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ESNS: ‘The digital edition will still fulfil our mission’

ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) organisers have promised that the upcoming digital-only edition will still “fulfil our mission to network, connect, inspire and promote”.

For the second consecutive year, the European festival and conference in Groningen, Netherlands, has moved entirely online from 19–22 January 2022 in response to the government’s latest Covid-19 measures.

Conference director Ruud Berends says that, while the biggest challenge was accepting that they could not hold an in-person event again, the team has worked to make this year’s event “the best online edition ever”.

“We learned a lot from our first online conference and festival. It was beyond our expectations – the standard is high,” added head of programme Robert Meijerink. “We would like to service both our audience, artists and delegates even better than last year.”

Confirmed speakers for the conference include Claire O’Neill (A Greener Festival), Fruzsina Szép (Goodlive), Hannah Shogbola (UTA), Henk Schuit (CTS Eventim NL), Lotje Horvers (Backstage Pass), Mia Ternström (Keychange/Musikcentrum Öst), Mikko Niemelä (Ruisrock), Morten Therkildsen (Roskilde Festival/RF Experience),

Natasha Gregory (Mother Artists), Ruben Brouwer (Mojo Concerts), Sally Dunstone (Primary Talent International) and Stuart Galbraith (Kilimanjaro Live) will also be making appearances during the conference.

“I really think the programme is very relevant and diverse and really captures the whole music sector”

The conference last week announced an opening keynote speech from executive VP of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, who is responsible for the Green Deal – aligning with the conference’s ‘Building Back Better Together’ theme.

Also confirmed last week was blockbuster panel ‘Festival Season 2022’ with Marta Pallares (Primavera), Codruta Vulcu (ARTmania), Paul Reed (AIF), Christof Huber (Yourope) and Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio).

Delegates can expect a conference programme that spans the metaverse, ticket scalping, cancel culture, mental health, diversity, equity and inclusion, streaming, Brexit, Covid, gender equality, the agency business and more.

“I really think the programme is very relevant and diverse and really captures the whole music sector – focussing on solutions, information and answers we all need to hear so we can move on in the most beautiful industry in the world,” says Berends.

Alongside the conference programme, the digital edition of ESNS 2022 will feature the usual festival programme of Noorderslag, Eurosonic, as well as the Music Moves Europe Awards award ceremony.

Tickets for the digital conference cost €99, and are available via The festival will be available – free of charge – with sessions recorded by Dutch broadcaster NTR in collaboration with NPO 3FM, to be broadcast by NPO 3FM, NPO 3 and the digital festival platform, hosted by VPRO 3VOOR12.


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Dutch set to make an Impact at TGE 2018

The Netherlands has been announced as The Great Escape’s lead international partner for 2018.

Partnering with export office Dutch Music Export (DME), the 13th edition of the British conference and showcase festival will highlight some of the Netherlands’ most prominent rising stars, including Dutch-Kurdish artist Naaz and Amsterdam-based singer Pitou. DME’s Dutch Impact party has long been a mainstay of The Great Escape (TGE), having brought Jameszoo, Klangstof, Amber Arcades, Dope DOD and Jacco Gardner to the event in the past.

Dutch Music Export producer Ruud Berends comments: “Dutch Music Export is proud to be the focus country at TGE 2018. Our country has supported and attended TGE from year one with both the Dutch Impact party and through various promotional support for our artists and industry.

“The UK is one of the most important countries for us to present the best the Lowlands has to offer and The Great Escape provides the best platform to showcase, support and promote Dutch musical talent to not only the UK but international music industries and audiences.”

“2018 is the perfect time to put the very best the Netherlands has to offer at the forefront of our festival”

Previous international partners include Switzerland (2017), Latvia and Lithuania (2016), New Zealand (2009), France (2007) and Canada (2006).

“At last we are thrilled to shine a spotlight on one of our strongest, most longstanding partners, the Netherlands,” adds Rory Bett, CEO of festival organiser Mama. “Since the birth of TGE in 2006, DME has worked alongside us to bring the best Dutch artists to the festival; our convention and line-up has grown from strength to strength with their support and incredible music scene.

“Twenty-eighteen is the perfect time to put the very best the Netherlands has to offer at the forefront of our festival.”

TGE returns to Brighton from 17 to 19 May 2018.


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Music biz pays tribute to Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell, the multi-octaved grunge pioneer who won frame fronting Soundgarden and later Audioslave, has died aged 52.

Cornell, who had been touring North America with Soundgarden, passed away last night after a show at the Fox Theatre (5,174-cap.) in Detroit.

In a statement to the Associated Press, the singer’s publicist, Brian Bumbery calls the death “sudden and unexpected” and says Cornell’s wife and family are in shock. He adds that the family would be “working closely with the medical examiner” to determine the cause.

With his gritty, nearly four-octave vocal range and songwriting that centred on unconventional, non-diatonic chord sequences, Cornell’s Soundgarden helped define the ’90s grunge sound along with bands such as Nirvana, the Melvins, Alice and Chains and Pearl Jam.

Following the 1997 dissolution of Soundgarden – who by then had scored two №1 albums with 1994’s Superunknown and 1996’s Down on the Upside – Cornell formed Audioslave, a supergroup also comprising Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Tim Commerford.

He later reformed Soundgarden after a successful solo career, the commercial highlight of which was top-five hit ‘You Know My Name’, the theme song to 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale.

Networking Music’s Ruud Berends, who with Paperclip Agency booked Soundgarden’s first European shows, expresses his “shock and surprise” at Cornell’s passing. “He was only 52… nobody was expecting it,” he comments.

“I can’t even begin to explain how much I’m going to miss his music”

Devraj Sanyal, the managing director of Universal Music Group in South Asia, says he “can’t even begin to explain how much I’m [going to] miss his music. I’m shattered and I’m heartbroken.”

Neil Portnow, the president and CEO of Grammys organiser The Recording Academy, says: “Chris’s extraordinary talent will forever live on and inspire fellow musicians and fans worldwide. We have lost an innovative member of our creative community, and our sincerest condolences go out to Chris’s family, friends, collaborators and all who have been impacted by his outstanding artistry.”

Several venues and festivals have also paid tribute to Cornell on social media. The Royal Albert Hall calls his debut solo show at the venue “one of our stand-out nights of 2016”, while AEG’s BST Hyde Park says Cornell “truly had one of the finest voices in rock and he will be deeply missed”. Live Nation Belgium’s Rock Werchter, meanwhile, expresses its sadness that “an amazing voice, musician, man is gone”.

As have several musicians: Jane Addiction’s Dave Navarro calls Cornell’s passing a “terrible and sad loss”, while Jimmy Page describes the late singer as an “incredible talent, incredibly young [and] incredibly missed”. Billy Idol says he was “sad to hear of Chris Cornell’s passing”, calling him a “great singer and artist”.


This article will be updated with comments from more industry figures as we receive them.


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