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!"


Shortcut 2015

The shortcut to the 2015 moers festival is online! If you fancy a bit of reminiscing, or fancy being inspired all over again, check out which full-length Arte concert video on-demand you would like to revisit. Here is Shortcut 2015 with a half hour summary of all concerts from the main programme (without ‘the night’).

Go to newsletter with more information about the 2015 EJN Award and the Improviser in Residence.

We wish you a wonderful summer!


First press quotes

The last sounds faded, the installations were broken up and Hayden Chisholm will take over the forthcoming months to initiate and ignite challenging and enjoyable music in town. And, Artistic Director Reiner Michalke will have his ears, eyes, bodymind travel over the globe to discover artists and sounds for the next new brew. Next year's festival will be held over Whitsun 2016, May 13-16.
(Henning Bolte,, 07.06.2015)

Colin Stetson satte prägel på prisvinnade Moers Festival
Med vad som sannolikt måste vara den mest uppskattande publik som går att möta, en till synes evig tur med vädret och som nyligen utsedd vinnare av European Jazz Networks (EJN) "Award for Adventurous Programming" 2015 genomfördes under pingsthelgen Moers (Jazz) Festival för 44:e året i rad.
Som brukligt under de senaste tio åren med Reiner Michalke som huvudansvarig var programmet under de fyra dagarna synnerligen brett upplagt, där de fria improvisationerna regerade på morgonsessionerna, den mer koncentrerat köttiga musiken på nattsessionerna och allt det andra i den sedan två år nya festivalhall som ersatt stortältet. För dem av de 12 000 besökarna som orkade innebar det närmare 40 timmars musik utan krockar.
(Peter Bornemar,, 02.06.15) 

Eve Risser and Jelena Kuljic light up magical Moers Festival
At the beginning of its third day, the Moers Festival was presented with this year’s award for adventurous programming by the European Jazz Network. Already, it had justified this plaudit with several astounding sets in its new, specially converted concert hall, maintaining a 44-year reputation at the vanguard of improvised music, whether this be jazz, rock, electronic or folk-rooted. Following a few teething problems at last year’s opening of the new venue, practical matters were further refined in 2015, including an expansion of the sprawling festival encampment, long an important element of this alternative scene, since 1971. 
(Martin Longley, Jazzwise/UK, May 27th, 2015)

Mishaps are allowed at Moers Festival
One of Moers Festival’s strong points is that its curator doesn’t just take his pick among those bands which are currently on tour, but rather acts as initiator of many projects, or helps them along. Musicians are being encouraged to embark on an adventure and explore new aspects of themselves and their music. It is not a guarantee for success. Trying out something new can go wrong, but that does not matter. On the contrary, highlights and lesser performances are crystallized more clearly in the process, uniformity is actively being avoided.
(Mischa Andriessen, Jazzism/NL, 27.05.2015)

Moers Festival shows off what moves today’s Jazz musicians 
It is rather remarkable that those nearly 12,000 visitors hardly had any complaints about the programme by festival boss Reiner Michalke during those four days of the 44th Moers Festival, which was definitely dominated by large-scale formations. (...) Sure, there was the typical whinge by some Moers veterans about the lack of Free Jazz which was once really big in the Lower Rhine area. A request that Reiner Michalke rightfully dismissed for being as old school as Dixieland. After all his aim is to show what makes today’s Jazz musicians tick. And he was very convincing at that. Although you may wonder if four times of Colin Stetson’s skilful and loud muscle flexing on his different sized saxophones may actually just be pushing it a little.
(Westfälische Rundschau, 27.05.2015)

Instant emotions: Moers Festival 2015 
Ten years after Reiner Michalke took on the lead as artistic director, Moers Festival still excels in showing off the continuous development of certain musicians and hereby supports them. The British sound explorer Colin Stetson has previously performed at Moers many times over. Yet, his contrary sense of sound, sometimes deriving from his extremely low-toned saxophone, is now producing a new, spectacular and often also an emotionally agitating response on stage and among the audience. With his simply unbelievable circular breath skills Stetson’s sense of aesthetics are completely opposite to common beliefs about Jazz, especially contrary to any type of linearity.
(Stefan Pieper, Ruhrbarone, 27.05.2015)

Massive and super fast
Funny and visionary moments, unearthed and outrageous things at the 44th Moers Festival. (…) Moers Festival received the greatest distinction for the festival itself. Each year the Europe Jazz Network awards a presenter who ‘skilfully succeeds to create visionary and fascinating musical programmes for the audience.’ According to the jury Moers Festival is ‘one of the oldest and yet most original jazz Festivals in Europe,for its commitment to always innovate and experiment while remaining faithful to its identity’. The award certificate was handed over in the presence of Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Monika Grütters.
(Martin Woltersdorf, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 26.05.2015)

