Hubert von Goisern
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LINZ EUROPE TOUR 2007 - 2009

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Successful ambassador for Linz 09

PNP 23rd August 2008 | Dr. Edith Rabenstein

On 31st August Hubert von Goisern's European ship tour will draw to a close in Passau
- A positive result, but the problems were never as great as they were in Bavaria

The finale of his expedition by ship through Europe draws to a close in Passau: Hubert von Goisern will conjure up S'Nix on 31st August in the Passau Rathausplatz, when he plays with his band for the Capital of Culture Linz 2009 for the last time. He has given around 45 concerts on his tour from Rotterdam to the Black Sea. More than 80,000 people have cheered the world musician. The PNP spoke to Hubert von Goisern about the end of the two year ship journey.

You have performed concerts with musical partners, some of whom you didn't know. How was this experience?

I prepared myself thoroughly, in some cases doing a year and a half of research to find suitable musicians, particularly for the eastern leg of the tour. I've been happy with my musical partners. Certainly there have occasionally been misunderstandings. It was perhaps easier in the west as there were no language barriers. I sometimes felt like a skier not getting every gate.

Were there particular high points?

I can't and don't want to say yet. Every concert is a special case for me and has its own high points Every concert was a great success for me; I don't want to single out any particular one. You can only form a resumé in retrospect.

What were the biggest problems for the flotilla?

It turned out that every mooring point - and they were all very different - was a challenge. You depend on the weather, the water levels and the many administrative bodies, whom I previously had no idea existed. Aside from that there are still the water police, regulatory agencies, mayors and citizens' groups.

Did you ever think about throwing it in, faced with the problems and objections?

I've never thought of throwing it all in. But I've often been annoyed by the pettiness of a good many people. There was no precedent. There are many who turn down something they don't know. There's an expression that is unfortunately true: "what the farmer doesn't know, he doesn't eat." Those who are keen to experiment are in the minority.

Where were the greatest difficulties?

The biggest problem was the Bavarian stretch. Travelling through Bavaria is a test. The mistrust towards our project was enormous. It seemed to me as though the officials were out to derail the project. If there was a place where the project was really on the rocks, then it was Bavaria. Sometimes I think: Anything that isn't explicitly allowed, is forbidden in Bavaria.

Was your Europe tour a success with regard to the Capital of Culture Linz 09?

Certainly. For two years we have let the event Linz 09 soak into the consciousness of many people. In 2009 our ship's cargo will then be unloaded in Linz - then our ship tour will finally be history.

What awaits us at the final concert?

I don't want people to come along with fixed expectations. It's been a year since the last concert; the band has matured. Let yourself in for a surprise; every concert is a surprise for me too.

Docked: Hubert von Goisern at the Mainlände

Mainpost 22nd August 2008 | Photo: Waltraud Fuchs-Mauder
Hubert von Goisern

Schweinfurt (kgh) "It makes no difference to me, whether I play music on a ship or in a hall. The only thing that can happen is that you sweat more or freeze - according to the weather. But today is ideal," said the Austrian musician Hubert von Goisern ahead of his show on Friday at the Mainlände. "I'll let loose the people of Schweinfurt", he promised. The "floating village", as tour manager Stefan Schröder calls the converted cargo ship with an extendible stage (playing area of six by eight metres), docked at 1pm. A few bystanders turned up to watch how the hydraulic stage was raised. In Schweinfurt, Schröder says, obtaining permission for the venue and mooring point was drawn out over two months. The powers were unclear, "so we lost time, for example with being able to make an announcement in the press". The next stop on the Linz Europe Tour 2007 - 2009 is in Lohr on Sunday.

Alpine rock on the Ruhr

Neue Ruhr Zeitung 19th August 2008 | Text: Angelika Ivanov

At times very peaceful, at times unusually loud and rocky. Hubert von Goisern thrills his audience

Hubert von GoisernThings raged and shook on the Ruhr on Sunday. Bright lights showered down onto the shore in rhythm with the accordion. "Showtime", Hubert von Goisern called out to the thousands of faces before him. Three show dancers in tulle skirts skipped onto the stage of the concert ship. It was loud. It was wild. The spectators looked and moved themselves in fascination at the rock star with the accordion.

