Eurosonic Noorderslag is a four-day music festival held in Groningen, Netherlands in January that brings up-and-coming bands from all over Europe to play live in front of the 40,000 or so attendees. Initially organized as a sort of “battle of the bands” between Dutch and Belgian pop bands. The festival has an underground feel and strives to bring in groups that are yet to achieve mainstream fame but are on the edge of making it big. Think of it as a front row seat to see who’s next up on the European music scene.
Whether you’re a first-timer or a perennial attendee, there are certain must-sees, must-dos, and must-knows that will help you get the most out of your festival experience. With that in mind, we’ve created a Eurosonic Noorderslag insider’s guide to help you stay in-the-know of a cutting-edge festival.
1. Tune in to the Eurosonic Noorderslag Spotify playlist
Hop on your Spotify and search “Eurosonic Noorderslag”. You’ll find an extensive playlist featuring many of the highly anticipated artists scheduled to hit the stages. Listening to the playlist before the festival will help you form a list of favorites so you can be sure to catch the best performances. You’ll also have your finger on the pulse of the event so that you’ll know which artists are coming in with the most hype.
2. Don’t miss the conference
Concerts by night, conference by day. That’s the festival MO. The concerts may be the main attraction, but the daytime conferences held throughout the festival feature keynote speakers, workshops and interviews focused on the latest trends in the music industry. Check out the conference page for more info.
3. Break the routine and see a new band
It’s a festival focused on up-and-coming artists so don’t be afraid to see a band you know nothing about. Maybe they weren’t on the playlist. Don’t sweat it. Go into discover mode and check out a new group. That’s the whole idea.
4. Day four is for the Dutch
The first three days (Eurosonic) feature artists from all over, but day four (Noorderslag) focuses on new Dutch bands that are making waves. If you have (or make) friends from the area, this day can be especially fun if you have a local showing you around.
5. Read the news
The festival has an excellent news page that will keep you up to date on festival-related news. It’s important to understand that this festival is for those who know what’s going on in the music world. Our advice is to be one of those folks in the know and this page is a great way to stay sharp.
6. Know where to stay
If you’re attending the conferences and the concerts you won’t have much time to hang out at the hotel, but location and comfort are critical. You want a centrally located hotel so that you can hop from venue to venue in the city’s center. Check out our Groningen accommodations map for the widest selection of rooms in the area. We like the Mercure Hotel for its excellent location and the Apollo Hotel for both its location and unique style.
7. Download the app
The Eurosonic Noorderslag app is your mobile guide to the festival. From artist information to maps to the latest festival news, the app will make you a festival expert.