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!"


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.


Early-Bird-Ticket 2015

We will offer Early Bird tickets again for the 2015 moers festival, ticket sale will start today at midnight. The Early Bird ticket is valid on all four days of the 44th moers festival from May 22nd to May 25th 2015 (Pentecost weekend). Early Bird ticket: 98 euros incl. all fees (pre-sale ticket: 108 euros excl. fees; regular ticket: 120 euros).
Reduced Early Bird tickets: 50 euros incl. fees, also available as of December 1st (note: valid photo ID and concession card are required as proof upon entry on festival day(s)).

The first 100 orders will come with a free set of eight postcards with photographs from the series "Behind the Scenes 2014". The ticket shop is here.

Click here for more news concerning "moers festival postcards" and "Improviser in residence".


Early-Bird-Ticket 2015

We will offer Early Bird tickets again for the 2015 moers festival, ticket sale starts Dec. 1st! The Early Bird ticket is valid on all four days of the 44th moers festival from May 22nd to May 25th 2015 (Pentecost weekend). Early Bird ticket: 98 euros incl. all fees (pre-sale ticket: 108 euros excl. fees; regular ticket: 120 euros). Reduced Early Bird tickets: 50 euros incl. fees, also available as of December 1st (note: valid photo ID and concession card are required as proof upon entry on festival day(s)).  

The first 100 orders will come with a free set of eight postcards with photographs from the series "Behind the Scenes 2014". The ticket shop is here.

Click here for more news concerning "moers festival postcards" and "Improviser in residence".


moers festival on German TV

The German TV station WDR documented last summer’s festival and its premiere at the new festival hall. This cinematic review of the Moers Festival 2014 was recently aired on WDR TV in the TV show "Jazzline". The 45-minute documentary focusses on concert highlights from the new festival hall, complimented by interviews and artists‘ portaits.

The video can be found at the WDR-Mediathek.


Shortcut 2014

The "short cut" of  this year's moers festival – a 35 minute retrospective featuring excerpts from (almost) all the concerts and some interviews – has been compiled from the recordings made by Cologne's Academy of Media Arts and is now ready for viewing. Click here to see "moers festival 2014, the short cut"! 

Our website also features the "short cuts" from 2009 – 2013, while ARTE Live Web will let you watch (almost) all the concerts from the first three days of the festival in their entirety. Click here for the latest newsletter containing this and other information.


parking tickets – good news

After intensive discussions between the city of Moers and Moers Kultur GmbH the city of Moers agreed to withdraw the parking fines due to the contradictory information about parking in the vicinity of the moers festival. However, this is only applicable for parking tickets issued during the moers festival for parking in “no stopping” zones along Filder Straße and Venloer Straße.

Payments will automatically be reimbursed. We would like to thank the city of Moers for their goodwill. We’d also like to inform our future visitors that these concessions cannot be expected next year. During moers festival 2015 visitors should pay attention to the parking signs.


Thank you!

With four days of moers festival behind us, all our fears have proved unfounded and all our hopes and expectations exceeded by miles. The new festival hall? Great sound, a great view of the stage (wherever you happened to be sitting) and a great atmosphere, earning it unanimous and unreserved approval from musicians, audience and organisers alike.  The audience? The best, most adventurous and most enthusiastic in the world. All that remains for us to do is to say a huge thank you and to settle down and enjoy the last day of the festival with you. Oh yes, and looking forward briefly to next year, we'd like to mention that the moers festival 2015 will take place from 22nd - 25th May. Save the date!


Day three!

The main programme today is being opened by the Improviser in Residence, pianist Julia Hülsmann, at 3 pm in the festival hall. Joining her are the New York-based singer Theo Bleckmann, saxophonist Hayden Chisholm and drummer Moritz Baumgärtner.  

Please note: the start times for the second part of the evening programme have changed! The Gravity Band with Fred Frith will start at 7:30 pm, Arto Lindsay & Paal Nilssen-Love at 8:45 pm and Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpilezz at 10:00 pm.



The Sun Ra Arkestra has landed!

Sun Ra is back on the planet Mars, but the Sun Ra Arkestra continues to shine, closing Saturday's programme under Marshall Allen, one of the original musicians who was on the stage that fateful day in 1979 when the group appeared in Moers for the first time. See our photo gallery for pictures not only from tonight's concert but from the rest of the main programme. 


What a start!

And what a star the new festival hall was, outshining almost everything else. The sound was crystal clear, the atmosphere amazing and the view of the stage unimpeded. This and more led to resounding approval from the audience, musicians and numerous international journalists alike. A festival director from Tampere, Finland, said it was the best concert hall he'd ever seen.  

Our photo gallery now contains some initial pictures from yesterday's concerts, while the first episode of "Behind the scenes", a backstage glimpse of the moers festival, is also online. Check them out!


Starting signal for the new festival hall!

Sebastian Gramss' BASSMASSE is opening the 43. moers festival - the first of plenty of concerts ever in the new festival hall!
For tonight we also have "Marc Ribot", "Han Bennink & Oscar Jan Hoogland", the "Ricky-Tick Big Band & Julkinen Sana" for you as well as our first "night session" with "Benny Greb's Moving Parts". We are looking forward to seeing you!


Just a matter of hours ...

There are just a few hours to go until this year's moers festival opens tonight at 7 pm, and we're madly looking forward to four sunny days of music - and to the fact that you'll be joining us. All those who attended the packed Open House party yesterday already know how fantastic the new festival hall is. For everyone else it will be a wonderful surprise!

All the concerts from the main programme will be streamed live on our website and via arte TV. But as nothing can beat being there in person, it's time to get a move on to the festival hall!


The countdown's on:

Tomorrow sees the start of the 43rd moers festival, and the first in the new Solimare festival hall. We can't wait to see you! Anyone who's in Moers already today (thursday) is warmly invited to the "Open House" housewarming party in the festival hall tonight at 7 pm and to the last concert of our "Night Voices" series in the portacabin on Neumarkt tonight at 9:45 pm. Also don't miss the final concert of the Sound Orchestra project which is taking place tomorrow (friday) afternoon at 3.30 pm. And then: bring on the moers festival 2014 with four days of sunshine!

Our latest newsletter with more information on topics like "Moerser Morgen", "night sessions" or "tickets" you find here.


Festival hall now finished!

With the festival just days away, work on the new festival hall is (almost) completely finished. The stage is ready, all the seating is in, the mirrors are on the walls in the foyer and the counters have been set up. All that remains to do over the next two days are the final tweaks to the sound and lighting systems, and a good cleanup. Come and see for yourself how well the new venue has turned out!

Our latest newsletter with more information on the craft market, camping and parking, new features as well as infos on interval music and tickets you find here.


avant moers - Night voices ("Nachtstimmen") 2014

A quiet highlight of every moers festival is the concert series "Night Voices", held at sunset every day in the week leading up to the festival. In the intimate setting of a portacabin in the centre of Moers, the audience is treated to some of the best voices currently to be heard in a number of different musical languages. The first voice this year belongs to the multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Tara Jane O'Neil from Portland/Oregon, whose latest album brilliantly balances folk, subtle psychedelic and drone. Other guests include the British dancer, poet and improviser Julyen Hamilton, appearing with the trumpeter Richard Koch, the gifted Berlin-based vocalist Almut Kühne, appearing with the butoh dancer Makiko Tominaga, and the Italian composer and performance artist Alessandro Bosetti. Curator is Thomas Gläßer.

For programme details see:

See also our avant-moers Newsletter with more infos on "mini moers" and "Klangorchester" here.


Sarah Neufeld & Colin Stetson

There's been another late confirmation for this year's festival in the form of two very special musicians who not long ago made their sensational debut as a duo at the Victoriaville Festival in Canada. Sarah Neufeld and Colin Stetson will open the "night sessions 2.0" on the Sunday of the festival (8th June), starting around midnight. The duo - who are the best thing this author has heard in a long time - are only able to appear thanks to the fact that Arcade Fire, the band with which Sarah Neufeld is currently touring Europe, are having a day off on Whit Sunday. And Colin Stetson has declared himself willing to travel all the way from Montreal to Moers for just this one concert. Admission on Whit Sunday is free after midnight! More information you find here.

Click here to read our newsletter, which this week contains links to two new feature texts about the Sun Ra Arkestra and Fred Frith, also a link to a new video of Sjur Miljeteig.


Video interview with Fred Frith

We've now added two new videos to the website. The one being a glimpse into the preparations being made for the concert by Sebastian Gramss' BASMASSE you find here. We also sent one of our team to the Victoriaville Festival where Fred Frith can be seen getting ready for his performance with "Gravity". Click here to share in his greetings from Eastern Canada.

Click here to see our latest newsletter, which also contains information about the building work's final phase and about our latest two artist features.


Open House: get to know the new festival hall!

The new festival hall finally opens its doors on the Thursday before the festival! To celebrate, we're holding an "open house 2014" featuring artists and bands from Moers and the surrounding area which as well as promising to be a great party offers the perfect opportunity to get to know the venue before the festival starts. Tickets are free - for more information click here.

The craft market also starts on 5th June, and the new Solimare campsite and caravan parking area will be open from then.


