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Superorganism help get Etep 2018 off to a flying start

The European Talent Exchange Programme (Etep), the Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS)-led initiative that aims to stimulate the circulation of music across European borders, has released its first set of results for 2018, showing hotly tipped British act Superorganism leading the charge.

In the three months since Etep 2018 kicked off at ESNS 2018, a total of 257 shows by 106 Etep acts have been confirmed for the programme’s 116 participating festivals. Superorganism – represented outside the US by Coda’s Natasha Bent – have 13 confirmed festival slots at events including Spain’s Primavera Sound, the Netherlands’ Best Kept Secret and Germany’s Melt Festival, with Swiss-American black metal act Zeal & Ardor just behind with 12.

The preliminary top ten as it stands is:

1) Superorganism (GB) – 13 shows
2) Zeal & Ardor (Ch) – 12 shows
3) Sigrid (No) – 8 shows
4) Yonaka (GB) – 7 shows
5) Tshegue (Fr) – 7 shows
6) Altin Gün (NL) – 6 shows
7) Alice Merton (De) – 6 shows
8) Tom Walker (GB) – 6 shows
9) Tom Grennan (GB) – 6 shows
10) Meute (De) – 5 shows

Since its launch in 2003, Etep has facilitated 3,775 shows by 1,360 artists in over 30 countries in total, and last year once again celebrated its best-ever year after a record-breaking 2016.

In other Etep news, seven new festivals have joined the programme for 2018. They are Apolide (It), by:larm (No), Focus Wales (GB), Grape Festival (Sk), Tuska Open Air (Fi), OppiKoppi (ZA) and Canadian Music Week (Ca).


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Eurosonic Noorderslag 2018 goes down a storm

Despite the best efforts of Storm Friederike, whose 125mph winds grounded flights at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport and forced the cancellation of Groningen-bound trains on Thursday, Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) 2018 marked another successful year for the long-running Dutch conference and showcase festival.

More than 300 European acts – 22 of them from focus country Denmark – performed across the three days of 17–19 January, while 4,092 delegates from 42 countries participated in the conference programme, the highlights of which included panels on the ‘gender gap’, Brexit, mental health, the festival market and secondary ticketing; keynotes from agent Emma Banks, manager Paul Craig, ESNS founder Peter Smidt, Ticketmaster head of music David Marcus and promoter Harvey Goldsmith; and the traditional European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA) and European Festival Awards on Wednesday night.

EPIC (the European Production Innovation Conference), meanwhile, tackled topics such as safety, sustainability, volunteering and event technology, while Buma Music Meets Tech focused on blockchain, streaming services, bots and other technological innovations.

4,092 delegates from 42 countries participated in the conference programme

ESNS 2018 kicked off with the EBBAs, hosted by Jools Holland and recognising ten European acts who “broke borders” with their music over the past 12 months. The head of Creative Europe, Barbara Gessler, handed out the public choice award to the Bulgarian singer Kristian Kostov, with other winners including Germany’s Alice Merton, Finland’s Alma, the UK’s Youngr and Norway’s Sigrid.

Playing across ESNS’s 62 venues were 352 acts vying for success in the European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP), whose member festivals presented their first selection of acts booked for the summer ahead. The most-booked were IAMDDB (UK), Zeal & Ardor (Ch), Meute (De), Superorganism (UK), Jacob Banks (UK), Tamino (Be), Agar Agar (Fr) and Altin Gun (NL).

In total, 40,288 people attended the event, while many more listened on the radio, including to 41 hours’ worth of live broadcasts.

ESNS will return on 16–19 January 2019.


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A Greener Festival crowns 2017 award winners

The European Festival Awards wasn’t the only awards ceremony at last week’s Eurosonic Noorderslag: Environmental nonprofit A Greener Festival (AGF) also handed out 34 prizes for its 11th A Greener Festival Awards, with winners including Germany’s Das Fest, Denmark’s Roskilde Festival, Finland’s Ilosaarirock and the Netherlands’ Welcome to the Village.

