Nevertheless, Lowland Festival (LL) aims to send a signal, and is moving ahead to stage an event that in the best case scenario is synchronised with the speed rate of the vaccine campaign against Covid-19.

We took the chance and asked Eric van Eerdenburg a few questions by e-mail, which he kindly answered as displayed below. Even if LL will be one of the few very festivals to take place this summer in Europe, some of the answers from van Eerdenburg are infused with a kind of optimism that is currently much needed across the entire live music community in Europe.

How do you expect Covid-19 to change the live music sector?
Eric van Eerdenburg: I think it’s a bit early to say. I think that a key factor will be what will the insurers do after everybody is vaccinated. will they stop the exclusions in their insurance policies that they added by the end of the year?

We may have to comply with different standards for ventilation in clubs & venues. I do not think – once vaccination schemes are in place – audiences will be afraid. I think the demand for shows will be as big as it is always been.

Are big festivals and stadium shows the dinosaurs of live music events for the (pandemic-time) being?
No. Big shows and festivals are sold out in hours. Look at Lowlands, Leeds/Reading and others… if the talent is relevant the people will come.

European festivals are facing the second year in a row of extreme turmoil, being far away from any kind of normality. The situation for live events in Australia, New Zealand and even in China apparently seems to be better.
Are you jealous and what should be the lessons learned over here in Europe?
In Europe everyone will be vaccinated by September. The hospitals will be empty of Covid-19 patients. The death rate will be back to normal. I’m optimistic that we can return to ‘normal-normal’ within months from now.

Would say that the live music community including artists now realised how important political engagement is?
Promotors, cultural entrepreneurs, representatives of artist unions and agents have worked more closely with politicians than ever before. Also, usually competing promotors have formed alliances to speak with one voice to politicians.  I think that is good. Politicians – in our country at least – have a far better understanding of how professional we are as a sector. They have also seen how much we are missed by the audience when the whole of the cultural sector stops. I would not call it political engagement though…it’s economic self-interest to be in contact with the people that have authority over the very rules and regulations that allow you to operate the way you think is best. They must have an understanding of what you do and why you do things the way you do.

Will Lowlands 2021 also will be accessible digitally and what do you think about digital live music events in general?
Lowlands 2021 will be live. I’m very confident that that will be the case. We have a great line up and LL is sold out. All risk groups for COVID will be vaccinated, and the government should have set the world free by then. No limits on capacity will be in place and no social distancing.

There may also be a digital component to it. We learned a lot about that last year when we had a digital version only. It’s a matter of budget really. But there are some good ideas that we would like to present.

The artist agenda for Lowlands foresees the appearances of Altin Gün, Amelie Lens, Arlo Parks, AURORA, Balthazar, Bazart, Bendik Giske, Biig Piig, Caribou, Cavetown, The Chemical Brothers, Cleopatrick, Declan McKenna, Denzel Curry, Droeloe, Dry Cleaning, Eefje de Visser, Ezra Collective, Fatima Yamaha, Franc Moody, Froukje, Georgia, Goldlink, Gotu Jim, Heilung, Igorrr, Imanu, Jack Garratt, Joe & the Shitboys, Kaytranada, Kelly Lee Owens, Kevin & The Animals, KOFFEE, Liam Gallagher, Mirella Kroes, Moses Boyd, Murdock, Noisia DJ Set, Noord Nederlands Orkest, Nova Twins, Octo Octa b2b Eris Drew,  Oliver Tree, The Opposites, Orla Gartland, Palaye Royale, Pendulum Trinity, S10, shame, Sleaford Mods, slowthai, Stormzy, Typhoon, Working Men’s Club, YUNGBLUD, Yves Tumor and as a sidekick, nothing less than the world largest solar carport!

Interview: Manfred Tari

Today, June 2, we take a break from work in the music industry and join #theshowmustbepaused. We’ll use this day to disrupt the work week and rethink about how it all came to this, about how we can do better to combat racism, educate ourselves and support the black community, This is a good start:

Therefore, we have also moved the online debate which was scheduled for Today. It will take place one week later, on June 9.