Just confirmed: "night session 2.0" with Tim Hecker / Greg Haines

Thanks to the new festival hall we are proud to be able to present on Sunday at midnight the Canadian Tim Hecker and the Briton Greg Haines. We're looking forward to entering the unique sound worlds created by these solo artists as they combine electronic, sound art, ambient und minimal music. More information about the artists can be found here. Click here to see our latest news letter, which also contains information about our series of artist features, a call for volunteers and the the next Improviser in Residence event.


Start of our series of artist features: none for all and all for none!

We are starting our weekly series of features on the various artists who will provide the music at this year's festival. The first weeks' articles look at the three guitarists Fred Frith, Marc Ribot and Arto Lindsay who, from the 1980s onwards, have made extremely significant contributions - both joint and individual - to the development of the jazz guitar.

Ralf Dombrowski and Wolf Kampmann exchange views on what these three guitar pioneers have in common – and what sets each of them apart. Read today in part one how it all began and how the scene came into being. To go to this week's feature, click here.

See our latest newsletter, which also contains "moers festival 2014 interval music as ring tone", news on "tickets" and upcoming dates with the Improviser in Residence.


Greetings from New York City

For this year’s moers festival, we have collected greeting messages from New York City for you!

Some of the artists have taken to the media to send you a brief greeting well before the event. Watch and find out what the likes of Ava Mendoza, Marshall Allen of Sun Ra Arkestra and Josh Sinton of Ideal Bread have to say. Watch the video here.



"nimm!" has now become the "avant-moers festival"

"nimm!" has now become the "avant-moers festival", ensuring with its new look and a host of new ideas that the creative spirit of improvised music fills the town all year round and not just at Whitsun.

Take a look for yourself at the latest developments and find out about upcoming events – including those involving our Improviser in Residence Julia Hülsmann:
(Sorry, only in German!)

"Check out our latest newsletter, which also contains an update on upcoming dates with the Improviser in Residence and a preview of the programme flyer 2014.


The fringe programme

The fringe programme for this year's moers festival has now been officially revealed! As ever, the main programme will be complemented by a series of "morning sessions", "night sessions" and "concerts in the dark" - for details and photos, click here or see our latest newsletter, which also contains upcoming dates with the Improviser in Residence and the chance to give us your feedback on the need for a shuttle service and a communal tent.


The fringe programme

The fringe programme for this year's festival, which, as always, will consist of "morning sessions", "night sessions" and "concerts in the dark", is set to be revealed next week. Watch this space!

To see the latest newsletter, which contains information about advertising material and upcoming performances by the Improviser in Residence, click here


Programme press conference

If you want to hear more about the moers festival 2014 you can listen to the programme press conference which took place on 6 March. To read the latest festival newsletter containing information about advance ticket sales, click here.


The programme is out!

The main programme is now out – to find out more, go to "Programme". Texts and photos can be found under "Press", and our artistic director has even created a video trailer as a little taster of this year's festival. Enjoy!


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


Camping and caravans

The festival's move to its new venue is set to bring with it some changes in the camping situation. Visitors will no longer be able to camp in the Freizeitpark but are being invited to use instead what used to be the Solimare open air swimming pool. Just a short walk from the festival hall, the new campsite offers a large, enclosed grassy area for tents, plus washrooms and shower facilities, and will be manned by security attendants. Caravans can be parked in a special section of the public car park in front of the festival hall. Both sites are open to festival ticket holders at no extra cost. Visitors without a festival ticket can purchase a separate camping ticket for € 50/person which will be valid from 5th – 9th June 2014. Festival tickets and camping tickets also provide free admission to the natural lake swimming pool Bettenkamper Meer. Camping outside the official sites is no longer possible. More information, including maps, will soon be available in the "Visitor Info" section of our website

Click here to read our latest newsletter, which contains "Programme press conference with audio stream and chat", "Craft market and food stalls", "Improviser in Residence dates" and "This & That". 


Poster reveal

The motif of this year's poster is unveiled – a photo by Patrick Essex of an old pub door. The same door features in the recently released volume of pictures "Bei Uschi's Eck: Die Kneipe und ihre Bewohner" ("Bei Uschi's Eck: the pub and its inhabitants"), though there it is closed, rather than open, and the lights of the pub are not on. From the look of it, this door is in constant use. It is a door through which many people have entered and left, and one which would have many stories to tell if only it could speak. 

To download the moers festival poster motif 2014, click here.

Click here to read our latest newsletter, which contains „dates for your diary: Improviser in Residence“ and updates on „work on the festival hall“.


HELLO/GOODBYE: Improviser in Residence

Hello/Goodbye: Improviser in Residence

This week sees us delighted to welcome Julia Hülsmann as Moers' new Improviser in Residence. Hülsmann, a pianist and composer based in Berlin, will move into residence on Friday as she embarks on her year of living and working in Moers. This week also sees us sad to be saying goodbye to Michael Schiefel, our Improviser in Residence in 2013, who will be handing over the baton on Saturday at a farewell concert featuring both artists in turn:

Date/time: Saturday, 25th January 2014, 7.30 pm (doors open 6.30 pm)
Venue: Schlosstheater Moers | Schloss, Kastell 9, 47441 Moers

Click here to read our latest newsletter, which contains updates on the Schlosstheater Moers, the new festival hall and the poster and programme for 2014.


Early Bird ticket in final spurt

With exactly 38 Early Bird tickets remaining, stocks are running very low but there's still a chance to get one. Don’t wait too long! The ticket shop is here.

More news from the festival can be found in our current newsletter. This week's topics include the latest news on "Improviser as sound installer" and "Winterjazz".


Julia Hülsmann to be next Improviser in Residence

We are delighted to announce that one of the most distinguished musicians in Germany, Julia Hülsmann, is to succeed Michael Schiefel as Improviser in Residence in Moers next year. 

The post of Improviser in Residence is an integral part of the moers festival and was established in 2008. The chosen musician lives and works in Moers for the duration of their year-long residency. The role of the Improviser is to organise concerts, facilitate and participate in projects and artistic co-productions, and work with children, young people and adults in Moers and the surrounding area.

Our warmest thanks go to Michael Scheifel for a wonderful and highly enjoyable year in Moers, and to the Kunststiftung NRW without whose support the institution of Improviser in Residence would not exist.

More news from the festival can be found in our current newsletter. This week's topics include the latest on Early Bird ticket sales and the lowdown on moers festival "leaks".


Early Bird tickets!

Early Bird tickets for the four (!) day festival go on sale from the 02.12. on for just € 98 all inclusive. (Tickets purchased in advance after the Early Bird offer has elapsed cost € 108 plus booking fees, and tickets purchased on the door cost € 120.)  Reduced-price festival tickets cost € 50 all inclusive and, for the first time, are also available now as part of the Early Bird offer. (Please note that proof of eligibility and some form of photo ID must be shown on the door.)

The first 100 people to order an Early Bird ticket will receive a free moers festival calendar for 2014!  The ticket shop is here.

Click here for more news concerning "moers festival calendars" and "work on the new festival hall".


moers festival back up to four days!

Thanks to a grant from the Federal Cultural Foundation, we can now confirm that Whit Monday will be part of the regular festival programme next year. The funding has allowed us to embark on some exciting extra projects which will take the festival back up to four days. The NRW Arts Foundation is also continuing its partnership with the festival, providing funding not only for the festival programme but also securing next year's "Improviser in Residence".

Click here for more news concerning "Early bird tickets", "moers festival calendars", "work on the new festival hall" and "Improviser in action".


moers festival on TV

Next Monday, October 14th 2013, at 11.15 pm, the broadcaster WDR is showing a 60 minute report about this year's festival.

"The programme of this year's Moers Festival offered the opportunity to make new discoveries and revel in 'old' acquaintances. Unarguably, the most noteworthy aspect was 'Zorn Day' – a whole day dedicated to just one artist and a first in the history of the festival. But the following days too all went to prove once again how diverse and exciting international music creation is today. Jazzline brings you the highlights of the festival, which took place from 17 – 19 May 2013 in Moers."


New festival hall

The conversion of what was originally a tennis hall, then a theatre hall, and soon our new festival hall, has now begun. The building has been stripped of its remaining interiors and a construction site set up for the renovations to come. (read more)

Almost all the necessary contracts of work have been awarded and we're still right on track both financially and in terms of schedule. As soon as there's anything to see we'll start an online "building site journal" featuring up-to-date photos.

The newspaper WAZ/NRZ published an interview with festival director Reiner Michalke this week all about the move to the new festival hall and related issues.


Government supports Festival Hall

Impressed by the building concept and in recognition of the international significance of the moers festival, the German government is supporting the conversion of the Theaterhalle am Solimare into what will be the new Festival Hall to the tune of € 500,000.

This grant will make it possible to complete the building work, originally planned to take place in two phases, in one go. Work will begin in September and is scheduled to end at the beginning of April 2014, so that the official opening of the Festival Hall will coincide with the start of the moers festival on 6 June 2014. 

 The official press release is available for download here.


the shortcut - moers festival 2013

The video recordings that were made by students from Cologne's Academy of Media Arts for the livestream have enabled us to put together a retrospective of the festival entitled "mores festival 2013 – the shortcut". The film provides a 25-minute review of this year's festival and features excerpts from all 21 concerts that took place on the first three days, including those that formed part of "Zorn Day". The video can be found here.

