ESNS Exchange Celebrates 20 years of supporting new artists


ESNS Exchange, the European Talent Exchange Programme formerly known as ETEP, traces its roots back to 2003 when it was established in response to the significant challenges faced by European pop music in the realms of international promotion and distribution. The primary objective of ESNS Exchange was, and still is, to forge a robust network among stakeholders, with the aim of facilitating, supporting, inspiring, and promoting the unrestricted global circulation of creative European musical talent.

Sigrid at ESNS 2018 Photo by Ben Houdijk

In 2023 ESNS Exchange celebrates its 20-year anniversary. To commemorate this, ESNS Exchange will host a panel at BIME festival in Bilbao on the 25th of October (10:00-10:45), alongside several events and panels during ESNS in January. The ESNS Exchange programme is funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission and is organized in collaboration with Yourope, the export offices and the media partner EBU.

“It is an honor to support and present the diversity of the live music scene in Europe by kickstarting the careers of many new artists for 20 years by Exchange, the European Talent Exchange Programme.

With Exchange the role of the ESNS Conference and Festival has been put to the next level. Exchange as a project connects all parts of Europe and helps artists grow beyond local, cross European borders and around the world.

This is impossible without the strong cooperation with Yourope, our great partner festivals, the export offices, the partners of the European Broadcasting Union, the European Commission and of course all the amazing artists from Europe. We’re looking forward to building the future of the European music scene and ESNS Exchange's role in it.” - says Robert Meijerink (Head of Programme at ESNS & Booker for ESNS Exchange)

With a two-decade history of facilitating the international distribution of European music, artists, and productions, as well as fostering collaborative efforts between the music industry and media to promote acts and their repertoire, ESNS Exchange has witnessed numerous notable achievements. Countless artists have reaped the benefits of this programme, embarking on international tours that span the globe.

CEETEP was also a groundbreaking part of the Exchange Program with the aim to promote the circulation of artists and repertoire of Central East European countries across Europe. During the 5 year project (2012-2015), ESNS and co-organisers Sziget and Exit Festival created a plan to encourage the circulation of CEE artists and repertoire in Central and Eastern Europe with the support of 18 festivals and selected media partners in the CEE region. By working together, the CEETEP project helped more CEE artists perform across borders within Central Eastern Europe, and via shows at ESNS, throughout the whole of Europe and beyond.

To date, ESNS Exchange has supported 2,145 European artists hailing from 35 countries, enabling them to perform at an impressive tally of 5,288 shows across 187 partner festivals in 44 countries.

With supporting over 2,000 European artists over 20 years, ESNS Exchange stood at the base of numerous successful careers such as Editors, Blood Red Shoes, The XX, Iceage, Anna Calvi, Katzenjammer, AURORA, Kae Tempest, Phoenix, Shame, Buraka Som Sistema, Fontaines D.C., Sigrid, Flohio, Marina Satti & Fonés, Altin Gün, Priya Ragu, and many more.

An overview of all the ESNS Exchange results of the past 20 years is now available at ESNS Radar. This includes a line-up archive of over 130 Exchange partner festivals counting ESNS Exchange alumni and the rest of the bookings.

“We wouldn't have done anywhere near as much festivals if it weren't for ESNS” – Shame
“ESNS was a massive step in my career” – Dua Lipa
“Eurosonic was a great way to introduce our Turkish psychedelic sounds to a broader audience" - Altin Gün
“Get your music to the right ears. Highly recommended for young artists” - Kodaline
“[ESNS Exchange] helped us book Aurora at the highest level across Europe.” - Oliver Ward, agent for Aurora

2023 Results update

As the summer festival season of 2023 comes to an end, ESNS Exchange presented 315 shows by 134 acts at 82 festivals, thus far. The most booked act at this moment remains The Haunted Youth with 13 bookings. Deki Alem comes in second with 9 bookings. Avalanche Kaito follows with 8 bookings and Sprints, Tramhaus and UCHE YARA all have 7 bookings. The bookings of the last five festivals of the season, happening in October-November, will be included in the final results at the end of the year.

“[Participating in ESNS Exchange] catapulted us into a new league. A lot of cool shows came from playing at Eurosonic. It really did great things for us!” - The Haunted Youth

Find a full overview of the results of 2023 thus far including more information on the programme at