Hubert von Goisern

LINZ EUROPE TOUR 2007 - 2009

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Alpine rock from Hubert von Goisern on the Meuse in the heart of Liège

Dagblad de Limburger 9th August 2008 | Photo: Harry Heuts
Hubert von Goisern - Liège

The Austrian folk artist Hubert von Goisern is travelling with his band through Europe with his 77m long barracks and stage ship, complete with a built-in stage and sound and light engineering. Aim: overcoming boundaries! Yesterday evening alpine rock was to be heard in Liège on the Meuse. Today the boat will be mooring in Wanssum yacht harbour, where a free concert will be held this evening. At 7pm the dialect rock group Ondiep will come on stage. Then afterwards the Austrians will play.

Austrian music ship drops anchor in Antwerp

Gazet van Antwerpen 5th August 2008 | Photo: Dirk Kerstens

Hubert von Goisern - AntwerpHubert von Goisern's Austrian concert ship dropped anchor in the Willemdock on Saturday. The ship began its three year tour through numerous European river cities in 2007 in order to bring these cities together using music. Wherever Hubert von Goisern moors, the initiator and Austrian folk artist plays together with local bands. The Antwerp Gipsy Ska Orchester and Zap Mama did not want to break with this tradition. Murgafanfare Lamourgaga were also there. A tasty barbecue and cocktails accompanied the musical party.

Europe between two seas

Het Parool 30th July 2008 | Text: Tom Peeters

The Austrian city of Linz is the European Capital of Culture 2009. The Danube city is announcing this by means of a concert ship that is travelling from the Black Sea to the North Sea. Tomorrow the ship will be in Amsterdam.

Hubert von Goisern - Rotterdam

When the adventure of the concert ship from Linz is over, the co-initiator and alpine rocker Hubert von Goisern and his fifty-member team of sailors and musicians will have covered a total of 12,000 km. Last summer they travelled along the Danube from Vienna to the Black Sea and back. A total of 80,000 people watched their concerts from the shore.

This year the concert ship is sailing westwards along rivers including the Danube and Rhine to the North Sea, with stops along the way in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Dordrecht. Next year will then come the grand finale in Linz, which is using the ambitious boat tour as trendsetter for its programme for European Capital of Culture 2009.

Hubert von Goisern and Linz 2009 have in mind the same principle: countries, cultures and people both on the ship and along the river banks between the Black Sea and North Sea will be brought together and then finally brought together in Linz. The singer took on the role of "goodwill ambassador", collected together the necessary finances and set to sea.

In its previous life the 77m long, 350 tonne green cargo ship transported sand and gravel in Romania. Now sailors have been swapped for musicians and stones for ideas. The former hold now houses the stage, whose roof construction can be stored by means of a hydraulic setup, so that the boat can pass comfortably beneath any bridge. Hubert von Goisern, Austrian - he can yodel - and cosmopolitan is inviting artists from every region in which he travels to join. His deep interest in cultures and traditions manifests itself in his music, a mixture of folk music and rock. It is clear to him that one must be an idealist in order to bring to life a project such as this. His dream took shape when he played in a refugee camp in Tanzania ten years ago. "I felt straightaway that the members of the audience didn't get on with each other, but that the music brought them together. It must be possible in Europe too. Music helps to make sense of foreign customs and allows borders to disappear."

The European Union is currently home to 490 million people in 27 countries. According to accounts there have never been so many Euro sceptics. But when he navigated the Danube into the east last summer von Goisern barely met any of them. The closer he came to the Danube delta, the more he was met by smiling faces and outstretched hands. The singer and his guests played in Bratislava and Budapest, passed through one-time war zones in the Balkans and finally brought over the new EU states of Romania and Bulgaria. In the Ukraine, which would also like to join the EU, they were welcomed with banners and balloons. As well as von Goisern, the Moldovans Zdob și Zdub and the very popular band Haydamaky also gave concerts. The latter performed in 2004 in front of 250,000 comrades in Independence Square in Kiev. Europe is an event here. Young and old come onto the street for it. It is no wonder that the project is running under the patronage of José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission.

At the end of June the ship set off west from Austria. "The Rhine is a motorway in comparison with the wild and wide Danube," von Goisern describes his experiences on the river. In the east the slow tempo of the ship displaced the hectic nature of the everyday life. For the future European Capital of Culture the Danube is a good metaphor for bringing together half a million people, as the river cuts the city in two. The intendant for Linz 2009, Martin Heller, underlines the symbolism of the river. "The Danube is our link between the east and west and gives us the opportunity of presenting Linz to a large audience two years in advance. You can look upon it as a warm up phase. As we go we're learning what it means to be host to Europe. Von Goisern adds: "The Danube has been known for cultural exchange for centuries. The river runs through a great variety of languages, peoples and cultures. Music has always been a unifying element. This project proves that Europe doesn't just consist of gross national product, economy and unemployment rates."

