ESNS freely accessible programme


There is a lot to experience during ESNS for which you need a ticket, but some activities are freely accessible. Here is an overview:

Eurosonic air

Eurosonic air returns to the Grote Markt in the centre of Groningen. Enter the big tent, where there is room for as many as 1,500 visitors and enjoy upcoming and well-known artists.

View the programme of Eurosonic air from 18 to 21 January via the timetable.

ESNS ART - Kunstpunt

The surprising encounter between art and music introduces festival visitors and residents of Groningen to local and national visual arts talent. On show is a sound installation by Davey Smand, a metal sculpture by Eirik Jahnsen and a light artwork by Nicky Assmann and Joris Strijbos.

The artworks will be scattered in Groningen city centre from 18 to 22 January.

ESNS ART - Pride Photo Exhibition 2022

For the second year in a row, Pride Photo is visiting the city with its open-air photo exhibition. This year's theme is 'Celebrating the Unseen', through which Pride Photo aims to highlight the most unseen groups and unknown stories from the lhbti+ community.

The exhibition can be visited outside at the Akerk from 17 January to 6 February.

ESNS ART - Vera Artdivision and Kunstlievend Genootschap Pictura

It is by now a well-known phenomenon among visitors to shows in Vera; the beautiful screen prints made by the Vera Artdivision. This year, the Vera Artdivision's thirteen designers are exhibiting at the European Poster Explosion in Pictura, Groningen. Upstairs in the gallery space is the exhibition of all kinds of posters from Vera shows. Downstairs, you can watch how screen printing is done.

The European Poster Explosion is open from 18 to 21 January, from 1 pm to 6 pm at Pictura, Sint Walburgstraat 1, Groningen.

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. Dylamic, Fred Goverde, HISTORIAN, Johnny loves me, Moonloops, Seb Zukini, Steeby and Traversus will give their showcase on Thursday and Friday at VRIJDAG. DJs Benwal, renceau and Verity will perform during ESNS@Night from Friday to Saturday night in Smoke.

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

Dates and times:

Thursday, January 19 from 8.30 pm till midnight, VRIJDAG Sint Jansstraat.

Friday, 20 January from 7.30 pm to 11 pm, FRIDAY Sint Jansstraat.

Friday to Saturday night, 21 January from 1 am to 6 am, Smoke.

NOORD in Vrijdag

Every year, NOORD is the hub for Northern pop culture during ESNS. Together with musicians, policymakers, festivals and pop organisations from the Northern Netherlands, ESNS organises a programme full of panels and talks on music policy, (international) talent development and supporting creators. On Thursday and Friday night, VRIJDAG will be transformed into a Eurosonic venue and Hit the North acts will perform. On Friday and Saturday afternoon, there will be showcases by more acts from the Northern Netherlands. NOORD in Vrijdag takes place this year at, how could it be otherwise, VRIJDAG in Sint Jansstraat.

Extra timetable

Play to Rec sessions

NOORD organises The Open Studio Sessions (by From Play to Rec): public live recording sessions organised in unusual places, a format between live music and studio production.

On Friday 20 January, 30-minute live recordings will start at 11 am, 2 pm & 4 pm at VRIJDAG (Sint Jansstraat).

War Child session

ESNS and War Child find each other in their belief in the connecting power of music. ESNS, therefore, like to offer War Child a platform to reach a wide audience with their message. Katie Koss, part of Noorderslag's line-up, went to a refugee reception centre in Moldova with War Child. Their goal: to make a small difference to the refugee Ukrainian children with Katie's music.

This session is themed 'The Power of Music' and will take place on Saturday 21 January at 1 pm at Forum.


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 19 to Saturday, January 21, 2023.

Confirmed for Platosonic 2023; Adwaith (uk-wal), Albertine Sarges (de), Amina (nl), Árný Margrét (is), Beharie (no), Catherine Graindorge (be), Ciel (nl/uk-Eng), Combo Qazam (nl), Danai Nielsen (gr), Dobrawa Czocher (pl), Donkey Kid (de), Really! (be), Elephant (nl), Elia Lombardini (fi), Francis Of Delirium (lux), freekind. (si), Heartworms (uk-eng), Ila (be), Katie Gregson-MacLeod (uk-sco), Keg (uk-eng), Kymara (nl), Kóboykex (fo), M. Lucky (nl), Marathon (nl), Marta Knight (es), Maxine (nl), Metteson (no), Nusantara Beat (nl), Néomí (nl), Pantaloons (si), Pitou (nl), Robin Kester (nl), Roufaida (nl), Shanghai Baby (es), Solomon (nl), Sprints (ie), The Bug Club (uk), The Mary Wallopers (ie), The Vices (nl), Tramhaus (nl), Waterbaby (se), Yo Diablo (es), and Zimbru (ro).

The selection was made with former Plato Groningen boss Appie Clermonts in mind. The familiar face was at the record shop from 1998 to 2020 and opened countless doors for young artists from Groningen. ESNS considered Appie part of the team and we enjoyed the long collaboration immensely. Appie passed away in November from the effects of ALS. Our condolences go out to family and loved ones. Appie Clermonts will be missed.

Dates and times:

Thursday January 19 | noon - 7pm

Friday 20 January | noon - 6.10 pm

Saturday 21 January | noon - 4.30 pm


Alternative pop singer/songwriter and artist Eliën is based in the Netherlands. She first came into view in 2019 while writing her album during a road trip through Europe. Her dreamy synths, polyphonic drifts and dark downtempo grooves take you on a journey through the depths of her mind.

In her camper van on the Waagplein in Groningen, she will give intimate performances during ESNS on Wednesday 18, Thursday, January 19 and Friday 20 January from 7.30 - 8.10 pm.

Penguin radio showcases

3 Days, 10 stages and more than 250 acts. 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 18 January from 4.30-2.30 pm and Thursday 19 and Friday 20 January from 3.30-2.30 pm.


De Rooie Jager presents: JAGERSONIC - Taking care of Ambiance in VERA Groningen. After two cancelled editions, the line-up is now packed! It promises to be a legendary edition.

Jagersonic takes place on Saturday 21 January from 1.30 pm - 10 pm in VERA Groningen.