44,000 Visitors At Sold Out ESNS 2023

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Dutch electronic music duo Weval performing at ESNS on the Air stage. (Picture by Siese Veenstra)

The 37th edition of ESNS, which returned in its usual live format in Groningen, Netherlands, Jan. 18-21, welcomed some 40,000 festivalgoers and more than 4,250 conference delegates, making it a sold-out edition.

315 emerging European artists from 39 European countries performed across multiple venues in the city. Conference delegates got treated to over 150 panels, keynotes and networking opportunities with industry pros like Scott Cohen, Sub Pop co-founders Jonathan Poneman and Bruce Everrett, or Dua and Dugi Lipa.

A Look At ESNS 2023: ‘Everything Has A Question Mark Now’

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Dua Lipa alongside her father and manager Dugi Lipa, with ESNS’s Excellence Award. (Picture by Niels Knelis)

It was a ESNS edition full of awards, including the Dutch Popprijs, the European Festival Awards, the EU-funded Music Moves Europe Award (MMEA), and the ESNS Exchange Award, which went to Dua Lipa, who shares quite some history with ESNS.

She first performed at ESNS at Vera in 2016, returning in 2017 as a winner of the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA), which is now the MMEA. The superstar was also named ‘Newcomer of the Year’ at the European Festival Awards 2016 and won the converted EBBA Public Choice Award voted for by fans in 2017.

The Excellence Award recognizes Dua Lipa for being the most successful act to benefit from the ESNS Exchange scheme, which was previously named European Talent Exchange Program.

See: Federation Of Music Conferences Launched At ESNS

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Dua Lipa during her first performance at ESNS 2016. (Picture by Bart Heemskerk)

In a keynote interview alongside her father, they explored Dua Lipa’s career since her first performance at ESNS, their work on the Sunny Hill Foundation and festival by the same name.

ESNS 2023 introduced an advisory board for diversity and inclusion, launched ESNS Green Touring support, and a partnership with green travelling start-up Choo Choo, most delegates arrived by train.

ESNS director Dago Houben commented, “The past week has been exceptional. The sector has been struggling and is still recovering from the pandemic, and we see our role as the platform for the European music sector as more important than ever. This edition addressed so many related topics and presented such a diverse and outstanding line-up of European talent. We came back stronger than ever with so many first-time visitors and a sold-out edition of the festival and conference.”

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