Fanø Free Folk Festival: 3 Days of Experimental Folk Sounds on a Beautiful Danish Island

Am Wochenende vom 25. bis 27. July dieses Jahres findet zum fünften mal das bekannte Free Folk Festival auf Fanø im Südwesten Dänemarks statt, einer Insel mit einem dreihundert Seelen-Dorf, das selbst eine reichhaltige Folktradition aufweist. Mit von der Partie sind diesmal internationale Acts wie Arborea, Cellistin Jo Quail, die Newcomerin Cigdem Aslan, das englisch-ägyptische Streicher-Duo Daniel Merill und Ayman Asfour, Svarte Greiner, die geheimnisvollen Wiener Bird People und viele mehr. Rasmus Steffensen betont nicht nur das breite musikalische Konzept des Festivals, bei dem nicht jeder Act im engeren Sinne Folk spielen muss, er verweist auch auf den intimen Charakter des Ortes und seine historische Verknüpfung mit der traditionellen Musik- und Populärkultur Dänemarks:

“The idea of the festival was born out of the wish to create a more intimate festival feeling with a very close contact between performer and audience. We were a group of people who were all into genres such as neo-folk, psychedelic folk, drone/ambient music but also free improvisation, ethnic sounds etc. Some of this music we could meet at other festivals, but often the more fragile and intimate parts of the music gets lost on a big stage. With Fanø Free Folk Festival we wanted to create a space, where musicians and audience share a community feeling. It’s not about headliners and about pushing your artistic ego, but rather about meeting other musicians and getting inspired to create something new. We often see musicians creating new international contacts at the festival, just like bands often invite other musicians with them on stage. So it’s truly a space where new things can happen, just like it’s a space where folk music enthusiasts and avantgarde fans come together in a very informal atmosphere.

We thought it could be a very interesting thing to present experimental takes on folk sounds in a place with such a rich folk music tradition. Of course we were also a bit anxious that the traditional folk musicians would shake their heads in disbelief at the music we present. But they have been very open to it, and it has been a great gift for us to make the festival in Sønderho. A lot of local people help by opening their houses to host international artists etc. and I believe that many of the performers at the festival find it inspiring to get in touch with the traditions of the island. Besides, the nature is truly beautiful and we always try to take people out into the nature as well, like acoustic shows in the dunes.

Fano Free Folk Festival is a wonky, off kilter gathering of musicians and artists who continue to create on the fringes of scenes, on the outskirts of the industry, but in living in the heart of understanding through creating deeply personal, highly contextualised music. As such it is a location that the Dead Rat Orchestra have felt entirely at home – free to let their music mingle and ramble. The festival is not slick or polished, and there is no sense of there being barriers between audience and musicians; music is shared and enjoyed as conversation, in the same way that that ephemeral community come together to share meals and dance. Returning with the Asfour-Merrill Duo therefore seems one of the most fitting opportunites; my first solo violin performance was at Fano Free Folk Festival and the openness to this exploration experienced there has driven me on in pursuing this. Returning I will be performing alongside one of the great Oriental violinists, Ayman Asfour, as we explore combining cultural approaches to the violin. This collaboration is a direct descendent of the openness to play that Fano Free Folk inspires.”

Das volle Line-up:

Arborea (US), Bird People (AT), Cigdem Aslan/Tahir Palali (TR/UK), Daniel Merill/Ayman Asfour (UK/EG), Family Underground (DK), Halasan Bazar (DK), Hungerhoff & The Wild Roots (DE), Jo Quail (UK), Laboule (IT), Lasse Thorning Jæger (DK), Mattia Coletti (IT), Moongazing Hare (DK), Nefesh (PL/TR/UK/DK), Of Rivers and Trains (IT), Olga & Palle (PL/DK), Powerdove (US), Raphael Roginski/P.o. Jørgens (PL/DK), Rowan Coupland (UK), Svarte Greiner (NO), Teamforest (DE), The Restless Fields (DE/DK)


Rasmus Steffensen/Festivaldirektion


Telefon: (+45) 20 61 60 66