Moers Festival

The Moers Festival is an annual international music festival in Moers, Germany. The festival has changed from concentrating on free jazz to including world and pop music, though it still invites many avant-garde jazz musicians. Performers at Moers include Lester Bowie, Fred Frith, Jan Garbarek, Herbie Hancock, Abdullah Ibrahim, David Murray, Sun Ra, Archie Shepp, and Cecil Taylor. The festival is officially named "mœrs festival" with lowercase letters.

Moers Festival
Location(s)Moers, Germany
Coordinates51°27′33″N 6°37′11″E
Years active1972–present
Founded byBurkhard Hennen


The festival was founded in 1971[1] by Burkhard Hennen. Three years later, he formed Moers Music to sell performances recorded at the festival.[2][3]

In the early years the festival took place in the paved yard of the castle. In 1975 it was moved to a nearby park because of increased attendance. After a few years outdoors, it moved to a large venue. African Dance Night was added in 1985. Musicians such as Mory Kanté, Salif Keita, Cheb Mami, and Youssou N'Dour played there. After the artistic director changed in 2005, the event was discontinued. In 2005, after 34 years as artistic director, Hennen handed the job to Reiner Michalke. After Michalke, the position went to Tim Isfort, a musician who grew up in Moers.[4]

Due to financial problems in the 2000s, the festival was reduced to three days.[2]

Selected discography


  1. Beal, Amy C. (4 July 2006). New Music, New Allies: American Experimental Music in West Germany from the Zero Hour to Reunification. University of California Press. pp. 167–. ISBN 978-0-520-93281-4. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  2. Davis, John S. (24 August 2012). Historical Dictionary of Jazz. Scarecrow Press. pp. 177–. ISBN 978-0-8108-6757-4. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  3. Jenkins, Todd S. (2004). Free Jazz and Free Improvisation: An Encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 238–. ISBN 978-0-313-33314-9. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  4. Longley, Martin (27 July 2018). "Moers Festival 2018". All About Jazz. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
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