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One week countdown for ESNS 2019 begins

Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS), the largest showcase of promising European music talent, kicks off next Wednesday in Groningen, the Netherlands. This year’s festival promises to host 350 acts and more than 4,000 conference delegates, including festival bookers, expert panellists and other important industry figures.

ESNS serves as a key exchange for emerging European artists, combining a packed daytime conference schedule with an equally jammed evening live music programme. The De Oosterport conference centre in Groningen acts as the festival hub, a centre for industry networking, engaged debate and live music expertise.

Each year, the festival concentrates on showcasing talent from a specific focus nation. For ESNS 2019, the focus becomes double, with acts from both the Czech Republic and Slovakia taking centre stage.

ESNS serves as a key exchange for emerging European artists, combining a packed daytime conference schedule with an equally jammed evening live music programme

The festival opens on 16 January with the European Festival Awards (EFA), at which Peter Smidt, ESNS founder and creative director, will accept the prestigious lifetime achievement award.

Hungary’s Sziget Festival is once again nominated for the best major festival award, having taken home the prize for line-up of the year at last year’s EFAs. It contends for the top spot with Open’er Festival, Hellfest, Pinkpop and Roskilde Festival, among others. CAA agent and 2018 Music Industry Trusts (MITs) award winner Emma Banks appears among the nominees vying for success in the agent of the year category.

The European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP) returns to ESNS following another record-breaking year spreading and promoting the newest and best in European music. Festival shows played through the programme numbered 457 last summer. The programme’s 2018 winner, Superorganism, appears alongside fellow ETEP hits Zeal & Ardor and Sigrid on EFA’s newcomer of the year nominee list.

A change to proceedings sees the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards replace the long-running Europe Border Breaker Awards. The inaugural awards look to support new acts, offering winners the chance to play live at ESNS, and providing them with tailor-made training programmes, as well as financial help. British artists Bishop Briggs and Pale Waves find themselves among the triumphant 12 winners revealed in November.

 


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Peter Smidt to receive lifetime achievement award at EFAs

Peter Smidt, founder and creative director of Eurosonic Noorderslag, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the European Festival Awards (EFA) later this month.

The award will be presented to Smidt at the 2018 EFAs, which once again celebrate achievements in the festival industry across 15 categories. The EFA says it is proud to honour Smidt with the award, in recognition of all his work for the music industry.

The awards be co-hosted by IQ editor Gordon Masson and take place on 16 January 2019 in Groningen, the Netherlands, in conjunction with the opening of Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS).

Throughout his career, Smidt has served as a bastion of European music. He has worked closely with the European Music Office to develop strategies for protecting and promoting European artists, and has created initiatives to enable the expansion of artists across Europe.

The EFA says it is proud to honour Smidt with the award, in recognition of all his work for the music industry

Smidt was integral to the launching of the European Talent Exchange Programme which works with member festivals to promote the spread of European artists across the world. Last year, the initiative enjoyed a record-breaking summer, making 457 shows possible across the festival season.

Having organised the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBAs) for 15 years, Smidt this year initiated the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards to replace them. This EU-backed prize aims to celebrate and support up-and-coming European artists. The inaugural awards ceremony will take place at this year’s ESNS.

Kicking off with the European Festival Awards ceremony, this year’s ESNS will go on to play host to over 4,000 music industry experts and 350 artists across four days of panel discussions, expert talks and live music events.

Last year’s award for lifetime achievement went to Daniel Rossellat, founder and president of Swiss rock festival, Paléo festival Nyon.

 


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