Eurosonic Noorderslag Boasts Solid Figures

More than 40,000 people visited the sold-out

Jorn Baars
– Eurosonic Noorderslag 2017

Of the 417 festivals present, 104 participate in Eurosonic’s European Talent Exchange Program (ETEP). Every year on the morning after Eurosonic, those festivals mention the acts they would like to book for the upcoming season. In total, 106 artists were mentioned 250 times, and when the initial figures were published only a third of participating festivals had yet handed in their mentions.

Yourope’s Christof Huber therefore thought it safe to say that the final results “will be way higher than last year.”

This year, Shame and Idles from the UK, Klangstof from Holland, Baloji from Belgium and Onuka from Ukraine made up the top 5.

The figures meaning the most to Eurosonic Noorderslag’s creative director Peter Smidt were the 25 confirmed live broadcasts by 13 radio stations on site. He was especially pleased with this year’s country focus on Portugal, not just because of the number of festivals taking place there, but also because working with the partners in Portugal had been a pleasure.

“Our mission is to have a better circulation of European repertoire in Europe. I think it strange that we have the same currency, but no clue what songs our friends are singing,” Smidt said. European festival association Yourope, which traditionally holds its members meeting in Groningen, launched a new campaign called We Take a Stand. “Festivals need to have more message. Get the youth on board, and make them more active. We will work on these topics together with other associations, artists, but also politicians,” said Huber.

Another tradition of ESNS is the Pollstar panel on the previous year’s industry figures. Host Allan McGowan welcomed Brij Gosai, Pollstar UK’s sales and marketing director, Kim Bloem (

Live Nation’s Mojo improved year-on-year, thanks to large stadium tours by Beyoncé, Rihanna, Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen. FKP also had a “fantastic year” numbers-wise, with some 1.5 million tickets sold and a Justin Bieber tour in partnership with AEG.

FKP’s twin Hurricane/

Harrod explained how Spain was on its road to recovery, after the financial crisis of 2008, which resulted in an overnight VAT increase from 8 percent to 21 percent.

The European Production and Innovation Conference (EPIC) returned for the fourth time as part of ESNS. According to event coordinator Marcel Albers, safety and terrorism, mobility, sustainability, sound control and cashless innovation were some of this year’s hot topics.

“We also try to get more young people into the industry, because the production part is actually growing very fast,” Albers said. The tech award, sponsored by Dutch collecting society Buma, went to Guts, a ticketing company using blockchain technology to eradicate secondary ticketing.

More on what the blockchain could mean for the live business will follow in a separate Pollstar feature.