While all concerts last year were given free of charge as a generous gesture to those in the east, a proportion of the four million Euros the project is costing must now be earned back on the expedition in the west. In the Netherlands, where Hubert von Goisern's music is not well known, the concerts are free. Local musicians should prompt the population to take a look at what is happening on the water. Marie Daulne, the Belgian-Congolese singer from the world music group Zap Mama, is certainly an excellent choice for the concerts in the flat country. Heller: "Marie conveys the feeling that we are all connected, despite all political extremes. In particular during this tour we have established that for many people the hope for a better economic future is connected with the European idea."

Connecting the Black Sea with the North Sea in one flowing movement: how that will turn out seems not just to be a big adventure, but along the way it also teaches us something about how this Europe wishes to be united.

Small audience for the Austrian superstar

de Gelderlander 31st July 2008 | Text: Martin Hermens | Photo: Jan Wamelink

Hubert von Goisern - ArnhemArnhem. At midday it still sounded unbelievable that Hubert von Goisern would be giving his surprise concert on the Rijnkade in Arnhem. Even if no official permission were given and, even if only one listener were there.

But just before 8pm, right before the start of the concert, the disappointed faces of Hubert's team spoke volumes. Where in God's name were the thousands of residents of Arnhem?

It can't have been down to the city officials, they immediately gave permission for a concert. The Austrian superstar's colleagues did everything in their power and took the bus all day sticking up posters for the concert around the city. But the people of Arnhem were either on holiday, or not could not handle this kind of surprise.

Those who were there (in the end a few dozen), were treated to a brilliant concert. Passersby looked on in amazement when they caught sight of the Brandner IV, because they had never seen such an impressive concert ship in their city before.

Ultimately von Goisern and his musical accompaniment soon surrendered and gave Arnhem a beautiful serving of world music. Traditional yodelling from the Alps fitted effortlessly together with the wonderful electric guitar sounds of contemporary pop and rock music. Von Goisern announced that it was his very first concert in the Netherlands. It would perhaps be well to let people know next time he is coming. Because the place should have been teeming with people.

Music boat of brotherhood

NRC Handelsblad 2nd August 2008 | Text: Amanda Kuyper | Photo: Roger Cremers

Austrian singer travelling through Europe with a dream

Hubert von Goisern in Rotterdam

The Austrian folk singer Hubert von Goisern is touring through Europe with his 77m long concert ship. His ideal: to play together with musicians from the different countries.

Rotterdam, 2nd Aug. It is easier to go from shore to ship at the front. Then it's a case of going back along the railing to the barracks ship that is covered with containers and in which 26 musicians and technicians sleep. This is closely connected to the stage ship. In the middle of the deck, where all the sleeping containers end is a long table at which people sit and eat. Here it is comfortably decorated with plants and rugs. That's the mess, equipped with video games and a kitchen, which is manned by two cooks. A travelling village is what the Austrian musician Hubert von Goisern calls his boat. A musical commune on the water, with a very level hierarchy. "You sit close together and you can't get out of the way."

The 77m long concert boat, a former cargo ship, is anchored at Strand an der Maas in Rotterdam. While voluptuous women apply sun cream and young men play volleyball in the sand, preparations are being made on board for the concert that evening. The Austrian and his nine member band bring with them a contagious kind of folk music with influences from the Alps (yodelling), the Balkans and African rhythms. "Right now," says tour manager Stefan Schröder, "the boat is moving up another few metres. The travelling stage with video walls, which is raised hydraulically from the belly of the boat, is now directly in front of the volleyball field.

The Austrian Danube city of Linz will be European Capital of Culture in 2009 along with the Lithuanian city of Vilnius. When Hubert von Goisern presented his dream - of travelling European rivers with a concert ship to play with local musicians - he was soon given support. He seemed to be the perfect ambassador for Linz: his music brings about brotherhood within Europe. He feels a relationship too: Linz is in his home region of Upper Austria.

