The Eurosonic Blueprint

It’s probably fitting that Eurosonic-Noorderslag is the first showcase-conference of the year as it’s proved to be the blueprint for at least another half-dozen that are dotted around Europe. 

Eurosonic creative director Peter Smidt and international marketing manager Ruud Berends, who organises the European Talent Programme, the festival booking market that’s one of the cornerstones of the event, get the credit for copycat models in such places as Hamburg, Tallinn, Vienna, Prague, Norrköping, and now Ljubljana.

It’s not so much the imitation that flatters Eurosonic, but the fact the imitators are turning out to be successes in their own right. This year, the booking of German Hamburg-based promoters Karsten Jahnke and Folkert Koopmans ensures the speakers are up to the usual standard, but all of Europe’s better showcase conferences ensure they have top-drawer speakers.

Last year’s Tallinn Music Week had Estonian President Toomas Hendrick Ilves chewing the fat with Russian female punk activists Pussy Riot. It’s the unique nature of Eurosonic that sets it apart, which includes the Talent Exchange and the European Festival Awards – two events that can’t be replicated elsewhere. Eurosonic-Noorderslag is in Groningen, The Netherlands, Jan. 14-17.