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ELEVATE 2018 – Arriving at new shores

The 14th edition of the Elevate Festival ended yesterday with discussions in Forum Stadtpark and closing concerts in Orpheum. The programmatic motto of departure and renewal spread throughout all areas of the festival.

For 5 days around 9,000 visitors debated, danced and celebrated at the most extensive and most international Elevate Festival to date. The 14th edition took place from 28th of February to 4th of March in more than 9 locations. It brought many new features in addition to proven formats. "In this year's development of the festival program, we included three new stages and a significant strengthening of formats of fine art - the risk was worth it," says Bernhard Steirer, CEO of the festival. Already several weeks before the festival a good part of the presale tickets was sold out. The combination of media art, avant-garde, pop culture and political discourse attracted as many visitors as never before. The art program Elevate Arts, which will establish itself as the third pillar of the festival in the long term via the new Creative Europe Culture program "Re-Imagine Europe", has for the first time gained a distinctive profile sharpening with its own artist-in-residence for media art as well as several commissioned works. The new music stages - including a daytime stage with one of the festival headliners DJ Koze, the Mausoleum for Modern Classic and the Orpheum for AV-live-shows at the interface of sound- and video art - reinforced the basic intention of bringing various forms of contemporary music into resonance. The bandwidth was considerable: on Saturdays, 24 music formations played at five venues, on Friday 18. From chamber music ensemble to light-flooded sound structures, wild free jazz and colorful collages of various genres from hip-hop, house, techno and noise – the concept of building bridges between E and U, disco and reflection, avant-garde and ecstasy was fully developed. "With our program we show that curiosity, dialogue and openness are the best prerequisites for successful diversity, whether in music, in art or in society," says Roland Oreski, festival director for the music sector.

Discourse Program 2018: A lot of inspiration despite gloomy analyzes

With strong statements, clear analysis of global issues and many inspiring guests, the extensive program of discussion panels, workshops, talks and documentary films awaited the audience. The topic in 2018 was the tension between the terms risk and courage. "The discourse program was our most international so far this year. Focusing on whistleblowers, indigenous activists, journalism under pressure and democracy at risk once again motivated us to include even more perspectives from different regions of the world”, says Daniel Erlacher, coordinator of the Discourse Program. Already the opening on Wednesday brought together many strong comments on global issues - from the potential "end of human politics" by digitization processes (J. Assange) to the connection of investigative journalism and whistleblowers to the democratization at risk much was addressed in the following four festival days in more than 30 individual events. The reflection frame also expanded this time by a large number of external program designers. Moderators and co-curators from different countries, cooperations with festivals - in particular from the Netherlands and Greece within the framework of the We Are Europe cooperative in 2018 - brought new perspectives, perspectives and solutions to the wallet.

Art at the festival

In 2018, Elevate Arts experienced a strongly perceptible contouring. Media art works were shown in four locations, including the ESC medien kunst labor and the Schlossbergstollen. Andy King's digitally distorted portrait series of whistleblowers, for example, was commissioned as part of a new Elevate Artist-In-Residence. Adam Harvey's analysis of the social effects of networked data analysis technologies was also produced for the festival under the title "Machine Learning City".

The next Elevate Festival will take place from 27th February to 3rd March 2019 in Graz

The festival would like to thank all sponsors, partners and the large team of employees for the good cooperation. And, of course, the thousands of people who spent 5 days demonstrating what contemporary festival culture can be.

Elevate Festival

28. 02. - 04. 03. 2018

Graz, Austria

Dom im Berg, Orpheum, Mausoleum, Forum Stadtpark, esc medien kunst lab, Lendhotel, rotor, Parkhouse

The latest festival photos are available here!

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