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Eurosonic partners with PlayPass

Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS), Europe’s largest showcase festival for emerging talent, has partnered with cashless payment provider PlayPass.

Festivalgoers, delegates and artists will be able to make payments at all 42 ESNS locations using an NFC wristband, mobile wallet or payment card. All payment options will be accepted on a single, PlayPass-provided point-of-sale device.

Each attendee will be issued with a personalised, electronic wristband upon registration at the event. Funds can be loaded onto the wristband via PlayPass self-service top-up kiosks or the Payconiq mobile application for visitors from the Netherlands and Belgium.

PlayPass will also invite event organisers attending ESNS to take a behind-the-scenes look at its technology and operations.

“We are very proud to become a partner to Eurosonic Noorderslag and are extremely excited to be showcasing new capabilities at such a prestigious event”, says David De Wever, CEO and co-founder of PlayPass.

“We believe that the features we are presenting at Eurosonic will be a true game-changer for the live events industry”

“We believe that the features we are presenting at Eurosonic will be a true game-changer for the live events industry and we look forward to showing promoters how they can yield significant gains, both financial and in visitor loyalty, through intelligent use of our technology and the invaluable data it generates.”

“ESNS believes it is important to lead the way in innovations in the music industry,” says Dago Houben, managing director of ESNS, which first introduced cashless payments in 2013.

“It is now time to make the next step and improve on every aspect. With the state-of-the-art system that PlayPass provides, we feel confident improving the quality of payments and services on all levels and for all involved,” adds Houben.

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

The 35th of edition of ESNS will take place from 15 to 18 January 2020, with a special emphasis on the Swiss music scene. Conference tickets are available here at the late rate of €365.

 


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A Greener Festival announces 2018 winners

Environmental nonprofit A Greener Festival (AGF) presented awards to events and festivals that are doing their bit to reduce environmental impact and improve sustainability at an awards ceremony held at Eurosonic Noorderslag on Friday 18 January.

The 12th edition of A Greener Festival Awards saw 35 festivals and events across 14 countries receive the accolade for efforts in sustainability. A rigorous assessment process, site visits and post-event analysis decide winners of the prestigious environmental award.

AGF directors Ben Challis, Claire O’Neill and Teresa Moore presented awards to the worthy recipients that included Das Fest, Germany; DGTL, Netherlands; Pohoda Festival, Slovakia; and Ireland’s Body & Soul. Recipients received awards across four categories: outstanding, highly commended, commended and improvers.

Xander Kotvis, revolution manager of DGTL Festival Amsterdam, one of seven events to receive an Outstanding Award, comments: “The Outstanding Award is a crown on many years of hard work. With this prize, we demonstrate that it is possible to implement circular systems without having to compromise on quality or experience.”

“This year has seen unprecedented action and an awareness of the urgency to make our industries and our lives more harmonious with nature”

Practising what they preach, the awards themselves were made entirely from reused materials, including salvaged tents by I Dress Myself and reclaimed wood turned by Steve O’Neill.

“This year has seen unprecedented action and an awareness of the urgency to make our industries and our lives more harmonious with nature,” says Claire O’Neill, A Greener Festival co-founder.

“The festivals and events that we have had the honour to assess and award are helping to shape this transition, which has positive repercussions not only within the events’ operations but also through the message and example they put out into the world.”

AGF will announce the next round of winners at the Green Events and Innovations Conference, taking place on 5 March at ILMC in London. The winners will include summer events taking place in the southern hemisphere and winter events in the north.

Applications are now open for the Greener Festival Awards 2019. Events should contact hello@agreenerfestival.com to apply.