Anchors aweigh, music on: On the Austrian musician's Linz tour Hubert von Goisern has made 29 stops with his band - from Linz to the Black Sea. All with a freight ship converted to a concert venue. The musician famous as the founder of alpine rocker thus shows his fans that it's not only musically-speaking that he is capable of almost anything. As another highlight in the seemingly never-ending city jubilee party, the mood was relaxed to enthusiastic.

With free admission and warm weather there was barely room to move on the Ruhr river bank behind the town hall. Bratwurst stands, beer carts and Isi's oriental catering meant a festival atmosphere. While on stage yodelling mixed with oriental rhythms, a couple on a picnic blanket were happily eating couscous. Elsewhere, a rocker dressed in leather jumped about wildly. Children danced around and older ladies and gentlemen looked on discerningly with a glass of wine. "I only know him being very calm," said Brigitte Rosenkamp. The 42 year old knows Hubert von Goisern rather more as a melodic singer. But she likes the rocky style too. "I think it's amazing, the way he is able to combine everything. If you hadn't heard it for yourself, you wouldn't believe that it could sound good". But at this concert too, he doesn't seem to disappoint her. Quieter pieces follow, with which he underscores the differences of the regions with a fatherly voice. There is always the message that everyone belongs together. Even if they are different.

And so the many concert-goers drift in the change between loud and quiet, yodelling and the Orient, here and there. Like the river, which seemingly washes up the same water in the same place and yet is always changing.

Hubert von Goisern's concert ship on the Linz Europe Tour

Erlebte Musik 28th September 2008 | Photo: Brigitte Kuehn

What a wonderful evening - excellent musicians, fantastic music, a beautiful late summer evening with a full "grapefruit" moon - as well as the rousing music of Hubert von Goisern, who is always at his most convincing live on stage - what more could you want?! And a noisy finale with a Dylan classic Für immer jung (Forever Young) - and all this on this stage, in this night and with these musicians. There was no helping anyone who didn't have goosebumps by now!

Wolfgang Niedecken and Hubert von Goisern

More photos at www.erlebtemusik.com (4 albums)

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Cologne - 15th August 2008

21st August 2008 | Photos: © Sarah Marchant

BAP and Hubert von Goisern rock the Rhine

www.koeln.de 16th August 2008 | Text & Photo: Helmut Löwe

World music and Kölsch rock - a good mix

"There's no German word for showtime" - as soon as this declaration had faded from Hubert von Goisern's mouth, it was clear to the 5000 spectators in just a few seconds that they wouldn't need a German word, for what took place on the stage near the Südbrücke on Friday evening was showtime par excellence. Von Goisern, figurehead of the Austrian music scene, had come to Cologne for a very special concert event together with his musicians and the local heroes BAP and Köster/Hocker and band.

The musician known as an "alpine rocker" had arrived with a flotilla and moored in the Rheinauhafen in Cologne to fill the audience with sound from the ship. It was really fascinating to listen to the sound of von Goisern and his brightly-mixed troupe in this unusual setting The rousing mixture of rock and folk music, polka, reggae, samba and sounds from across the globe was irresistible for every listener: you simply couldn't believe what huge atmosphere accordion, yodelling and alpine sounds could be stirred up in the deepest Rhineland when accompanied by guitar, drums and bass.

The long long way von Goisern has travelled on his Linz Europe Tour has really been worth it: the flotilla started in Austria on 27th June, sailing along the Rhine to Rotterdam, turning there to reach the destination of Passau on 31st August. Along the way stops were made and concerts given musical colleagues from the various regions. The musicians all came on board with von Goisern for a few days travel together and rehearse for their shows.

BAP boss Wolfgang Niedecken had also travelled with his musical host up the Rhine from Holland and had rehearsed for the joint set with von Goisern. Something that was evidently not always easy for the dyed-in-the-wool man of Cologne: "Travelling at 6 kilometres per hour to Düsseldorf and past Leverkusen - that's something you have to get through". Despite these difficulties Cologne's Bob Dylan gave his best with von Goisern and band for three songs before BAP brought the long concert evening to a successful end in front of a cheering crowd with songs from the early days of BAP and the current album Radio Pandora.