Last year his boat went to the Black Sea, stopping in places such as Vienna, Budapest and Belgrade. Last month the musicians set off in the direction of the North Sea, with concerts in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. "A fantastic adventure," von Goisern enthuses, a dreamer with a vision. "After hours on the water you never know what awaits you in the next town. Have the people there heard about us, or do we have to persuade them first with our music and how will we work together with the local harbour masters? Yesterday in Amsterdam, as the boat moored at Stenen Hoofd, a strange situation arose. The boat had to moor at an angle, almost opposed to the bank. The audience were looking sideways at the stage. "Inexplicable rules," von Goisern shakes his head. "Even the harbour police didn't understand why. But the boats in front of the stage were a great extra." The musician, who is well-known in his own country, and his team have already other things with which to fight. For example during a heavy storm on the Donauinsel, when the canvas could no longer hold back the water and it ran into the instruments.

The Linz Europe Tour 2007-2009, a idealistic cultural project, is costing about 4 million Euros. A third is being financed by the city of Linz. Another part comes from the commercial partner Red Bull of about 1 million Euros and drink supplies on board. The remaining costs will be covered by concert takings from the shows in Germany and Austria. Hubert is a phenomenon there with his accordion and attracts a paying audience.

"We're not making a profit, but the experience is unique," says von Goisern, who has just met the Belgian-Congolese singer Marie Daulne from Zap Mama. After the Rotterdam Meuse concert they will all be travelling at dawn with her and her daughter to Antwerp - the next stop.

Next year, in July, Linz will play host to a festival to which all the guest musicians of the tour will come and play together; the ultimate symbol of alliance for captain Hubert von Goisern.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Antwerp - 2nd August 2008

Indymedia 4th August 2008
Hubert von Goisern & Band

More photos at

A wanderer between worlds

RP Online 30th July 2008 | Text: Max Florian Kühlem | Photo: RP, T. Busskamp

Hubert von Goisern and Xavier Naidoo

Hubert von GoisernHubert von Goisern is a wanderer between worlds. The founder of "new folk music" doesn't stay long in little old Austria: he's just as at home in South Africa, Canada or Tibet. Linz discovering itself as the cultural and geographical centre of Europe - a year before it becomes European Capital of Culture - has been taken by the musician as a reason to travel out of the alpine republic once more. First of all he traipsed through the Danube cities with a stage ship and now he is sailing the Rhine.

Concert experience

His stop in Düsseldorf brings the audience at the Frankenheim open air cinema a concert experience somewhat out of the ordinary. Perhaps unusual from the fact alone that there was 50 metres of empty space between the stage ship and the first rows of seats - and these best seats were reserved for guests of honour. The musicians thus had to work hard for the good atmosphere on the only three-quarters full grandstand. This worked too, because with Xavier Naidoo they had on board one of the mega stars of German pop. Right at the start he played absorbing, groovy versions of big hits like Seine Straßen and 20000 Meilen unter dem Meer with Hubert von Goisern's band. With the new title Wann the fans also had hopes of a new album soon to come. Von Goisern also played a complete set before it came to a meeting between the two musicians.

The songs of his new album S'NIX once more feature elements of alpine rock, such as accordion and yodelling, but are also at home in the Balkans with Darinka Tsekova's gadulka-playing and are also not least at home in international stadium rock: Haut und Haar for example sounds like a mixture of U2 and Klaus Lage.

Epic songs

The meeting between the different styles of German pop was highly exciting: in epic songs like Siagst as Xavier Naidoo's modern soul, which also finds its role models in America, met with von Goisern's driving rhythms, which are influenced by folk traditions from across the world. The audience forgot their annoyance at not having brought binoculars with them and cheered in high spirits: the wandering between worlds.

Goisern and Xavier Naidoo: Building bridges from east to west

Westdeutsche Zeitung 30th July 2008 | Text: Stephan Eppinger | Photo: Bernd Schaller

1800 fans came for Hubert von Goisern and Xavier Naidoo

Hubert von GoisernDüsseldorf. "Why are you so far from me today?" asks Hubert von Goisern in his beautiful love ballad Die Liab from the new album S'Nix and looks longing towards his audience.

They are sitting on the Rhine bank a good 50 metres away from great musician, who is using a converted cargo ship for a stage on his Linz Europe Tour and on this warm summer evening is being supported by Xavier Naidoo and the Söhne Mannheims. "Normally I can see by people's faces whether or not they understand me. That'll be difficult today", says von Goisern in the broad alpine slang of an Upper Austrian.

But the moat between the Rhine shore and the FrankenheimKino grandstands is bridged effortlessly by the great world musician with just the first piece. The alpine sound of the accordion meets militantly with crashing rock guitars, spreading out a new, multicultural carpet of sound, which quickly incorporates the audience. Finding a category for this music, which bustles about somewhere between jazz, polka, reggae, rock, blues and folk music, seems absolutely impossible.

