Le Guess Who?, considered to be one of the most forward-thinking festivals around the world, returns 9-12 November 2023 for its 16th edition in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Following the announcement of the initial line-up for Le Guess Who? 2023, including programs curated by Heba Kadry, Nala Sinephro, Slauson Malone 1 and Stereolab, the festival now adds several special projects to this year’s edition.
COSMOS is Le Guess Who?’s globe-spanning initiative that amplifies some of the most exciting local scenes from around the world. Through films, interviews, performances, and artist residencies, COSMOS connects international music communities and shares their stories. In 2023, the following Embassies will present films about their local communities – both physically at the festival as well as freely available online:
Buh Records - Lima, Peru
Liquid Architecture - Melbourne, Australia
Movement Radio - Athens, Greece
NORRM & LaMunai Records - Bandung, Indonesia
Oroko Radio - Accra, Ghana
POP Montréal - Montréal, Canada
Sharjah Art Foundation - Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
V2X Mag - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Additionally, and for the first time, COSMOS presents live performances at Le Guess Who?. This program features Rắn Cạp Đuôi Collective who are at the forefront of sound art and experimental music in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Ruhail Qaisar, whose sound-collage memoirs are based on local myths and his recollections of growing up in the Ladakh region of the high-altitude Himalayas; The Phantasmagoria of Jathilan, an exploration of the Jathilan horse dance, a folk trance dance popular in Java that is commonly used to regain strength; and Bengal Chemicals, a rising star in the experimental electronic music scene in Kolkata, India.
Le Guess Who? presents the fourth edition of Hidden Musics, which originated in collaboration with Chris Eckman (Glitterbeat Records) and GRAMMY Award-winning producer Ian Brennan. The project focuses on deeply localized music and features artists embedded in rich, often centuries-old musical traditions that have been developed with little or no outside influences.
Performing as part of Hidden Musics are Pankisi Ensemble, an all-female traditional music group from Georgia, who preserve and develop lesser-known genres of Chechen music that are rarely heard outside of their own community; Sophia Nzayisenga, the first female master of the Inanga, a traditional stringed music instrument; Rwanda’s The Good Ones, a band that was formed as a healing process after the genocide and with the original members reuniting Rwanda’s Tutsi, Hutu, and Abatwa tribes; and "the man with singing fingers”, Rəhman Məmmədli, whose blazing, psychedelic guitar music sprang from one of the most tumultuous and transformative periods in Azerbaijan’s history.
The Anonymous Project
Le Guess Who? recently announced The Anonymous Project: a radical new format for artists to present their work and for listeners to discover it. On the opening night of the festival, several artists will perform in a white cube on stage with scenography commissioned to ensure the artists will remain anonymous at all times: before, during and after their performances.
With this project, we want to create a space to experiment freely with new sounds and in new directions, without any judgment or expectations based on the artist’s previous work or their public profile. For listeners, we hope it will create an experience that is 100% pure, focused on the exploration of sound without any preconceptions. These performances mark the start of your festival experience with exactly what Le Guess Who? stands for: the imaginative and transformative power of sound.
Thursday and Saturday Tickets still available
Thursday and Saturday tickets for Le Guess Who? 2023 are still available via www.leguesswho.com/tickets; 4-Day Festival Passes, Friday and Sunday tickets are now sold out.
Le Guess Who? collaborates with The Dutch Council for Refugees and Buddy to Buddy for ‘Grant an Entry’, which gives visitors the option to buy an additional day ticket for newcomers residing in The Netherlands, who would like to visit the festival but don’t have the financial means to do so.
For more info, visit www.leguesswho.com.