MENT x ETEP Session - A Debut for MENT, ETEP & Molchat Doma

Streaming in times of shut downs in Europe prospers. For the time being, the streaming of concerts is as close as we can get to the joy of seeing live music for music fans in quarantaine. 

In a joint effort ETEP-festival MENT backed by Multipraktik Film now delivers a 10 minutes set of Molchat Dolma, featuring the songs: Звёзды (Zvezdy), Судно (Sudno) & Волны (Volny).

The first MENT x ETEP Session has been recorded in the Computer Museum of Ljubljana on February 7, one day after Molchat Dolma delivered a proper concert at Gala Hala as part of MENT Festival.

Molchat Dolma internationally is gaining fans and recognition, playing sold out shows across Europe and they were even supposed to go on tour this spring in North America, including shows in Mexico City, major cities in the US and Canada.

Molchat Dolma has been founded in 2017 in Minsk, Belarus. Their current album “Этажи” (“Etazhi”) has been put out as a reissue by the US Label Scared Bones as well as their debut album “S Krysh Nashikh Domov.”

MENT described their music as a “dark blend of danceable post-punk, new wave and synth-pop pays tribute to the pioneers of the genre, whilst placing them among those ranks as well.”

More information on the band is available on

Squid and Black Country, New Road heading this year’s first ETEP Charts

94 confirmed festival bookings for 2020 already

ESNS took place less than a month ago, but the ESNS talent exchange programme ETEP is already proving its worth. The exchange programme that focuses on offering European acts international opportunities has already resulted in 94 confirmed festival slots for 58 acts originating from 23 countries at 45 festivals. 

Interview with Codruta Vulcu

Vulcu is the founder and director of the ARTmania Festival in Sibiu in Romania, a location that indicates the geographical reach of ETEP. The festival is held in the centre of Sibiu and celebrates its 15th edition in 2020. Vulcu and her team even manage to add a music conference for professionals to the event, a worthwhile convention which allows other Europeans to discover and explore how the music sector works in this part of Europe. In return Vulcu attends several of those events in Europe, that she considers helpful for her activities at Artmania. Attending ESNS

has enabled her to undertake a profound analysis of ETEP and the situation for the live music sector in Eastern and Western Europe.    

Interview with Andraž Kajzer

Last weekend the MENT festival took place in Slovenia. The first ETEP festival of the year offered a selection of no less than 11 ETEP acts, originating from 10 different European countries: Molchat Doma (by), Anger (at), Balkan Taksim (ro), Black Country, New Road (gb), Bratři (cz), Buč Kesidi (rs), Eugenia Post Meridiem (it), Evija Vebere (lv), Fvlcrvm (sk), My Ugly Clementine (at) and The Qualitons (hu). Manfred Tari spoke to MENT’s Andraž Kajzer about the event’s involvement in ETEP and the promotion of Eastern-European music. 

ETEP 2019: 391 shows by 164 acts

ESNS’ Talent Exchange Programme to offer even more international opportunities

With this years’ last ETEP festivals; Les Trans and Taxirat, kicking off on this week, the ETEP year has come to an end. Time to review the year whilst looking towards the future. Next year, ETEP will offer opportunities for European artists in even more countries, adding two new export offices: Music Export Denmark and Music Latvia. Additionally, ETEP aims to have 11 non-European ETEP festivals in 2020. The first has just been confirmed: Playtime festival in Mongolia!

ETEP 2019: 391 shows by 164 acts in 36 countries

2019 offered ETEP shows by acts from 28 different countries. Acts from Great Britain (31 acts, 96 shows), The Netherlands (22 acts, 49 shows), Ireland (11 acts, 39 shows), Belgium (14 acts, 37 shows) and France (14 acts, 32 shows) were booked for the most ETEP festivals.

New partners, offering even more opportunities

Two new partners will join ETEP in 2020. export offices Music Export Denmark and Music Latvia will be supporting our quest to help the international careers of European artists. The support of these export offices helps ETEP in the education and promotion of the acts participating in the programme. Export offices from: Austria, Belgium, Catalonia, Czechia, Estonia, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Switzerland alongside Yourope and the PRS Foundation are already supporting ETEP.

