ESNS free-to-access programme


At ESNS, not only ticket-holders can enjoy the programme, there is also a lot to experience randomly and for free. See what you can discover.

Photo: Iona Iorgu


ESNS Air returns to the Grote Markt in the centre of Groningen. Enjoy free upcoming and well-known acts in the big tent, where there is room for as many as 1,500 visitors. Take a look at the programme of ESNS Air from 17 to 20 January via the timetable.

ESNS ART - Kunstpunt

During this edition of ESNS, be surprised by two temporary works of art in the centre of Groningen. This encounter between art and music introduces you to local and national visual art talent. Michiel Teeuw presents a performance called Rocks, Resting, and a series of graphic posters by Montessori (vak)lyceum students will be displayed. The artworks are placed in the context of ESNS ART, a collaboration between Kunstpunt and ESNS, and will be displayed in the city centre of Groningen from 18 to 20 January.

ESNS ART - Rocks, Resting - Michiel Teeuw at Grote Markt

The performance Rocks, Resting forms an oasis of peace and quiet in the middle of the bustling festival and city centre on the Grote Markt. With the performance, artist Michiel Teeuw investigates our exhausted society. Why are so many people exhausted, and what would a rested society look like? Can we make space for other life rhythms in our high-speed society? To explore these questions, Teeuw works with all kinds of people: exhausted by illness and disability, burnouts and societal discrimination. The performance will take place intermittently on the Grote Markt during ESNS AIR.

ESNS ART - Notes to the Future at Grote Markt

How does the young generation view our society of exhaustion? During workshops run by Michiel Teeuw and spoken word artist Cissy Joan, students from the Montessori (vak)lyceum reflected on this. The result is a series of typographic posters, in which they take positions on topics such as exhaustion, work pressure, mental health and the economy. New posters will be added every day during the festival.

Rocks, Resting and Notes to the Future are made possible in part by a contribution from the ELJA Foundation, Mondriaan Fonds en Kunstpunt Groningen.

The European Poster Explosion - in cooperation with Vera Artdivision and Kunstlievend Genootschap Pictura

Pictura, Sint Walburgstraat 1, Groningen

Make sure to drop by The European Poster Explosion and check out some amazing silkscreen posters, art prints and other merchandise from all around Europe.

In total there are more than 15 European designers and studios from many different countries on display at EPEX: Handprinted stuff (NL), Apes of Doom (DE), Simon Marchner (DE), Miss Felidae (AUS), Giov (BE), Clockwork Pictures (IT), Spiegelsaal (DE), Thomas Perrodin (CH), VERA Art Division (NL) and more.

Silent Struggle - Saskia Stolz


The statue Silent Struggle by artist Saskia Stolz calls attention to young people with mental problems in hopes to start the conversation around depression and suicide among young people. Suicide is the number one cause of death among people under the age of 30 in the Netherlands. The amount of suicides in Groningen is much higher than the national average.

The artist wants to draw attention to a large number of young people who walk around with feelings of depression or suicide but are afraid to talk about it, most of them fighting a silent battle. There is still a taboo around talking about depressing thoughts, even though talking and sharing the thoughts can help. Silent Struggle travels across the Netherlands to draw attention to this important issue.

The statue will be in Groningen from January 15 to 29.

Discover all ESNS ART here.

Photo: Bastiaan Musscher


In the Oude Ebbingestraat, Platosonic traditionally takes place at the record shop Plato and the Coffee Company; the official daytime in-store festival, featuring bands and artists who also play at ESNS. Platosonic is free to enter and takes place from Thursday, January 18 to Saturday, January 20, 2024. Take a look at the timetables here.

