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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Free and avant-garde jazz festivals

It is quite impossible to keep track of the jazz festivals around, although free and avant jazz festivals might be harder to find. Please help keep this list up-to-date with comments and suggestions below.

We will keep the links to the biggest festival websites throughout the years.

Last update: 3/2019


Concert Series: 



Nozart Festival, Köln, Germany
Europa Jazz Festival, Le Mans, France
Jazz & Sounds, Ghent, Belgium
Altera! - Napels, Salerno - Sant'Agata de' Goti - Somma Vesuviana, Italy

Irtijal Festival, Beirut, Lebanon
Lublin Jazz Festival, Poland
Kaleidophon Festival, Ulrichsberg, Austria

Freedom Of the City, Conway Hall, London
Europajazz, Le Mans, France
Angelica Festival, Bologna, Italy
Ring Ring Festival, Belgrade, Serbia
Cerkno Jazz Festival, Slovenia
Sergey Kuryokhin International Festival, St. Petersburg Russia
Victoriaville, Canada
Sonore Festival, Brest, France
Moers Festival, Germany
MIA, Atouguia da Baleia, Portugal
Uncool Festival, Valposchiavo, Switzerland

Jazzdor - Strasbourg - Berlin 
Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival, Montreal, Canada
Okka Fest, Milwaukee, USA
Ottawa Jazz Festival, Canada
Festival Jazz & Musique Improvisée en Franche Comté, Besançon and Doubs, France
Vision Festival New York, USA

Warsaw Summer Jazz Days - Warsaw, Poland
Sound Symposium, New Foundland
Konfrontationen Festival, Nickelsdorf, Austria
A L'ARME Festival, Berlin, Germany

Dissidents Arts Festival, New York, USA
Jazz Em Agosto, Lisbon, Portugal
Meteo Festival, Mulhouse, France
Jazzfestival Saalfelden, Austria

Sant' Anna Arresi Jazz Festival, Sardinia, Italy
Ujbuda Jazz Festival, Budapest, Hungary
Guelph Jazz Festival, Canada
Crosscurrents, New York, USA
Free Essen Festival, Essen, Germany, Chicago, USA
Jazz and More Festival, Sibiu, Romania
Autumn Jazz Festival, Cracow, Poland
Out.Fest, Barreiro, Portugal
Jazzmandu, Kathmandu, Nepal
Skaņu Mežs Festival for Adventurous Music and Related Arts, Riga, Latvia
EdgeFest, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Jazzfest Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Music Unlimited Festival, Wels, Austria
Umbrella Music Festival, Chicago, US
November Music Festival, 's Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

577 Forward Festival, Brooklyn, NY
dOeK festival, Amsterdam, Holland

© stef


Chris Monsen said...

Hi fellas!

A bit late to te party, but thought I'd give a shout out to the Blow Out! Festival, which takes place in Oslo in August (I forget how long it's been running, though). This year's line-up is pretty great, in my opinion, and can be accessed via this link:

Also worth mentioning Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival:



simon camatta said...

Free Essen Festival 2015
Goethebunker, Goethestraße 67, Essen, Germany - 20:15h, 6€ every day
Gunda Gottschalk - violin, Eckard Koltermann - bassclarinet, Martin Blume - drums
The Wisseltangcamatta
Georg Wissel - (präp.)sax, clarinet, Achim Tang - bass, Simon Camatta - drums, percussion
St.Kirchhoff - guitar
Ute Völker - accordian, Angelika Sheridan - flute
23. sep
Nicola Hein - guitar, Paul Lytton - percussion
Jan Klare - basssax, Alex Schwers - drums

neverfadingwood said...

The 10th Kraków Jazz Autumn - a free jazz/improv festival - is on now.

Peter said...

Anonymous said...

Festival Bruisme - last week of June
last edition (#5):
archive :

Anonymous said...

Check out Eldenaer Jazz Evenings / Greifswald / Germany - concerts of upcoming and well known jazzheads in the unique setting of Eldena Abbey ruins.
Two days, six concerts -
2016 featuring PLOT, KUU!, First Circle, Eva Kruse Quintett, Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet, NDR Bigband & Django Deluxe

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add these great free jazz/sound festivals from Austin Texas to your database


No Idea Festival--February

FAST FORWARD Festival--April

Sonic Transmissions Festival---Septembre
curated by internationally renowned bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (The Thing, Atomic),
Sonic Transmission is a three-day showcase that gives equal weight to some of the globe’s
best free jazz, post-punk, experimental hip-hop, and improvised music.