The multimedia section also features video documentaries of the years 2009 – 2012, and some of this year's concerts can still be viewed in full on ARTE Live Web.


Press comments on the moers festival 2013:

Screams, vamps and a malevolent hiss
An epic performance by John Zorn was only one of the highlights at Moers this year. (...) The festival presented seven 45-minute sets each day and each act was worth a look. The impressive Dorf were followed by Swedish acoustic jazz, an ear-shattering piano power trio – with Bill Laswell on bass – and a set from Brazilian singer Lenine, whose warm-hearted guitar riffs were fleshed out by the strings and reeds of the Martin Fondse Orchestra. To end, there was the Proverb Trio, led by Cuban drummer Dafnis Prieto and featuring vocalist Kokayi freestyling over edgy dancehall beats. The highlight, though, was the through-improvising Norwegian duo of vocalist Sidsel Endresen and guitarist Stian Westerhus, who conjured solitude and rage with an energy and focus that matched Zorn’s. (...)
In what seemed like no time at all, the midnight curfew struck. It was a last call for both this year’s festival and its Big Blue Tent. Moers Music Festival moves indoors next year, but with programming this good, the transition should be smooth, and nostalgia the only reason to fret.
25 May 2013, Financial Times, Mike Hobart


Legendary 42nd Moers Festival
Forty-two editions later and the festival in Moers can still claim to be one of the most if not the most adventurous music events taking place in the field of improvisation, jazz and related styles.  Fred Frith & Evelyn Glennie, Sidsel Endresen & Stian Westerhus and Michael Schiefel's Platypus Trio formed the absolute highlights. (...) A big plus point this year was the fact that sets were limited to three-quarters of an hour max. This meant there was no overkill for people who wanted to hear every note from beginning to end. One thing that strikes me every year is that the Moers audience, unlike audiences at other large commercial jazz festivals, listens with an open mind to every group on the programme, however different their music may be. That's what makes the atmosphere here so extraordinary.  
25 May 2013,, Georges Tonla Briquet

moers festival 2013: taking leave of the old, embracing the new

The 42nd edition marked the end of the 35-year Schlosspark era, and the end of 27 years in Europe's biggest big top. Though the circus tent has always been the festival's main arena in the decades of extraordinary music and almost yearly world premieres, a secondary arena has grown up alongside it – the camp made up of tents and stalls. Thousands of non-ticket-holding campers have come to love their annual get-together as much as the music fans assembled in the big top. The festival has been on the move since its premiere, pushing forward dynamically, sometimes in great strides, sometimes in small steps, but never staying still, for staying still would spell stagnation, and stagnation would spell the end, a dead end for evolution. The festival lives on, with some crucial changes, but then change can bring vitality and innovation. Sadly, the gathering in the park can't be transplanted as easily as the music –that's stagnation for you. Everyone will miss the unique flair of the Schlosspark, but at least the festival will continue to exist just 500 metres away, and the music community will make itself at home again there. Onwards and upwards to the new Festival Hall. 2014 will be a distinctive year, musically speaking and, for once, spatially. 
22 May 2013,, Klaus Denzer

Shrieks and sacred voices in Moers – the Whit festival 2013
The real surprises of this year's Moers spectacle, however, the highlights that sent frissons of delighted amazement through the audience, came not from the piano, not from the brass, bassoons or flutes and not from the violins, cellos or double basses – the most wonderful moments were provided this time by the human voices, sometimes by the guitars, and by the percussion. Those were Moers' great strengths this year.
22 May 2013,, Wolfgang Cziesla

The many incarnations of John Zorn

Zorn is a magnet. (...) On this particular day, "Zorn at 60", the opening day of the 42nd Moers Festival, the first Jewish melody was heard just fifteen minutes before the end of the concert. A gift from the Masada Songbook, the tune was played by Electric Masada (Joey Baron, Kenny Wollesen, Trevor Dunn, Marc Ribot, Cyro Baptista, Ikue Mori and Jamie Saft), and also marked the first time that John Zorn had picked up his alto sax the whole evening. Up until that point he'd either acted as conductor or watched from the back of the stage as various ensembles played his compositions. The Masada Songbook and Radical Jewish Culture were just footnotes in Moers to a programme that wove between easygoing Americana, bloody power rock, fragile mysticism and virtuoso chamber music.
21 May 2013, De Morgen, Didier Wijnants

moers festival 2013
The Moers Festival is definitely one of Europe's most interesting jazz festivals, and the programme this year was possibly better than ever before. (...) The undoubted highlight for this "Jazznytt" correspondent was the concert by Sidsel Endresen and Stian Westerhus, a duo that has been playing together for so long that they know each other and each other's ideas backwards. Westerhus's guitar playing is out of this world and I can't remember ever hearing him perform as dynamically and beautifully as he did this evening. Sidsel Endresen remains the queen of free, improvised jazz. (...) Then came the time for another superb duo. The Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie and the British guitarist Fred Frith gave us an hour of music like we've never heard before.
21 May 2013,, Jan Granlie


Beautifully flowing
It all started almost as always. The band played the first notes of Naked City's "Batman". There was a build up of surf guitar, a bashing of drums, and singer Mike Patton rasping and grating just like in the days from which his baggy pants and hooded top probably stemmed. The whole thing lasted about two minutes. Welcome back, John Zorn! Nice to see you've not changed. The Friday of the Moers Festival was "Zorn Day", in celebration of the 60th birthday of the New York-based free jazz composer John Zorn, whose appearances in Germany are a rare thing. ... The music swung between a melodic compaction of discrete themes, and free improvisation. And Zorn sat on the edge of it all in an orange T-shirt and camouflage pants, unable to suppress a grin. Then it was over. Standing ovations that went on for minutes. Welcome back, John Zorn! We missed you.
21 May 2013, die tageszeitung, Christian Werthschulte
Tradition and young abandon
The song project, a retrospective of Zorn's best pieces from the past 30 years, saw Zorn, the singers  Mike Patton, Sofia Rei, Jesse Harris and Zorn's all-star ensemble remove all distinctions between the categories jazz, rock and pop. South American ballads and blues and jazz rhythms alternated fluidly with ear-splitting punk. There could have been no better start to the last Moers Festival in the Freizeitpark.... The jazz festival ended as it had begun, with two heroes of improvised music. Evelyn Glennie, who has been almost deaf since childhood and who concentrates entirely on percussion, and Fred Frith (guitar) entranced the audience with their experimental, rhythmical world of sound.
21 May 2013, Rheinische Post, Anja Katzke
Next Moers Festival in converted tennis hall

The 42nd edition of the annual improvised music get-together "beat all festival ticket records yet", according to artistic director Reiner Michalke. With almost 1,800 three-day tickets and hundreds of one-day tickets changing hands, the festival tent, which holds 2,500 paying guests, was completely sold out on two days and almost sold out on one. Whether the event's popularity was down to its imminent change of location or the programme itself is a matter for speculation. ...  The "wild variety of contemporary music concentrated on a single stage at Whitsun" (Michalke) characteristic of the Moers Festival continued until Sunday evening – to return next year for the 43rd time, despite the move to the new "Festival Hall".
21 May 2013, Westdeutsche Zeitung, Detlef Herchenbach
End of the tent era
A new beginning which involves both risks and opportunities sees festival head Rainer Michalke look to the future with mixed emotions. As programme director he'll be able to welcome performances that wouldn't have worked in the festival tent, and he'll no longer have to deal with complaints from local residents about the noise.  … One of the highlights of this year's festival was a much-celebrated performance by Münster's Michael Schiefel, this year's artist in residence and thus Moers' official town musician. Accompanied by a cellist and a cimbalom player and using a mixture of scat, poetry, onomatopoeia and a large helping of humour, the gifted singer told tales from the life of a platypus.
21 May 2013, Ruhr-Nachrichten, Michael Klein

