The 31st edition of Eurosonic Noorderslag took place from 11-14 January 2017, welcoming over 40,300 music fans and 4.200 delegates from all over the world to the city of Groningen. The festival saw showcase performances from 382 acts from over 31 European countries across the three day event. Eurosonic Noorderslag was also aired by radio and television stations from all over Europe, making it one of the biggest media events in Europe. The festival was also honoured with the ‘best festival’ award by the VNPF, the Dutch association of venues and festivals.

“It’s good to see so much interest in European Music” comments Peter Smidt, creative director of Eurosonic Noorderslag. “Eurosonic Noorderslag unites talent, festivals and media, and is directly involved in causing more people to listen to European music.”

The comprehensive Eurosonic Noorderslag conference covered the latest developments in the international music, media, production and interactive industries such as legal matters, streaming, blockchain and new live and media formats.

European Border Breakers Awards
The event kicked off on Wednesday with the 14th edition of EBBA at MartiniPlaza. The award ceremony, presented by Jools Holland, featured nine out of the ten EBBA winners, all performing during the show. The Public Choice Award was won by British artist Dua Lipa. The EBBA will be broadcasted in 12 different countries.

European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP), an initiative of Eurosonic Noorderslag, had their first meeting of 2017 in which 100 festivals named their favourites of this year’s Eurosonic line-up. Acts such as Klangstof (nl), Baloji (be), Roosevelt (de), Skott (se), Shame (gb), Onuka (ua), Tommy Cash (ee) and Her (fr) will be seen at festivals across Europe and beyond.

During the Eurosonic Noorderslag conference the present state of the European music industry was covered from several perspectives. Amongst the 150 panels and meetings of the conference programme, Eurosonic Noorderslag hosted a special programme about the Future of Media. Chris Price’s (BBC) keynote and the Data or DJ panel started a discussion on whether or not the future will be dominated by algorithms or curators. Buma Music Meets Tech presented a keynote by SXSW head of conference programming Todd Hansen. The BMMT pitch was won by the Guts, an app which counteracts secondhand ticketing and ticketing fraud.

Other highlights of Eurosonic Noorderslag 2017:

  • International media. This year, Eurosonic Noorderslag was aired live in 17 different countries. In total, the event was broadcast on television and radio in 34 different countries. Amongst others, BBC Radio 1 did a live broadcast and French/German channel Arte did a livestream from Der Aa-Kerk. Furthermore, VPRO hosted ESNS 3voor12 sessions with many different Eurosonic Noorderslag acts. German television show Rockpalast filmed a great amount of acts, Noorderslag was broadcasted live on television by NPO 3 and more than 10 hours were broadcast live by Portuguese radio-station Antena 3.
  • The second year of the European Production and Innovation Conference (EPIC) witnessed a growth in the number of delegates participating and the amount of programme items, which highlighted themes such as sustainable garbage-disposal, energy, crowd-control and terrorism. ‘The high quality of panels, participating speakers and the growth in the amount of Dutch and international professionals was a pleasant surprise,’ says Willem Westerman of the Dutch Coöperation of Event-organisers. (VVEM).
  • Music Moves Europe: Barbara Gessler, head of Creative Europe, spoke out for a continuous dialogue with the European music sector on a possible support programme of the European Union.
  • Awards: As in previous years, Eurosonic Noorderslag hosted award ceremonies such as the European Festival Awards, European Border Breakers awards, the Dutch Pop Media Award and the ‘IJzeren Podiumdieren’ by the VNPF.

Eurosonic Noorderslag 2017 in numbers:

  • Total number of visitors: 40,300 (sold out)
  • Conference visitors: 4,200 (sold out)
  • Nationalities: 42
  • Acts: 382, with a total number of 442 performances
  • Media & journalists: 465
  • EBU radio stations: 37
  • ETEP festivals: 100
  • International festivals: 424
  • Number of venues Eurosonic: 48
  • Number of venues Noorderslag: 10
  • Live broadcasts from ESNS: 27 confirmed from 13 stations

Nikki McNeill | Global Publicity