Can saxophone sounds be political? Impressions from Moers Festival
Frank Zappa once asked a musician who wanted to be part of his band ‘What can you do that's fantastic?’. It seems Reiner Michalke also applies this motto to his decision making for the Moers Festival programme. Every single concert answers to this question in one way or another. Also this year Moers offers the full range of New Jazz from solo artists to orchestras with an 80 part mixed choir, it offers anything from danceable to hardly audible, and long surpasses the boundaries of its genre. Therefore we can only partly review the simply sensational and newsworthy programme.
(Wolfgang Cziesla, Revierpassagen, 26.05.2015)

Moers Festival: The adventure continues ... 
The musical massiveness of a Colin Stetson and the surprise coup by the French Eve Risser with the 80 part choir from the region around Moers really marked this year’s musical highlights at Moers Festival. Off the stage the tone was set by Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Monika Grütters. At the Mayor’s reception on Sunday she made clear that Moers Festival is one of the world’s most important festivals for improvised music. ‘When you live here you don’t always realize it. This festival’s spirit is a great gift.’ 
(Gabi Gies, WAZ, 26.05.2015)

A canyon full of sounds
Even after 44 editions the Jazz festival in Moers does not fall back on routine, but surprises us with unusual sounds. During the ‘Morning Sessions’ there is ample room for undirected improvisation. (...) Moers 2015: Four days full of unbelievable music, some technical mishaps - on one occasion the hall had to be evacuated late at night because there was a false alarm by a smoke detector -, and some real highlights. One of them was definitely the concert by the French piano player and composer Eve Risser. With her ‘White Dessert Orchestra’ - an unusual big band with flutes, bassoons and clarinets - she crossed the borders between Jazz and modern classical music. Or as she puts it, she tries to fill a giant canyon with sound. 
(Jan Tengeler, Deutschlandradio Kultur, 26.05.2015)

Questions instead of answers
Discovery of different music styles from all over the world. Moers Festival wins his audience over. (...) One outstanding peculiarity of the festival is that it raises more questions than providing answers. It is truly loved by its audience for its discoveries and the friction. It is loved for its music styles from all over the world, for the projects they initiated and loved for their open-ended ones. One can always rely on Moers to present those musicians, bandleaders and composers.
(Franziska Buhre, taz, 26.05.2015)

Moers celebrates with large-scale formations
There have never been that many cellos and violins before. The 44th edition of Moers Festival was one of large-scale formations where a classical big band was enlarged by a few more string instruments. It was a festival of delicate compositions and smart arrangements. It was one of the most fabulous concert highlights which managed to capture its audience. It is now clear that artistic director Reiner Michalke really put his distinct mark on the post-tent era of the festival. From here on in it is all about listening attentively and not about a casual enjoyment of music. In the spotlight this year: the saxophone players. 
(Karen Kliem, NRZ, 26.05.2015)

More than a hundred musicians explored the Moers sound
Festival boss Reiner Michalke certainly deserves the Award for Adventurous Programming.  Once again, he invited the audience to join him in experiencing the most bizarre soundscapes. (...) Each concert is new, different, surprising, just as if curator Michalke shies away from repetition on purpose. The audience gets to meet musicians who literally seem to slave away on their instruments.
(Anja Katzke, Rheinische Post, 26.05.2015)

Moers Festival Celebrates The EJN Award 2015 For Adventurous Programming 
The EJN Award 2015 for Adventurous Programming was celebrated today during Moers Festival, winner of this year's Award. The Award Ceremony took place during the reception of the City Mayor in the Festival Hall. Ros Rigby, President of EJN, and Piotr Turkiewicz, EJN Vice President, congratulated the Festival team and the Artistic Director Reiner Michalke for the incredible work done in all these years in organising a Festival that produces some of the most innovative music in the field of jazz and improvised music in Europe. Prof. Monika Grütters, Head of Culture for the German Federal Government, Siegmund Ehrmann, Bundestag MP for North Rhine-Westphalia, and Christoph Fleischhauer mayor of the city of Moers also intervened during the reception and congratulated the Festival for the important contribution to the cultural sector in Germany and Europe, and for receiving the Award. 
(All About Jazz, 26.05.2015)