Maverick with a holy vision
New York's John Zorn was the crowd puller at this year's Moers Festival. Never before had an artist at this event of international renown been permitted to design and curate a whole evening of concerts on his or her own. ... Another source of relish were the mainly spontaneous dialogues between Endresen/Westerhus and Glennie/Frith. Two on guitar and electronics (Frith, Westerhus), one on percussion in all its manifestations (Glennie), plus vocals, or rather vocal art by Endresen, with both duos a paragon of wonderfully harmonious musical interplay despite their apparent contrariety. Yet even they were beaten by the trio led by singer Michael Schiefel, who stunned the audience with his fantastically acrobatic voice and instrumental vocal technique. And there was more good news in the form of record visitor numbers: two days sold out completely and the third was not far off  - a first in the festival's history. Excitement is already running high for next year, which sees the event move to a new venue. 
21 May 2013, Kölner Stadtanzeiger, Martin Woltersdorf
Visitor record for the 42nd Moers Festival
How we will miss the smell of dust, wet grass and other notes in Moers. Now that the 42nd Moers Festival, which ended yesterday with a record 15,000 visitors, is over, the giant big top is officially a thing of the past. But so be it – the new Festival Hall will offer artistic director Reiner Michalke a whole range of possibilities in the future. Roughly speaking, Michalke's programme for this year could be divided into two blocks – "Zorn Day" on Friday and then the rest of the festival, which even without rain was full of stormy contrasts. Michalke has long since made the legacy of Burkhard Hennen, the festival's founder, his own, and because pussyfooting around is just not his thing, the 42nd festival was even harder on the ear than previous years, which weren't exactly quiet themselves. This time however, the rock faction clearly had the upper hand, somewhat overshadowing the jazz brigade. But what does that say about anything anyway nowadays?
21 May 2013, WAZ, Sven Thielmann
The end is the beginning
Moers is where the revolt against shallow harmonies, simple rhythms and commercial music pays off. The festival's musicians and their fans are demonstratively intellectual and non-conformist. The bands that appear give every performance their all, making completely new musical discoveries as they do so. ... Anything goes if it entertains the audience. Musicians in Moers are given unlimited artistic freedom. The festival is open to musical influences from all over the world, and the next round will take place from 6 – 9 June 2014, over the Whit weekend. Building work on the new venue, which used to be a tennis hall, is due to be completed in March 2014.  
21 May 2013,, Uta Philipp
Applause for the platypus
You can get a sound out of a guitar using a towel or even a chain – inventor Fred Frith showed us how years ago. And you don't need to be able to hear to have rhythm in your blood: Evelynn Glennie is almost deaf. The two together gave an incredibly atmospheric concert, full of hushed concentration and almost reverent tones. Not aided, it has to be said, by the thudding bass from the stalls outside. Was it a coincidence that Frith and Glennie appeared right after the closing press conference at which it was promised that noise from outside would no longer be an issue in the new Festival Hall? Whatever the case, it demonstrated how discordant the combination of party outside and music inside can sometimes be at the Moers Festival.
21 May 2013, Neue Ruhr/Rhein Zeitung, Karen Kliem

Undreamt-of sounds
The Moers Festival has, over the course of its more than 40-year history, established itself as an important event in the advanced jazz and improvised music calendar, for it makes room for music that receives little attention otherwise. This year's highlight was an appearance by John Zorn. Brazil, New York, France, Norway and the Ruhr were the main stages on the journey taken by this year's Moers Festival. But geography only gives the faintest idea of how the music sounds, or can sound. In this way Moers is not a real place but a utopian one, in which for four days every year at Whitsun, space is given over to music that receives little attention otherwise. Undreamt-of sounds, fragile and sometimes grating, daring and comforting and always completely different from what you never would have expected anyway.
20 May 2013,, Jan Tengeler
Moers : round the world in 80 Zorn
To be fair, one should really say 60… On Sunday it's the turn of Victoriaville, the Quebecois festival of "unheard (-of)" music, to enjoy John Zorn's programme "Zorn @ 60" which was inaugurated in Moers on 17 May and turned out to be one of the most intense evenings my ears have ever experienced. ...  An apocalyptic coda and triumph by standing ovation from 2500 adventurers who had come to experience the most intelligently thrilling concert staged for years. One encore later - a lullaby, almost, by the Dreamers, and it was over, though the audience hung around for a long, long time afterwards in the coolness of the park, generations mingling, to talk, share, prolong the night, to be sure that what they'd just experienced had really happened.
18 May 2013,, Alex Dutilh
Note: This is not an exhaustive or even necessarily representative selection of the reviews and comments published in the press so far. The order in which the quotes are listed is based on chronological order and no alphabetical or other organisational criteria. We will add the week- and monthly magazines after their publication.  


thankful musicians

Here are some messages of musicians that have been send to us in the last days:
"Just returned from Moers Festival and improvisation with Fred Frith, brilliant time thoroughly enjoyed this great Jazz Festival - thank you everyone who made this happen!"
Evelyn Glennie
"Just want to say a big Thank You to our Amazing audience in Moers last night. Biggest kick in a long while!"
Stian Westerhus
"We had a great turnout last night in Moers. Thank you for been part of it."
Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio
"Thank you for all the work with the festival, we had a lovely time playing and hanging at Moers this year."
All the best/ Niklas (Je Suis)
"Huge thanks and deep bows of appreciation to the whole moers crew (especially the stage crew) who helped make the premiere performance of ZORN@60 such a great success!"
"I want to thank you very much ... for all the work that went in to it. everyone was absolutely beautiful, as usual. from the tech folks backstage & the awesome stage manager, to the tech people at the sessions, to the ladies from artist management & car pool to the service staff to the security guards, all super super nice & very good at their jobs. it really is a great pleasure to play at moers. … i wish you guys lots of success in your new venue next year. so feel free to pass on my thanks, i know i speak for the whole dorf here in saying that the last three years have been a blast & we always felt very well taken care of."
jim campbell (the dorf)
"A warm thank you in the name of all the guys of Caravaggio for your invitation to be in your festival. It was a strong moment for us, incredible audience and all the staff on stage was so, so gentle and efficient. Our sound man, super-happy and impressed with the guys of PA."
Bruno CHEVILLON (Caravaggio)
"Danke nochmal für das tolle Festival und für die Möglichkeit, dort aufzutreten. Es war eine große Ehre und Freude für mich und die ganze Band in Moers zu spielen und das tolle Publikum zu erleben. Ich bin auch tief beeindruckt von der wahnsinnig professionellen Organisation und der unglaublichen Herzlichkeit aller beteiligten Helfer/Tontechniker/Organisation-Leuten. Danke für alles."
Liebe Grüße, Katrin Scherer
"And thanks for taking care of us, we had a great time."
Best, Dirk Feys (Management Blixt)
"Vielen Dank für die gute Zeit gestern bei Euch. Das war ein schöner, runder Abend."
Annelie Baumgärtner (Booking Fred Kellner)


Thank you!

Whitsun is over and the 42nd festival edition is over. A great atmosphere and an awesome audience - thanx for visiting the moers festival and we're looking forward to see you again next year in the new festival hall!



The third day of the festival is over and we're keen to see the performance of Fred Kellner this evening.

You can find yesterday's photos in our gallery.


yesterdays pictures

Luckily today the sun will shine and the festival sunday will start at 3 pm with Kathrin Scherer's THE BLISS.

Until that you can have a glance at yesterdays pictures from our festival photographer Patrick Essex in our gallery



First pictures of the spectacular opening of the moers festival 2013. Our festival photographer Patrick Essex captured the best moments of the "Zorntag".

Click here for the picture gallery!

So, see you later, at 3 pm The Dorf will be on!


It´s on!

John Zorn is opening the 41st edition of the moers festival!


Live Stream on air!

The team from the Cologne Arts Academy for Media will once again this year be streaming all the concerts from the main programme live over our website.

To get directly to the stream, click here!


only a few hours to go...

It’s only a matter of hours and minutes until John Zorn opens the moers festival 2013. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming you to the festival tent and are keen to see some great concerts!

Everyone who wants to get some more information about Zorn before the concerts can download the  article "Myth, mysticism and religion" on our new  article side.



On Sunday 19 May there will be a showing of the film "Jazzsoup" in the Schlosstheater Moers from 1 – 2.30 pm (straight after the morning sessions and before the main programme starts in the festival tent).
Jazzsoup is a film about life in a very special village. "The Dorf" is neither a typical orchestra nor a typical big band but a living organism that keeps mutating in new directions. Its music is a journey through the traditions of jazz experimentation in which sound textures and instrumentation ignore established conventions. The film documents the way in which the musicians work together and includes material from some of The Dorf's concerts.
For more information about the film see


camping leaflet

Our camping leaflet is online!To find out exactly how the system works, see the visitor information section of our website. Everything you need to know about camping at the festival can also be found in our camping leaflet, available for download at the end of the visitor information section.


Culture funding in the USA

The German pianist Ursel Schlicht lives in Brooklyn and has tackled the system of culture funding in the USA intensively. In part one of her report she introduces us to some of the state institutions and private institutions that provide cultural funding in the USA. Download the PDF of the article here.


Nachtstimmen (Night Voices)

From Sunday 12th May to Thursday 16th May you have the chance to experience a series of concerts performed on the smallest stage in the world. Every evening at sunset (9.15 pm), we are presenting the "Nachtstimmen" (night voices) in a trailer. We're looking forward to a visit from the pantheon of alternative folk in the form of Michael Hurley, to the duo Vasistas alias Emmanuelle Pellegrini and Elisabeth Flunger, to contemporary improvised music by Michael Schiefel and Jörg Brinkmann that doesn't shun beauty, to a testing of the limits of the human voice with Isabelle Duthoit, and to meditative and experimental music from Eyvind Kang & Jessika Kenney with traditional Persian elements thrown in. Venue: trailer @TOPIA (urban garden in Moers) near Meerstraße 2

Free Entrance. Daily at approximately 9.15 pm. What's on when: 

12.5. Michael Hurley
14.5. Michael Schiefel & Jörg Brinkmann
15.5. Isabelle Duthoit
16.5. Eyvind Kang & Jessika Kenney

For more information see


Photo: Isabelle Duthoit



The actual programme booklet for the moers festival 2013 will appear at the beginning of April, but here's a PDF preview (in german). Enjoy "flicking through" it! 


fringe energy

The fringe programme for the moers festival has now been finalised. Click here for more.


Programme moers festival 2013 online

The programme is online!

For more informations click Programme - and see the trailer above! 


Programme announcement on March 7th

On Thursday, 7th March 2013 at 12.00 pm (CET), we will present the programme of this year’s moers festival in a press conference at Moers. 