A full list of AGF Award winners 2018 is below:

Outstanding
Boom Festival (PT)
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
DGTL Festival (NL)
Green Gathering (UK)
Øya Festival (NO)
We Love Green (FR)
Wood Festival (UK)

Highly commended
Body & Soul (IE)
Dubcamp Festival (FR)
Greenbelt Festival (UK)
Paradise City (BE)
Rainbow Serpent (AU)
Roskilde Festival (DK)

Commended
Boomtown Fair (UK)
Das Fest (DE)
Fire In The Mountain (UK)
Hadra Trance Festival (FR)
Kew the Music (UK)
Mandala Festival (NL)
Metal Days (SI)
Pete the Monkey (FR)
Pohoda Festival (SK)
Primavera Sound (ES)
Spring Utrecht (NL)
Wonderfeel (NL)

Improvers
BST Hyde Park (UK)
Couvre Feu (FR)
De Poupet (FR)
ILMC (UK)
Les Escales (FR)
Manchester Pride (UK)
Own Spirit Festival (ES)
Terraforma Festival (IT)
Utrechtse Introductie Tijd (UIT) (NL)
Uitfeest (NL)

 


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Finding their FEAT: Promoters back new European anti-tout association

Europe’s leading live music professionals have come together to form the Face-value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT), an organisation dedicated to the promotion of face-value ticket resale across the continent.

Launched last night at Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen, the Netherlands, FEAT will take a continent-wide approach to encourage better ticket resale practices in Europe.

“Governments need to understand speculative ticket resale is an abusive and unethical practice that harms people, and they need to approve laws that make it virtually impossible,” says Neo Sala, FEAT Director and founder of Doctor Music.

The priorities of the initiative include:

FEAT has been functioning under the radar for a while. The group is already involved in EU parliamentary discussions on secondary ticketing and has facilitated the formation of a legal group which coordinates activities on ticketing regulation and works in conjunction with search engines.

“We need to get this right as otherwise fans and artists alike will be robbed by thieves”

Initially focusing on legislation and good practice within the live music industry, the initiative later looks to build alliances with the full scope of the live entertainment industry, including performing arts and sports events.

The alliance will be run by Sam Shemtob, a music business specialist who has been active in the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on ticket abuse for several years, along with colleagues Katie O’Leary and Dominic Athanassiou.

“We need to get this right as otherwise fans and artists alike will be robbed by thieves,” says Scumeck Sabottka, FEAT Director and CEO of MCT-Agentur. “If we all pull this together and get EU legislation to follow our lead, we can ultimately make it work.”

The alliance hopes to bolster the work of movements such as UK’s FanFair Alliance and the Swiss Ticket Check. Such groups have enjoyed considerable success on tightening up ticket resale on a national scale, but have not managed to shake the impunity of global platforms.

The case of secondary ticketing website Viagogo serves as an example of this impunity. As of today, the site was required to implement substantial changes to its business practices following a court order served in November 2018. However, sufficient changes have not been made.

FanFair Alliance’s Adam Webb comments: “Although a few minor changes have been implemented, some of which may add even more confusion for consumers, we would be astonished if the site is compliant with the terms of its court order.”

A full list of the FEAT founding members is below:

Ben Giezenaar – Co-Founder, Greenhouse Talent, Netherlands (Once in a Blue Moon Festival, Justin Bieber)

Christof Huber – Managing Director, Incognito, Switzerland (Imagine Dragons, George Ezra)

Folkert Koopmans – CEO, FKP Scorpio, Germany (Ed Sheeran, Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters)

Kim Worsøe – Director, ICO, Denmark (The 1975, Sam Smith, Disturbed)

Neo Sala – Founder & CEO, Doctor Music, Spain (Adele, Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Doctor Music Festival)

Olivier Darbois – Director, Corida, France (Christine and the Queens, Justice – produced worldwide, Kraftwerk, Radiohead – promoted France)

Pascal Van De Velde – Founder & CEO, Greenhouse Talent, Belgium & Netherlands (Elton John, Katy Perry)

Peter Aiken – Managing Director, Aiken Promotions, Ireland (Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran, Adele)

Philippe Cornu – Founder, wildpony, Switzerland (Muse, Rammstein)

Scumeck Sabottka – CEO, MCT-Agentur, Germany (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Lykke Li, Björk, Rammstein, Florence + the Machine)

Vincent Sager – Managing Director, Opus One, Switzerland (Arcade Fire, Iron Maiden)

 


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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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ESNS adds 19 acts from 2019 focus countries

Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) has expanded the line-up for its 2019 edition with 19 acts from the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the two focus countries of ESNS 2019.

Alongside the previously announced Hellwana (CZ) and Isama Zing (SK), ten more acts from the Czech Republic, and nine from Slovakia, will showcase in Groningen in January.