What people in the east and west share is fear

The first tour, which von Goisern undertook in 2007, taking his ship to the Black Sea, shapes the 55-year-old's concert. For example when the Bulgarian Darinka Tsekova superbly lets loose with the gadulka and the singer plays with his voice in such a way that the broadest dialect sounds like an eastern European language.

But it is not only the music of the Danube countries that has left its mark on the Austrian. "I have spoken to a lot of people and see that we have fear in common. People down there are afraid that we'll take the shirt off their backs and people here are afraid that they will take our prosperity from us", von Goisern reports.

His treatment of alpine folk music is equally thrilling as he disassembles it into its component pieces and then rebuilds it into a new sound creation.

It is then that an eccentric yodel goes perfectly together with a drum solo, and the electric guitar unites harmoniously with the accordion. It is this instrument that thrills even the younger fans who had previously cheered the on board guest, Xavier Naidoo. He stood on stage once more with the cheerful alpine rocker for the encore.

Aside from promotion for Linz as the forthcoming European Capital of Culture, von Goisern has taken up the cause of bridge building between the cultures of the continent. A project that seems within reach on this warm evening, thanks to an exceptional musical genius.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Düsseldorf

Soundbase 20th September 2008 | Text: SB

On 28th July in Düsseldorf Hubert von Goisern and his band drop anchor
with their floating stage on the Linz Europe Tour

Today Xavier Naidoo is the charismatic figurehead, who together with Hubert's really powerful eight member band fires up the audience of both Düsseldorf locals and outsiders who have gathered on the Rheinterrasse. The son of Mannheim shows soul - both in his lyrics and soul singing, as well as his direct contact with the audience, peppered with jokes. He establishes this contact very easily, though the spectators in the first rows are sitting a cool 50 metres from the stage. With songs like 20000 Meilen and Seine Straßen he gets the audience in the Frankenheim open air cinema going well and at the end even emboldens them to sing along somewhat tentatively - "Joy & Pain" are literally very close to one another in this anthem. Düsseldorf has found its groove.

When he comes on stage Hubert von Goisern acts as paparazzo, observing the expectant landlubbers through his binoculars. Then as a spectator you have to make sure you don't tumble over the quay wall while dancing, ending up in trouble at sea. It would be quite possible - as the groove woven into the world music patchwork tapestry of sound in no way matches the slow travelling rhythm of the self-sufficient barge. It is instead predominantly solid and substantial. There's nix, or rather, nothing to which your feet could keep still. Next to new songs like Haut und Haar and Regen HvG also presents seasoned Iwasig pieces like I bin an, Poika and Neuer Tag. The new young band rejuvenate them with a decent helping of fresh wind and spirit. A beguiling breeze from the Balkans comes from Darinka Tsekova with her fascinating gadulka-playing.

Maria Moling (vocals and percussion) surprises with a flawless new interpretation of Juchizer, which should have the diehard fans from the Alpinkatzen era (unmistakeable by their alpine outfits) weeping salty tears into the buttonholes of their traditional Tracht. By now at the latest everything has fallen confidently into place.

HvG has wisely cultivated his lifelong restlessness in the form of new musical culture trips, unfettered by boundaries and this is perhaps not least the reason for the genial engaged serenity he emanates. This time he holds back with the Styrian accordion and his obligatory yodels in favour of an enormous variety from the really high-spirited and meticulously rehearsed band.

Through the unpredictability of the individual pieces flows the familiar feeling of ambivalence that has always accompanied the music of HvG: wistfulness and joyful anticipation, melancholy and an atmosphere of rebellion mix together with the warm summer air to become a danceable Rhine culture.

The whole lineup - including guest artist Naidoo - are in full cry in the final part of the concert, which they celebrate together and manage without any trouble at all to add even more tinder to the fire that has been sparked.

On this evening a waypoint seems to have been more than reached for the humanistic "music pirate" Hubert von Goisern. Aside from the discovery of commonalities and differences of different European cultures, his main objective is: to form friendships. You can look forward to seeing how the tour progresses.

Adventurous music from the alpine rocker

Rhein-Zeitung 28th July 2008 | Text: Tim Kosmetschke | Photo: Thomas Frey

A richly atmospheric concert from Hubert von Goisern and his band on
a floating stage on the banks of the Moselle - 1600 spectators delighted

Hubert von Goisern

The sun slowly sets beyond the horizon, which this time lies at Lützel. The sky turns red. And in front, on the Moselle, a cargo ship snuggles into the barely noticeable waves. The cargo: music. Hubert von Goisern is a guest of Koblenz with his floating stage. And delivers a richly atmospheric stage before 1600 delighted spectators.