Follow the press conference via audiostream on our website! Please note that the press conference will be held in German. 

The programme in its entirely will be available on our website from 1 pm (CET) from thursday on. 

On the same day, the advance tickets go on sale. They are available in our online shop, or from the ticket outlets listet on our website. 



Progress on the new Festival Hall

Last Monday, Moers Kultur GmbH held a press briefing on the latest developments regarding plans for the new Moers Festival Hall. Architect Bodo Marciniak, MP Siegmund Ehrmann, local MP Ibrahim Yetim, Moers councillor Hans-Gerd Rötters, Norbert Engels from the ministry of culture NRW, Volksbank head Guido Lohmann from the board of trustees of the moers festival, Carmen Weist, chair of the supervisory board,  Reiner Michalke, artistic director of the moers festival and Ulrich Greb, managing director of Moers Kultur GmbH were all present.

Read all about it in the WAZ/NRZ and the Rheinische Post (in german):



Advance tickets available from 7th March

So many of you have taken advantage of our early booking deal this year that the Early Bird ticket has been sold out for weeks!

The remaining advance tickets go on sale on March 7th, 2013 – the day that the festival programme is set to be revealed in full. Tickets are available in our online shop, or from the ticket outlets listed on our website.

Choose from the following:Festival ticket:
€ 72  (€ 80 on the door)
Day ticket: € 40
Prices do not include the mandatory advance booking fee.
(Reduced-price tickets for those eligible can only be purchased at the box office during the festival itself.)




Arditti Quartet confirmed

The Arditti Quartet have confirmed for the European premiere of John Zorn’s string quartet “Alchemist” on the Friday of the festival, aka “Zorntag”. Not bad, huh? 


The moers festival poster 2013 - a calligraphy by John Zorn

Great news, great excitement. We are delighted to confirm that the first day of the 2013 festival, Friday 17th May, will be dedicated entirely to the music of John Zorn. The programme has been developed by John Zorn himself especially for this exciting and exclusive event (which is taking place only in Moers and then two days later in Victoriaville, Canada). More details will be revealed at our press conference on 7th March, at which we’ll also present the rest of the programme for the coming festival. Artists to have confirmed so far include DAVID FULMER, STEVE GOSLING, JESSE HARRIS, IKUE MORI, JOHN MEDESKI, MIKE PATTON, MARC RIBOT, JAMIE SAFT, TREVOR DUNN, KENNY WOLLESEN, JOEY BARON, CYRO BAPTISTA & JOHN ZORN.

Thanks are due at this point to the Kunststiftung NRW for the funding which made this project possible. 



Great news, great excitement. We are delighted to confirm that the first day of the 2013 festival, Friday 17th May, will be dedicated entirely to the music of John Zorn. The programme has been developed by John Zorn himself especially for this exciting and exclusive event (which is taking place only in Moers and then two days later in Victoriaville, Canada). More details will be revealed at our press conference on 7th March, at which we’ll also present the rest of the programme for the coming festival. Artists to have confirmed so far include DAVID FULMER, STEVE GOSLING, JESSE HARRIS, IKUE MORI, JOHN MEDESKI, MIKE PATTON, MARC RIBOT, JAMIE SAFT, TREVOR DUNN, KENNY WOLLESEN, JOEY BARON, CYRO BAPTISTA & JOHN ZORN.

Thanks are due at this point to the Kunststiftung NRW for the funding which made this project possible. 


Moers Festival Hall

On 2nd October 2012 the supervisory board of Moers Kultur GmbH authorised the managing board to take all necessary steps to turn the "Moers Theatre Hall" into the "Moers Festival Hall". This followed a proposal by the managing board and artistic director of the festival to convert, with the financial support of the state of NRW, the Solimare theatre hall (approximately one kilometre south of the current festival site) into a concert hall for up to 2,000 people. Should the project turn out to be feasible, the festival would, for the first time in its history, have a permanent venue and thus be able to save a significant amount of money each year.
Whether or not the 2013 festival will take place as usual in the festival tent or already be able to take advantage of the new festival hall is still unclear. It will be sad for us all to say goodbye to the festival tent, and we realize that it will be greatly missed. However, the advantages and opportunities presented by the new venue are too great to be ignored.
According to the plans, the festival hall will be neither too grand nor too cold and impersonal, but a  homely venue with arched wooden beams, excellent acoustics and an unrestricted view of the stage.  We'll keep you informed of any new developments!

The full press release on the project from the 24.9.2012 can be downloaded here in pdf form.


Großer Kulturpreis 2012

We are delighted to announce that the moers festival has been chosen to receive the 30,000 Euro prize for culture awarded by the cultural foundation Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Rheinland.
Michael Breuer, president of the Rheinischer Sparkassen- und Giroverband and chairman of the board of trustees of the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Rheinland said: "The moers festival is one of the most important in the world of contemporary, improvised music and its exciting programmes and the celebrated artists it attracts have been inspiring the music world for over 40 years. The prize honours this achievement."
Dr. Christoph Landscheidt, mayor of the town Kamp-Lintfort and chairman of the executive board of the Sparkassen-Kulturstiftung Rheinland, praised the commitment and courage of the festival organisers for consistently presenting new sounds and providing a glimpse into the wealth of improvised music and jazz currently being created. The festival makes a great contribution to the cultural life of the town, he added.
Norbert Ballhaus, mayor of Moers, stressed the town's gratitude: "The prize is an important signal and a great endorsement of the cultural activities going on in Moers - though first and foremost of course of the festival. We are delighted that the prize this year should go to an institution based in this town."

Everyone in the festival office is very proud and feels that the prize confirms our status as the most important festival in the world of contemporary improvised music.


The video of the moers festival 2012 is here!

As in previous years, the live stream from the festival tent was produced this year by students from Cologne’s Academy of Media Arts. What was new was our collaboration with students from the Robert Schumann School of Music and Media, Düsseldorf, who were responsible for the sound that went along with the moving pictures. Together, the two teams made it possible to follow almost the whole festival live and in HD all over the world. After wading through the many hours of video material, Jana Heinlein has now created a 25 minute montage of this year’s concerts.

If you’d like to relive the highlights of the festival, the video can be found in the multimedia section of our website ››


"Music of the Now"

In her 30-minute documentary "Music of the Now" Jana Heinlein gives an insight into backstage life at the moers festival 2012. The film features three of the bands/artists at this year's festival: Jon Irabagon of "I Don't Hear Nothin' But The Blues Trio" with Mick Barr and Mike Pride, Carla Bley & Steve Swallow, and Pablo Giw and Mirek Pyschny of dus-ti. The film accompanies these musicians as they prepare for their concerts, right up to the moment when they leave the offstage area and make their way onto the stage. It also is a film about the moers festival and its spirit as a place where all kinds of music meet, fuse, or are newly created.

View the documentary here ›› "Music of the Now"


ARTE Live Web

For the first time this year, the last three concerts of the Sunday of the festival were streamed live not just on our website, but on that of ARTE Live Web too. What is more, the three concerts will now be available on demand for a whole five months on Anyone who missed the world premiere of Carla Bley’s “La Leçon Française”, for example, can watch and listen to it in its entirety from the comfort of their own home. The concert by the band Rocket Science, aka the two luminaries Evan Parker and Peter Evans, and the high-energy performance by the young New York-based saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin and her band Soul Squad are also available online.
Here are the links:

Carla Bley „La Leçon Française“ ››

Rocket Science ››

Lakecia Benjamin und Soul Squad ››


Press comments on the moers festival 2012:

Clever game of opposites at the moers festival
29th May 2012, WAZ, Sven Thielmann
Seven year itch? What seven year itch? After 3 days of thoroughly attractive concerts, Reiner Michalke, artistic director of the moers festival, had every reason to be in seventh heaven. Everything about the Whitsun festival was right, from the weather to the programme, which was convincing in every way, to the perceptibly younger audience. The fact that over 10,000 visitors failed to beat the previous year’s record figures was more puzzling than perturbing.

It  certainly wasn’t down to a lack of star factor or exciting sounds, both of which were amply available at the 41st edition of the jazz event founded by Burkhard Hennen. The programme put together by Michalke was a strikingly intelligent game of contrasts, playing – with relish – soloists against big bands, poetry against brute force, Europe against America and youngsters against old masters, which in turn provided a basis for some interesting comparisons...

moers festival adventurous as ever
29 th May 2012, Rheinische Post, Anja Katzke
Carla Bley looked fragile and insubstantial, so much so that one was hardly aware of her at the piano. But the artistic energy of the grande dame of modern jazz is astounding. Her humorous composition “La Leçon française” tells the story of a class of schoolboys just beginning to learn French and was the highly acclaimed pinnacle of this year’s moers festival.

Bley has created a whimsical little jazz opera to whose success the 15-man Boshuslän Big Band and the boys’ choir of Dortmund Choral Academy made an important contribution. At the same time, the world premiere was something of a gesture of defiance on the part of artistic director Reiner Michalke, who because of the town’s desperate budget situation is having to fight for the festival’s very survival.

For the 41st year of the moers festival, Michalke had secured the crème de la crème. The pioneers of the European and American jazz scenes in particular were on top form, innovative and adventurous...

