More Acts Announced

Regular sales for advance tickets to moers festival have begun and we are very happy to be able to present a couple more good reasons to pick up a day pass or a ticket for the whole festival weekend right away: We are pleased to announce that Battle Trance und Dub Trio will both be performing at moers festival 2017.

The band Battle Trance is composed of four tenor saxophonists from Brooklyn, New York, who seek to transcend the boundary between instrument and body/breath. True to their name, in doing so they put their listeners into a trance with the gently pulsing waves of repetitive patterns that combine to form subtly layered sonic textures. Founded in 2012 and under the direction of Travis Laplante, the quartet works with contrasts. At times, the four saxophones buzz ominously like an angry swarm of wasps, at times they shimmer like nervously trembling leaves caught in a stormy spring wind – while still other moments feature the mechanical precision of an insane noise machine running at full steam.

Dub Trio, also hailing from Brooklyn, are hard, fast and rough. Dub is approached matter-of-factly as a true art form here, in a musical homage to the roots of the genre as exemplified by King Tubby, shot through with and ruptured by elements of electronica, rock, punk and metal. With the help of effects pedals, synthesizers and samplers, D.P. Holmes (guitar, keyboards), Stu Brooks (bass, keyboards) and Joe Tomino (drums, melodica) reproduce live on stage the material that they have previously painstakingly assembled in the studio. A warped dub/rock crossover featuring surprising breaks lopes along into spherical sections that give way to minimalistic reggae grooves, before building via fat half-time rock beats into noisy, heavy, aggressive energy music.

Music from Battle Trance:

Music from Dub Trio:


Presenting the First Acts for 2017

We are ready to start revealing the first additions to this year’s line-up and are excited to already be able to announce two acts that will be performing at moers festival 2017: Julien Baker and The Bad Plus.

Julien Baker is the new darling of the international indie scene, a singer-songwriter celebrated the world over for her haunting and intimate concerts. The 21-year-old doesn’t only manage to touch her audiences with her exquisite voice and profound songwriting, she also has something to say politically. Julien Baker comes from the Southern USA – she’s queer and at the same time a self-professed Christian, a conflict-laden and fascinating mixture for sure. 

For seventeen productive years now, The Bad Plus have been using piano, bass and drums to forge a rare hybrid:  intelligent music for the masses. Drawing on influences from Stravinsky to Ornette Coleman, the trio from Minneapolis has created their own avant-garde style situated somewhere between jazz, blues, pop and rock. Rhythmically intricate, at times intellectual, at times romantic, they are also known for playing idiosyncratic adaptations of well-known tunes from bands and artists such as Nirvana, Aphex Twin or Radiohead.

So, anyone who was still on the fence about coming out to moers festival 2017 now has two very good reasons to look forward to Whitsuntide weekend in Moers...and there are still a limited number of early bird tickets left too!

Music from Julien Baker:

Music from The Bad Plus:


moers festival: the show goes on

Since December 1st 2016, Tim Isfort and his growing team have been hard at work putting together the 46th edition of the moers festival. The next chapter in the festival’s on-going quest for the new, the unexpected and the unprecedented will take place from the 2nd to the 5th of June 2017 in the festival hall and throughout Moers!

Please bear with us a bit as we dive deep into preparations for this reboot – news, first program announcements and introductions to the rest of the team will follow soon.


New management for moers festival

Good news regarding the future of moers festival: Moers Kultur GmbH, the organizational unit responsible for putting on the festival, introduced two new members of the festival management team on Monday, November 28th. Musician, producer and curator Tim Isfort will take up duties as artistic director of the renowned festival for improvised music starting December 1st. Claus Arndt, who is primarily employed by the City of Moers, will become the new managing director of the Kultur GmbH effective January 1st 2017. Like his predecessors, he will assume this responsibility in an adjunct capacity in addition to his primary role with the city administration. To finalise the new appointments, the board still has to confirm the supervisory committee’s resolution to hire Arndt as managing director at their meeting on Tuesday, November 29th. Carmen Weist, chairman of the supervisory committee of Moers Kultur GmbH, and first deputy mayor and cultural department head Wolfgang Thoenes both expressed their satisfaction that the city was able to recruit two proven experts and connoisseurs of the moers festival for the positions.

