Eurosonic Noorderslaag (ESNS) has announced that general manager Dago Houben has quit the organisation with immediate effect.
A statement issued by the event’s Supervisory Board says that Houben’s departure is “ due to a difference of opinion within the ESNS leadership about the way in which an organisational development considered necessary by all parties involved should take shape.”
Houben is the second senior staffer to quit in recent months following the departure of conference head Ruud Berends in May, also due to a “difference of opinion”.
Houben has run the European showcase event since 2009 and is credited by the organisation with growing its programming, media attention, budget, number of stages and visitor numbers over that time.
“IT IS WITH PRIDE, BUT CERTAINLY ALSO WITH SENTIMENT, THAT I BID FAREWELL TO A GREAT EVENT AND A WONDERFUL ORGANISATION WITH GREAT CULTURAL RELEVANCE”
Antje Diertens, chair of the Supervisory Board, says that the board regrets Houben’s departure, and that, “Dago was director since 2009, a very successful period for ESNS in which it has grown into a globally respected platform for European pop music. We thank him for his commitment.”
In turn, Houben says “It is with pride, but certainly also with sentiment, that I bid farewell to a great event and a wonderful organisation with great cultural relevance. I thank everyone who has supported and assisted me and ESNS over the past years. It was a privilege to be able to lead this organisation.”
Frans Vreeke will start as interim director on 4 July with Daniële Streep acting as deputy director temporarily. The Supervisory Board has begun the process of identifying a successor.
Eurosonic Noorderslag takes place in Groningen in The Netherlands from 17-20 January 2024.
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