Hooray, time for lessons!

29 th May 2012, NRZ, Karen Kliem
To get an idea of the poles between which the moers festival now moves, all that was necessary was to see the penultimate and ultimate concerts on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival. Before the audience was allowed to let their hair down at the end of the day, Reiner Michalke ensured that there was hard work in store. Both the “I Don’t Hear Nothin’ But The Blues Trio” and “Rocket Science” gave performances that would have sent audiences less resilient than the average Moers concert goer straight out of the tent. Virtuosity, evidenced by an infernal tempo, as if the musicians were running late for something, was coupled with sound experiments that came dangerously close to crossing the pain threshold. All phenomena that have been an integral part of the festival for 41 years. And then the reward: Michalke soothed ears less used to improvisation with top class jazz, rock and blues...

Choirboys and sumptuous wind sound
29 th May 2012, Westdeutsche Zeitung, Detlef Herchenbach
Moers remains the centre of improvised music, as the 41st edition of the festival clearly showed. What a spectrum: the constellations that appeared at the 41st moers festival ranged from solo artists to big bands, with contemplative quiet tones not necessarily the preserve of the smaller groupings. Take the “DNA Big Band” led by saxophonist Andrew N D’Angelo: what distinguished the 13 New Yorkers was not only their explosive, high-energy sound, sumptuous wind section and a drummer intent on testing the dynamic load capacity of his instrument, but passages in which the musicians became singers and sounded as clear and precise as choirboys.

That man has a nerve: with the sun shining brightly, no clouds in the sky and temperatures around 25 degrees in the shade, who should artistic director Reiner Michalke choose to play to a tent full to capacity with 2500 people but the cellist Erik Friedlander. Yet it worked... 

moers festival: Carla Bley’s Whitsun
29 th May 2012, Aachener Zeitung, Axel Borrenkott
Artists who appear in Moers are almost certain of receiving a healthy round of applause: it’s the audience’s way of rewarding  their achievement, creativity and often their courage for trying something different and straying from the beaten track.

Sometimes, however, the applause is so rapturous it just doesn’t seem to want to stop. This only happened a few times this year, but the performances in question were among the best that Moers has seen – which is saying a lot. This year it was Carla Bley who happened to go down in history.  

No retrospective summary of three days of music attended by around 13,000  visitors is going to be fair, but the more of the intervals than usual between the 20 concerts of half an hour to an hour each seemed to taken up with that sceptical “hmm” feeling this Whitsun. There was some interesting stuff, but some rather strained searching too, which became all the more apparent alongside other groups or artists whose music so clearly had real substance... 

moers festival: free jazz meets folk music
29 th May 2012, Emsdettener Volkszeitung, Michael Klein
Wild, wilder, Moers. The Whitsun festival on the Rhine showed that even in its 41st year it continues to be one of the most important European instances in the broad field of improvised music. And despite the wide spectrum and wild mixture of styles represented, festival head Reiner Michalke still managed to put together a programme which in retrospect appears to have been quite homogenous.

For the 2500 visitors to the circus tent, which was sold out, it was a sweat-inducing musical rollercoaster: urban free jazz, technically perfect choral singing, Burmese folk music, blistering funk, chamber music for solo cello and machine-like sound storms all followed hot on each other’s heels... 

41st moers festival: virtuosity, vociferousness , sensitivity and spontaneity 

30 th May 2012, Neue Musik Zeitung, Stefan Pieper
The festival was not unscathed by the financial cuts that have been demanded of it, but the fact that its organisers and artistic director Reiner Michalke were still able to secure such illustrious headliners was due not least to the Art Foundation NRW, which has promised to double its funding of the project from 80,000 Euro to 160,000 Euro next year. The slogan “after the festival is before the festival” no longer has a hollow ring to it. Whitsun without the moers festival would be a disaster for the region. Especially since the loss of Duisburg’s Traumzeit Festival this summer.

Reiner Michalke’s cleverly blended programme focuses on plurality to satisfy the variety of musical preferences and cultural milieus  that come together in Moers. All sorts of trends and approaches are represented, but “conventional” jazz is not one of them. In fact, there’s no such thing. This isn’t the place for mainstream culture, either, but there’s no shortage of big feelings... 

moers festival: onwards, ever onwards!
31st May 2012,, Klaus Denzer
There’s just no stopping this festival – at least not with budget cuts or outside interference. It was as if the ever-present sunshine wanted to show Moers and those responsible that this institution must carry on, year after year. Culture costs money, but it gives a lot in return. With the many projects that the festival runs for the younger residents of Moers in particular, including the fringe programme and the year-round the activities of the improviser in residence, the moers festival makes an enormous, forward-thinking contribution to the life of the town. In an age in which more and more young people are fleeing to the metropolises, Moers offers a reason to stay. Moers is a metropolis, albeit one which only comes to the world’s attention for four days a year. When the avant garde plays here, the musicians experience the extraordinary friendliness of the town’s inhabitants, and then share this experience using modern means of communication. It’s invaluable advertising and a hugely important signal. Yes, if Moers can afford culture, that’s where we want to go, that’s where we want to stay. Yes, the festival creates identity, and yes, it moves onwards, ever onwards.

Free development
1 st June 2012, Junge Welt, Michael Rieth
An avant garde is something that goes on ahead. And in order to go on ahead, you need to know in what direction. At the moment, no one seems to know where things are going. Perhaps they’ve missed the boat entirely! Or is that a bandwagon over there, and if so, would it be wise to jump on it? The social democratic response is to look for trends – see the Gotha or the Godesberg Programmes. And clearly, the trend is just trend seeking – never mind in what direction! This phenomenon is currently mirrored in cultural alienation, particularly in the fast-moving entertainment sector, to which jazz can now be considered to belong. 

The 13,000 tickets sold matched 2010 levels but failed to reproduce last year’s record figures. Artistic director Reiner Michalke put the slight fall in sales down to the never ending commotion surrounding the financing and future of the festival, which significantly put off early bookers in particular. What is pleasing is that the proportion of young people has gone up, and even more pleasing is that the Art Foundation NRW has doubled its funding of the festival from 80,000 to 160,000 Euro for next year. There will be a next year, then, for Moers.

And here a review of Helge’s Heimatabend:

Why WDR is giving Helge Schneider away to the Internet
30th May 2012, der Freitag, Dietrich Leder
"Helge's Heimatabend" at the Moers Jazz Festival presented a medley of entertainment elements that WDR found too risky to broadcast live 

The Moers Jazz Festival has, for several years, been one of the most important in Europe. Once open air, now in a tent, it attracts thousands of visitors a year to several days of improvised music every Whitsun. Like other events, it has been badly affected by the budget situation of the town which hosts it, and this year Moers decided to do away with all of Monday’s concerts, replacing them with Helge’s  Heimatabend (to all German speakers, yes, the apostrophe is wrong). Helge Schneider used the festival tent to present a range of regional musicians and entertainers, and the proceedings could, as a result of the festival having taken things in hand following WDR’s decision not to broadcast the event on TV,  be witnessed live on the Internet.

The evening was a medley of entertainment “elements” ranging from a male voice choir in classic miners’ garb to a singing chef, the big band of a local school, two members of a fencing club, a  viol player, a woman with a nose flute and a dog that was supposed to paint a picture on stage but which then clearly thought better of it. The whole thing was held together by Helge Schneider, who made fun of all concerned without ever being insulting. Together with his drummer Willy Ketzer, Schneider himself contributed several songs and provided piano accompaniment for various guests. The connection with the jazz festival was perceptible in the experimental zest of the guitarist Tom Waschat, who apparently writes his songs in Icelandic, and in the viol player Katrin Mickiewicz, who played her instrument like Hendrix his guitar while simultaneously scat singing.

Helge Schneider, who has an unusual knack of gauging the mood of an audience, averted moments of pathos by asking the miners why they had no women in their male voice choir and telling the children in the audience that in the old days, when everything was better, schools closed because of the heat when temperatures got to 15 °C. He demonstrated his solidarity with the jazz festival be claiming to have been coming to it for forty years, which is possible at least, even if not exactly true. 

At its best, this crude mixture of popular and avant garde culture was reminiscent of a WDR show that used to be on TV in 1990/91. It was called the Off-Show and was broadcast live on WDR 3. The presenter of this similarly bizarre mixture of jazz, pop and talk was Reinhold Beckmann – this was before he began his great football career on the private channels. The show also featured a young comedian who added a little mayhem as a kind of outside reporter. His name: Helge Schneider. (It’s almost impossible to imagine the Beckmann/Schneider duo nowadays.)

The ideas for the Off-Show came from the late Knut Fischer and a man named Reinhard Michalke, now the artistic director of the moers festival. Helge’s Heimatabend celebrated its premiere on the Internet because although there is no shortage of celebrities from North Rhine Westphalia on WDR 3, the channel is no longer prepared to take the risk inherent in live TV.  Without realising it, classic TV is losing its last faithful viewers to the Internet.


Thank you!

Whitsun is over and this year's festival has come to a successfull end. Blazing sunshine, great atmosphere and an awesome audience - thanx for visiting the moers festival and we're looking forward to see you again next year! For all of you who want to see the concerts of Carla Bleys „La Leçon Française“, Rocket Science and Lakecia Benjamin again, there are good news: You can watch the concerts online at ARTE Live Web for the next six month - just visit ARTE Live Web.


