Alright, here we are… It is the beginning of a new year. The fresh start and the new, better you! You feel more motivated than ever. Your new year’s resolutions are so awesome that they glow in the dark and you have never felt more ready to change your life and go for what you truly want!
Ok, you can laugh now. I am sorry for this lame introduction, but sometimes (=most of the time/always) it is hard to start. Speaking of new beginnings, though… I am currently standing on the opposite side of that bridge. You see, half a year ago (it is the end of January now) I moved from Slovenia to the Netherlands to do my Erasmus exchange. I actually thought I was applying to the University of Utrecht and not Hogeschool, so me ending up studying Music Marketing and Management was the luckiest coincidence ever. I was already snooping around this area before and now Music Minor was my chance to get formally educated (oh, sounds so serious) in what truly interests me.
Eurosonic Noorderslag has somehow always been “praised” by people working in this industry. It was supposed to be this huge-ass music celebration somewhere up north where important people in music gather to discuss new trends, create new partnerships and collaborations, see the most exciting upcoming European talents and frankly, get fucking wasted together (cause we all know how the best businesses are made). After attending MENT Ljubljana and Waves Vienna, I felt ready for this international music madness.
(I am only including this paragraph because I kinda have to explain it for my school assignment.) My ESNS badge says “press”. I was able to get a ticket through Radio Terminal, a lovely Slovenian internet radio. To justify my “gift”, I wrote a little introduction to the 31st edition of the festival and a recommendation list, based on my previous concert experience with featuring artists. I also did an interview with the sweetest Slovakian band The Ills, who have been breaking through in every single way (an English version below). The preview of Eurosonic Noorderslag 2017 proves what a weird music journalist I am (that’s because I’m not). If you use that marvellous internet translation to read my articles, you will discover some strange statements, a festival recommendation and a modern mixtape aka youtube playlist of the acts I saw and liked during these 4 rainy days in Groningen.
I will try to shorten the whole story a little bit, because a) I have WAY too much to say, b) this is not How I Met Your Mother and c) some things might be inappropriate. I survived all four (actually six all together) days of Eurosonic Noorderslag 2017. Let’s see if you can, too.
Editor’s note (oh look, that’s me): Since I’ve been living in the Netherlands, I picked on this bad Dutch humor, so pardon me for all the offensive comments – I (sometimes) don’t mean it.
Also, I am not an alcoholic, I swear (-> stage of denial).
DAY 1: WELCOME TO THE CITY OF TALENT
I arrived to the city a day before to get to know this cute student town and finish some school work, but I ended up drinking beers (cheers, Nick) and smoking too many joints (am I allowed to say this in a school report?). It seems like Groningen has more pubs and venues than population and everyone is hanging around there anyway, because bars apparently never close. Seems like we are off to a good start!
The opening day of the festival hosted European Border Breakers Awards, which I missed because I was having a beer meeting (yes, this is a professional term if you didn’t know), and 8th Europe Festival Awards Show, where I managed to stay for a bit longer than half an hour. The presenter was fun (gotta love that British humor), but they have 16 categories and you get bored with awkward clapping and people walking on and off stage.
By 8 o’clock, the whole Groningen was already exploding with awesome shows. I ran straight to Der AA Theater to catch the first “Slovenian moMENT” – The Wacky Blues Professors. ESNS wrote that “considering their age, they seem to be students rather than career academics, but, boy, when they grab their guitar, harmonica, bass and drums, they really go nuts and become virtuoso professors that will give you a lesson to remember! Good old rock’n’roll with young blood and spirit, taking the best from the heritage of blues, funk and psychedelic rock’n’roll and making their own explosive mixture to blow your ears and hearts away while your legs do funny things.” They literally rocked the stage and gave us a perfect kick-off for the rest of the festival. Without any doubt, no other performance could compare with the energy The Wacky Blues Professors generated that evening.
I was unfortunate to miss my dear LGW friend Mario Batkovic and Finland’s Teksti-TV 666, who reportedly crowdsurfed (hell yeah!) even though the ESNS contract specifically states otherwise. However, I was more than satisfied with Belgian shoegazers Newmoon, garage lady-powered quartet Goat Girl and my fav Slovakian gentlemen The Ills, who marked a great first day.