Wolfgang Niedecken and Hubert von Goisern

More photos at www.koeln.de

Hubert von Goisern: Soundcheck in Cologne - 15th August 2008

19th August 2008 | Photos: © Sarah Marchant

Linz Europa Tour: Nederlandse pers

World Jazz Days

www.cilio.nl 25th August 2008

... On 12th August fans of the World Jazz Days were treated to a taster of a spellbinding crossover that will be heard at the foot of the great church at the end of August. The Austrian rock musician Hubert von Goisern stood together on stage with the Dordrecht jazz band Los Hermanos Martinez (frontman Juan and his brother Miguel Martinez). They served up an evening of music which was pretty well attended. Around 200 people came to the Austrian's concert boat and enjoyed brilliant evening sun during the Dordrechter's jazz programme. Then a strong wind nearly blew the guys off the stage. While the sky continued to bear down Hubert von Goisern took over the show and after a few songs the rain showered down onto the audience on the Merwekade. The music and atmosphere suffered in no way however - regardless of his relative anonymity in the Netherlands Dordrecht seemed to embrace the congenial artist.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Dordrecht - 12th August 2008

17th August 2008 | Photos: © Krishna Moelchand

A death-defying visit to Hubert von Goisern

www.roodpluche.nl 11th August 2008

On Saturday I visited Hubert von Goisern, an Austrian popstar, who is travelling European rivers with a large ship and is currently docking in the Netherlands. This weekend the 77m long vehicle anchor on the banks of the Limburg yacht harbour in Wanssum and took up so much space that there was hardly room for the recreational yachts that were usually moored there. Everywhere they dock von Goisern and his band give concerts from this ship, as official promotion for the Austrian city of Linz, which together with the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius will be European Capital of Culture next year.

Before the concert began I was invited onto the ship to meet the Austrian star by Marc Bosch, the culture representative who has organised the journey through the Low Countries. But that was easier said than done... It took a death-defying feat for me to be able to shake the singer's hand...

The ship in question was higher than the river bank at Wanssum, meaning that you could only get on board via horrible steep ladders. Below was the dirty water, above the ship's rail, which still had to be climbed over. In the face of all this, plus the fact that I'm anything but slim, it was one hell of a job to get on board at all. But this was nothing compared to the forthcoming return. But more about that later...

Once on board I saw a village made of containers. 28 people live here on board during the two-month journey. There is a kitchen and below deck are showers and toilets, with reminders on the door to save water. Below deck is also a huge waste tank, which has to be emptied in a harbour from time to time. Guests on the tour, for example the musicians who stay for part of the journey, can stay overnight in the bunks. Rather them than me...

On board I then meet the man who came up with this idea: Hubert von Goisern. In the German-speaking countries he is a star who has sold more than 1.5 million CDs. But von Goisern is also someone who likes to travel and to meet people from other cultures. So he was once on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in Africa. He met refugees from a number of countries who found refuge in Tanzania and noticed that they were basically afraid of each other. Mainly because they didn't know each other. Gradually he introduced some of them to each other. There arose the idea of sailing Lake Tanganyika with a boat and giving joint concerts at various mooring points. Nothing came of the plan due to the political situation in the Congo. But the Austrian couldn't get the idea out of his head. Because he asked himself how much he really knew about his own European neighbours and whether the same should go for him in terms of getting to know the unknown. Do the new European countries of Romania and Bulgaria fear the west? Shouldn't he be able to in short realise his African plan in Europe?

"At the start I couldn't find anybody who wanted to support this plan financially," the singer explained on board his ship. "The European Union wasn't interested and no other partners could be found. Then I went to Linz, which will be European Capital of Culture next year. Linz saw an opportunity to promote themselves with this tour along the Danube. Certainly also because I come from near Linz and sing in this dialect." Von Goisern started the tour last year. On his ship he sailed downstream on the Danube to the Black Sea; along the way concerts were played with local bands, for example with the Moldovan band Zdob și Zdub, who in 2005 provided great entertainment at the Eurovision Song Contest with their appearance with a toothless grandma.

