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Elevate Festival 2020 Summary

The 16th edition of the Elevate Festival ended on Sunday with a final day rich in exciting discussions in the discourse programme in the Forum Stadtpark and final concerts by Conny Frischauf, Gudrun Gut and Michael Rother in the Orpheum.

From March 04 to March 08 2020, around 10,000 visitors discussed, danced and celebrated at more than 70 individual events in the multi-faceted programme of art, music and political discourse at the Elevate Festival 2020 in Graz. More than 100 artists and speakers enlivened the city with young, contemporary festival culture at more than 16 venues.

For five consecutive days, countless concerts, art actions and discussions took place in and around the Schlossberg in Graz. For years, people from all over the world have been coming together in the middle of Europe to exchange ideas, dance, marvel and make plans for future-oriented projects.

Through the unique combination of critical-political discourse with a wide variety of musical genres and its own arts programme, the Elevate Festival once again created a space to exchange and get to know new and innovative content. The festival brought together human rights experts, climate researchers and activists from all over the world with musicians and artists from other fields, thus enabling an exciting, cross-genre and practical dialogue on this year's programmatic motto "Human Nature".



The heart of the festival is still its versatile music programme, which presented modern music on 9 stages between progressive club sounds, exciting live concerts, rousing beats and electro-acoustic experiments. As usual, the music section of the Elevate Festival 2020 offered the opportunity to explore a wide range of electronic and related music. Besides international headliners and pioneers, national artists and newcomers also played a major role in the program. Meeting places for a cross-generational audience between electronic and popular music, disco and reflection, avatngarde and ecstasy were created.

"With our programme we show that curiosity, dialogue and openness are the best prerequisites for successful diversity, whether in music, art or society," says Roland Oreski, festival director responsible for the music sector.



The discourse programme of the festival, with more than 50 authors, scientists, activists and representatives from business, the media and civil society, dealt with burning socio-political issues, discussed and sounded out positions and strategies for positive change over five days at the festival conference, which has received international attention for years. From philosophy to biology, from physics to psychology, from artificial intelligence to the search for spiritual meaning, to mindfulness, activism and art: the discourse programme covered a broad spectrum, which manifested itself in a variety of content-related and artistic discussions on the festival theme "Human Nature".

"The Discourse Programme 2020 was able to reach a record number of visitors with its diverse programme - we were able to address a very diverse audience that actively participated in the discussions.
Daniel Erlacher, Head of Discourse



In its 16th festival edition, the Elevate Arts programme focused on sound art and art in public space: media art and interdisciplinary projects at the interface of performance, theory and sound art set accents in public spaces in the city of Graz. The events in special locations did not only conduct basic research and deal with forward-looking issues in the fields of sound art and media art, but also build bridges between the undiscovered and the future.

"Particularly pleasing from our point of view was the strong visibility of the festival in public space, as well as the very large number of international visitors and professionals. With the installation by Jimi Tenor in the Schlossberglift in Graz, Elevate will for the first time remain visible and audible in Graz beyond the festival days".

Bernhard Steirer, Managing Director Elevate



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

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