Continuing the spirit of the festival

Tim Isfort grew up in Moers and was heavily influenced by the moers festival in his formative years as a budding young musician. “My biggest goal is to carry on in the original spirit of the festival. Moers stood and still stands for the musical search for the new. Under my direction, it will continue to feature the most contemporary currents in modern music,” commented Isfort. According to the new artistic director, the quality of the artists remains the decisive factor for him. In addition, Isfort would like to make the festival more accessible to being experienced by the inhabitants of Moers and more present throughout the city. 

After studying contrabass at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen and the ArtEZ conservatory in Arnhem, the new artistic director founded the “Tim Isfort Orchester” in 1995. Alongside his work as a bandleader, Isfort has been active as a curator (moers festival, RUHR.2010, diverse concert series), as a production director for events and as a sound engineer. In addition, he has performed in the context of numerous other musical projects of his own (including Tim in Birma, Tim Isfort Super8 and the Tim Isfort Tentett) and as a bassist in various groups (among others with The Dorf, Planet Alien Band and Franza & die lemonairs). From late 2008 to mid 2012, Isfort served as artistic director of the Traumzeit Festival in Duisburg. Since 2010 he has been the driving force behind the first cultural exchange between Germany and Myanmar for the Goethe Institut and the Federal Foreign Ministry. 

Leading the festival into the future 

Claus Arndt has been employed in a management capacity with the City of Moers since 2001, with responsibilities for e-government and open data among other areas. This past year, he became head of the administrative department for central e-government. During his tenure as assistant to then cultural department head Siegmund Ehrmann starting in 1997, Arndt was involved intensively with the moers festival, including participation in the development of the overarching concept for the festival.  His close personal connection to the festival goes all the way back to the 1980s and he has not missed an edition of the festival as a guest since. “I am excited to tackle this new task and to lead this world-class cultural event into the future together with the new artistic director Tim Isfort and our team,” remarked Arndt. “Of course, the challenge is also to adapt appropriately to the existing financial parameters without sacrificing artistic quality. I am optimistic that we will be able to achieve that by collaborating in a trusting and creative manner.”

Press Department of the City of Moers


A personal note from Reiner Michalke

Dear friends of the moers festival,

with this message I would like to say my goodbyes.

Every journey comes to an end. So now my way in Moers. Needless to say, I would have wished for a different ending of my work at moers festival. However, sometimes things are beyond our control.

Read more


Shortcut 2016

Just like in previous years, the students from the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and the Institute For Music And Media Düsseldorf filmed all the concerts for the live stream. This year, they received additional support by our friends at and our charming presenters Mascha Corman and Hayden Chisholm who lead through the breaks in between concerts.

From all this material cut this year's "short cut" film which can be found here. Approximately 30 minutes of full on festival feeling with lots of music and many interviews!


Go to newsletter for our latest one with more news.

We wish you a wonderful summer!



Discussing the future of moers festival

During a meeting on Friday at Moers town hall, all parties involved discussed the future of moers festival.
The participants were the leaders of each parliamentary group with seats in Moers City Council, the Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board for Moers Kultur GmbH, the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs, the Mayor, the Chief Executive Officer of Moers Kultur GmbH and the Artistic Director of moers festival.
Those present evaluated the talk as rather constructive, with useful results towards keeping and further developing moers festival in the future.
Based on this perspective, Chief Executive Officer of Moers Kultur GmbH, Dirk Hohensträter, and the Artistic Director of moers festival, Reiner Michalke, both withdrew their offered resignation at the suggestion of Mayor Christoph Fleischhauer.
This outcome was very much welcomed by all parties present.

Find the PDF of the press release here.


First press quotes

Als sei ihnen ein heiliger Geist erschienen
Vielfältig und mit politischem Bewusstsein: Auf dem gut besuchten Moers Festival kann man sehen und hören, was Jazz 2016 bedeutet

Musik inklusive kritischer Auseinandersetzung mit der Geschichte war schon immer ein Leitmotiv in Moers, wo seit 44 Jahren das wichtigste Treffen für avantgardistische Musik stattfindet. In den 70ern haben hier Größen wie Archie Shepp oder Anthony Braxton gespielt, heute reist die internationale Speerspitze der experimentellen Musik an. Auch in sozialer Hinsicht ist Moers Avantgarde. Bis heute treffen sich dort nicht nur die wandelnden Jazz-Lexika in abgewetzten Sakkos, sondern auch Musik-Hipster, Elektronik-Nerds und Metalfans. Der Anspruch, dabei nicht elitär zu sein, zeigt sich etwa bei den „morning sessions“, bei denen einige Musiker zur Improvisation auf kleinen Bühnen zusammenkommen. Da sie kostenlos sind, ziehen sie auch Interessierte aus Moers und der Region an. Moers eignet sich gut für eine Bestands- aufnahme. Jazz ist 2016 so offen und hybrid wie nie zuvor. (...) Ein Festival, das seit jeher so stilsicher in die Zukunft blickt, und dabei so inklusiv ist wie kaum ein anderes – für Geflüchtete und Kinder ist der Eintritt frei –, darf in einer von Konsumzwang geprägten Eventgesellschaft nicht fehlen.