The tour went down so well that a journey along the Rhine to the North Sea couldn't be missed out. Which is why the Linz Europe Tour is continuing westwards this year. Hubert von Goisern is not aiming to increase his popularity in our country too. "I know that nobody knows me here and I'm not aiming to make a musical breakthrough here," said the Austrian. "That shows already, as in Amsterdam maybe 200 people turned up and in Rotterdam it was even fewer. But it's not about that. It's about conveying my message: that music can unite, friendships can be made with music. Of course I want to invited people to come to Linz next year. It's a city with an industrial past, which has been fortunate enough to rediscover itself at a time in which heavy industry was pushed out of the city. Comparable examples are Glasgow and Liège, though the latter isn't as far away as Linz."

With an invitation to Linz on the table I had a look around the rest of the ship. In the meantime a huge stage had risen from the belly of the ship, fitted with impressive light and sound equipment - which later showed itself to be excellently suited for a full-scale pop concert in this unusual place.

Then it was time to get back on land. It's bordering on a small miracle that I can tell you about it, because coming down such a steep little ladder makes it seem even steeper, narrower and more unstable than when you went up it. Lots of helping hands gave assistance (a friendly background singer asked: "Are you afraid of heights?"). Overcoming the death-defying shaking I finally reached the safe shore. Watched by the passing audience, who with my "show" were offered an unexpected warmup act to watch.

The real warmup act was Ondiep, a group Wanssum, a band who play merry and rousing music in Limburg dialect, similar to the band Rowwen Heze from the region. Then it was time for Hubert von Goisern, who presented an impressive concert with his ethno rock. You hear reggae, rock and opera, but time and again there are Austrian yodels and accordion sounds. Von Goisern himself had a rather serious appearance, but the band and the female singers bursting with joy made a huge party of it. All the more so as it was another expressive and fast-playing band. Then there was the Bulgarian, who knows how to make a sad-sounding string instrument swing and rock. The concert was framed by a hectic light show, accompanied by projections, providing ironic illustrations for the Austrian lyrics. In short, a strong concert; what the Austrian gave in the yacht harbour was a super presentation and was free too. People in Germany would have to pay up to 50 Euros for this concert.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, 12th August) Hubert von Goisern's ship will be docking in the Netherlands once more, at the Dordrecht Merwekade to be precise. Tomorrow the yodels will ring out over Dordrecht and you can be there to become acquainted with a unique music mix in the Austrian language. If you have time, take your chance and learn to love something new. Really: it's worth the effort. Whether you go to Linz next year or not...

"Alpine rocker" Hubert von Goisern gives a free concert on Merwekade

AD.nl 11th August 2008

Dordrecht - For Dordrecht resident Edwin Kuiters tomorrow will be something like a holiday. The famous Austrian folk singer Hubert von Goisern will be giving a concert in Dordrecht. Von Goisern comes from Bad Goisern, where Kuiters has had a holiday home for the past 10 years.

The "alpine rocker" will be mooring his ship on the river bank at Merwekade. From 7pm Kuiters will be able to imagine himself back in Bad Goisern as von Goisern's voice sings, yodels and raps from his enormous ship.

"It really is beautiful music," Kuiters says. "Not to be understood, but it's very sociable. Von Goisern is an entertainer. He makes a party of it. The Dordrechter has a number of CDs by the Austrian artist and has been to many of his concerts. "You could compare it to a show by [Dutch band] de Kast. Atmosphere and entertainment are absolutely the focus. Kuiters' German friends often attend the singer's concerts. They spare no expense. The concert in Dordrecht is free. The Dordrecht Jazzpodium DJS has organised the concert as a precursor to their World Jazz Days. Tomorrow evening von Goisern will be playing with Los Hermanos Martinez. "I'm curious, von Goisern has many styles. He makes wonderful, joyous music, but nothing is foreign to him," Kuiters explains. "He sings a lot about his homeland. I'm eager to see whether this will be case in Dordrecht too."

