Conference news: new panels, workshops and dinners announced

A whole lot of new conference panels, workshops and dinners  have been announced. On the Saturday of ESNS there’s a special invite-only networking dinner. International delegates can RSVP here. Please note that this is subject to capacity. Find the artists playing on Saturday evening here. More info about the conference programme on Saturday later in this email.

The delegates database for registered delegates is available via If you have not registered for the conference yet, you can do so at Note that there’s also a special Saturday-only conference registration available as well.

New additions to the conference programme

I’m with the brand 2.0 – G-Star Raw, Yves Saint Laurent, Tony’s Chocolonely
Mutually beneficial relationships between music and brands have been happening ever since the power of a genuine partnership was first recognised. But these days, armed with data generated by digital distribution and social media platforms, smart marketers are able to create far more strategic and targeted partnerships with artists, allowing them to dive deeper into consumer’s lives.

In this panel Isabelle Tardieu – Yves Saint Laurent (FR) will tell you more about their latest partnership with Dua Lipa and the music strategy behind Air France. Thecla Schaeffer, who was behind the cooperation between G-Star RAW and Pharell Williams, and is now working for Tony’s Chocolonely, will go into more depth about creating strategic and targeted partnerships with artists. Moderated by Sarah-Jane Nicholson – SJN Agency (ZA).

Beer crates: Natasha Padabed & Olaf Furniss
Another two industry legends will take the infamous seat during their Beer Crate session: Natasha Padabed, who serves as the programme director of the oldest Russian contemporary music festival SKIF, and booking mostly Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian artists with her More Zvukov Agency. Scottish Olaf Furniss is founder of Wide Days and Music Tourist consultancy, which hosted the world’s first music tourism summit. Great people, great stories, a laugh and a drink. What else do you need?

Climate emergency
Within the past year the climate challenge finally gained the public awareness it would have needed for decades. There’s definitely movement in the world today and in our industry as well, but let’s be honest: are we doing enough? Holger Schmidt – GO Group (DE), Claire O’Neill – A Greener Festival (GB) and Chris Tofu – Continental Drifts (GB) will discuss what consequent next steps we have to take to turn around within the ten years we have. When is the music industry declaring climate emergency? This panel is directly followed by the Greener Festival Awards.

Cultural Policy Programme

Music Moves Europe is the framework for the European Commission’s initiatives and actions regarding the European music sector. With the first projects being granted and in progress, the European Commission will give in-dept update about the process so far, which projects and calls are currently running and what the future will hold.

In 2020 the new policy on culture of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science will be established for the period from 2021 to 2024. The government’s ambition is to regionalize culture. But what exactly does that mean? What are the roles and responsibilities of the various tiers of government and what do the politicians – SP, VVD, D66 and PvdA – themselves think should be done?

Why every promoter needs a data-scientist
New possibilities of gathering and analyzing data by the means of intelligent algorithms are now available. In this talk you will find out how these possibilities enable promoters to accurately predict tickets sales and optimally steer their marketing activities.

VNPF presents: Fair Practice and Fair Play
VNPF, the Dutch association for venues and festivals, is diving deep into the debate around the Fair Practice Code, which started a broad dialogue about themes like fair pay, inclusion and diversity in the cultural field. They round up the discussion with a presentation of the annual venue data, looking into what the fair practice code could mean for a venue, artist and crew.

Pre-sign events

Foosball competition
The infamous ESNS foosball competition will take place on the Thursday and Friday of ESNS, hosted again by the legendary Pohoda Festival (SK). Make sure you sign up with a team (2 persons) and join the competition here.

Creative Europe Desk Speedmeetings
Join in to get more information about the funding opportunities of the Creative Europe programme and the new Music Moves Europe initiatives of the European Commission! This year, desks from The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and Ukraine will be present. Sign up for a meeting here.

IMMF Management Masterclasses
The objective is to engage artists, managers and professionals in a networking environment. Across two hours participants will meet 8 experts who will share their experiences across 4 topics: Brand, Songs, Live and Deals. Sign up here.

SAY HI! Soundwalks
During the SAY HI! Soundwalks on Thursday and Friday morning, groups of 10 to 12 persons will be guided through some very special locations in Groningen where various Swiss artists will offer intimate insights into their musical activities. Sign up here.

The ESNS Saturday: Conference, Networking dinner & Noorderslag festival

ESNS previously announced the upgrade of the ESNS Saturday with a brand new venue; Forum Groningen. During this day, there are a lot interesting panels scheduled, covering most departments of the music industry. Here are some highlights of the Saturday.

Labels: data is king
Nowadays data is almost as important as the music itself. STOMP, the Dutch Trade Association of Independent labels, will discuss how to gain proper insight into data and how acts can use data for concert planning and to more effectively target audience groups.

Artist & Management: Entrepreneurship
Almost every musician starts as a small entrepreneur. Some artists grow in that role and continue to run their own company, some prefer to hand things over as soon as possible. BAM! starts a conversation with enterprising musicians and songwriters about the do’s and don’ts of musical entrepreneurship.

Promoters: doing the job for the elite?
In the last twenty years European festivals, arenas and venues experienced an increasing number of visitors but were also confronted with ever increasing artists fees, eventually resulting in ticket prices going up. Does this mean that we are excluding young people, and are we ‘promoting for the elite‘?

Media: Dutch Pop Media Award
The Pop Media Award is awarded to a Dutch pop journalist for his entire body of work, with a special focus on exceptional work in the past year. The prize is focused on publications about pop music. Last year, the prize was awarded to radio-dj Fernando Halman (FunX).

Policies: Dutch top-sector policy
Top-Sector Policy: what’s in it for me? With the members of the Top Team, this panel will focus on the possibilities for venues and festivals how to make optimum use of all regulations and instruments that are offered within Top-Sector Policy – Creative Industries. The Johan Cruijff ArenA also shares a number of experiences that they have gained in their SAX innovation program, financed through Topsector funds.

Event production: freelancers or employees?
We need to take in account the new developments in labor law and tax law in 2020. Work is also underway on replacing the Deregulation Assessment of Labor Relations (DBA) Act, which has replaced the VAR since 2016. Both developments have consequences for artists, venues and festivals and others in the music business. But how can you best deal with them?

Composers: revenues on decline?
The Dutch government is aiming to stop advertising on public television before 8 p.m. and a complete advertising ban in the online presence of the public channels. These rulings will have a big impact on revenues for composers and publishers. The current revenues from online usage cannot compensate this decline. Does the new EU Copyright Directive offer a helping hand?

Venues: what to do to secure a bright future?
You don’t have to be a fortune teller to realise that many venues will get into trouble somewhere in the coming years. Jeroen van Erp (Fabrique) will paint a dark picture of the future, but also sketch the bright possibilities for venues. Followed by a panel discussion with three venue directors whether the sketched image is real or much too apocalyptic.