Moers Festival - A Whitsun miracle for fans
The 44th Moers Festival delivered happiness. There was a grand selection of large-scale formations, which didn’t always need to be explored, but could be savoured happily. Boy, how time flies! Moers Festival had a little anniversary to celebrate. It’s been 10 years now that Reiner Michalke put his mark on the legendary event in the Lower Rhine area, with great openness, a great sense for feasibility, and also with an antenna for the special something. In the course of his reign he made a couple of Whitsun miracles happen in the process. The greatest being the creation of the fantastic festival’s own hall where the surroundings clearly have been enlarged and improved in its second year.
(Sven Thielmann, WAZ, 25.05.2015)

Moers Jazz Festival, Moers, Allemagne
Quand on s'étonne ironiquement que Rainer Michalke, le directeur artistique du festival de Moers, n'ait pas programmé Snarky Puppy (comme tout le monde), il arbore un sourire franc mais sa réponse est tout à fait sérieuse : « En dehors du fait que leur musique ne me touche pas, nous ne prenons jamais de groupes en tournée! » Combien de festivals européens peuvent-ils en dire autant ? Et comment s'étonner alors de la variété stylistique du programme de Moers, concocté par un directeur artistique qui fait de réels choix et écoute lesgroupes avant de les engager ? Une démarche qui vient d'être récompensée du Prix de la Programmation Aventureuse 2015 par l'Europe Jazz Network. Quarante quatre ans de choix courageux et indépendants, ça se fête!
(Thierry Quénum, Jazzmagazine/Paris, 25.05.2015)



moers festival 2015 – what a success!

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 live Web. Visit our picture gallery and photo blog to see photos of the festival and stay tuned for the video “Shortcuts 2015”, a look back at the festival.

Please note: the next moers festival will be taking place over Whitsun 2016, from 13th to 16th of May


The final day of the festival

We're starting off today at 2 pm with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra feat. Olav Mjelva & Sofia Jernberg, Frank Gratkowski "Z-Country Paradise" at 3.30 pm, the final offering from our Artist in Residence Colin Stetson, this time a solo performance, at 4.45 pm and to crown it all off we have Bassekou Kouyaté 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!


EJN Awards Ceremony 2015

Today the moers festival was presented with the “Award for Adventurous Programming” by the Europe Jazz Network. The ceremony took place in the presence of Culture Minister Prof. Monika Gütters, Members of the German and Federal State Parliaments, the Mayor of Moers and of course many EJN colleagues and international guests. Ros Rigby, President of the EJN, presented the award to our Artistic Director Reiner Michalke. We are thrilled to have won!


It's all about music – Day 3

After two great days of music, we are now ready to start again today at 3 pm Sara McDonald & Quartett Metamorphose & Big Band from Cologne's Hochschule für Musik und Tanz. Today's concert marathon will be going on into the early hours. Stay with us for the night concerts!


Day two of the festival begins

A whole new host of exciting bands are waiting for you! We kick off with Eve Risser and her White Desert Ochestra at 3 pm. To see photos from the first day of the festival click on Multimedia and visit our Picture Gallery and find out more on our Photo Blog 'Behind the Scenes'. Enjoy the music!


The festival has started!

Our ‘Improviser in Residence’ Hayden Chisholm and the Lucerne Jazz Orchestra got the 44th moers festival rolling. More gigs at the festival hall tonight: ‘The Nest’ as of 8.30 pm, followed by Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld at 9.45 pm, and The Jones Family Singers as of 11 pm. Last but not least we continue at the club ‘Die Röhre’ with ‘Zodiac Trio’ as of midnight. See you there!


Good atmosphere, good times!

Just a few more hours! The weather is great and we are all ready for you! The first concert kicks off the festival at 7 pm, ticket sales at the door start at 4 pm. We look forward to sharing a couple of delightful concert days with you!


Tomorrow is the day we’ve all been waiting for!

All roads lead to Moers – The railway strike is over!
The railway engineers’ strike is officially over. However, for the time being there may still be some changes and delays. It is wise to consult the special online timetable  ‘Live-Auskunft’ by the Deutsche Bahn to check if your train will run as planned.

Alternatively, we recommend that you look for a ride with someone. We have a forum on our website where festival visitors can exchange this type of information. You can offer or look for rides, with or without registering at the site itself. Check it out here.

More visitor information is available in our last newsletter before the festival. We are looking forward to share great concerts with you.


Just one week to go until the Moers Festival!

It’s now just over a week until the festival begins! If the weather is as good as it has been in recent years (fingers crossed!) why not take a break from the festival to relax and cool off at the nearby Bettenkamper Meer natural baths. The natural baths are located along the banks of the Moerbach river just behind the Festival Hall and access is free for festival ticket holders and camping ticket holders.

More details and dates for the ‘Improviser in Residence’ can be found in our current newsletter.