African Dance Nights Update

Due to illness DJ Edu can't perform tonight at the Bollwerk 107. We wish him all the best for his recovery! Still the African Dance Nights will be full of R&B, HipHop, Swahili-Roots and psychedelic Rock: Just a Band from Nairobi will start the evening today @ Bollwerk 107 at 12 pm (midnight).


The sun is shining...

and the The Dorf has opened the 41 edition of the moers festival! We're looking forward to see you and are anxciously awaiting the upcoming musical journeys!


Live stream

The team from the Cologne Arts Academy for Media will once again this year be streaming all the concerts from the main programme live over our website.

Click here for the live stream...


only a few hours to go...

It’s only a matter of hours and minutes until "The Dorf" opens the moers festival 2012. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming you to the festival tent and are keen to see some great concerts!


Free tickets for young residents!

If you are between 16 and 23 years old, were born in Moers or live there now, you can get in free to all the concerts taking place on the Friday of the festival (25th May 2012). Tickets  are available at the festival box office, and ID must be shown. This is a limited offer and tickets will be issued on a first come first served basis.



We’re continuing to update the online magazine right up until Friday. If you’re not already familiar with the extensive collection of texts and videos relating to this year’s festival, why not get into the mood by taking a look. 
As of today, all the magazine texts can also be found in PDF format on our website under overview. Just download and print out anything you want to refer to during the festival and voilà – one personalised festival magazine to bring with you to Moers.


Night Voices

From tomorrow Sunday 20th May, up until Thursday 24th May you have the chance to experience a series of concerts performed on the smallest stage in the world as nimm! presents its “Night Voices”, every day at sunset (approximately 9.30 pm) in a trailer. Every year these five concerts are the “festival before the festival” and are bringing the spirit of the moers festival into the city.
Venue: Trailer in Haagstraße (side entrance to the Ev. Stadtkirche) in the centre of Moers.

Here are the dates:
20.5. Maggie Nicols (Wales)
21.5. Christian Reiner (Vienna)
22.5. Mariana Sadovska (Cologne) 
23.5. Han Buhrs (Amsterdam)
24.5. Josephine Foster (Colorado)

For more information see

Photo: Mariana Sadovska



We have learned that the hotels in Moers are almost fully booked over the Whit weekend, so if you are intending to stay in a hotel but haven’t booked yet, we advise you to do so as soon as possible. There’s a list of hotels in Moers in the “Accommodation” section of the website. Alternatively, we recommend the new camping service offered by mein-Zelt-steht-schon, or of course you could just bring your own tent.


Programme booklet

The moers festival is drawing ever closer. For a compact overview of the festival programme, why not download the programme booklet from our overview section. The printed version of the booklet – hot off the press – is available now at various venues. Keep your eyes peeled!


moers festival - The Magazine

The festival magazine is being published online this year and even has its very own website. What’s more, it will appear not just while the festival is on but is available as of now, with new articles and videos related to the festival programme published every day. Highlights include rare old footage of Helge Schneider. To view the digital moers festival magazine, see


fringe programme

The fringe programme for the 2012 moers festival is now official! The concerts will take place on all four days of the festival in various locations around Moers. For more information about this year’s fringe programme look under "Programme".


Interval music 2012

This year’s interval signal, which once again would make a very classy ring tone, is now available for download. The music is the theme from a jazz classic, played here by Frank Köllges and Mike Herting at a concert given in 1991. The interval signal is a tribute to the great Frank Köllges who died at the beginning of this year. This remarkable musician will also be remembered at the opening concert of the festival which is being given by “The Dorf” led by Jan Klare.
You can listen to the interval music here.



Programm zum moers festival 2012

The programme for the moers festival 2012 is out! We're looking forward to welcome Carla Bley and the premiere of her new work “La Leçon Française”, James "Blood" Ulmer with Joe Bowie's Defunkt n'EU Soul, Lakecia Benjamin and Soul Squad, Andrew N D'Angelo DNA Big Band, Jozef Dumoulin Trio, Erik Friedlander solo, Gunter Hampel European-New York Quintet, Juan de Marcos Afro Cuban All Stars, The Dorf and many more... Info and related links to artists can be found on the site under programme. See you on Whitsun!

Anyone who missed the press conference can watch it here.


Live stream of the press conference

Finally! Today we’re revealing the programme of the moers festival 2012. Click here for the video of this year's press conference.

To coincide with the announcement of the main programme, we’re also putting day tickets to the festival on sale today. Tickets can be purchased at all high street ticket outlets, or, alternatively, from the comfort of your own home in our online shop


Programme Announcement

On March 8th, 2012, just 1 ½ days from now, we will be revealing the programme of the 2012 moers festival.
Like last year, you can watch the press conference at which the programme announcement will take place live and in colour on our website. The press conference, which starts at midday (12 pm), is being held this year in the canteen of Moers' former town hall, which many of you will know as a venue of the “morning sessions”.


Ticket sale

Yippee! Tickets have gone on sale in our online shop! The following tickets are available RIGHT NOW:

  • Festival ticket (25 - 27 May 2012)
  • Combi ticket 3+1 (festival ticket + "Helge's Heimatabend")
  • Helge’s Heimatabend 28  May 2012

Follow this link to our online shop

And there’s more: this year’s poster motif, a work by the painter Maria Giménez, has now been revealed. Festival here we come!


Poster Presentation

This year’s poster is now being revealed on February 2nd, a whole week earlier than announced in the newsletter. That means you only have to wait until next week to see which artist we were able to recruit for the job and what motif will succeed 2011’s “Bambi” design. On the same day the festival tickets will also go on sale.


Ingrid Laubrock

Ingrid Laubrock is Improviser in Residence 2012.

For a whole year, the saxophonist from New York will be living in the residence in the Kleine Allee from where she'll be conveying her musical creativity into the city of Moers. Information surrounding Ingrid Laubrock and her activities and projects can be found on here


Achim Tang

Achim Tang will be holding his farewell concert as Improviser in Residence 2011. After having musically enriched the city of Moers with various projects over the past year, he will be handing over his function to his successor in a musical dialogue.

Thursday, 26th of January 2012, 20:00 (entry from 19:30).
Place: Bollwerk 107, Homberger Straße.
The entree fee is 5 Eur.



From the 1st of December the wait is over: the early bird catches the worm! Once again, there will be a limited contingent of early-bird-tickets, which can be ordered from the comfort of your home via our online shop. Because the 2012 festival will be divided into three festival days and a fourth day, Helge's Heimatabend, there will be two price categories for early-bird-tickets:

Early-bird-ticket prices
Festival card:
(Three festival days)
Early-bird-ticket 56 € (box office 72 €)

(Three plus one = three festival days + Helge's Heimatabend)
Early-bird-ticket 76 € (box office 92 €)

go to online shop >>
(Sale of Early-Bird-Tickets starts on December 1st at 00:00h)


Helge's Heimatabend - At Home with Helge

After the world premier of ''Helge's Heimatabend'' had to be cancelled at this year's festival due to illness on the part of Helge Schneider, we're planning a new attempt for the coming festival. On Whitsun Monday, the 28th of May 2012, we'll be sending invitations for an evening at home with the film, TV and radio star, Helge Schneider. The star presenter will be appearing as a singer, band leader and... presenter! Which other stars will be joining Helge on stage in the big festival tent, and what they will be getting up to, we're not so sure ourselves at this point in time. So let's wait and see!


The video of the moers festival 2011 is here!

Students from the Cologne Academy for Media Arts were this year again responsible for the live-stream from the festival tent. Almost the entire festival could be seen from all over the world, and this year for the first time in high definition. The team around Elmar Fasshauer and Nico Berse have now compiled a visual retrospect from all the live recordings and interviews.

So, for those of you who would like to see some of the exciting festival moments again: you can view the 30min video documentation in our multimedia section>>


Read what the press had to say about the moers festival 2011

40 years and not a bit wiser
surprising and provocative as usual: the Moers anniversary festival
14th of June, 2011, NRZ/Der, by Sven Thielmann
Celebrating one's 40th birthday usually means that one has overcome the worst and is now entering a matured age. Yet, even after four decades of eventful history, in which the ''Moers Festival'' has earned itself its gleaming name as one of the most significant jazz gatherings world wide, hardly a trace of bourgeois decorum can be sensed.

Responsible for this and taking a marked delight in musical provocation for the past six years, is Reiner Michalke, who is successfully leading this great inheritance from the founder of the festival, Burkhard Hennen, into the 21st century, opening it up to younger audiences. In a sovereign and shrewd manner, the artistic director this year faced the challenge, to present an all-round harmonious programme for the huge festival tent in Moers castle park, covering, for the first time, only three days. 

Eternal Fire
At the 40th Moers Festival for Improvised Music there was a surprise appearance by Ornette Coleman – a rare encounter with the renewer of jazz.
14th of June, 2011, Süddeutsche Zeitung, by Karl Lippegaus
There was a strange silence before his performance in the huge, sold-out circus tent. Only the day before, his surprise appearance was announced by the festival direction and the anniversary programme was changed accordingly... and suddenly, there they were again, those old Moers Indian war howls that hadn't been heard for a long time. In the past years, many events in Moers were happily applauded, boos were seldom heard, but these frenetic jubilations, that were once the responses to the free eruptions of Peter Brötzmann, Han Bennink or Anthony Braxton, had given way to a polite, appreciative applause. Ornette brought back the fire to Moers.