Artists playing at Platosonic are;

Jazzygold, AySay (solo), MELIN MELYN, Joker Out (up close), Loupe, BLUAI, Fat Dog, Get Jealous, Lambrini Girls, I Love You Honey Bunny, Loverman, Izzy and the Black Trees, Joalin, English Teacher, Viji, Wax Museum, Nusantara Beat, Froukje (acoustic), Hiqpy, comforter2, YĪN YĪN, The Indien, Dorpsstraat 3, Us, Porcelain Id, ML, néomí, LÓN, Monte Mai, Kitty Florentine, Duckshell (acoustic), Conchúr White, Catt (solo), Sarah Julia, Oskar Haag, JOON, THALA, Marta Del Grandi, Cocobolo, Droom Dit, Morpheus, ISHA, Brass Rave Unit.


NOORD is a unique collaboration to stimulate the professional development of northern makers and acts in hip-hop and pop culture. Because of its core activities and partnerships, the platform offers makers and acts in pop culture a first push to operate (inter)nationally from the north.

Curious what these Northern Dutch makers sound like? At The Social Hub in Groningen, you will find a number of acts from UpNorth, Hit the North and alumni of Hit the North every evening from 17 to 19 January 2024. Curious about the talents from Drenthe, Groningen and Friesland? Then be sure to drop by and discover the acts!

Hit the North showcases

Hit the North is the talent development project of ESNS, among others. Every year, in January, a group of talented acts from the North of the Netherlands starts and is offered coaching, knowledge, guidance and showcases for a year. They conclude their year with an official showcase at ESNS.

Coco Coquelicot, Rommy Gabay, Given SKI, Lisa Ploeger, Marit Nygård, Never Been to Berlin, SSTO will give their showcase from Thursday till Saturday at The Social Hub. Check the dates and time slots here.

Hit the North is organised by ESNS, Into the Great Wide Open, Popfabryk, POPgroningen, Stichting Kunst & Cultuur and Noordstaat.


Grunnsonic is a free showcase festival of Groningen-based musical talent that takes place during ESNS. Grunnsonic, a joint initiative between ESNS and POPgroningen, allows local acts to present themselves to the general public and the music professionals present at ESNS. This year Grunnsonic takes place from January 17th until January 19th at Het Pakhuis, Warhol, Het Concerthuis and KLUP DE DAG. Find more information here.

The artists that will be playing are: Bad Luck Baby, Bibi & The Boys, Calidus, CAW CAW, De Koots, Hister, Jelle Mulder, Jooz, Lange Mannen Met Haast, Leuk Gevonden, Liza Dries, Mart Eerens, not sure, Redson, Robin Yzerman, shoom, Slumber-cloud, TAXITAXI, tays, whothefislou, YLVALIE.

Marshall Showcase

Join Marshall in celebrating some of the best talent to come out of the UK. All bands are relentlessly touring Europe, have your “I was there!” moment at the Marshall showcase.

Artists that will be playing are: the Dream Nails, The Meffs, Hotel Lux and King Nun. The shows are on Thursday from 5-8 pm at Blokes.

Roze Zaterdag Talentroom

Roze Zaterdag Groningen is hosting the Talent Room at The Social Hub on Friday 19 January. In collaboration with Spot TV, an evening dedicated to Pink Saturday with some acts playing live and taking place in the Spot studio. More info on the socials of Pink Saturday Groningen and Pride Groningen. Acts will be announced soon.

Penguin radio showcases

3 Days, 10+ stages, 250 bands, 3 sisters. The 'stages' are hosted by education programs, managers and bookers who feel their act needs to be prepared for the next step: ESNS. Once inside De Drie Gezusters, visitors are guaranteed to get lost among all the stages. That way, you will discover all sorts of acts you would never have seen otherwise.

The Penguin Showcases at De Drie Gezusters will take place on Wednesday 17 January till Friday 20 January from 5-8 pm.


De Rooie Jager presents: JAGERSONIC: HET ROER GAAT OM. This year’s acts are SHA LA LEES, ANITA VAN DE RAPSODIES, ARSON and many more!

Jagersonic takes place on Saturday 20 January from 1.30 pm - 10 pm in VERA Groningen.