The ETEP festival Chart

ETEP would not be possible without all the partners involved. The festivals play a great role in offering these emerging acts an opportunity to present themselves to an audience of international music lovers. We have started adding festivals from outside of Europe in order to grant the artists further opportunities to expand their careers outside their home countries, aiming to have 11 non-European festival participants in 2020.

Q&A with Eric van Eerdenburg

Eric van Eerdenburg, also known as Mr. Lowlands, is a prototype festival director. He brings to the job a vast amount of experience and a familiarity with the challenges that are part of the handling of a large scale music event. At the same time he maintains an awareness of both the ups and the downs experienced by artists and audiences. Over decades Lowlands has contributed to the modern DNA of music festivals and paved the way for other,

younger festivals. Besides the key element of putting bands and artists on open air stages, festivals have developed into distinctive live entertainment format, enriched with an increasing number of elements over and above just live music. Eric van Eerdenburg shared some of his insights with, outlining his concerns and commenting on a variety of issues including cultural, economic and social components.

ETEP 2019: European Talent Achieving International Success

Five ETEP acts nominated for a Music Moves Europe Talent Award

During Reeperbahn, the nominees for the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards 2020 were announced, and we are delighted to report that five of this year’s ETEP acts are among the nominees. We would like to congratulate 5K HD (at), Anna Leone (se), Flohio (gb), Fontaines D.C. (ie) and girl in red (no) on their continued success. And the good news continues former ETEP acts Naaz (nl) and AU/RA (de), also being nominated. It’s exciting and rewarding to see the international careers of these acts continue to grow, and the fact that they will also be recognised by the European Commission confirms the abundance of world class musical talent in Europe.

Q&A with Bjørn Pfarr

‘Lord of the Bands’, and master mind of 592 concerts by 412 artists in 51 venues at Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival. Bjørn Pfarr, along with colleagues Arianne Mohr, Ciara George-Lynch and Max Domma, coordinates and curates one of the biggest European festivals. The most recent edition took place on September 18-21, attracting 50.000 festival goers and 5.900 professionals from 52 countries. Reeperbahn also booked 24 ETEP-artists, ranking second on the ETEP Festival Chart.

ETEP asked Pfarr about current booking preferences for Reeperbahn Festival as well as the nature of the European music community’s changing market conditions, which actually appeared to speed up this year.

New results:

With only 8 more ETEP festivals to go, 384 shows by 162 acts have been confirmed so far, and changes continue to appear in the ETEP Artist and ETEP by Country Charts. Penelope Isles re-enters the ETEP artist chart in 10th position due to a cancellation by Octavian, while Whispering Sons is the newcomer in the ETEP by Country chart coming in at number seven, replacing Belgian colleagues Blu Samu.


With only 17 more festivals to go, the ETEP season is almost coming to an end. So far, 2019 has seen a total of 371 festival shows by 159 acts from 27 countries. Fontaines D.C. was forced to cancel some shows, but remains at the top of the charts with 14 shows.

Helping European Talent cross borders

ETEP invests in the geographical spread of artists by working together with 130 festivals from 38 countries. Attracting a total of 7.716.250 visitors each year, the 130 festivals participating in ETEP create a huge potential audience for ETEP acts. Additionally, the programme offers artists from all European countries the chance to participate. In 2019 this resulted in acts from 27 countries performing at festivals in 32 countries.
Some new frontiers were crossed this year with Fontaines D.C., Farveblind, Karpov not Kasparov and Say Yes Dog playing the first Russian ETEP shows at Stereoleto in July and in November, Boy Azooga will play the first ever Hong Kong ETEP show at Clockenflap.

