Elevate Festival has announced its plans for the upcoming 2018 edition.

In 2018, the festival for contemporary music, arts, and political discourse will go down in its new time slot in early March—running from February 28 to March in and around the Schloßberg of Graz. The edition will be focused on two fundamental terms of the modern age: risk and courage.

Among the first confirmed speakers of this year’s Elevate discourse programme is the controversially discussed Wikileaks activist Julian Assange, who will be speaking via live video stream from the Embassy of Ecuador in London, where he has been living in political exile for more than five years. British journalist Sarah Harrison will speak on the sometimes life-threatening risks taken by whistleblowers as well as present the Courage Foundation, which has provided activists like Edward Snowden, Pussy Riot, and Chelsea Manning with legal assistance. Civil rights lawyer Renata Avila will join to shed light on the predicament of indigenous peoples in Guatemala. From Russia, but currently in Czech exile, the artist group Voina, whose members have been arrested several times for their provocative street performances, will perform and talk about their work during the festival. The work of Angela Richter also borders the line between art and political activism. She is a theatre director by trade and one of four resident directors at the Schauspielhaus Cologne, as well as a member of the pan-European democracy movement DiEM25, which was formed in 2016 as an initiative of the former Greek Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis.

Similarly, the 2018 music portion boasts a number of pioneers and trailblazers: John Maus, the existential philosopher among synth-poppers, will be presenting his long-awaited fourth album Screen Memories after a six-year hiatus. Hailing from the United States, ghetto house pioneer DJ Deeon will be bringing the raw, sample-heavy Chicago tracks with which he propitiated house and hip-hop culture on the Dancemania label back in the ’90s. Also on their first Austria visit will be Mike Servito as well as Emma Olson (a.k.a Umfang). In a new addition in 2018, Ben Frost and MFO will be playing the Orpheum, performing with a corresponding A/V live show. An entirely new location will be inaugurated by the multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick.


Ana Threat
APLOT & Dotworks
Awo Ojiji
Ben Frost w/ MFO live AV
Cakes Da Killa
Caterina Barbieri
DJ Deeon
DJ Koze
DJ Taye
Greg Fox
John Maus
Kamaal Williams
Marco Passarani
Mia Zabelka & Tina Frank pres. “Defraction” live AV
Mick Harris presents FRET live AV w/ Stormfield
Mike Servito
Nosaj Thing live AV
Nurse With Wound Official
Peter Broderick
Roman Flügel
Schallfeld Ensemble w/ ONOXO live AV

First confirmed speakers:

Julian Assange
Sarah Harrison
Renata Avila
Angela Richter
Raul Zelik
Amandine Le Pape
Martin Balluch
Ksenia Ermoshina

The 14th festival edition of Elevate Festival takes place from February 28 to March 4, with more information available here.