taz - die tageszeitung, 19.05.2016, Phillip Rhensius

Mag man jetzt etwa keinen Jazz mehr?
Zum 45. Mal: Das Jazzfestival Moers hat nach wie vor alles, hoffentlich auch genug Geld für die Zukunft

Auch die fünfundvierzigste Ausgabe, die elfte unter der künstlerischen Leitung Reiner Michalkes, zeigte eine ungewöhnliche Spannweite: freie Improvisationen und komplexe Kompositionen, konzeptionelle Annäherungen an elektronische Musik oder an Song-Traditionen. Drei Auftragsproduktionen, vier Europa- und acht Deutschland- Premieren unterstrichen diesmal den Mut zum Risiko. Gälte es, eine übergeordnete Devise für das Moers Festival 2016 zu formulieren, wären es wohl die schroffen Kontraste, die im Lauf eines Tages und Abends von Band zu Band entstehen. (...) Atmosphärische Störungen gewitterten hinter den Kulissen schon vor Beginn des Festivals. Zwar sei die in früheren Jahren schwierige finanzielle Lage dank einer Unterstützung des Bundes von 150 000 Euro für die Jahre 2016 bis 2018 entspannt; gleichwohl gebe es Leute, die das Festival gerne anders oder gar nicht weiterführen wollten – so fasste Reiner Michalke die aktuelle Situation zusammen. Auf der Abschlusspressekonferenz sagte der künstlerische Leiter, er habe dem Aufsichtsrat vorgeschlagen, ihn von seinem noch bis 2020 laufenden Vertrag mit sofortiger Wirkung zu entbinden. Es ist zu hoffen, dass die divergierenden politischen Kräfte in Moers das Richtige für dieses renommierte Festival schon tun werden.

FAZ - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 19.05.2016, Norbert Krampf

Read more


final press conference

At the festival’s final press conference yesterday, Reiner Michalke offered the Chairman of the Board at Moers Kultur GmbH the immediate termination of his contract, due to the persistent confusions surrounding the financial situation and the resulting uncertainties as to in which way the festival may be continued in the future.

You can find the video of the press conference here.



moers festival 2016 – The Pleasure of No Limits!

We had such a great time with you! Four jampacked days of music, fantastic musicians and all of you with whom we could experience the adventures of the last four days. If you don't want it all to stop just yet, you can access all the concert recordings as a catch-up stream for the next six months at ARTE Concert. Visit our picture gallery and photo blog to see photos of the festival.


The final day of the festival

Today at 11 pm is the last chance to experience the morning sessions.

We're starting off today at 2 pm with the Lisbon Underground Music Ensemble, at 3.30 pm Hauschka & Kosminen will continue the day, followed by Amok Amor at  4.45 pm and the final concert of the 45th festival edition is Becca Stevens & Jacob Collier at 6 pm. All of today's concerts will again be streamed live. Visit our picture gallery and photo blog for pictures of the festival. Stay tuned!


First impressions of saturday...

...are now in our picture gallery!

Here's todays schedule:

3 pm Tim Isfort "Zapptet"
4.30 pm The Liz "Book of Birds"
5.45 pm Medusa Beats
8 pm David Virelles "Mbókò"
9.30 pm Warped Dreamer
10.45 pm Dawn of Midi
12 pm Moon Hooch


The sunday begins

The early birds among you should not miss out on the 'morning sessions', kicking off at 11 am in the music department of the Musikschule Moers.
At 1.30 pm we shall continue with Stian Westerhus' solo concert at the city church, and Tim Isfort's "Zapptet" will open the festival Sunday at 3 pm.


The festival goes on

The Subway Jazz Orchestra opened the 2nd festival day. Here's the schedule for today:

4.30 pm Kaja Draksler & Susana Santos Silva
5.45 pm Maja Osojnik & Patrick Wurzwallner “Let Them Grow“
8 pm Jeremy Flower “The Real Me”
9.30 pm Harold López-Nussa Trio
10.45 pm Harriet Tubman & Cassandra Wilson present “Black Sun”


First impressions

Yesterday was a great festival start. Our photo gallery now contains some initial pictures from yesterday's concerts, while the first episodes of "Behind the scenes", a backstage glimpse of the moers festival, is also online. Check them out!
Today the Subway Jazz Orchestra will open with their concert at 3 pm!