From the Czech Republic, they are: Bohemian Cristal Instrument, Circus Brothers, Floex and Tom Hodge, Lazer Viking, Lenny, Manon Meurt, Mydy Rabycad, Pipes and Pints, Thom Artway and Zabelov Group.

Autumnist, B-complex, Katarína Máliková and Ensemble, Möbius, Nvmeri, Our Stories, the Ills, Thisnis and Tittingur will represent Slovakia.

“We are keen to showcase the unique, high-quality music from these two neighbours”

“We are keen to showcase the unique, high-quality music from these two neighbours,” says ESNS booker Robert Meijerink. “Although two of the youngest countries in Europe, they both have diverse and growing music scenes, a great history and lots of amazing music to be discovered.”

ESNS returns to Groningen in the Netherlands from 16 to 19 January 2019, and will feature showcases from around 350 emerging artists. More than 4,000 industry delegates attended Eurosonic Noorderslag 2018, which saw performances from 300 European acts, including 22 from focus country Denmark.

A limited number of late-rate tickets are still available from the Eurosonic conference website.

 


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ESNS introduces Music Moves Europe Talent Awards

Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) has announced the launch of the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards, an EU-backed prize recognising the most promising up-and-coming European artists.

Replacing the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBAs), the new prize aims to “celebrate new and upcoming artists from Europe and support them in order to help them develop and accelerate their international careers”, according to an announcement from the Groningen conference. Nominees are selected through monitoring the former European Border Breakers Charts, artists’ streaming figures, results from the European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP) and recommendations from music export offices and partners involved in the prize.

Winners will be rewarded with a chance to play live at ESNS, a tailor-made training programme and financial support for touring and promotion.

The Music Moves Europe Talent Awards, part of the Music Moves Europe initiative, are co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission, with the additional support of the Municipality of Groningen, Province of Groningen and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The awards are presented by ESNS and Reeperbahn Festival, in cooperation with Yourope, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA), International Music Managers Forum (IMMF), Liveurope, Live DMA, European Music Exporters Exchange (EMEE) and Digital Music Europe (DME).

The nominees will be presented at Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg in September. The 12 winners will then be announced in November, with the awards handed over during a ceremony at ESNS on Wednesday 16 January 2019.

 


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Czech Republic, Slovakia joint ESNS 2019 focus countries

The Czech Republic and Slovakia will be Eurosonic Noorderlag (ESNS)’s first-ever joint focus countries in 2019.

In cooperation with Michal Kaščák, CEO of Slovakia’s Pohoda Festival, and Márton Náray, director of new Czech export office SoundCzech, the Dutch conference/showcase festival will next year shine a spotlight on the two central European neighbours, which, says booker Robert Meijerink, although “two of the youngest countries in Europe”, both have “diverse and growing music scenes, a great history and lots of amazing music to be discovered”.

Previous recent focus countries include Denmark (2018), Portugal (2017) and the central and eastern European (CEE) nations (2016).

“I am confident that this will be a remarkable focus, especially with CR/Radio Wave and Radio_FM, SoundCzech/Czech Music Office and the ETEP festivals Colours of Ostrava, Metronome Festival, Rock for People, United Islands of Prague [Czech Republic] and Pohoda [Slovakia] on board,” says ESNS conference coordinator Ruud Berends.

“We are excited about the opportunity to show European professionals how much we have to offer”

Náray says the music scene in the Czech Republic has grown tremendously over the past five to ten years, with more than 500 summer festivals, a booming club scene and a host of promising emerging talent. “We are excited about the opportunity to show European professionals how much we have to offer,” he comments. “I think it is the perfect moment to do that.”

“It is great to be a music fan in Slovakia,” adds Kaščák (pictured). “The whole world knows Metallica, PJ Harvey and the Sex Pistols – and we are lucky enough to know Čad, Jana Kirschner and the Wilderness. But don’t worry: thanks to the Czech–Slovakian focus at ESNS 2019, we will be sharing our hidden treasures with music lovers around the world.”

ESNS returns to Groningen in the Netherlands from 16 to 19 January 2019. More than 4,000 industry delegates attended Eurosonic Noorderslag 2018, which saw performances from 300 European acts, including 22 from focus country Denmark.

 

 


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