Presenting 315 European acts, ESNS returned to Groningen for its first live edition in 2 years. This edition focused on diversity and rebooting the music scene. With a wide selection of artists represented, there was a lot to discover. This includes talent from Ukraine, homeland of stand out act Love’n’Joy. Artists including Heartworms, Caleb Kunle, Juno Francis, Donkey Kid, Songø (featured image), Historian, and Son Mieux were among other top performances. Of all the countries represented, one seemed to dominate – Belgium.

Belgian talent

Bringing festival favourite, The Haunted Youth along with Bolis Pupul, ILA (pictured), Echt!, Tukan, and Catherine Graindorge, Belgium’s eclectic mix is indicative of the nation’s high quality music scene. As ESNS is a kickoff for the festival year ahead, there was a reception for the fairly new showcase festival, Fifty Lab, and additional representation from Belgium Booms! Also, Rock Werchter brought home the European Festival Award’s Green Operations Award.

Dua Lipa shares her ESNS journey

During the festival, Dua Lipa gave a keynote with her father, Dukagjin Lipa. The discussion, moderated by Gordon Masson of IQ Magazine highlighted her path since performing at ESNS in 2016. While talking about her successful career, Dua emphasised her work with the Sunny Hill Music Festival in Kosovo. This event is important for the local scene, as it is changing the state’s music landscape. As a result of Dua’s continued efforts, she was awarded the Excellence Award at ESNS.

Music Moves Europe Awards

Organised by ESNS and Reeperbahn, with support from Liverope, Yourope, Live DMA, IMPALA, Digital Music Europe, CMP-CIEM, International Music Managers Forum (IMMF) and European Music Exporters Exchange (EMEE), the Music Moves Europe (MME) Awards puts forth promising emerging talent. 2023’s winners were Schmyt (Germany), July Jones (Slovenia), Oska (Austria), Kids Return (France), and Queralt Lahoz (Spain). The prestigious Grand Jury Prize was awarded to Sans Soucis (Italy) and the Public Choice award was won by Jerry Heil (Ukraine).