The 45th moers festival has started!

Our ‘Improviser in Residence’ Carolin Pook got the 45th moers festival rolling. More gigs at the festival hall tonight: Sam Amidon as of 9.15 pm, followed Jóhann Jóhannsson "End of Summer" at 10.15 pm, and No BS! Brass Band as of 11.30 pm. Last but not least we continue at the club ‘Die Röhre’ with ‘Schnellertollermeier’ as of midnight. See you there!


Just a matter of hours ...

There are just a few hours to go until this year's moers festival opens tonight at 8 pm, and we're madly looking forward to four days of music - and to the fact that you'll be joining us.
All the concerts from the main programme will be streamed live on our website and via ARTE Concert. But as nothing can beat being there in person, get your ticket now (pre-sales finish at 4 pm). It's time to get a move on to Moers! 


Tomorrow is the day

Carolin Pook will open the festival with „pezzettino 8“ tomorrow. In her latest blog entry ‘From Moers to Mars’ she talks about the rehearsals for this gig and about how much she is looking forward to the festival. Check out the blog.
During the festival, our mates from ‘Spot Behind’ will  keep you in the loop with all sorts of background information. Not to miss: Part of the crew this year are '' who also filmed that video with our little craft bus. Stay tuned!
More information is available in our last newsletter before the festival. We look forward to enjoy fabulous concerts with you all!


Sam Amidon is coming!

First some good news, we are happy to announce that we could add American singer and multi-instrumentalist Sam Amidon to our Friday programme of the festival. The bad news is, however, that Jóhann Jóhannsson is in hospital and had to cancel his trip to Moers at doctor’s orders.

Read more


Intermission Tune 2016

This year’s interval signal, which once again would make a very classy ring tone, is now available for download. It’s by piano player Harold López-Nussa, an excerpt from his track ‘Guajira’. Guajira is a typical Cuban style of peasant music originating in the country’s rural areas. Over time it developed into a danceable mix of Son music and the original Guajira style.
You can listen to the interval tune here.


Females rule the blog

Following last week’s features about Carolin Pook (in German) and Carla Kihlstedt we posted another piece about a female artist today: Martin Longley about the duo Kaja Draksler and Susana Santos Silva. The next post will be a feature by Franziska Buhre about the Vienna based singer Maja Osojnik.


International Delegation visiting Moers Festival 2016 at the Invitation of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs

An international delegation of 18 experts from five different continents will visit Moers Festival 2016, accepting the joint invitation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, the Initiative Musik and the Goethe-Institut Munich. A visit at Moers Festival is both a great incentive and the final highlight at the end of their one-week-trip themed ‘Music from Germany – Musical Homeland Germany’. Prior to the festival, the delegation is scheduled to visit the ‘Haus der Kulturen der Welt’ in Berlin, the ‘Popakademie Mannheim’ and more. This delegation, comprised of festival directors and journalists, will come to Moers on Friday, 13 May and stay in town for three days.

Read more in the press release


moers blog reactivated

We reactivated our moers festival blog at Easter time. This is where we will post interesting articles about anything concerning the festival programme. Our writers have been hard at work. The result: The first two blog articles are online. Martin Longley had a chat with Amok Amor’s bass player Petter Eldh about how the band got together, and about their upcoming gig in Moers. Karl Lippegaus dedicated his article to the Belgian Jozef Dumoulin and his relationship with his Fender Rhodes. Tomorrow, we will post a piece by Franziska Buhre about Subway Jazz Orchestra and the Big Band scene in Germany.

Go to moers festival blog here. (partly in German)


VIP tickets

Novelty! For the first time, we offer VIP tickets this year. The VIP ticket includes entry to the festival on all four festival days, three nights accommodation at the designated festival hotel (Friday to Monday*). Additionally, the VIP ticket will give you access to the media area (with free WiFi) and allows you to use the shuttle bus which runs once an hour between the Festival Hall and the festival hotel, free of charge.

read more in our latest newsletter


We have great news:

moers festival 2016 will take place as planned, just like we thought it would.

Concern about the festival’s financial situation arose after the new CEO reevaluated the figures. Last night, the city of Moers signed a guarantee agreement and thereby fulfilled the new CEO’s condition to go ahead with moers festival 2016. Time will show to what extent the CEO’s financial assessment was correct.

