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Organisers of the Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) conference and music festival said the debut digital edition attracted an audience of 4,000 industry executives and fans from 124 countries, exceeding expectations.

The thirty-fifth edition of the annual event, which usually involves venues throughout Groningen in northern Holland, took place online last week, 13-16 January. As well as the conference content, the event involved the streaming of live sets by 189 acts from 36 European countries.

The performances were filmed throughout Europe, while many of the Dutch acts were able to use venues in and around Groningen.

On Friday, 15 January, the winners of the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards 2021 were announced on the ESNS digital platform and the NITE Hotel, presented by Melanie C (pictured). The eight winners were Inhaler (Ireland), Julia Bardo (Italy ), Lous and the Yakuza (Belgium), Melenas (Spain), Rimon (Netherlands), Sassy 009 (Norway), Vildá (Finland) and Alyona Alyona (Ukrain), with the latter also winning the Public Choice Award 2021.

ESNS head of programme Robert Meijerink said he has been overwhelmed by positive feedback from the industry and as a result there will be an increase in the amount of online content at the planned real-life event next year: “[The feedback] has exceeded our wildest expectations. The ESNS platform is focused on new emerging acts from Europe and to bring together music professionals from all corners of the world to discuss the current and future of the music sector and its industry. Thanks to NPO 3FM and members of EBU, ESNS was able to reach an even bigger audience in Europe and beyond. We really hope we can organise a physical edition in 2022 and be together once again, but we will also expand our online ventures next year.”

All showcases are available to watch here.