ESNS Conference: first panels and speakers announced

The first panels, keynotes and speakers for the ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) conference have been announced. A diverse range of topics will be presented in the panels and keynotes, ranging from the current developments in the music industry, its future and current affairs.

The music business is an ever changing industry, a topic that Mark Mulligan, the director of MiDia Research (UK) covers in his keynote speech about the future of music, the rise of a business counterculture. Mulligan presents a bold future of what the music business could look like, building on the trends that are reshaping the music business today. A new generation of companies is already building the foundations for that future, putting the audience and the creator first.

The panel about Fan Powered Royalty (FPR) dives deeper into that subject. Kriss Thakrar (MiDiA Research, UK) and Helienne Lindvall (Swede as Candy Music, SE) investigate what FPR is, how it differs from user centric payments and how can it be ‘the foundation’ for a new music business that is built around artists, their fans, and recognition and remuneration.

Going Green

The conference programme also aims to reflect on current affairs. Topics like sustainability, mental health, the Green Deal and inclusivity will be prominently featured. The need and willingness for change in favor of sustainability is increasing but challenging questions remain. How does green touring work? How can festivals lessen their footprint?

Earlier this year, ESNS already launched Green Touring Support, where artists can propose their transportation plans to the festival and get offered financial compensation for the difference between the conventional option (e.g. travel by airplane) and the greener option (e.g. travel by train) and renting local equipment. Furthermore, during the conference, representatives from Øya Festival (NO) and Roskilde Festival (DK) are present to share examples and best practices from years of working with green transition and sustainable development to inspire everyone.

With the aim to develop green initiatives and meet the EU objectives of reducing emissions by at least 55% by 2030, EU officials, industry professionals and climate experts will be brought together in the Going Green Panel. Together, they will take stock of the state of play and exchange views on what needs to be done, what the music sector has already been doing and how the EU might be able to help going forward.


As we all know, the music industry can be an overwhelming place to work in. We’re happy to invite Anne Löhr from Mental Health in Music to the conference for the third time. As psychologist, therapist and coach specialized in the creative and music industries, Löhr offers her services during ESNS 2023 Conference to musicians and music professionals to help them cope with all questions related to mental health in the music business. The 1 hour coaching-sessions will have to be booked in advance. There will also be designated ‘silent spaces’, where delegates can retreat and recharge during the event.

Focus on Spain

ESNS23 is thrilled to give the stage to Spain. Focus on Spain is presented in close collaboration with The Spanish Wave and diverse regions of Spain. To get the latest word from this year’s focus country, we spoke to the head of The Spanish Wave, Live Nation Spain, Director of AMF and long-esteemed part of the European music industry César Andión, who describes the contemporary music scene in his country as “exciting, young, fresh, hot, exportable”. The entire interview can be found here.

Get your registrations for the ESNS conference here.

ESNS23 tickets

Tickets to the festival are available here.

ESNS23 playlist

To get familiar with the artists you will be able to discover in Groningen, a playlist has been created with all the confirmed acts for ESNS23. Listen here.

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, with now well-known names such as Altin Gün, Arlo Parks, Alyona Alyona, Daði Freyr, Dua Lipa, Fontaines D.C., Hinds, Go_A, girl in red, Meduza, Meskerem Mees, MYD, Priya Ragu, Pip Blom, Pongo, Sigrid, and Wet Leg.

Each January, ESNS showcases 350 emerging European artists to over 40,000 visitors. The festival and conference attract over 4,000 music industry professionals, including 400 international festivals. By day, the front-running conference hosts over 150 panel discussions, interviews, keynotes and more that take on urgent subjects and the need for social change in the music industry. By night, European acts perform across 40 locations in the heart of Groningen from Wednesday to Friday, and Saturday presents upcoming Dutch artists in concert venue De Oosterpoort.

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