ESNS 2019Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) launches once again from January 16th-19th 2019, to the delight of music fans and industry insiders alike. The 33rd annual music conference hosted in the Dutch city of Groningen has been likened to that of SXSW – a hub for the discovery of new and undiscovered European talent.

The four-day event revolves around discovery. Having propelled so many artists to success in previous years, it is no wonder 40,000 music fans flock to the small Dutch city in hope of being one the first few to hear the next Calvin Harris. The Scottish DJ is just one of many famous faces to have played in some of Groningen’s unique venues and clubs. Acts including The Libertines, Stormzy and Dua Lipa have all graced the stages of ESNS prior to their launch into global stardom.

What makes this conference so unique is the European focus. Groningen, a city with a heavy student population, becomes the heart of the continent’s music scene bringing in some of the biggest names in industry. With each country sending their most promising talent, it is no wonder the conference welcomes festival bosses and promoters from all over the world looking for their next headliner. Taking place at the very beginning of 2019, ESNS provides major festivals with first pick on Europe’s breakout acts.

The conference also provides ticketholders the opportunity to attend a series of panel discussions, lectures and workshops. Topics of interest this year include events: ‘Ticketing Technology and Innovation’ and ‘The Soundtrack that Makes the Game’. With Brits Critics Choice 2019 award winner Sam Fender’s track ‘Play God’ featured on FIFA 19, the relationship between music and the gaming world proves powerful.

Groningen is widely known for its year-round party reputation. With no closing hours on city bars and acting as the main urban centre of northern Holland, Groningen provides a fitting location for one of the music industry’s most exciting and coveted events. The city’s rich musical heritage can be found in almost all of the underground clubs; VERA in the heart of Groningen’s centre hosted Joy Division and The Cure on their rise to the top of the post-punk wave. As well as nightlife, the city is home to a wide array of record shops and vinyl collections; Headline and Magic Buzz are just two stores housing rare collectors’ items.

With the final event programme soon to be released, attendees can look forward to rising Dutch natives Pip Blom and British band Boy Azooga listed to perform on one of the many ESNS stages. Around 150 panels will be held in and around the city throughout the festival.

ESNS, showcasing around 350 acts, takes place in Groningen from January 16th-19th, 2019. Tickets are available now.