Festivals and events from 12 countries participated in the latest round of awards, which returned last year after a hiatus in 2015. Applicants undergo a rigorous assessment, site visit and post-event analysis of their events’ sustainability actions, with assessors looking at 11 areas, including transport, waste, power, water and local area impacts.

The awards ceremony was held on Thursday 11 January. The awards themselves – presented to winners by AGF directors Teresa Moore and Claire O’Neill – were made of recycled materials, including salvaged tents by I Dress Myself and reclaimed wood turned by Steve O’Neill.

The AGF awards were this year joined by the Greener Event awards (TGEA) an expansion of AGF’s activities to include other events and venue types, including sports, arenas and conferences.

“We are extremely proud of the winners of the AGF and TGEA awards,” says Claire O’Neill. “They have to meet very strict criteria to be awarded, and their actions and passion for sustainability set them aside as the future of festivals and events in the industry. There’s always further to go, and these winners are paving the way for the benefit of us all.”

“The winners’ actions and passion for sustainability set them aside as the future of festivals”

Following the launch of the TGEA awards, the AGF team is currently assessing winter events across the northern hemisphere and summer events in the south. Winners for these assessments will be announced at the Green Events & Innovations (GEI) conference at ILMC in London in March.

A full list of AGF Award and TGEA 2017 winners is below:

Green Gathering (UK)
ØYA Festival (NO)
We Love Green (FR)
Wood Festival (UK)

Highly commended
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
DGTL festival (NL)
Extrema Outdoor (NL)
Greenbelt Festival (UK)
HebCelt (UK)
Ilosaarirock Festival (FI)
Paradise City (BE)
Roskilde Festival (DK)

Das Fest (DE)
Doolin Folk Festival (IE) (The Greener Event Award)
Dubcamp Festival (FR)
Glastonbury Festival of Performing Arts (UK)
Hadra Trance Festival (FR)
Kew The Music (UK)
Liberation Festival Utrecht (NL)
Primavera Sound (ES)
Spring Festival Utrecht (NL) (The Greener Event Award)
Welcome to the Village (NL)

Arla Food Festival (DK)
Bayou Boogaloo (US)
Body and Soul (IE)
Just So Festival (UK)
Mandala Festival (NL)
Meadows Festival (UK)
Metaldays (SI)
Mysteryland (NL)
No Logo Festival (FR)
Nozstock: The Hidden Valley (UK)
Oude Muziek (NL) (The Greener Event Award)
Uitfeest (NL) (The Greener Event Award)


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European Festival Awards 2017: The winners

Roskilde Festival, Sziget, MENT Ljubljana, ATC Live agent Alex Bruford and Lollapalooza Berlin festival director Fruzsina Szép were among the winners at the ninth European Festival Awards, which took place last night at Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen, Netherlands.

Hosted one again by IQ editor Gordon Masson and Glastonbury Festival/Yourope lawyer Ben Challis, the awards recognised excellence in 15 categories, including the new Take a Stand award, in association with Yourope’s Take a Stand initiative.

Hungary’s Sziget and Serbia’s Exit Festival took home the two big gongs – line-up of the year and best major festival, respectively – while while an emotional Szép was presented with the award for excellence and passion. Bruford won agent of the year, in association with IQ, and Paléo Festival Nyon founder Daniel Rossellat the award for lifetime achievement.

Hörstmann’s GoodLive, formerly Melt! Booking, was named best promoter, while Slovakia’s Pohoda was recognised for its environmental credentials, winning its first Festival Award for green operations. Slovenia’s MENT Ljubljana was recognised as best small festival and best indoor festival.

Performances on the night came from Dutch singer Naaz, Belgian Jeff Buckley-a-like Tamino and Finnish duo Alma.