Unfortunately, we lost precious time to advertise for the festival due to the uncertainties in these past weeks. Therefore we now need your help with advertising for our festival! Please support us now by raising awareness of the festival.

The best proof that the world needs moers festival is a sold out house on all four days.


This Year’s Line-Up!

Eagerly anticipated and now released: This afternoon we presented the main programme for the upcoming festival at the press conference.

Detailed information about the programme, plus photos of all artistes and/or bands performing at the festival hall in Moers on the Whitsun weekeend from May 13th to May 16th 2016 can be found at our website.

The programme can be found here.


Chat link to programme press conference

Today the programme of this year's moers festival will be presented: our press conference is to take place today at midday.


Moers Kultur GmbH Press Conference

The financial situation of the festival or moreover its organising body Moers Kultur GmbH is again troublesome as you may have heard from the media. However, at yesterday’s press conference at Moers city hall those responsible advised to relax the discussion somewhat. At present, we cannot promise anything just yet, but we remain confident that the festival will take place as planned..
Further information can be found online:
search moers festival

You can stream yesterday’s press conference here (full-length).


poster motif 2016

This year’s Moers Festival poster is launched. The photo was taken by Colombian photographer Eliana Aponte. It depicts a blue train on rails, with white cloud formations and a vast sparkly blue sky towering overhead. Originally this train was really a bus which was converted into a train later on. Owing to the Cubans’ art of improvisation this converted train brings inhabitants and tourists from the outer suburbs of the Cuban city Trinidad to the city centre and back every day.

For many years, Eliana Aponte worked as a war photographer in the world’s war zones until she decided to move to Cuba four years ago. Now she captures people’s livelihoods and especially enjoys the love of life on the island after all those years full of violence and war.

Download the poster theme here.


Carolin Pook will be ’Improviser in Residence’ in Moers 2016

We are delighted to announce Carolin Pook as ‘Improviser in Residence’ for this year. Once again this position is filled with a New York based German musician. This composer and violin player will take over the task from the current Improviser in Residence Hayden Chisholm in Moers. The handover concert with both Improvisers, at which the world premiere of Hayden Chisholm’s 24-minute short film ‘Sisyphus runs’ which he produced last year, will also be shown to mark the occasion, will be held on 21st January 2016 at 7.30 pm at the Moers Festival Hall, free entry.

Click here for more news concerning "Improviser in residence", Hello/Goodbye concert and Early Bird ticket.


Early Bird ticket sales kick off

Early Bird ticket sales will kick off today at midnight! Our traditional Christmas special is up for grabs: the four-day-festival ticket, valid on all four festival days (13-16 May 2016) for 108 euros instead of 140 euros at the festival box office. It remains a popular gift for friends and family members who love music, or simply a nice gift for yourself.
As stated in the November newsletter, ticket prices have increased moderately for the 2016 season. However, concession festival tickets remain the same: only 50 euros.
Be quick and visit our ticket shop. Remember: Only while stock lasts!


Good news from Berlin

"The Federal Government will make 150,000 euros from the Federal Budget available to the internationally acclaimed Moers Festival on an annual basis for the next three years, in order to relieve the burden on the communal budget." said Radomski, Bundestag member (CDU) and member of the Committee on Budgets, after a revaluation meeting on Thursday. "The commitment paid of." noted Siegmund Ehrmann, Bundestag member (SPD) and Chair of Committee on Culture and Media. He pointed out that the Federal Government had also provided an investment grant for the refurbishment of the festival hall. The future grants will continue to stabilize the financial basis of the acclaimed Moers Festival, said Ehrmann. Minister Grütters had personally witnessed the artistic and organisational competence of all involved at the 2015 festival.
Radomski and Ehrmann, both members of Parliament and Moers citizens, thanked their colleagues Rüdiger Kruse and Johannes Kahrs for their support, who are both in charge of the Cultural Budget.

Reiner Michalke, Artistic Director of Moers Festival, commented: "That really is wonderful news. I feel as if we had won the Nobel prize of music. This decision goes to show that the festival is held in high regard, both nationally and internationally. It bears witness to the respect the parliament in Berlin has for the city of Moers. The city of Moers has hung on to this festival in good times, and bad times. Now it is reaping the benefits of years of commitment. This is an incentive for me and my team to make the festival better still!"



Hinter den Kulissen des moers festivals - Bilder, Videos und Interviews auf (teilweise Englisch)


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