Creative Jazz Fans said...

INDUST 2016. Second festival of alternative jazz and imrovised music at Island Khortytsia, Zaporizhya, Ukraine. Some bands with creative approach from Ukraine, Lithuania and USA will play during 3 days.

More details

Filas said...

Pomeranian Jazz Jantar festival is a must here!

D Selah said...

Free Jazz Montreal 2016

Theo said...

Amazing job ! Congrats.
I would like to suggest to add BUCHAREST INTERNATIONAL JAZZ COMPETITION & FESTIVAL 2017, which promotes the values of the new jazz generation. It is a great platform for jazz artists to meet, interact and play together. All jazz styles are accepted.

6 said...

There are also a few really nice festivals that deal with adventurous here in Slovenia:


One that takes place in Croatia:

Doek said...

I'm happy to see dOeK Festival on the list. The festival is now held in May and dOeK has become Doek. The next edition takes place from 12 to 19 May in Amsterdam and will focus on the great venues, series and musicians that make up Amsterdam's thriving impro scene.

(coordinator Doek)

Anonymous said...

Detroit Jazz Festival is the worlds largest free jazz festival

4fakultät said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
4fakultät said...

Not a festival, but a new and unique concert series, each a mini-festival in itself:

4FAKULTÄT - Concert series for cross-genre Improvisation

with 4 Contributors (Bands, Soloists), 4 times a year at Künstlerhaus FAKTOR, Hamburg, Germany

Next concert will be on July 29th, 2017 with:
Nika Son (Electr.),
Chad Popple (Drums) & John Hughes (Bass),
David Wallraff (Noise),
Sven Kacirek (Mallets) & Charly Schöppner (Perc)

Anonymous said...

The Thirteenth Újbuda Jazz Festival realised in the coproduction of the MU Theatre and the A38 Ship will present some of the very best, most original, intriguing and stunning acts of new improvised jazz in broad sense.

Anonymous said...

I like to add the Freejazzfestival Saarbrücken to the list that always takes place the week before easter:

in the 4th edition, 21. - 25.3. 2018, we are celebrating the 50th birthday of the album "machine gun" with the Yahoos, Tobias Delius, Christian Lillinger, Ava Mendoza, John Dikeman, Barry Guy, Mette Rasmussen, Paul Lytton, Olaf Rupp, Antonio Borghini, Tristan Honsinger, Han Bennink, Peter Brötzmann & many others

Steffen Roth said...

Hello Everybody!

I'd like to announce our first edition of (((potentiale)))

It's a brand new festival for improvised music, arts and crafts starting on may 31st till june 3rd.
During the day you're invited to enjoy the region around the small town Kalbe (Milde) and participate in workshops with the artists.

Every evening will be full of improvised concerts with artists like:

Günter 'Baby' Sommer
Almut Kühne
Carl-Ludwig Hübsch
Marius Moritz
Sascha Henkel
André Meisner
Gürsoy Tanc
Steffen Roth

Hope to see you there!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to inform you, that the "Ruhrjazz Festival" in Bochum, which once was an important event for free and improvised music, is back:

c u there,

4fakultät said...

Hello Everyone,
we're happy to announce the 10th edition of 4fakultät – Concert series for cross-genre Improvisation
on Nov.24th 2018 at Künstlerhaus FAKTOR, Hamburg.

Each edition is a mini-festival in itself, with 4 guests or groups improvising in all 4faculty combinations.
For #10, our guests will be:

1. Kate NV
3. Shitney (Maria Faust & Qarin Wikström)
4. A.K. Klosowski

Nina (V I S, Golden Pudel Club)
Light Design / Projections:
Alexander Trattler & Arthur Musalimov

4fakultät #10, November 24th, Künstlerhaus FAKTOR, Max-Brauer-Allee 229, Hamburg
21h, doors open 20h. 15 € / 10€ reduced

More on:

Christel Kumpen said...

Summer Bummer Festival - Antwerp, Belgium