Road to Recovery, ESNS 202124 November 2020 - Press release
By Ruth Kilpatrick
The thirty-fifth edition of Eurosonic Noorderslag will be fully digital for 2021. Running from the 13-16 of January, the team behind ESNS are keen to address the ongoing issues brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic - the impact on the wider industry, and on the people within.
Next year’s festival will focus on recovery and resilience, with additional sessions aimed at tackling mental health, key conversations discussing racism and inequality, as well as an added focus on sustainability for 2021 and beyond.
Alongside the conference there is of course the showcase aspect to consider: usually a sure-fire springboard for many artists into Europe, with export results for new acts more often than not being a vital component when kick-starting that all important next phase of a career. January will be different of course, but ESNS have plans in place to ensure their chosen acts still receive that added exposure:
“The majority of European acts will record themselves and this will be premiered during ESNS. Some of them (mainly Dutch acts and some European acts studying or working in the Netherlands) are coming to Groningen to record a digital showcase for the event in January.
Where possible some artists will be recorded, in a Covid secure way, at the venues that would normally host artists and audiences during ESNS. This includes special performances at Vera, the Grand Theatre and Oosterpoort.”
Many of the artists chosen for this year’s festival have of course since missed out on their follow up bookings across spring and summer, with the vast majority of festivals cancelling or rescheduling. Here at RotD we picked some of our favourites from the 2020 line-up to listen to, including Arlo Parks, Celeste, BCNR, Flohio and Inhaler, just some of the artists who missed out on bookings due to Covid-19.
Crystal Murray, France.
Listen to the full playlist.
Adaptability has been a recurring theme for the creative industries throughout 2020; diversifying output, responding to new challenges, even in just finding some positivity (and additional work) when able. Artists have become even more inventive, utilising the free tools at their disposal, engaging with an eager fan base and calling upon fellow independent creators as and when appropriate. The point of course is that throughout this often woeful year, we’ve witnessed an increasing amount of goodwill to those who provide art, of any kind. Recognising that in doing so they also offer an escape, some solace, nostalgia and hope - a means of connecting when in reality we often feel so far apart.
ESNS have acknowledged that need for community in their own way, providing multiple methods of connection to delegates, speakers and performers. Tickets are listed at €50 for 2021, gaining you access to all events plus their ongoing database of information.
Full details and delegate passes are available via the official site.