ESNS 2021; thirty-fifth edition, both physical and digital


ESNS 2021; thirty-fifth edition, both physical and digital

Focus on European music during European Music Week

The conference and showcase festival ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) will go ahead as live as possible in 2021. Taking place in Groningen from 13 to 16 January 2021, ESNS is the key exchange and networking platform for European music, European artists, international music industry, production and interactive professionals, companies, and organizations.

The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for the music sector have been disastrous. The worldwide shutdown of almost every live event means an unprecedented blow for everyone working in this sector.

Creative director Robert Meijerink: “There’s all the more reason to get together again in Groningen in January 2021 and to review and anticipate the future. It is precisely these uncertain times that call for an opportunity to open the dialogue, to support and inspire, to learn from each other, and ultimately to regain trust for hopeful times ahead. Last but not least, ESNS wants to organize an event that does justice to its mission; stimulating and promoting the circulation of new European music. The necessity has never been so great.”

ESNS 2021 will be preceded by the European Music Week; a digital platform in which a large number of partners join forces to promote (new) European music and give the European live music sector center stage. With this, ESNS and its partners want to make a constructive contribution to a new future for European pop music.

In many ways, the 35th edition will be different from previous years. The current restrictions to contain the pandemic require the necessary adjustments for the physical edition, but this edition is widely supported in a digital form, both for the conference and the showcase festival. Either way, the focus on Europe is greater than ever. While ESNS previously highlighted a focus country every year, for its upcoming edition ESNS chose to focus on all of Europe.

This modified edition gives ESNS the opportunity to once again offer emerging European talent to take center stage at Eurosonic with the presentation of the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards on Friday and Dutch talent will perform at Noorderslag, the traditional barometer of Dutch pop music. The conference provides extended networking and business opportunities where delegates engage in dialogue to discuss the state of the industry and how to deal with the current crisis. Both the festival and the conference are organized with the safety of visitors, delegates, and artists as the highest priority. In addition, ESNS provides sufficient and safe facilities for the international media that travel to Groningen to report on ESNS 2021.

ESNS director Dago Houben said:
“The music sector has been hit hard. But we feel strengthened by the hundreds of music professionals from home and abroad who have still bought a registration for ESNS 2021 in recent months, despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. We feel that as a call from the sector. In addition, we receive tremendous support from a large number of partners, not to mention the authorities who indirectly supported us to let us do what we are good at; stimulate the circulation of European music. This extra support gives us the opportunity to drastically reduce the price of our event to make it as accessible as possible for everyone. We are developing an accessible digital edition for people who are not yet allowed to, or who are otherwise not able to travel.”

The ESNS team is working hard on the festival and the conference program to adhere to all applicable guidelines.

Details will become clear in the coming month and will be announced as soon as possible. ESNS is giving a substantial discount on conference tickets for the 2021 edition.


The conference ticket price for 2021 will be a fixed price of € 195 and the ticket for Young professionals (<28 years) will be € 115. This includes access to the digital environment with live streams, on-demand panels and showcases, access to a network environment, and database. The ticket to enter the digital offer is € 50,-. Registrations are available through For those who have already purchased a registration, a suitable solution is available and will be notified.

About ESNS

ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) is the key exchange platform for emerging European music talent, with a proven track record of helping to break new acts on the international music scene. ESNS stages showcase alongside offering a full conference program with panels and keynotes, alongside multiple networking opportunities and award ceremonies. The event attracts conference delegates from all sections of the entertainment industry, including representatives of over festivals from all over the world.