Alpine rocker? Isn't that a dialect musician like Fendrich, perhaps even Spider Murphy Gang, or even Zillertaler Schürzenjäger? The music business longs for categories into which every artist can be pigeonholed. Hubert von Goisern too. But the Austrian is different from those named above. He is cofounder of what nowadays covers whole worlds of clichés as "alpine rock". With "new folk music" he created a synthesis of the traditional and modern. He is daring.

That is why the project that was to be experienced in Koblenz fits him like no other. The multi-instrumentalist, singer, yodeller and composer (born 1952) from Bad Goisern in the Upper Austrian Dachstein region has never let his view be restricted by the high mountains around him. His curiosity has driven him all over the world during the course of his career as an artist. He is a cosmopolitan, without having fallen victim to homelessness. Thus in his music he mixes alpine folklore with jazz, rock, pop and world music from anywhere and everywhere. But the fact that a child of the mountains has ventured onto the water is still remarkable.

More than a year a go now Goisern took a ship under his flag: a flotilla of a tug boat and a 77 metre long barge, with which gravel and sand were once transported. Together with shipping firm Brandner Goisern had it converted to a musical ark, which includes not only a fully-operational concert stage, but also catering and living containers. And with it he set off on tour - recently going along the Danube in eastern Europe.

At the concert in Koblenz, which began promisingly with a pre-show from the German singer-songwriter Philipp Poisel, you can feel how deeply Goisern feels the effect of this somewhat different concert journey. "Last summer we were somewhere completely different. It was a wild adventure", he says of the time on the Danube.

This year he is continuing the tour, which is making cultural connections for Linz as the European Capital of Culture 2009, in the west: Stuttgart, Koblenz, Amsterdam are just a few of the stops: "A lot has already happened in the west, it's not trailing last summer as far as the adventure factor is concerned."

Apropos adventure: Goisern's music is nothing else. He starts in folk music, solo with the accordion and then the song bolts into a very modern, spotlessly clean pop song. The excellent live band jumps in, a distorted guitar follows Goisern on paths through the Alps and takes him back into rock music. Then the frontman plays a dreamy jazz trumpet again, which moments later is countered and lured down very different paths by Darinka Tsekova and her gadulka - the gadulka is a Bulgarian instrument, which in its solos can serve almost as an electric guitar, with which it also supplies wild encounters. Goisern plays a great deal from his current album S'Nix.

The concert near the Deutsche Eck is a richly atmospheric affair in which everything comes together: a romantic evening sky, an unusual stage and a charismatic artist. And: just because you have built a stage on a ship doesn't mean you have to do without technical finesse. The show is enriched with wonderful lighting and video effects on a number of screens. A beautifully precise and warm sound does one last thing.

The evening comes to an end in the darkness with encores, including the anthemic Weit, weit weg. And Hubert von Goisern takes with him new impressions from Koblenz when his ship departs once more. Away from the mountains. Because his journey will lead back there again one day.

Hubert von Goisern: Live in Koblenz - 25th July 2008

gesichterparty 26th July 2008 | Photo: m2d2
Hubert von Goisern

Goisern has moored

Rhein-Zeitung 25th July 2008 | Text & Photo: Tim Kosmetschke

The floating stage arrived yesterday for the concert

The shipKOBLENZ. A couple of tourists dismounts from their bikes, remain standing on the Moselle river bank and wonder: why is there music playing that sounds like both rock 'n' roll and alpine folk music at the same time? And what is that unusual green ship? Answer: that's not a recording, that's live music - Hubert von Goisern is rehearsing with band beneath the lowered stage roof. And the ship is a floating stage.

Early on Thursday afternoon the ship with which the alpine rocker has been on a river tour since 2007, arrived in Koblenz and moored on the banks of the Moselle. While Goisern and his musicians warmed up, the crew swarmed out and filled the stores from the market. The tone of voice is Austrian. However tour manager Stefan Schröder is from Munich - and is sounding out the site together with the technicians: where should the ship ultimately moor? Does that work technically? "We haven't just come in this direction. It's this place that attracted us," he says, looking toward the Deutsche Eck.

The ship has come from Karlsruhe, mastering the rapids at Loreley without a problem, and heading into Koblenz. The fact that the team has arrived a day before the concert gives them a chance to leave the ship, on which about 20 people live, play music and work: a city tour is booked.

On a tour Stefan Schröder chats about the stage ship: "You become accustomed to a different kind of travel. To slowness. And you see Germany from a very different side." Below deck food is stockpiled, on deck are the containers in which people sleep, work, live. A floating tour train of 77 x 12 metres - with complete engineering, kitchen and terrace.