No. 25 vom 2 - 5 July 2015

What a birthday party! The hottest TFF ever! On our 25th anniversary temperatures rose to almost 40 degrees and in the shimmering heat we celebrated several firsts: RUTH Prize winner Funny Van Dannen broke with tradition and made her first appearance at a festival. Gerhard Polt was for once not on the set or on vacation in early July and graced Rudolstadt; unexpectedly there were no short-term cancellations and for the first time ARTE was on board and broadcast eight concerts on a live stream from Heinepark, including the opening concert of Coetus: The Spanish Percussion Ensemble brought 17 musicians plus instruments on stage and even the well traveled sound engineer was taken aback.


Surprises also came from Norway, this years showcase country. It started with the celebrated jazz trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær who stood on stage on Thursday together with the legendary Jamaican duo Sly & Robbie and culminated with a world premiere on Sunday with a performance by LEAHKIT, a joint project of the dancer Hallgrim Hansegård and the Sámi Joikers Torgeir Vassvik. The two are among the most exciting representatives of their craft and were cheered vigorously in Rudolstadt.

The Norwegians themselves were excited. Linda Dyrnes, Head of FolkOrg, the partners of the TFF Rudolstadt 2015 was rapturous about the crowd saying: TFF Rudolstadt has the best audience in the world!


Around 150 bands from 33 countries came before this world famous audience this year. The famous names of course attracting thousands of fans, like the Portuguese Fado singer Mariza, Caravan Palace (the inventors of Electro Swing from France), the American musician Rhiannon Giddens, Pedro Caldeira Cabral, the greatest living virtuoso on the Portuguese Guitar and Sicilian Pippo Pollina, who was accompanied by the Thüringen Symphonic Orchestra.


However, the festival-goers also celebrated the unknown artists and opened their ears to musical experiments: to the cittern as a magical instrument, for example, or to Canadian singers Katajjacoustic, who together with students from the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar developed a concert of Inuit vocals and electronic sound files. Another collaboration that succeeded was between the German-Lebanese Quartet Masaa and Israeli singer Yael Deckelbaum, with songs in Arabic and Hebrew they are committed to peace in the Middle East.


Everyone agreed that the diversity of the festival after 25 years is still simply stunning. Divided reactions triggered the announcement of the end of the “Magie-Projekt” (Magic Project) for other special projects. This offers the chance in addition to the Länderschwerpunkt (Country in Focus) and the orchestral project to implement special changes so even more magical instruments may be among them.


Incidentally in 2015 the river Saale was the real attraction and became another special venue to add to more than 20 stages. Here, heads and feet were chilled; folk picnicked, drank and bathed. - Reggae singer Patrice, our crowning glory, also took a bath in the crowd, before finally cool relief came from above - hardly the last note had died away when the long-awaited thunderstorm spilled over Rudolstadt. The Ostthüringer Zeitung wrote: "That’s timing!" - Right. But added to this: Good Vibrations.