ETEP: The longest running European-funded programme for the music industry

Now in its 17th year, The European Talent Exchange Programme has confirmed 371 shows by 159 acts from 27 countries in 2019. In total the European Talent Exchange Programme has enabled 4372 shows by 1604 acts since the start of the programme in 2003, which makes it the biggest and longest running European Talent Exchange Programme for European Music. We are very proud to have contributed to the careers of so many talented European acts. Many of the artists that were supported by ETEP at the start of their careers have turned out to be very successful. Over the past 17 years, acts such as Agnes Obel, Ásgeir, Ben Howard, Benjamin Clementine, Calvin Harris, Franz Ferdinand, James Blake, MØ, Noisia, Selah Sue, The Editors, The Kooks, The XX, Within Temptation and Years & Years have greatly benefited from the support of the ETEP programme. More recently, acts such as Alma, Aurora, Dua Lipa, Idles, Fontaines D.C, Shame, Superorganism and Zeal & Ardor played some of their first international shows with the support of the European Talent Exchange Programme.  
Want to find out more about which acts benefited from ETEP? You can see a full overview of all ETEP shows on our website. Just select a year!

Discover the acts! 

You can still catch the ETEP acts live during: Lollapalooza Berlin (de), What’s Next in Music (lt), Mercat de Musica Viva de Vic (es), Reeperbahn Festival (de), Rock in Rio (br), MaMA Event (fr), BUSH (hu), BIME (es), Iceland Airwaves (is), Rolling Stone Park (de), Rolling Stone Beach (de), Linecheck (it), Winterthurer Musikfestwochen (ch), Clockenflap (hk), Spring Break Showcase festival (pl), Les Rencontres Transmusicales de Rennes (fr) and Waves Vienna (at).


30 ETEP festivals will take place over the next month, showcasing 56 acts from 16 countries to international audiences. 

Over the next month, 56 ETEP acts will travel to 15 countries to deliver 90 ETEP shows. Sziget festival in Hungary will showcase the largest number of ETEP acts:  Jungle by Night (nl), Pipes and Pints (cz), blackwave. (be), Ivan Dorn (ua), RENDEZ VOUS (fr), RUTHANNE (ie), Whispering Sons (be), Cavetown (gb) Elderbrook (gb), Her Skin (it) and Lord Esperanza (fr), With 11 acts from 8 countries, the festival is the perfect location to discover the diversity that European music has to offer.
If you’re visiting one of the 33 summer festivals over the next month, make sure to visit a show by one of these ETEP acts: Fontaines D.C., Elderbrook, The Murder Capital, Black Midi, Mahalia, Octavian, Flohio, Pip Blom, girl in red, Blu Samu, RENDEZ VOUS, Juniore, Fangclub, Iris Gold, Ivan Dorn, Penelope Isles, Gurr, whenyoung, Whispering Sons, Cavetown, Boy Azooga, Diron Animal, MAiKA, The Mauskovic Dance Band, Kompromat, Nova Materia, Gato Preto, LA FRAICHEUR, Say Yes Dog, Hugo Barriol, KAWALA, Adam Naas, Emma-Jean Thackray’s Walrus, The Blinders, Cassia, John Moods, MNNQNS, Sibiir, Jungle by Night, Pipes and Pints, blackwave., RUTHANNE, Her Skin, Lord Esperanza, 5K HD, Blanco White, Gerry Cinnamon, Maarja Nuut & Ruum, The Slow Readers Club, KOKOROKO, LAFAWNDAH, Free Love, APRE, Farveblind, Sea Girls and Mavi Phoenix.

BrETEP – better than Brexit

While the Brexit fiasco rumbles on in seemingly never-ending fashion, ETEP continues to prove that collaboration works better than separation. In fact, this year’s ETEP edition has worked extremely well for UK acts, scoring high in terms of the numbers of participating artists and overall shows.
One of the essential elements of the European Talent Exchange Programme since its launch in 2003, has been to support the circulation of upcoming artists at international music festivals. But it seems somewhat ironic that in the year of the supposed departure of the UK from the European Union, UK artists should experience an outstanding ETEP season: With 91 confirmed shows for 30 UK acts the Brits lead the ETEP Countries Chart, followed by Ireland with 11 bands playing 37 shows and the Netherlands with 17 artists booked for 36 shows.
So, this gives us good reason to ask Greg Parmley, chairman of the UK Live Music Group and director of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) to comment on the success rate of UK artists in the ETEP 2019 edition:

Q&A with Harry Jenner

The song “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish is an enormous hit, and listening to the track, you can’t help clicking your fingers, while the video features some cool looking bad guys. But is this song a soundtrack for Harry Jenner, one of three Austrians ruling the concert market in the alpine republic. Going by the lyrics “So you’re a tough guy, like it really rough guy” maybe, perhaps definitely, as an article in refers to him with the headline “Buhmann with Success.”
Harry Jenner is the founder and inventor of the Frequency Festival and according to a highly successful but nevertheless pretty much straight forward live music entrepreneur. Besides this, Jenner is also responsible for deciding that the Austrian music festival became an early adopter of ETEP, from the early days when the programme was first launched.

