ESNS 2020 conference update

ESNS 2020 is slowly approaching, so we are happy to update you on the conference programme.

Three more days to save big

Before we get to those speakers, we’d like to remind you that you have three more days to save on your ESNS 2020 conference registration. The Medium rate will save you € 70,- on the walk up rate. Registrations for the late rate will be available on Friday. Get your conference registration here.

Keynote Jonathan Poneman (Sub Pop)
In 1987 Jonathan Poneman partnered with Bruce Pavitt to found Sub Pop Records, which would grow out to be 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 so many of 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 1990s. 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 AWAL, Kobalt’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.

Previously we announced that Martin Goldsmith (Cooking Vinyl) will travel to Groningen for a keynote, Rob Trommelen (MOJO) will host a beer crate and The Dickins Family – Barry, Lucy and Jonathan – will share a stage for the first time in history.

IMMF Management Masterclasses
Just like last year, ESNS  will organise music managers masterclasses together with the IMMF. The objective of the sessions is to engage artists, self-managed artists, managers and professionals in a networking environment. The music industry is always evolving, we are always learning, this event is ideal for anyone looking to develop their knowledge. 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 decades experience in assessing festivals and events around the world. Training focuses on the key operational issues of events which create an impact on the environment 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. Since 2000, the YES Group has been at the forefront of event and crowded space safety in Europe, organising Health & Safety Seminars for event organisers.  The seminars cover topics like: crisis communication, emergency planning, psychological pressure in incident decision-making, implementing crisis management within the organisation 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 visit

ESNS Podcast S01E03: Cutting out the Middle Man
Imagine a world where labels are a thing of the past, where more or less every act bypasses the process that we all assumed was cast in stone, and then suddenly that kind of mass disruption, which would affect thousands and thousands of jobs, really does seem like a big deal. But as streaming platforms mature as businesses it is merely logical that they should seek to expand and deepen their relationships with artists. But where does leave the labels, and what can they do to stay relevant and useful? And how does all this impact on the artists? Who will do their marketing and who will have their back when things aren’t going so well? with Ric Salmon, ATC Management (GB), Stephen O’Reilly, ie:music (IE) Cliff  Fluet, Eleven Advisory (GB) and Rachael Patterson, K7 (GB). Moderated by Gary Smith.

More info regarding the programme to follow soon!

Nikki McNeill| Global Publicity

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