ESNS18 or Eurosonic Noorderslag 2018 is set to kick off in the Dutch city of Gronigen in just under two weeks. Bigger than its Norwegian counterpart by:Larm, and fast closing in on the UK’s TGE, we ask just what is this European Music Conference and Showcase Festival all about?

Eurosonic Noorderslag is a Dutch based annual music showcase festival and conference in the mould of by:Larm and The Great Escape, which runs over four days each January. The first three ‘Eurosonic’ days feature a lineup of artists from across the length and breadth of Europe, while the fourth and last ‘Noorderslag’ day focusses solely on Dutch acts.

Inaugurated in 1986, the four-day festival is renowned for breaking new music acts onto the international scene. Previous ‘ones to watch’ who played the annual music-fest include Hozier, Royal Blood, Dua Lipa, Aurora, Mø and Vök.

This year’s ESNS will showcase acts from 30+ countries over its four day duration. Just over 120 European acts, from Finland down to Portugal, and from Iceland across to the Ukraine, will display their musical wares in over 15 music venues across the Dutch city of Groningen. The final Nooderslag ‘Dutch day’ is based in De Oosterpoort.

Jade Bird on “Cathedral.”

This year’s lineup includes some of the best of emerging artists from not just the UK and Ireland, but the Nordics, as well as central and eastern Europe. UK&I music fans will be familiar with a lot of the confirmed names including Soule, Broen, Sigrid, Pale Honey, and IDER.

To view the full music festival timetable – CLICK HERE.

A delegate conference runs simultaneously with the music festival. Its four-day programme includes the EPIC (European Production Innovation Conference), Buma Music Meets Tech and the European Talent Exchange Program (ETEP), founded by and unique to ESNS.

While EPIC focuses on innovation at festivals and venues, Buma Music meets Tech is an innovation programme that aims to support and promote start-ups; this year the topic of Blockchain is taking centre stage. Elsewhere on the conference programme ETEP will host an Artist Exchange Meeting, A Festival Lounge and Marketing Meeting (*Please note that attendance at ETEP is by invitation only).

GREAT DANES

This year’s Eurosonic festival is celebrating music from Denmark. ESNS18 will showcase performances by Danish artists together with having the Danish music scene front and centre of its delegate conference.

A part of the Nordic music region oft overshadowed by its Norwegian and Swedish neighbours, the last few years have seen Denmark’s new music scene thrive with the emergence of artists such as Blaue Blume, Palace Winter, MØ, and Danish-Irish artist Lukas Graham.

This year’s Danish delegation includes the sublime August Rosenbaum, dreamy electro-popper Soleima and EBBA award-winning Copenhagen trio Off Bloom whose hook filled blend of electro-trip-pop is addictive.

We’ve pulled together a diverse Denmark Blooms playlist featuring sounds from all 22 Danish acts that will perform live in Groningen.

BUGGER BREXIT

This year’s UK contingent is super exciting, not least because it includes several artists supported by BBC Introducing including the utterly captivating Fenne Lily, unique, life-poet Isaac Gracie, country-‘fluenced clear-voiced Jade Bird, turbo-voiced Sound of 2018′er Sam Fender, kickass Mancunian left-fielders Pale Waves, and Bristol-boy Keir, whose electrifying voice and brooding sounds have sent shivers down the spines of many a seasoned music pro. Special mention must go to BBC Introducing Devon‘s sublime Wildwood Kin – a DervSwerve fave!

Festival-goers are in for a real treat, as this year’s Brit line-up is weighed down with some serious talent. UK Tipsters won’t be surprised to see the inclusion of ‘ones to watch’ supergroup, Superorganism, in the ESNS frey!

https://open.spotify.com/user/11153381892/playlist/3RXH2A5QnZxNZQKWUlZ7tb

NOTFORGETTINGTHENORDICS

Denmark aside, the Nordics is fast gaining a solid rep for producing seriously unique, left-field and above all, memorable music artists. We’ve sampled a small selection of the Nordic wow-factor in our ESNS – Nordiculously Good playlist. Long-term fans of the blog will be more than familiar with some of the ‘includees’.

THE IRISH FACTOR

The Irish have a long history, dating back to the 90’s, of playing Eurosonic. To celebrate that fact, renowned Irish 2fm DJ and new music advocate Dan Hegarty, with the help of producer Ian Wilson, pulled together a radio documentary which you can listen to via the Soundcloud link below. The 60-minute radio retrospective features music from legends of the Irish scene like The Frames, The Golden Horde and Jacknife Lee, as well as sounds from current incumbents such as James Vincent Mc Morrow and Soak.

Several Irish acts are set to play ESNS 2018. This year’s green lineup includes emerging acts such as fiery grunge-rockers Bitch Falcon, uber-awesome Derry electro-popper Roe and enthralling lyrical poet Dermot Kennedy. The 2018 Irish cohort is representative of the diverse pool of superb talent that make up the current emerging music scene in Ireland. Check out our ‘Full-Irish’ playlist below to hear sounds from the entire green team.

For more details on Eurosonic Noorderslag 2018, go to the official website – https://www.eurosonic-noorderslag.nl/en/

https://open.spotify.com/user/11153381892/playlist/57ZWwAMn1UvbxNBKYyAkzW

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