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Le Guess Who? 2018

Last updated 2 years ago by Michael Darmanin

Le Guess Who? is a city-wide celebration of music. The festival is dedicated to boundary-crossing music from across the entire planet, with the 12th edition taking place 8-11 November 2018 in our very own picturesque city of Utrecht.

Over four days, Le Guess Who? takes over the entire city centre of Utrecht with over 150 genre crossing performances set to electrify pop venues, theatres, churches, galleries and warehouses. Satellite events with music, film, visual art, photography and markets will appear at cafés, hotels, restaurants, wharf cellars, squares and across the hidden corners of the city.

Le Guess Who? focuses on artists that to explore and expand musical boundaries. The festival features non-western sounds, jazz, folk, ambient, drone, modern composed, as well as contemporary pop and rock, plus many blended forms of these genres.

Throughout the years, Le Guess Who? has grown to become a leading international festival, known for its inspiring presentation genre-challenging music.

Tickets for Le Guess Who? 2017 were sold in 58 different countries, including almost the entirety of Europe as well as a.o. Mexico, Lebanon, Japan, Egypt, India and South Korea.

Le Guess Who? Have announced the curators and initial line-up for 2018 edition

The first 77 acts announced include Art Ensemble of Chicago, Devendra Banhart, The Breeders, Anoushka Shankar, Ebo Taylor, Sons of Kemet, Mudhoney

There will also be a series of Curated programmes

This year’s curators have now been announced, each hosting an array of inspirations and like-minded artists.

Eclectic songwriter Devendra Banhart curates a.o. Vashti Bunyan’s subtle pop-poems; Ghanaian Highlife trailblazer Ebo Taylor; and post-apocalyptic exotica from Shintaro Sakamoto (formerly of Tokyo’s Yura Yura Teikoku).

Director and activist Asia Argento invites wayward foursome The Breeders; Lydia Lunch’s Big Sexy Noise; Vera Sola’s cinematic Americana; and the psychedelic bluesgoth of Psychic Ills.

Jazz superforce Shabaka Hutchings presents a.o. Sons of Kemet; Ghanaian-British poet-turned-rapper Kojey Radical; Indian Carnatic music pioneer Kadri Gopalnath; and BCUC’s Soweto Afropsychedelia.

Moor Mother brings us the rich jazz legacy of Art Ensemble of Chicago (on the eve of their 50th Anniversary); a special collaboration between Saul Williams and King Britt; and Egypt’s Islam Chipsy and EEK. New age and folk jazz explorer Beverly Glenn-Copeland will give a rare performance on the invitation of both Moor Mother and Devendra Banhart.


An exciting initiative are Le Guess Who? commissions

Le Guess Who? will initiates two new projects, both premiering during the festival: Jerusalem In My Heart collaborates with an oriental orchestra from Beirut in a performance that will include an adaptation of the classical Egyptian work “Ya Garat Al Wadi” (1928).

In addition, Haley Fohr’s Circuit des Yeux presents ‘Reaching For Indigo: Gaia Infinitus’. For the first time, Fohr enlists an ensemble featuring members of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. This one-off performance further expands her captivating compositions and will include the debut of previously unreleased music.

General programme

Le Guess Who? also reveals the first performers for the general festival line-up, featuring Ehtio-jazz greatness Hailu Mergia; Seattle grunge icons Mudhoney; Dominican experimental reggaeton producer Kelman Duran; Sudanese funk futurism from The Scorpios; sax powerhouse Colin Stetson; Neo-soul and avant-RandB artist Serpentwithfeet; Afro-beat and space disco from Amsterdam’s The Mauskovic Dance Band; Japanese psychedelia outfit Kikagaku Moyo; Eleanor Friedberger’s synth-infused, quirky pop songs; and clarinet virtuoso Cüneyt Sepetçi playing modern Turkish wedding and party music.

A spectacular performance will see renowned Indian sitar player Anoushka Shankar will present a collaboration with Austrian Hang-player Manu Delago and 27-member string section from the Metropole Orkest.

4-Day Festival Passes are available for €117,50 (incl. service costs) until Thursday, 7 June. After that date, the price will increase to €137,50. Day tickets will be available at a later date.

Logo credit Le Guess Who?

For more info, see www.leguesswho.com

Jon Wilkins
Jon Wilkins
Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.


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