Totally Music
With its 40th anniversary, the Moers Festival overcomes its limits
16th of June, 2011, Frankfurter Rundschau, by Wolf Kampmann
Befitting the occasion, Michalke casts a look both backwards and forwards. Belonging to the stylistic constants of the Moers Festival, which was originally known as the Moers New Jazz Festival, Ornette Coleman's harmolodic system, which rests on the equality of all components of a musical context, discharged itself into free funk around 1980.

In reverse chronology, three American bands told the history of the harmolodic, from its origins to present-day... Moers 2011 was not a festival for jazz-purists. Yet Reiner Michalke succeeded once again in opening up new horizons. It was a three-day symphony of innovation, border crossings and emotionally gripping moments. 

Inspiring storm of notes
The Moers Festival convinced audiences with novelties, on the occasion of its 40th edition
15th of June, 2011, Der Standard, by Andreas Felber
… and it was no coincidence, that this was what disputed the opening of the Moers Festival: because, this event, founded in 1972 in the ''little big city'' of Moers, in the west of the Ruhr region, and probably Europe's most significant festival for contemporary improvisational music, was this year marked by the financial crisis: 15 percent of the total amount of the 1 million euro budget made available by the city had to be axed, which meant reducing the festival from four to three days. The underlying sense of adventure of the festival, however, remained untouched, as was demonstrated by the programme which was larded with novelties.

Sublte and forceful
Between archaic and elaborate artistic technique: the 40th Moers-Festival
16th of June, 2011, Junge Welt, by Michael Rieth
The upshot: This 40th anniversary edition of the Moers Festival was, on the whole, a success, eventhough the dear, which functioned as the logo, turned its backside to the visitors (and to the jazz?)

40 years Moers: a magic moment with Ornette Coleman
14th of June, 2011, dpa, by Andreas Schirmer
Despite the tense financial situation, Michalke succeeded even with the 40th edition, with findings from the world of the avant-garde, mavericks and trouble-makers, which broke and scandalised, excited and disappointed conventional listening habits.

Shaped by a new idealism
14th of June, 2011, Kultur und Vision, by ''Hei''
From year to year, the international Jazz Festival in Moers attracts fans from all over Germany and neighbouring countries to the lower Rhine region. In its long-standing history, the festival has developed into one of the most important gatherings in the world of jazz.

Moers Festival 2011 convinces critics and visitors
14th of June, 2011,, by Whykiki
The past Whitsun weekend saw the 40th Moers Festival in Moers and, for the first time, the festival tent was sold out on all festival days. From Friday until Sunday, more than 10.000 people streamed to the concerts in the Moers city park. It was especially the programme which impressed visitors and critics alike. Festival director, Michalke, once again proved his lucky hand at this year's choice...

And fortunately, next year's Moers festival has been secured, although the CDU in Moers has been trying for some time to cut it, as, regarding the Moers budget, no sacred cows should be allowed...

The Magic of the Moment
15th of June, 2011, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, by Martin Woltersdorf
The Moers Festival celebrated its 40th anniversary with many old acquaintances and more than 10.000 visitors. At the culmination of this top-class programme, was the appearance, solely for this occasion, by the jazz legend, Ornette Coleman. It is the opposites which make this event so attractive. This has always been the case, now, and over all the past years. Opposites which are aligned with persons, with styles, with genres, well, with music as a whole. Those who come to Moers over Whitsun for their traditional date with the festival, bring with them a good helping of adventurism. And taken into account needs to be the fact that not every innovation will satisfy expectations. Apart from that, everyone can choose their favourites from the diversity of the programme. They are, in the end however, only pieces of a greater puzzle. 

A Big Step
14th June, 2011, NZR/WAZ, by Gabi Gies
Taking a deep breath after these couple of days is certainly permitted. There was a lot to brace at this 40th anniversary of the Moers Festival. Less money, a new concept for the external area, cultural-political skirmishes and then the last minute cancellation of Helge Schneider. And so, the festival director, Reiner Michalke, and the Moers Kultur GmbH director, Ulrich Greb, were, in the end, almost suprised themselves, to see that, depite all of this, the festival was an all-round success. It was clear that the festival had to be structured anew due to the skewed budget situation. And it was a pleasing surprise that the new concept, desigend under pressure, came out so well in its first year.

For Reiner Michalke, this is surely a sound reason and motivation to want to reconquer the fourth festival day. And perhaps even quicker than one might imagine. What were the closing words again of the press-release by the Moers Festival at the end of the festival?: ''The Moers Festival 2012 will take place on the Whitsun weekend from the 25th until the 28th of May.'' And, properly counted, that makes it – four days... what they will look like, with or without Helge, with or without ''Open House'' – the Moers politics should confidently lend the protagonists their trust. If the first step of such a long journey is already so sure-footed, then the next steps will follow suit.


Live stream

The team from the Cologne Arts Academy for Media will once again this year be streaming all the concerts from the main programme live over our website.

For those of you who would like to see a compilation of highlights of live stream recordings from previous years, this can be done under the link 'multimedia' on our website where the videos ''moers festival 2010 - a shortcut'' and ''rough, fast, colourful'' can be viewed. These video festival-collages were made by the team from the Cologne Arts Academy for Media (KHM) in 2009 and 2010. 

Note: 5 pm showtime, so see you in a bit!


moers festival magazine

This year will once again see the moers festival magazine in printed version. As a 40th anniversary edition, the magazine will cover a retrospect of 39 years of moers festivals, the origins and beginnings, and will allow co-founders of the festival to share their stories. In addition to this, the magazine will include a complete printout of the festival magazine from 30 years ago. Price: 3 Euro - every festival ticket includes a free moers festival magazine.



Up until Thursday you will still have the chance to experience concerts on the smallest stage in the world: nimm! will be presenting the ''aftersounds'', every day until sunset, at 9:45 pm. We're looking forward to very special concert  experiences with the British improvisational luminary, Phil Menton, the avant-noise-soloist, Tom Smith, the spoken-word poet, Mona Jean Cedar, and the fado-singer, Lula Pena from Lisbon. Where? The 'Bauwagen' at Neumarket (corner Meerstraße) in the center of Moers. 

Here are the exact dates:
6.6. Phil Minton & Audrey Chen (London/Baltimore)
7.6. Tom Smith, Vocals & Laptop (USA/Hannover)
8.6. Mona Jean Cedar, Spoken Word Poetry & Laptop (Los Angeles)
9.6. Lula Pena, Fado (Lissabon)

For further information, visit 


Guarded camping

The guarded camping area for the moers festival will this year be enlarged by almost half its size. The supervised area is accessible free of charge for festival visitors holding valid tickets. The area will be open on the festival Friday, from 10am onwards. No reservations are possible.


open house

On Whit-Monday, for the first time, the moers festival will be opening the festival tent to young artists from the region under the heading "open house". In an interdisciplinary programme, young musicians, dancers, artists and word-acrobats are invited to show what Moers and its environs has to offer regarding young art. A day of ''open house'' – an invitation for children, adolescents and citizens of the city to get on stage and experience the Moers youth culture at the festival. Find all informations here >>


Helge's Heimatabend & Guestbook

The website got a new design, the programme has been released and even the guests for Helge's Heimatabend have officially been invited. Now, we'd like to know what you think of it. Are you finding everything you're looking for? Are there any links, videos, contributions to the artists that you think we should publish on our website? Then let us know! We're looking forward to your ideas, suggestions and advice! From now on, the guest-book will be available for all your suggestions:


The programme for the moers festival 2011

Chris Dave & Friends, Abdullah Ibrahim solo, Nils Petter Molvær, Little Red Big Bang, Jon Irabagon Trio, Michiyo Yagi Double Trio, The Golden Palominos, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 and many, many more... The programme for the moers festival 2011 is out! Info and related links to artists can be found on the site under programmes or in the blog. See you on Whitsun!


Live stream of the press conference

We are looking forward to announcing the moers festival programme 2011 today at 1 pm. The programme will be announced at a press conference which you can attend via live stream



Advance ticket sales have started for both “Helge’s Heimatabend” and the festival! The following tickets are all available through the Online-Shop:

  • festival ticket (3 days)
  • "Helge's Heimatabend" day ticket
  • 3+1 (3 day ticket + "Helge's Heimatabend")

Click here for the online shop>>



Ornette Coleman

Unfortunately we have learned from Denardo Coleman, Ornette Coleman’s son, that his father is busy composing and recording and, in an unexpected change of plans, has decided not to give any concerts during this time. Although we have to accept this decision, we will keep all lines of communication open and are not abandoning hope that he might perform at this year’s moers festival after all.  



our blog is back on line bringing you links, interviews and information connected to the festival and its history. Pay virtual visit at



Moers' Improviser in Residence 2011 is the bassist, composer and "sonic researcher" Achim Tang. Achim will be the fourth musician to come to Moers to live and work for a year as the town's "Improviser in Residence". Find more Information about him and the Residency here: Netzwerk für Improvisierte Musik Moers n!mm