Frans Timmermans to address Green Deal and recovery of music industry in ESNS opening keynote

Frans Timmermans will open the ESNS conference with a keynote addressing the Green Deal and recovery of the music industry on Wednesday January 19 (9:35 hrs CET). As Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Timmermans is responsible for the Green Deal. How the Green Deal will affect the music industry in the decisive next few years ahead, is one of the questions Timmermans’ speech will address.

As the theme of the ESNS 2022 conference is ‘Building Back Better Together’, sustainability and a more diverse industry are the most important topics during the week. After almost two years of regulations around the pandemic, it is time to look forward and focus on how we can build the live industry back better, together. “Music is first and foremost part of what makes us human. But music can also be a form of protest and political mobilization. Many artists already use music to convey their message. Why not make it a climate message?”, states Timmermans.

“Music is also an industry and as such it is exposed to the impact of COVID-19. It is also in need of transformation to become fit for a carbon neutral future. But the upside is that there are plenty of opportunities where the music industry can support the transition to a climate neutral future. On the one hand the industry itself offers ample potential to be decarbonised. On the other hand, and maybe even more important, music is one of the best messengers in challenging times.”

One of the hot topics Timmermans will address in his keynote is touring and traveling, a controversial matter. He states: “The recovery of the cultural and creative sectors must go hand in hand with ecological sustainability. There are already several good ideas like improving touring planning to minimise travels of the music industry. I’m very optimistic regarding the potential for innovation in the music sector, and especially the dedication and willingness of everybody in the sector that wants to be part of the solution, not the problem.”

ESNS will dive deeper in both recovery and sustainability for the music industry at the conference. After the Timmermans opening keynote (Wednesday January 19, 9:35 hrs), the conference will touch on these topics. More on the Green Deal and recovery will be discussed at the ESNS conference, with the panel The EU’s Green Deal – Where does the music fit? with Claire O’Neill (A Greener Festival), Niklas Nienass (European Parliament), Holger Jan Schmidt (Yourope), Laurence Graff (European Commission), moderated by Greener Event’s Linnéa Svensson.

The music industry, and especially the live music sector, has to adjust to more strict standards of the Green Deal by 2030. To act on the Green Deal, a proactive and thorough way of taking steps is necessary. Marjan Minnesma, director of Urgenda, will give a keynote on this, called Scale up and Hurry up!, on Friday the 21st.

Emmanuel Legrand will moderate Recovery of the Music Sector – Where Are We Now? with Burak Özgen (GESAC), Mikolaj Ziółkowski (Open’er Festival), Susanne Hollmann (European Commission) and Erminia Sciacchitano (Ministry of Culture of Italy) to hear how the festivals were impacted and where they stand today. The full programme is available on the website,

ESNS takes place – entirely online – from January 19 – 22, 2022. Tickets for the digital conference are available for €99,- 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.

About ESNS
ESNS is a non-profit showcase festival for European artists, and a conference with panels, keynotes, interviews, and gatherings on the latest developments in the international and European music industry. ESNS’s mission is to stimulate and further promote the circulation of European music, and to give European artists a steppingstone onto international success.
During the four-day showcase festival, musical talent gets the chance to present itself to an international audience of professionals in the music industry and to fans. On ESNS Thursday, the awards ceremony for upcoming European artists takes place, as the Music Moves Europe Awards. Noorderslag on Saturday serves as a good indication of Dutch pop music, with the Popprijs, Pop Media Prijs and the IJzeren Podiumdieren award.

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