakers included Fruzsina Szép of Lollapalooza Berlin, the Windish Agency founder Tom Windish, Cindy Castillo from Mad Cool Festival, Mojo’s Kim Bloem and Key Music Management’s Richard Jones, as well as Pinkpop director Jan Smeets, whose keynote interview focused on the 50-year history of the legendary Dutch festival.

Outside of the conference programme, highlights included the European Festival Awards and A Greener Festival Awards, as well as a total of 342 shows in 52 venues across the city.

Eurosonic returns to the Oosterpoort on 15–18 January 2020.

 


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Irish, British acts top preliminary ETEP results

Irish post-punk band Fontaines D.C. and south London group Black Midi lead the way in the first results of Eurosonic Noorderslag’s (ESNS) European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP), with ten and seven festival slots booked respectively.

ETEP aims to promote European music across the world, supporting the booking of emerging European talent at festivals in 37 countries. Two months on from the 33rd edition of ESNS, promising acts from the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belarus and Belgium have all secured multiple festival shows.

51 out of the 129 Etep festivals have released some line-up information, with 143 ETEP shows already confirmed across festivals including the Great Escape (20 ETEP acts), Ment Ljubljana (6 ETEP acts) and Lollapalooza Berlin (5 ETEP acts).

“ETEP selection results are always a surprise – no-one can predict the ten most booked acts,” says Robert Meijerink, head of programme and programme manager of European talent at ESNS.

“The first results prove that festivals across the world are interested in putting on a wide variety of different styles and genres by European artists”

“I am really pleased to see how ETEP is helping the circulation of European artists in the live sector already so early in the year. The first results also prove that festivals across the world are interested in putting on a wide variety of different styles and genres by European artists,” adds Meijerink.

The initiative enjoyed a record-breaking festival season last year, with ETEP acts playing 457 shows at festivals around the world. British indie band Superorganism finished the summer at the top of the leaderboard, playing 20 gigs in total, beating the record set the previous year by London post-punk band Shame.

Since launching in 2003, ETEP has facilitated 4,144 shows by 1,531 acts in 37 countries. The programme has helped to initiate successful careers for artists including Calvin Harris, Franz Ferdinand, James Blake, the Kooks and the XX. More recently, ETEP has supported the first international shows of acts such as Idles, Aurora and Dua Lipa.

A list of the ten most booked ETEP acts so far can be found below:

1) Fontaines D.C. (Ie) – 10 shows

2) Black Midi (GB) – 7 shows

3) Flohio (GB) – 6 shows

4) Pip Blom (NL) – 5 shows

5) The Murder Capital (Ie) – 4 shows

6) Iris Gold (Dk) – 4 shows

7) Yegor Zabelov (By) – 3 shows

8) Whispering Sons (Be) – 3 shows

9) Lewsberg (NL) – 3 shows

10) Whenyoung (Ie) – 3 shows

 


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