Keynote Jonathan Poneman (Sub Pop)
In 1987 Jonathan Poneman partnered with Bruce Pavitt to found Sub Pop Records; one of the most influential and groundbreaking independent labels. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the label became synonymous with the ‘grunge sound’ created by its early artists — including Soundgarden, Mudhoney and Nirvana, whose debut ‘Bleach’ remains Sub Pop’s best-selling album. The label has expanded into multiple genres since Pavitt retired in the late 90s. Successes over the past 20 years include The Shins, The Postal Service, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, Beach House and Father John Misty.

Jonathan Poneman was critical in the evolution of the company, the establishment of grunge, and the development of the Seattle sound. Sub Pop recently celebrated its 30th anniversary and remains one of the world’s most vital independent labels, with over 50 million global record sales and over $2 million donated to many nonprofit organizations.

Keynote Paul Hitchman (AWAL, Kobalt)
Paul is President of AWALKobalt’s recorded music business. Prior to joining Kobalt in 2011, Paul was a co-founder of 3 prominent digital music companies: Playlouder, an early innovator in digital music; MSP, a white label music streaming and download platform; and CI, the market leader in digital supply chain services for the indie sector. Paul previously worked at BMG Music and Warner Music. He holds an Economics degree from Cambridge University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and has a history of curating many contemporary art projects.

IMMF Management Masterclasses
ESNS will once again organize music managers masterclasses together with the IMMF. The objective is to engage artists, self-managed 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, Deals, and reflect through tips and insights on what they wish someone had told them earlier in their career.

A Greener Festival Environmental Assessor Training
This 2 full day classroom training is coming to ESNS for the first time, taking place in the days leading up to ESNS, January 14th & 15th. A Greener Festival has developed this course drawing upon more than a decade of experiences in assessing festivals and events around the world. Training focusses on the key operational issues of events which create an impact on the environment and developing the knowledge and skills of participants to undertake environmental assessments.

Costs for the course are £399 + VAT. You can apply by sending your CV or profile and cover note to More info here.

YES Group Health & Safety Seminar
YES Group is the Event Safety Group of Yourope, the European festival association, has been at the forefront of event and crowded space safety in Europe since the year 2000, organizing Health & Safety Seminars for event organizers. The seminars cover topics like: crisis communication, emergency planning, psychological pressure in incident decision-making, implementing crisis management within the organization and  aftermath after emergency.

The YES seminars are managed by a steering committee from within the event and festival industry. These seminars are free to attend for Yourope members. For further information about Yourope membership, please