That’s something that ESNS Exchange really understands. With its primary aim being to connect artists with festivals and events from across the continent, the programme also provides the perfect illustration of the power of live performances, and just how important they can be in both the growth of an act, and their lasting, long term success. Look, for example, at some of the artists from the inaugural year of ESNS Exchange: Norway’s Kaizers Orchestra – who received four festival bookings in four different countries that year – are currently in the midst of an entirely sold out 56-date residency in Norway to celebrate their 2022 Greatest Hits, while elsewhere on that year’s Artist Chart, a little known band called The Libertines were booked to play at Germany’s Haldern Pop following the release of their iconic debut Up the Bracket.
This track record of success – of helping to break the bands of the future – can be seen throughout the two decades of ESNS Exchange. In 2004, Scottish quartet Franz Ferdinand performed at Eurosonic Noorderslag in January before releasing their Mercury Prize-winning self-titled debut just a few weeks later; that year alone they secured 12 festival bookings and catapulted themselves to becoming a mainstay on festival line-ups through to the present day. Then, 2008 alone saw Swedish pop icons Lykki Li and Robyn both earn a slew of bookings, alongside Scottish producer Calvin Harris, fresh from releasing his debut I Created Disco. Harris would not only go on to win an array of awards across the world, including four GRAMMYs – but would also be named as one of the highest paid producers in the world, period.