ESNS 2021; Thirty-fifth edition of ESNS becomes fully digital

The conference and showcase festival ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) in Groningen will now be a fully digital edition in 2021. Given the current situation and government guidelines organizing a physical edition is no longer feasible. This means that the program of both the festival and the conference will be presented as a digital platform from 13 to 16 January 2021.

The digital edition will continue the mission of ESNS; promoting and circulating new European music as well as offering many new networking opportunities and more reach through ESNS’ online channels and media partners.

Robert Meijerink, ESNS Head of Programme says:
“Although we are sad that the acts, audience and music professionals cannot meet each other live in Groningen we think that’s it’s very important in these challenging times, to bring the people of the live music sector, artists, venues & festivals and media together during the digital edition of the ESNS and as the key exchange for emerging European music talent, we will work hard to make sure we continue to provide that platform to new artists. ESNS Digital will consist of a Showcase Festival, The Conference focussing on the “Road to Recovery” and an online edition of the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards”.

In the past months, it has become increasingly clear how big the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are for the music sector. The world-wide shutdown of events represents an unprecedented blow to anyone working in the (live) music sector. As a result, the need to get together is greater than ever. With the digital platform, ESNS will provide opportunities to inspire each other, to enter into a dialogue, and to learn from recent developments. With ‘The road to recovery’ as the theme of the conference, ESNS aims to bring the industry together, regain confidence, face the current crisis and make a constructive contribution to the future of the European music industry.

January 2021 is the perfect time to look ahead and discuss strategies around the re-opening of the live music scene as we know it and to evaluate where we are on medication, vaccine, and fast testing. Looking at the impact on mental health within the industry and finding solutions to sustainability will also be a focus as well as lobbying members of the European Parliament for support of the sector.

Speakers already confirmed for the upcoming edition include Keith Harris talking with Sammy Andrews about equality and racism in the music industry, Mark Mulligan (CEO and analyst at MIDiA Research), Tom Windish & Mike Malak (agents with Paradigm for Billie Eilish, among others) talk to Cherie Hu, Warner Music’s Scott Cohen interviewed by Muki Kulhan, Prof. Dr. Katja Ehrenburg in conversation with Holger Jan Schmidt on mental health, Raphaella Lima (EA Games) on music in games, and Claire O’Neil (A Greener Festival) will talk about the importance of sustainability.

Prior to ESNS 2021, more online discussions will take place in November: On Wednesday 11 November Dutch politicians will discuss policy regarding the culture and music sector, streamed live on YouTube and Facebook. On Thursday 19 November, representatives of European clubs and venues talk about the impact of the pandemic.

The digital edition gives ESNS the opportunity to once again offer emerging European talent a large stage at Eurosonic and the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards ceremony on Friday. Dutch talent takes centre stage on Saturday; when Noorderslag presents the traditional barometer of Dutch pop music.

ESNS Registrations
The ticket price for a digital ESNS is € 50,-.This includes access to the digital environment with live streams, on-demand panels, keynotes, sessions and showcases, access to a networking platform, and database.

Tickets for ESNS 2021 will give long-term access to the program and database of this digital edition and a discount on the registration of the subsequent edition in 2022. Registrations are available through

For those who have already purchased a registration for the hybrid event, they will be contacted directly.

About ESNS
ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) is the key exchange for emerging European music talent, with a proven track record of helping to break new acts on the international music scene. ESNS stages many showcases alongside offering a full conference programme of panels and keynotes, alongside multiple networking opportunities and award ceremonies. The event attracts conference delegates from all sections of the entertainment industry, including representatives of over 400 festivals. The 2021 edition will be digital-only with a focus on new European music.

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