Kuiters will definitely be there tomorrow. "I wanted to attend the other concerts in the Netherlands too, but unfortunately my work did not allow it." Von Goisern has already made appearances in Arnhem, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Wanssum. He is travelling with his concert ship from Linz in the direction of the North Sea and back again to the city, which he is promoting and which will be the European Capital of Culture next year.

Alpine rock in the Wanssum yacht harbour

Dagblad de Limburger 11th August 2008 | Text: Wiel Beijer | Photos: Richard Fieten

Open air concert: Austrian Hubert von Goisern touring through Europe with his concert ship of friendship

Hubert von Goisern - Wanssum

Austrian rock musician Hubert von Goisern moored his 77m long concert and barracks ship in Wanssum yacht harbour on Saturday. After the local dialect band Ondiep had warmed the audience, who had flocked in, it was time for enchanting alpine rock on the North Sea coast of north Limburg.

The beer taps were open in Piet's Nette Ballentent, the café at the Wanssum yacht harbour. It seemed as though the whole village had come out for probably the biggest event of the year: an open air pop concert in the harbour. No ordinary concert. The concert ship belonging to Austrian pop artist Hubert von Goisern had moored on the river bank. They managed to squeeze the enormous boat into the little yacht harbour at a field. A huge feat, which was accomplished with the necessary nautical personnel and the powers of persuasion of harbour master Piet Aarts and Huub Janssen - head of the band Ondiep. The ultra-modern concert stage, equipped with a 280,000 watt light installation, a super sound installation and video screens emerged from the hull of the ship.

Hubert von Goisern - Wanssum"Showtime" was to be seen on the video wall at 19.30 hrs. If it stays dry, everybody thought. According to Schauerradar.nl in any case. Ondiep opened the harbour festival. Huub Janssen's group had some songs in their repertoire, which were completely suited to what was happening that day. For example Everything will be fine. The mega concert lasted some time - apart from a few drops - it in fact stayed dry. The title of the Ondiep song had little to do with reality: On the water it's calm. On this evening in Wanssum it really wasn't calm. Sometimes it was even really loud. But above all, what happened on the North Sea coast on Saturday was magically beautiful. Particularly when Hubert von Goisern presented a captivating concert in the pretty setting of the yacht harbour and the rocking boats. Most people on the river bank had never heard of this Austrian alpine rocker, although he has been in business a long time and has sold 1.5 million CDs. A variously swinging, then reverent music that then in other moments goes right under your skin; older pieces and lots of work from his newest album s'NIX were played. Of course from time to time there was expert yodelling too. That goes with alpine rock. There was a happening on stage, a real world number. And all in Wanssum too, what a piece of luck. Originally the concert ship wanted to dock in Maastricht or Venlo. But in Maastricht the city administration doesn't accept artists they don't know so quickly or in such a straightforward manner and in Venlo they were too preoccupied with their summer park festival. "It's difficult to imagine that an Austrian who yodels and plays rock music is touring Europe on a ship," says the Limburger Goisern promoter Marc Bosch. Wanssum understood - as did Liège and Amsterdam - and were rewarded with one of the cultural high points of the summer. Hubert von Goisern did not lose any sleep over it: "We have the most success in small places. The concerts are free and the people used to culture in the big cities often think that something that is free can't be anything," he said before the start of the concert, just before stopping for a meal. Wolfgang Niedecken (BAP) was also there to discuss the concert on 15th August in Cologne. On that date the Cologne dialect rock band will be warmup band.

The Austrian explained that it was 11 years ago in Tanzania that idea came to him of overcoming boundaries with music. "Music unites people. In Tanzania I met people from different African countries in the refugee camp. They were all afraid of each other. Then I began to set up a small festival with musicians from the camps. People who had distrust towards each other had no problem playing music together. Music brings people together, music breaks through boundaries. Here too in Europe people still have a lot of resentment towards each other."

After the meal he relaxed for a while and then gave a great show with his band. The audience was delighted beyond all measure. After two hours of playing Hubert von Goisern ended his concert with a cry of s'NIX! Nothing!. For Maastricht and Venlo perhaps, but that is certainly not the case for Wanssum. Not on this day anyway.