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European Festival Awards 2019: All the winners

Glastonbury Festival, Open’er, Electric Castle, No Sleep Festival and WME’s Lucy Dickins were among those to pick up prizes at the 2019 European Festival Awards, held this evening at Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) in Groningen, the Netherlands.

Hosted by IQ’s Gordon Masson and A Greener Festival’s Claire O’Neill, the award ceremony saw festivals recognised across 15 categories, including best major, medium and small festivals and line-up of the year, as well as awards for green efforts, health and safety innovation and brand activations.

Open’er Festival, organised by independent Polish promoter Alter Art, was the evening’s biggest winner, taking home the prizes for best major festival and best brand activation for its collaboration with Netflix’s Stranger Things.

Representatives from Romania enjoyed a successful evening, with Romanian festivals Electric Castle and Jazz in the Park taking the best medium-sized festival and best small festival gongs respectively, and Codruta Vulcu, the founder of 2018’s best small festival, ARTmania, winning the award for excellence and passion.

Open’er Festival, organised by independent Polish promoter Alter Art, was the evening’s biggest winner

German events also put in a good showing, with Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival winning best indoor event and Das Fest, which takes place in the German city of Karlsruhe, receiving the Take a Stand award for its commitment to social activism.

Other major prizes went to the UK’s Glastonbury Festival, last year headlined by Stormzy, the Killers and the Cure, for line-up of the year, No Sleep Festival in Serbia for best new festival and to WME’s Lucy Dickins for agent of the year.

As previously announced, Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen, the co-founders of Wacken Open Air – the winner of best major festival at the 2018 awards – received the lifetime achievement gong at this year’s ceremony.

A full list of European Festival Awards 2019 winners can be found below:

Best major festival
Open’er Festival (Poland)

Best medium-sized festival
Electric Castle (Romania)

Best small festival
Jazz in the Park (Romania)

Best indoor festival
Reeperbahn Festival (Germany)

Best new festival
No Sleep Festival (Serbia)

Line-up of the year
Glastonbury (United Kingdom)

Newcomer of the year
Billie Eilish (US)

The lifetime achievement award
Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen (Wacken Open Air)

The green operations award
OpenAir St Gallen (Switzerland)

The health and safety innovation award
Balaton Sound (Hungary)

The brand activation award
Open’er Festival (Poland) & Netflix’s Stranger Things

The Take a Stand award
Das Fest (Germany)

The award for excellence and passion
Codruta Vulcu

Promoter of the year
Wepromote (Switzerland)

Agent of the year
Lucy Dickins (WME)

 


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Going Dutch: What to expect from ESNS 2020

Much of the European music industry is preparing for its yearly pilgrimage to the Netherlands, as conference and showcase festival Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) is set to commence tomorrow, 15 January, in the Dutch city of Groningen.

Combining a daytime conference programme with a packed evening showcase schedule, ESNS 2020 welcomes Switzerland as its focus nation this year, with over 20 emerging Swiss acts performing throughout the event and aiming to impress in the European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP), which saw success for ATC Live-repped punk rockers Fontaines DC last year.

The 2019 European Festival Awards kick off proceedings on Wednesday evening, hosted by IQ Magazine’s Gordon Masson and A Greener Festival’s Claire O’Neill, and featuring performances from artists including Swiss singer-songwriter Marius Bear.

Wacken Open Air founders Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen are set to receive the lifetime achievement accolade at the ceremony, which will see winners crowned across 15 categories.

Over 150 panels, along with keynote interviews, workshops and networking opportunities, will take place at ESNS 2020

Over 150 panels, along with keynote interviews and workshops, will take place at ESNS 2020 from 16 to 19 January at conference centre De Oosterpoort, with a new city-centre location, Forum Groningen, hosting sessions over the weekend.

Highlights of the conference programme include ‘the Dickins Dynasty’, which sees ITB co-founder Barry Dickins and his daughter Lucy, head of WME’s UK music division, and son Jonathan, founder and CEO of September Management, in conversation with ILMC MD Greg Parmley, as well as a keynote interview with Isle of Wight Festival and Solo Agency’s John Giddings.

Other notable sessions include a keynote from Ticketmaster’s Don Pawley, ‘the Agents Panel’ with Paradigm’s Paul Buck, ATC Live’s Alex Bruford, X-ray Touring’s Beckie Sugden and CAA’s Maria May, and a panel on boutique festivals featuring representatives from Openair St.Gallen, Bluedot/Kendal Calling, Westway Lab and Release Athens.

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

 


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ESNS 2020: World-leading Iceland preps gender-balanced showcase

After topping the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index poll for the 11th year running in 2019, Iceland will send a gender-balanced delegation to Eurosonic Noorderslag later this month.

The annual showcase festival, which returns to Groningen, the Netherlands, on 15–18 January, features six Icelandic acts: experimental pop act JFDR, rapper Cell7, synth-pop duo Warmland, electronic pop artist Sólveig Matthildur, electro-psych act President Bongo and contemporary classical composer Gabríel Ólafs.

“I am delighted that we are now in our second decade of topping the WEF Global Gender Gap Index,” comments Iceland’s prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

“We are proud that these efforts to achieve gender parity are also evident in our musical scene, with an equal number of both female and male artists playing at Eurosonic festival this year and musical trailblazers paving new paths in all genres from hip-hop to soundtracks.”

Eurosonic announced its full 2020 schedule before Christmas, including all performers and conference sessions. See IQ’s recommended artists, along with those of other international media, here.

See a YouTube playlist of the Icelandic ESNS acts below:

 


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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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Swiss music to take centre stage at ESNS 2020

Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS), the largest showcase of emerging European music acts, has announced that its 2020 edition will focus on Switzerland, in cooperation with Swiss Music Export.

Each year, the festival concentrates on showcasing talent from a specific focus nation. This year’s event had a dual focus on artists from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Next year, it is Switzerland’s turn to be in the spotlight.

“The Swiss music scene is thrilled to be the focus of ESNS 2020,” says Swiss Music Export’s managing director, Jean Zuber. “For many years, Swiss acts have showcased in Groningen and quite a number of them started their international careers through ESNS and the European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP).”

“Switzerland is not only home to a very active and creative artistic scene, it has the highest festival density in the world. Swiss Music Export will join forces with many music organisations in order to ensure a creative role for ESNS 2020,” adds Zuber.

“For many years, Swiss acts have showcased in Groningen and quite a number of them started their international careers through ESNS and the European Talent Exchange Programme”

ESNS booker Robert Meijerink says the Swiss music scene “has been making waves” in recent years.

“Key partners of ESNS such as Yourope and the European Broadcasting Union are based in Switzerland,” adds Meijerink. “A significant number of [Swiss] artists have been crossing European borders already. We can’t wait to get started with Swiss Music Export and their partners to work on ESNS 2020.”

ESNS 2019 attracted over 42,000 guests, showcasing 342 acts across ten stages. Acts wishing to play at the 2020 edition of the festival will be able to submit an online application for a showcase from 1 May until 1 September 2019.

The 35th of edition of ESNS will take place from 15 to 18 January 2020. Conference pre-sale registration for the 2020 festival is now available, at the super early bird rate of €265.

 


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