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In the contemporary maelstrom of post-truth, fake news, dangerously half-baked knowledge and blissful ignorance, this year's fourteenth Elevate Festival opens its now hotly anticipated series of concerts.

Away from a fiercely contested field of tension between the mendacious press, expert opinions and the will to trust, this exuberantly qualitative live music programme finally allows you, as both the wolf and the sheep, to sit back and enjoy yourself again without having to worry about whether what you're perceiving is true or not. This programme delivers the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, put together by the finest Illuminati cultural funds can buy - when subjective, then objectively subjective. This music programme's factual dankness can also be proved numerologically by the example of Johann Sebastian Bach (a real truth-seeker in his own right). The letters B-A-C-H are in second, first, third, and eighth place in the alphabet. If these numbers are added together, the result is fourteen. The fifteenth Elevate is therefore undeniably dank and thus even blessed by the great Bach himself. The legacy is intact. Irrefutably.


The roundelay will be opened on Wednesday at Orpheum Extra by none other than the great STROBLAZILLA. The brilliant trio comprised of Edda Strobl, Renate Oblak, and performer Klaus Meßner presents its unpretentious but steam-hammering mixture of pop, wave, and dystopia which paves the way for even more magnificent structures - although they're from Graz, they're pretty New York. Seldom has a band cared as little as the STRIGGLES - and I mean that in the best way possible. They never cared about what to expect from them, if the songs sound like the record when performed live, or if you tuck your shirt in or not. One thing is for sure: a new album will be presented. Will this thing knock our socks off like all their previous releases? You'll have a hard time avoiding that. This already aesthetically exorbitant evening culminates in an exclusive performance by queer artist and saxophone virtuoso BENDIK GISKE, who will present his idiom of acoustic avant-club music using only breath, skin, and steel with a tongue blade, voice, and the iron will of a meanwhile thoroughly stimulated mob.


From an insider's tip to a must-see, the Thursday portion of the festival has become compulsory. Once again, the top-class line-up in the sacred halls of the Graz Mausoleum (referred to as the insider program behind the scene) promises a ballistically excellent shot and direct hit to the eye of good taste. Beginning with the spectral soprano STINE JANVIN, whose musical concept of sonorous dehumanization and antonymous dualities is at home across all the boards that represent the world, on to the pianist and keyboard virtuoso KELLY MORAN, whose improvised sets at the prepared piano have made critics and other enthusiasts all over the world sit up and take notice, up to multi-instrumentalist, ex-EFTERKLANG-Indie legend and piano shaman PETER BRODERICK, who demonstrates strength in weakness with a lot of sensitivity and a host of objectively beautiful songs and who benevolently gives the last remnants of a perhaps not yet totally emotionally captivated audience a mental golden shot - big time inner cinema.

Once again totally different, somehow similar and yet consummately unique, (unfortunately) taking place at the same time at Forum Stadtpark where, following a DUNKELKAMMER with the legendary Graz drummer MARTIN CATTA, a heartily festive edition of the GIK-GRAZER IMPRO KLUB with Danish saxophone icon LOTTE ANKER will serve as the dramaturgical core of the evening. The GIK, which as an extremely open improvisation format usually takes place on the last Monday of the month in the basement of our beloved Forum Stadtpark, features a pre-curated line-up in the first half of this special issue, which many a specialist festival would like to have on its flag. The second half remains open, as it is in the nature of things, and that is a good thing. For everyone.


The weekend is, as it should be, peppered with classics. This evening will be introduced by the Danish experimental musician Frederikke Hoffmeier aka PUCE MARY, whose abstract sound structure ranging between song, radio play, and post-industrial harsh noise has to be put up with. If it's too hard, you're too weak - even Pharmakon is afraid. Filled with darkness, claustrophobia and the unsettling hissing of uncertainty, the release performance for the new record of the Grazean composer and Striggles drummer Slobodan Kajkut aka KAJKYT presents itself afterward.

As a reward, KAJKYT will be followed by a literal (yes!) laser concert by ROBIN FOX. The impressive installations and performances by the Australian AV guru have already been performed at countless renowned festivals all over the world and exported to over fifty(!) cities. Sounds so unbelievable that it's best to convince yourself live - but it's all true. The thundering gauntlet at the Orpheum on Friday will be concluded and rounded off by none other than the drone legends of SUNN O))). The fact that one can still do less in order to be heavier than all others is proven by the constantly revolving conglomerate around the core members Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson, who have been thriving since 1999. Monumental, monolithic, cosmic.

The grand finale of this year's fifteenth ELEVATE will take place on the day of the lord with the German institution DAF, who have been described by connoisseurs as none other than the godfathers of techno and EBM and whose musical legacy has produced its own genres and countless emulators.Iconoclastic fantastic. Is DAF even allowed to do that? - DEFINITELY! This friendship is supported by our once local no-wave favourites LADY LYNCH. Even the strongest backbone can't stand more integrity. We are proud.

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