Sold-out edition of ESNS brings industry, artists and audience together


37th edition boasts over 44,000 visitors, 315 emerging European artists and over 150 panels, keynotes and networking opportunities.

The 37th edition of ESNS, the showcase festival and conference, has come to a close. Celebrating the return of a live event, ESNS23 (18 to 21 January) welcomed over 40,000 festival visitors and over 4,250 industry professionals from over 50 countries for a fully sold out festival and conference. The 38th edition of ESNS will take place from 17 to 20 January 2024.

Photo: Siese Veenstra

Dago Houben, Director of ESNS says: “The past week has been exceptional. The sector has been struggling and is still recovering from the pandemic, and we see our role as the platform for the European music sector as more important than ever. This edition addressed so many related topics and presented such a diverse and outstanding line-up of European talent. We came back stronger than ever with so many first-time visitors and a sold-out edition of the festival and conference.”

ESNS23 took place live in Groningen for the first time in two years, reinforcing the mission of the showcase festival and conference: connecting the sector, artists and audiences. The music line-up presented 315 emerging artists from 39 European countries. Robert Meijerink, Head of Programme, on ESNS Exchange: “Looking at the first bookings results of ESNS Exchange, the European Talent Exchange Programme, we are seeing a beautiful country spread. With most mentions for artists like Bolis Pupul, Deki Alem, Heartworms, Aime Simone, Club Makumba, eee gee, Monikaze, Alina Pash, Gurriers, Duo Ruut and Marina Herlop. We look forward to seeing how emerging European acts show up in the coming festival summer.”

The conference programme presented over 150 panels, keynotes and networking opportunities; including keynotes with Scott Cohen, Dugi and Dua Lipa, Jonathan Poneman and Bruce Pavitt (Sub Pop) and panels on hotly debated topics including diversity, sustainability in the music industry.

This year, ESNS took big steps towards increasing sustainability, diversity and inclusion. Among others, ESNS introduced an advisory board for diversity and inclusion, launched ESNS Green Touring support and a partnership with green travelling start-up Choo Choo.

During the festival, 40 awards were presented, including the Popprijs 2022 which went to Goldband and Dua Lipa receiving The ESNS Excellence Award, celebrating her success as an ESNS Exchange artist. The MME Awards were presented to Schmyt, July Jones, Oska, Kids Return, and Queralt Lahoz are the winners of the Music Moves Europe Awards 2023. The prestigious MME Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Sans Soucis and the MME Public Choice award was won by Jerry Heil. At European Festival Awards, The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Atlas Festival & Music Saves UA.