A full list of winners is below:

Best New Festival
In association with CGA
Wacken Winter Nights

The Green Operations Award
In association with Go Group
Pohoda Festival

Line-Up of the Year
In association with Faceculture
Sziget Festival

Best Indoor Festival
MENT Ljubljana

Newcomer of the Year
In association with Eurosonic Noorderslag
Rag’n’Bone Man

Agent of the Year
In association with IQ
Alex Bruford (ATC Live)

Promoter of the Year

The Brand Activation Award
In association with Emac
The Miele Powerwash at Lowlands Festival

Best Small Festival
MENT Ljubljana

The Health and Safety Innovation Award
In association with Yes Group
Paléo Festival Nyon & Roskilde Festival

Best Medium-Sized Festival
In association with Eventbrite
Down the Rabbit Hole

The Take a Stand Award
In association with Take a Stand
Roskilde Festival

Best Major Festival
Exit Festival

The Award for Excellence & Passion
Fruzsina Szép

The Lifetime Achievement Award
Daniel Rossellat


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ESNS 2018: Groningen prepares for annual industry invasion

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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Anti-tout giants to deliver ESNS keynotes

The debate over secondary ticketing will no doubt take centre stage at international conference and showcase festival Eurosonic Noorderslag in January, as two strong anti-tout promoters deliver separate keynote interviews.

British promoter Harvey Goldsmith and German promoter and agent Scumeck Sabottka are both fierce opponents of ticket touts and they’ll no doubt be forthright when discussing with Allan McGowan and Emma Banks respectively.

Among 150 other panels at the 17-20 January event in Groningen, Netherlands, is a debate on how boutique festivals continue to be competitive in an ever-lengthening festival season. Panellists include Christoph Storbeck from Italy’s Ypsigrock, Grimur Atlason from Iceland Airwaves, Jenny Wren from Ireland’s Body & Soul, and Stefan Reichmann from Germany’s Haldern Pop.

The Agents Panel will feature insight from X-Ray Touring’s Paul Bolton, CAA’s Summer Marshall, Sarah Sølvsteen from Sølvsteen Inc and Brian Ahern from WME.

Elsewhere there’ll be a keynote from Ticketmaster head of music David Marcus, a chance to meet key players in the Danish live music industry (Denmark is the focus country for 2018), a discussion on the difficulties of touring Asia, and the latest on health and safety from Chris Kemp and Henrik Nielsen.

The 2017 conference attracted 4,200 professional delegates, including representatives from over 400 international festivals.

The event’s showcase festivals Eurosonic and Noorderslag includes almost 400 artists from over 30 countries. Artists include Bad Sounds, Ellis May, Housewives, NIHILS, School of X and Tamino.

The EBBA Awards and European Festival Awards will open proceedings on 17 January.


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Denmark to be focus of Eurosonic Noorderslag 2018

Denmark will be the focus country for Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) 2018, Spot booker Robert Meijerink announced at the Aarhus festival last week.

The conference and showcase festival, which returns to Groningen, Netherlands, from 17 to 20 January, last year focused on Portugal following 2016’s spotlight on the central and eastern European (CEE) countries.

“We have been amazed by the quality and diversity of Danish acts who have performed at Eurosonic in the past,” explained Meijerink, whose Spot Festival will partner with Music Export Denmark (MXF) to promote Denmark’s presence at ESNS. “Lots of Danish artists are making great music and are successful worldwide. The Danish music scene is booming – a great reason to put the focus on Denmark.”

ESNS already partners with many of Denmark’s leading festivals, including Roskilde, NorthSide and Tinderbox, through its European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP) initiative, and has previously welcomed Danish acts including  Agnes Obel, Mø, Iceage, Liima and Lukas Graham.

“The Danish music scene is booming – a great reason to put the focus on Denmark”

“Eurosonic is quite simply the showcase festival where you get to play for the largest possible amount of European promoters and festivals at once,” adds Sarah Sølvsteen of Copenhagen’s Birdseye Agency. “So, with the right timing in regards to the artist’s development, there are incredibly good chances of making concrete results and deals.

“Mø played Eurosonic for the first time in 2013. At that time, she still wasn’t signed to any foreign label, so it was early in her career. Nevertheless, she had received great exposure on different American and British blogs, and in the industry in general, so people came to her show at Eurosonic. This immediately resulted in several deals with European promoters and got on the bill for several European festivals. The next year, she played there again, [and there were] new offers on the table…

“All this amounted to her shows selling out in many European cities before she even got a radio hit.”


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