More ambiance at market stalls

Some good news: The market will be more modern, the surrounding area clearly enlarged and greener. Catering and merchants will distinctly enjoy more space in comparison to last year. The market has been designed as a circuit, located closer to the centre of the Solimare parking lot. There will be many new stalls and more seating options. Also the outdoor area for will be bigger, greener and better for the our festival goers.

Detailed information can be found in our Newsletter.
As of today, the festival’s own intermission tune 2015 is available for download.


The rest of us

Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld released their first joint album ‘Never were the way she was’ ( Here is the brand new video ‘The rest of us’ by director Dan Huiting from Minneapolis, Minnesota. We are so looking forward to the concert on May 22nd in Moers!

More details and dates for the ‘Improviser in Residence’ can be found in our current newsletter.



The EJN award goes to … us!

Today, the Europe Jazz Network (EJN) announced the winner of the EJN Award for Adventurous Programming: The 2015 EJN Award goes to moers festival! A comment from the Award Jury about their unanimous decision: “The EJN Award is for ‘adventurous programming’ ... for over forty years the Moers Festival has indeed been one of the most adventurous music events in Europe in the field of improvisation, jazz and related styles.” ... "EJN is a European association of producers, presenters and supporting organisations who specialise in creative music, contemporary jazz and improvised music. Each year EJN awards a European presenter of jazz music who exemplifies the values of EJN, and skilfully succeeds to create modern, visionary and fascinating programmes for their audiences."

We are really happy!

Go to complete EJN press release.


How we create the festival program

For the first time, artistic director Reiner Michalke gives us detailed insight into his job as the festival’s curator. This weekend we will publish his contribution on our festival blog.

Today, we start Wolf Kampmann’s three-piece article ‘Hide & Seek’ about the disappearance of American jazz off German stages. We look forward to your comments about any of the blog items!
Go to the moers festival blog.

More details can be found in our current newsletter.


Our Blog rules!

Our festival blog keeps on growing. No less than both our residential artists Hayden Chisholm and Martin Longley keep up their blogging. New is the video of a brief interview with composer and big band leader Sara McDonald.

Merely six weeks are left before the festival starts! Those who still require a festival ticket or a day ticket can snap one up here.

Click here for more news concerning moers festival and dates for the 'Improviser in Residence'.


Fringe programme

This year, we again feature the ‘morning sessions’ and the ‘night sessions' @ the Moers club 'Die Röhre’. With the ‘morning sessions’, curator Jan Klare sets the scene for an informal microcosm where musicians from the main programme get together for a musical adventure. Whereas the midnight hour on festival days brings on the ‘night sessions’ with 'High Voltage’: Three highly energetic bands play around with the fundamental interaction between improvisation and composition at the club “Die Röhre”. Curator is John-Dennis Renken.
Further information can be found here and in our newsletter. Not to forget the moers festival blog!


moers festival blog

Today, our brand-new moers festival blog went live. This is where we will irregularly post background information, news and trivia concerning the moers festival in May.
We will kick off with an article by the British journalist Martin Longley who interviewed our ‘Artist in Residence’ Colin Stetson. Go to blog.

Click here for more news concerning moers festival and dates for the 'Improviser in Residence'.


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 22nd to May 25th 2015 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.

Live-audio-stream and Chat


2015 programme release - press conference

Next week Thursday, March 5th, 12 am, we will present the main programme for this year's moers festival at the press conference in Moers. There will be a live audio stream on our website for all those who cannot be present in person. As of 12 am, you can join the press conference and ask questions during the live chat right here. Exciting artists, you will see!

Click here for more news concerning "Improviser in residence“.


moers festival poster 2015

This year's poster theme: A cheeky mouse, peeping around the corner. It’s part of a large mural which was created in June 2013 as part of the George Town Festival on the island of Penang, Malaysia. The mouse ridicules a large orange-coloured cat which a Malay street artist uses to call for the protection of stray animals. The creator of the mouse, which is partly hiding in the shade, remains unknown.

Download the moers festival poster 2015 here. The current newsletter with concert dates for the 'Improviser in Residence' and the program release date can be found here.


Hayden Chisholm will be ’Improviser in Residence’ in Moers 2015

We are pleased to announce Hayden Chisholm as the 2015 ’Improviser in Residence’. Born 1975 in New Zealand, the profiled saxophone and clarinet player as well as composer will take over this task from Julia Hülsmann in Moers. The Hello/Goodbye concert on January 14th 2015 at the Festivalhalle Moers marks the handover with both improvisers present who have previously performed together at the moers festival 2014.

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


Behind the scenes

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


moers festival principal patrons

moers festival funders

moers festival partners

moers festival media partners

We would like to thank the car dealer Minrath for the kind support.


moers festival is a member of the