The Euroradio Folk Festival (EFF) will take place during the Rudolstadt Festival in Germany on 8-10 July 2022. The EFF, hosted by ARD-MDR, will feature 15 of some of the best Roots & Folk bands and solo artists. Selected by EBU radio organizations, they hail from Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine. We asked three questions to Rudolstadt Festival’s Programmer, Bernhard Hanneken.
Q: What is for you the most important editorial line you wished to follow for this year's programming?
A: The Euroradio Folk Festival (EFF) doesn't have a curator or someone who is supervising the event. It's a collection of concerts from artists who are sent from radio producers in their respective countries. So there isn’t really an editorial line. The basic idea has always to be keeping the thing together, to try to enable as many radio stations as possible to come to the event. I'm happy that once again we’ve managed to have 15 participating artists, which is not a record number but is still – especially in the circumstances over the past two or three years – an achievement.
Have you noticed any relevant changes in the variety of artists to choose from, when comparing between the last edition before the pandemic and now the 2022 edition?
The main change when comparing this year's event to 2019 is of course the missing Russian artists. It isn’t something that we decided, although we probably wouldn't have accepted them anyway, but I was in touch with the two radio stations from Russia who had participated in the past – Radio Russia and Radio Orpheus – last autumn. But since the events of 24 February, there has been no further contact. They didn't ask to participate in the event. We didn't have to say no to them. It's just that they are not coming. I sincerely hope that this is just a temporary thing, but of course it's really a very minor consideration. The situation is much worse in Ukraine for the people who are fighting and who are dying. Whether these radio stations are participating in events like the EFF is really nothing compared to that. Still I hope that things will eventually turn out for the better and, as a result, Russia can once again participate in this festival.
Any ‘coups de coeur’ or surprises from this year's edition you would like to share?
Actually there are two things that I’m quite happy about. One is the return of BBC Scotland and then we have the first-ever artist attending from Italy, which is something that I’m happy about. Yes, there is one more thing. For the very first time we have a Sami band. Ever since we’ve hosted the EFF at Rudolstadt, I’ve been in contact with colleagues from Finland, Sweden and Norway, requesting that one of them send musicians from the indigenous Sami community. And I'm very happy that our friend Leiv Solberg from NRK, Oslo, has agreed to that idea and has sent a band, Kajsa Balto, comprising a singer and her musicians, to Rudolstadt. This is something that I'm really looking forward to.
The MUS offer containing this year’s EFF performances will be available in August 2022. Meanwhile, listen to the playlist containing acts selected by EBU radio organizations.