European Talent: Yard Act Leads ESNS Exchange, $2.2M For Liveurope

Lorne Thomson/Redferns
James Smith of Yard Act, during the band’s performance at Standon Calling 2021. (Picture Lorne Thomson/Redferns)

Yard Act Take ESNS Exchange Top Spot

With the summer festival season underway, ESNS has released an update on the ESNS Exchange results, showing that British minimalist rock group Yard Act seems to be a favourite amongst the bookers of European festivals.

Yard Acts had eleven bookings by festivals participating in ESNS Exchange to its name at the time of writing. Since our last update on the program, the four-piece band has moved up the ranks quite significantly. The band also won the 2021 Anchor Award at Reeperbahn Festival.

Alyona Alyona (Hungary), Priya Ragu (Switzerland), and Wet Leg (U.K.) are close runner-ups with eight shows at an ESNS Exchange partner festival each. Please see Top 10 below.

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

PriyaRagu GroteZaal 20220120 ESNS22 BartHeemskerk 71
Priya Ragu performing at Grote Zaal in Groningen, Netherlands, during ESNS 2021. (Picture by Bart Heemskerk)

The European talent exchange programme, formerly known as ETEP was introduced in 2003 to facilitate the circulation of European artists across Europe. Aside from bookings at festivals participating in the program, artists also receive extensive media exposure thanks to a cooperation with Euroradio, export offices and local media.

Speaking of the participating festivals, Flow festival just joined. The festival takes place in Helsinki, Finland, Aug. 12-14 August.

ESNS Exchange Artist Chart:
11 bookings – Yard Act (GB)
8 bookings – Alyona Alyona (UA)
8 bookings – Priya Ragu (CH)
8 bookings – Wet Leg (GB)
7 bookings – CMAT (IE)
6 bookings – Enola Gay (IE)
6 bookings – Holly Humberstone (GB)
6 bookings – Mesterem Mees – (BE)
6 bookings – Mimi Webb (GB)
6 bookings – Mezerg (FR)

ESNS Exchange By Country Chart:
11 bookings – Yard Act (GB)
8 bookings – Alyona Alyona (UA)
8 bookings – Priya Ragu (CH)
6 bookings – CMAT (IE)
6 bookings – Meskerem Mees (BE)
6 bookings – Mezerg (FR)
5 bookings – Joe & The Shitboys (FO)
5 bookings – Altin Gün (NL)
5 bookings – Friedberg (AT)
3 bookings – Daði Freyr (IS)

See: ESNS 2023 Opens Artist Applications, Focuses On Spain

Jordi Vidal/Redferns
Mabel performing at Sala Apolo in Barcelona. The club is a member of Liveurope.

€2.1M EU Grant For Liveurope

Liveurope, an initiative of 20 European music venues including Ancienne Belgique (BE), A38 (HU), Sala Apolo (ES), and VEGA (DK), has been selected for EU funding for the third consecutive time.

The €2.1 million ($2.2 million) grant will be used to boost the circulation of new European talent for the next three years. Participating venues use the money to book up-and-coming talent from Europe.

A bonus mechanism distributes grants to Liveurope members in proportion to the amount of young European artists they book. On average, this model has helped the venues book 63% more emerging European non-national acts than before joining the platform (see key figures below).

Matjaz Mancek, head of music at participating venue Kino Siska (SI), said, “Liveurope has changed our programming approaches and gave our audiences access to new acts they might not have discovered otherwise.”

The new budget marks an increase of 40% (from €500,000 per year for 2014-2021 to €700,000 for 2022-2024). What is more, Liveurope included five new venues, taking up the member count from 15 to 20 full members. “With a total grant of €2.1m for three years, the platform aims to play an active role in the ongoing recovery of the live music sector post-pandemic,” a Liveurope statement reads.

“After these difficult years for our sector, we’re proud to continue growing our European collaboration and support more venues boost their European programming,” said Elise Phamgia, Liveurope’s coordinator, “Through this, we hope to help them present more European music diversity to their audiences.”

The program was first established in 2014. Since then, some 3,000 artists have benefited from Liveurope’s support, including Christine and the Queens (FR), Rosalía (ES), and MØ (DK), who are all household names on festival lineups these days.

“Liveurope is a key partner in our shared efforts to give emerging artists the opportunity to go on stage, and to meet and develop their audiences across Europe,” commented Mariya Gabriel, European commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth.

See: Liveurope Online Festival Aims To ‘Renew The European Music Scene’

Liveurope key figures:

  • 2,900-plus concerts with new European talent supported in seven years,
  • 63% increase in the number of emerging European non-national artists booked per venue on average pre-COVID
  • 66% increase in the number of artists nationalities booked by the venues in total
  • 30% increase in the circulation of non-English repertoire
  • 40% annual budget increase (from €500,000 per year for 2014-2021 to €700,000 for 2022-2024)
  • 54% increase in the number of full members since 2014 (from 13 to 20)

Subscribe to Pollstar HERE