Searching for more out of the ordinary music festivals LAIF magazine discovered Incubate. Incubate is a 7-day festival in the city of Tilburg in The Netherlands advertised as the annual celebration of cutting-edge culture. Indie culture as a whole including music, visual arts, film and contemporary art. Over 200 cutting edge artists ranging from black metal to free jazz performed at this years 11th edition of the festival.
Arriving at the center of Tilburg it was hard to miss there was a major festival in the city. Banners and scaffolds with large signs of Incubate were almost everywhere to be seen. Browsing through the program a lot of bandnames came along we had never heard of before. But also some we did know and wanted to see (again) like K-X-P (FI), VOK (IS), Soley (IS) and Neneh Cherry (SE).
From the program we selected several acts, mostly dance/techno, which looked interesting according to the descriptions. We also had liked to experience some of the (black) metal-bands . Unfortunately the Metal department of the festival was located in a nature theater in a forest. Only to be reached by car or bus. So the only metal we heard was the sound of chainlocks of the audience parking their bikes. To be fairly honest we did see Norwegian Shining playing their metallike Black Jazz in a theater inside the city. With even some audience headbanging! Their performance wasn’t as spectacular as on their Youtube-movies but that wasn’t totally unexpected by the absence of fjords and a trollrock. The combination of metal and jazzy saxophone-sound was in the current setting naturally great as well.
Of the more danceable performances especially Daedalus (US) was one of our highlights of the festival. He also performed at Incubate in 2011 but his set sounded fresh and energetic so it was hard nog to follow his example and dance!
Some of the acts labeled as “Techno” didn’t really sound like what we had expected according to the description. Too much drone and noise, too little real techno. We came here to dance but stood toe-nailed to the floor. That in some venues people were allowed to smoke indoors didn’t make the experience better. Luckily the exit was nearby and the next venue not too far away. During Incubate some artists managed to surprise us. Jennie Abrahamson left her band in Sweden and took us on a musical journey through her latest songwriting. Live and solo her music was perhaps even more beautiful than on record.
Incubate Festival is an interesting festival if you are into discovering acts which are out of the ordinary. Looking at this (and previous) years headliners surely there are also several bands you would wanna see. We had a great time enjoying the bands in the program we already knew and walk around the city of Tilburg. We tasted some of the cutting-edge acts but occassionally bit our tongue to actually taste something. The sound however was good in most of the venues although earplugs were advised and no overrated accessory at some concerts. As many of the concerts took place in smaller bars the choice of beer was large, and the taste even better! The next Incubate is gonna take place from september 12th till september 18th 2016. Will we see you there to drink a beer and discuss the cutting edges of music and art?
More pictures can be found here