Discover the acts

Want to discover these breakthrough acts? This weekend will be host to 7 ETEP festivals, so there’s bound to be one near you.

Paleo Festival Nyon (ch): Kompromat (fr), LA FRAICHEUR (fr), RENDEZ VOUS (fr), The Mauskovic Dance Band (nl), Nova Materia (fr), Gato Preto )(de).
Kendal Calling (gb): Juniore (fr).
Y not festival (gb): Pip Blom (nl), Fangclub (ie), The Murder Capital (ie).
Standon Calling (gb): Iris Gold (dk), Juniore (fr), Fangclub (ie)
Juicy Beats (de): Say Yes Dog (lu), Blu Samu (be), KAWALA (gb), Hugo Barriol (fr)
Positivus festival (lv): Elderbrook (gb), Ivan Dorn (ua), Adam Naas (fr), Emma-Jean Thackray (gb),
Waves Vienna (at): Iris Gold (dk), Cassia (gb), John Moods (de), MNNQNS (fr), Penelope Isles (gb), The Blinders (gb)
Truck Festival (gb): whenyoung (ie), Pip Blom (nl), The Murder Capital (ie), Gurr (de)

37 new confirmations over the last month, causing some major shifts in the ETEP Artist Chart. 

Glastonbury and INmusic are the latest ETEP festivals to open their hearts to Fontaines D.C. With 18 confirmed festival slots, Fontaines D.C. is getting dangerously close to last years’ record set by Superorganism. Playing in 12 European countries, they have the perfect tour mapped out with confirmed spots at Dour Festival (be), End of the Road Festival (gb), Haldern Pop (de), Immergut Festival (de), Les Eurockéennes De Belfort (fr), Øyafestivalen (no), Paléo Festival Nyon (ch), Release Athens (gr), Roskilde Festival (dk), Stereoleto (ru), TRNSMT (gb), Truck Festival (gb), Vida Festival (es), Vieilles Charrues (fr), Y Not Festival (gb), Ypsigrock (it), plus latest additions Glastonbury (gb) and INmusic Festival (hr).

Black Midi and Flohio are respectively in second and third position, both have been there since February. Black Midi have just announced that their new album “Schlagenheim” will be released on the 21st of June, with the band touring through Canada, Europe, Japan and the US in the autumn. Truly a band taking European music outside Europe and successfully breaking borders.
Since her show at ESNS, Flohio has been touring the world. She has played in Australia, Canada, Mexico and the US already this year, and will be visiting ETEP festivals in eight European countries over the summer.

Top 10 acts

1. Fontaines D.C. (ie) – 18 shows
2. Black Midi (gb) – 9 shows
3. Flohio (gb) – 9 shows
4. Mavi Phoenix (at) – 7 shows
5. Pip Blom (nl) – 7 shows

6. Elderbrook (gb) – 7 shows
7. The Murder Capital (ie) – 6 shows
8. Octavian (gb) – 6 shows
9. Penelope Isles (gb) – 6 shows
10. SEA GIRLS (gb) – 6 shows

Festival Chart

1. The Great Escape (gb) – 25 acts
2. Iceland Airwaves (is) – 12 acts
3. Sziget (hu) – 12 acts
4. Dour (be) – 9 acts
5. Europavox (fr) – 8 acts

6. Haldern Pop (de) – 8 acts
7. Les Nuits Botanique (be) – 8 acts
8. by:larm (no) – 7 acts
9. Paléo Nyon Festival (ch) – 7 acts
10. Reeperbahn Festival (de) – 6 acts