The Board of Directors of the Europe Jazz Network would like to express its concerns about the future of the Moers Festival in Germany, one of its members and the winner of the 2015 EJN Award for Adventurous Programming, and express its full support to Artistic Director Reiner Michalke who just offered his resignation after 11 years of directing the Festival.
The future of the Festival remains uncertain, despite a very successful 2016 edition both in terms of audience and international recognition*. The confusion surrounding the financial situation of the Festival and the resulting uncertainties about its future endanger one of the leading events in Europe for new music styles, experimentation and opportunities for exceptional musicians to perform under the spotlight of an international audience and media.
The Moers festival has always been a major reference for the European music community. Its artistic programme still is today inspiring for many other festivals and clubs, with Artistic Directors from all around the world regularly travelling to Moers over the Whitsun weekend in order to be inspired by the music presented. The disruption of the work that has been done over these years would be a great loss for the whole European cultural landscape and for the city of Moers.
We would also like to reiterate the reasons indicated by the jury for bestowing the EJN Award 2015 to Moers: "The EJN Award is for adventurous programming and 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.”
We hope that all the stakeholders involved in the managing and financing of the Festival will take these elements into account when deciding about the future direction of the Festival.
*On this regard, please see:
- Jazzenzo NL: http://www.jazzenzo.nl/?e=3371
- Jazz Portugal: http://jazz.pt/report/2016/05/23/na-encruzilhada/
- London Jazz News: http://www.londonjazznews.com/2016/05/round-up-report-moers-festival-2016.html
- Norient Magazine Media: http://norient.com/blog/moers-festival-2016-jazz-and-other-politics/
About the EJN Award for Adventurous Programming
The EJN Award for Adventurous Programming reached its 5th edition in 2016 and is awarded annually to a European jazz promoter who exemplifies the values of EJN and has succeeded in turning vision and skill into forward-looking and fascinating musical programmes for their audience. In the previous editions the winners were: Moers Festival (2015) Jazz em Agosto in Lisbon (2014), Bimhuis in Amsterdam (2013) 12 Points Festival in Dublin (2012).