How the Moers Festival Became a Celebration of Avant-garde Change 

Source: DW.

It all started at the end of the 1960s, when a small group of music enthusiasts came up with the idea of setting up their own jazz festival in their town, often described by its residents as the “smallest big city in Germany.” Moers is a 100,000-inhabitant city located on the western bank of the Rhine River.

A few years later, it finally happened. Organized by founder and artistic director Burkhard Hennen, the first International New Jazz Festival Moers — as it was called at that time — took place in 1972. Hennen remained head of the festival for 34 years, and it quickly managed to attract international jazz stars and fans, who flocked to the small town on the Lower Rhine for the event held every year over the Pentecost weekend.