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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for Arts in Society

PhD ceremony R. AHLERS (AiS), Showcasing European music festival networks

When:Mo 01-03-2021 14:30 - 15:30
Where:Academy building

R. (Rob) Ahlers will defend his doctoral thesis on Monday 1 March 2021.

Showcasing European music festival networks
The case of Eurosonic Noorderslag


  • Dr S.M. Strandvad
  • Dr K.A. McGee

This dissertation introduces the first multi-perspective account on the showcase festivals specifically, It reveals why these festivals matter for culture in society and synthesizes practical and theoretical perspectives upon which festival scholars can build. More specifically, this dissertation explores the ways in which the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival has become the main fulcrum of the European transnational music industry. In its 35-year existence, the European Music and Showcase Festival Eurosonic Noorderslag has developed into the leading platform for the promotion of European music repertoire. A detailed account of its history explores how this festival’s social, ethnographical and cultural processes have facilitated its successful development from 1986 until the present. Due to its award culture and mediated character, Eurosonic Noorderslag serves as a stepping-stone for upcoming groups and artists internationally. Narratives and experiences from local and regional musicians trace back to debates about local representation in early festival editions and provides a new – and often obscured – perspective on the utility of showcase festival performances. Finally, three other European showcase festivals provide the foil to which Eurosonic is compared and contrasted within the broader European music industry.

The University Library publishes the thesis digitally after the defence ceremony.