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Europe on Stage means Diversity on Stage 

The 2016 Elevate festival runs under the slogan “We Are Europe”.  To mark this occasion, we have invited the festivals Resonate Live from Belgrade, Nuits Sonores from Lyon and c/o Pop from Cologne to join us in Graz.  

A longing for fundamental change has been the backdrop for any and all political debate in the crisis-riddled Europe of recent years. This year, from October 20 – 23, Elevate and a number of other European festivals put forth a joint effort to demonstrate what happens when lived solidarity, abundant curiosity and innovation turn into a trans-national effort full of music, political debate and activism.
As a part of the new initiative We Are Europe, which draws 8 festivals from all over Europe together, Elevate's goal over the course of these 4 days is to strike up a dialogue revolving around current sociopolitical discourse like the refugee movements and initiatives aimed at a broader democratization of Europe.
In the evening, it is customary that Elevate delivers its signature mix of cutting-edge live acts and DJs with danceable club nights and experimental takes on the concert experience, challenging the audience's ear.

Elevate 2016 – European cultural practices as a dialogue of difference 

Against the backdrop of populism, radicalization and the steady decline of sovereignty in favor of economic self-interest, we introduce our audience to a new generation of creatives who through their work not only question Europe's complex political reality but also reflect on micro-utopias in an effort to bring them to life in the process.
The key players involved are as heterogeneous as project Europe itself – they celebrate grand ideas in a small setting. This year, every stage is co-curated with another festival and they all bring their own distinct artistic and discursive content the city of Graz. Thus creating a pluralistic map of sound aesthetics, genres and focal points that are more than a mere product of experienced cultural exchange but a flamboyant intertwinement of diverse stylistics that counteract the white noise this world produces with a wide array of musical characteristics.   
The festivities will be kicked off by none other than the spoken word legend Saul Williams who will share the c/o Pop – curated stage with the auditory alchemist Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith.
Nuits Sonores from Lyon will bring in the Berghain resident DVS1, the french synth trio ZOMBIE ZOMBIE and the London sound acrobat and techno-utopist FunkinEven for their first-ever Graz shows. And for the day before that, Resonate Festival from Belgrade have invited Warp Records' own Mount Kimbie and the one-man-hiphop-hardcore-house-show LONE to their stage.
DJ PayPal and DJ Earl are also set to grace the Resonate stage, with both of them presenting their latest full-lengths that night. Other musical highlights include JK Flesh, formerly of Napalm Death, and Elisabeth Schimana, presenting her piece “Höllenmaschine”.
The festival will then come to a fittingly cathartic close when the noise berserkers SWANS grace us with a stop on their final world tour.
They will be sharing the evening with the equally apocalyptic Anna von Hausswolff.

"The Elevate Festival for contemporary music, art and political discourse distinguishes itself through its far-reaching commitment that continues to shed light onto new and surprising perspectives.

In my professional life, I am continuously confronted with the potential to enter new spaces, to step into the unknown, and I am reminded daily of how important it is for a society to invest in contemporary art." Stefan Stolitzka

In Central Europe, contemporary art and its communication has undergone decades of dynamic development, which is internationally recognized and a regionally important basis for a high quality of life. Stefan Stolitzka, owner of the shoe factory Legero, has been supporting contemporary art in Austria and abroad for years, and has established the platform in 2011. The aim of this platform is not only to preserve the diversity and high quality of contemporary art for the future, but to ensure its continued development.

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