Priya Ragu, Holly Humberstone, Altin Gün Lead ESNS Exchange 2022 Ranking

Burak Cingi/Redferns
Priya Ragu performs at The Jazz Cafe in London. The Swiss-Tamil tastemaker made up her own genre: Raguwavy.

The first ESNS Exchange results are in, showing the amount of festival bookings for artists, who performed at ESNS in 2021 and 2022.

ESNS Exchange is the new name for the European Talent Exchange Program, launched by the team behind ESNS in 2003. The way it works is simple: bookers from Europe’s countless festival, who attend ESNS in Groningen, Netherlands, each year, book artists performing at the showcase event on the spot for the upcoming season.

ESNS 2022 went down, mostly digital, Jan. 19-22, as usual showcasing some of the finest new talent in Europe. A total of 133 bookings by 77 artists from 20 countries were made under ESNS Exchange. “To give the acts that played at a digital ESNS edition due to COVID an extra push, the ESNS Exchange pool of this year represents artists from both ESNS 2021 and 2022,” organizers said.

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The current top 10 of the most booked acts is led by Priya Ragu from Switzerland with a total of 8 confirmed festival bookings, who has created her own genre, a unique blend of electronic R&B.

Isha Shah
Holly Humberstone at Reading Festival 2021. (Picture by Isha Shah)

Singer-songwriter Holly Humberstone, winner of the 2022 BRITs Rising Star award, comes in second, with seven confirmed shows at 2022 festivals. Amsterdam-based Altin Gün, who created a mix of Anatolian rock and Turkish psychedelic folk that works on the dance floor, rank third with six confirmed bookings.

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As yet, acts from the United Kingdom and Switzerland, non-members of the EU, are not supported financially by ESNS Exchange. “ESNS is negotiating this with the (export) offices that represent these countries. It will depend on the outcome of these negotiations whether acts are financially supported performing at the ESNS Exchange festivals in 2022,” a statement from ESNS reads.

And it continues, “While this is good news for the ESNS Exchange programme, our thoughts are with the people in Ukraine. If you want to help out, let your voice be heard online or support Ukrainian artists like GO-A, Alina Pash and Alyona Alyona who are part of ESNS Exchange.”

Music journalists and the wider music communities of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia have created a playlist filled with Ukrainian artists.

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