Begin of page section: Content

The 17th edition of the Elevate Festival came to a close on Sunday with a final day rich in exciting discussions in the Discourse programme and a film screening in the new festival center at Next Liberty.

After two postponements, the first summer edition of Elevate Festival took place from August 04 - 08, 2021: more than 10,000 visitors danced, celebrated and discussed in the multi-layered programme of art, contemporary music and political discourse. Over 75 artists and speakers enlivened the city with young, contemporary festival culture at 14 venues.

By uniquely combining critical and political discourse with a wide variety of musical genres and a dedicated arts programme, Elevate once again created a space for exchange and exposure to new and innovative content. The festival brought together human rights experts, climate researchers and activists from around the world with musicians and artists from other disciplines, enabling an exciting, cross-genre and hands-on dialogue about this year's programmatic motto "Momentum".

"We broke new ground with the Summer Edition and are very satisfied, both with the artistic results and with the public's response. The COVID-19 measures required in view of the pandemic have also been very well supported by our visitors, with thousands of people registering using our app."

Bernhard Steirer, Managing Director Elevate Festival


The heart of the festival is its diverse music programme, which presented modern music between progressive club sounds, exciting live concerts, infectious beats and electro-acoustic experiments. As usual, the music section of the Elevate Festival 2021 offered the opportunity to engage with a wide spectrum of electronic and related music. In addition to international headliners and pioneers, national artists and newcomers also played a major role in the program. Encounter spaces were created for a cross-generational audience between electronic and underground music, disco and reflection, avant-garde and ecstasy.

"This year, new locations such as the Graz Cathedral could be played, and with the stages at Lendplatz and Volksgarten or the installation in the Chinese Pavilion, the public space was enlivened and new situations were created," says Roland Oreski, festival director for the music area. 


The festival's discourse programme, with authors, academics, activists, and representatives from business, media, and civil society, addressed burning sociopolitical issues over five days in the festival conference, which has received international attention for years, and discussed and explored positions and strategies for positive change.

"The 2021 discourse programme revolved around the festival theme "Momentum" in many ways - for the first time in the Next Liberty Theater. From the opening with guest speaker Philipp Blom, debates with Ariadne von Schirach to a dialogue with Brian Eno - Elevate had an audience that participated actively in the discussions."

Daniel Erlacher, festival director and responsible for the discourse section


Artificial intelligence, new technologies, immersive sounds:

this year, the Elevate Arts programme focused on exciting AV installations that can be experienced by the senses and, with a selected film programme, placed musical creations in a cinematic context. The events, most of which were free to attend and held in special locations, not only conducted fundamental research and explored forward-looking developments in the fields of sound art and media art, but also built bridges between the tried-and-true, the undiscovered and the upcoming.


Elevate Extended offers a special highlight in this very special year:

Elevate brings the Berlin duo Modeselektor, who have been shaping the electronic music scene since the early 2000s with their extravagant DJ sets and genre-crossing productions, to the big stage at Schlossberg in Graz in an exclusive show on 28. August. 

The 3D installation "77 Million Paintings" by this year's star guest Brian Eno can also be experienced until 28.8. Eno's sound installation "Music for Elevators" in the Schlossberg lift will also be on show well beyond the festival.



The festival would like to thank all its supporters, partners, sponsors and the large team for the good cooperation. And of course to the thousands of people who have shown together for 5 days how diverse and lively contemporary festival culture can be lived and celebrated.

End of this page section.
Skip to overview of page sections.