How a major German jazz festival is to take place in-person in May

How a major German jazz festival is to take place in-person in May
Festival moderators with special face protection in May 2020. Photo: DPA/Bernd Thissen
At least a few hundred spectators will be able to enjoy Moers Jazz Festival in person this year thanks to the installation of a rapid-testing centre at the site entrance and volunteers acting as 'jazz police' to maintain social distancing.

Last year, only a few accredited journalists and technicians were able to enjoy the festival’s concerts in person, but all the performances were streamed live.

The new initiatives introduced by the organisers should allow more spectators to attend this year’s 50th edition of the event, which used to attract some 30,000 people before the pandemic. However, all the concerts will still be live-streamed and free to watch.

The festival’s artistic director Tim Isfort announced on Wednesday that 36 acts are planned for the festival in North Rhine-Westphalia, including groups and solo performers.

READ ALSO: Tickets sell out in three minutes as Berlin Philharmonic opens to public

Over 200 musicians are scheduled to play at the contemporary jazz event, which will be held from May 21st to 24th this year.

The festival will welcome a host of well-known names from the jazz scene, including US saxophonists Joe McPhee and the David Murray Trio, and French bassist Joëlle Léandre, while the 27-member Onceim (Orchestra of New Music, Experimentation and Improvisation) ensemble from Paris will tackle the work of synthesiser pioneer Éliane Radigue.

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The Castle Park, where much of the festival is held, offers plenty of space for social distancing, while residents can also enjoy various festival-related cultural events across the city, including a photo exhibition and debates on the role of art in lockdown.

If you’re interested in attending in person, you’ll need to register online to ensure traceability and reduce the risk of overcrowding. 

More major events and event venues in Germany, such as Berlin’s Philharmonic, have opened up to the public in recent weeks through relying on testing and strictly capped attendance sizes.

READ ALSO: How (and where) to get a free Covid-19 rapid test in Berlin


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