Over the course of 25 years, EMU and its member associations have built up an enormous amount of experience in organising a Youth Music Festival. In this part of our website you will find more information about past EMU festivals.
2018 – 13th European Youth Music Festival: At the Watergate
The festival entitled At the Watergate took place from May 9 to 11 in Sneek, the Netherlands. It was the 13th edition of the festival patronised by the European Music School Union.
It was a unique showcase of the diversity of European culture, bringing together around 6000 young musicians to perform 1000 concerts in and around Sneek. The musical styles ranged from classical to pop, from folklore to Jazz music with everything in between and much more.
As a truly European idea, the youth music festivals are means to display the liveliness of the diverse musical traditions in Europe. At the same time, it demonstrates unity when young musicians from a multitude of different countries join in to speak in the common language that is music.
Over the years, the EMU and its member associations have built up enormous amounts of experience in organising these festivals. More than that, the interest of EMU members to host one of these festivals themselves has been growing over the years, thus demonstrating the power of music and culture in unifying nations.
More photos from the Festival can be seen HERE
2016 -The 12th European Youth Music Festival EMUSIK 2016
Words can hardly describe the extraordinary event that was the 12th edition of the European Youth Music Festival EMUSIK 2016. The sheer joy and enthusiasm that filled the Stadion Illumbe, when almost 10.000 young musicians played and celebrated together during the opening ceremony was overwhelming – never was it more true to say that music unites people no matter the cultural background – an overwhelmingly important message in times like these. To give a little impression here a video of the open ceremony
2012 -The 11th European Youth Music Festival Allegromosso
In Spring 2012 the Region of Emilia-Romagna in Italy has been the ‘Musical Mecca’ of Europe and home of EMU’s XI European Youth Music Festival. The festival created from 17 – 20 May 2012 a meeting place full of concerts for 6000 young music enthusiasts from all over Europe. Emilia-Romagna, with his facinating and ancient cities and the sheer number of musical venues and activities, is astounding and contributes to one of the richest musical cultures in Europe.
Countries of the participants:
In May 2009, Upper Austria was the musical “Mecca” of Europe. Linz, the European Capital of Culture 2009, hosted the 10th European Youth Music Festival. More then 6000 thousand young music enthusiasts from all over Europe merged together and brought the music country Upper Austria to the sound.
2007 – The 9th European Youth Music Festival
‘WE GIVE SPACE FOR MUSIC’
16 – 21 MAY 2007
PÉCS, SZÉKESFEHÉRVAR, BUDAPEST
The festival took place for the second time in Hungary in co-operation with the EMU.
10.000 Young people got the opportunity to show themselves, their countries and their culture.
2004 – The 8th European Youth Music Festival
Sweden and Denmark have, during the summer-months 2000, been part of an historic event when a long new bridge connected the two countries! This connection does not only signify that a physical communication has been established. The bridge is also a symbol of cultural and varied human exchange between primarily Sweden and Denmark and secondly between Scandinavia and the rest of Europe.
On basis of the connection between the two countries SMoK and DAMUSA together arranged in co-operation with the European Music School Union (EMU) the “8th European Youth Music Festival ” 17-23 May 2004. The festival took place in the Öresund-region with Malmö and Copenhagen as main cities.
Arrangements and concerts
* Prefestival 17-19 May. School- and public concerts in the Öresund-region.
* Opening concert in Malmö Thursday 21 of May
* Final concert in Tivoli in Copenhagen.
The festival created a meeting-place for 10 000 music- and cultural interested youths from all over Europe during some early summer days 2004 in the region Malmö-Öresundbridge-Copenhagen. 1000 concerts has been taken place in the region with participants from more than 23 countries. About twenty stages in the region were used, both indoors and outdoors.
2002 – European Youth Music Festival
BERN: Approximately 8000 teenagers from more than 25 European countries were from May 15th – May 21st gathered in Switzerland for the VII European Youth Music Festival.
The festival was blessed with lovely weather and were the host families in five different cities and suburbs did their very best to make the participants stay in Switzerland as memorable as possible.
Having chosen a slightly different approach to the organization of the festival by spreading the concerts around in five different cities, it did not create the same festival atmosphere as opposed to Barcelona and Trondheim (1998 and 2000) where the cities where turned ”up-side-down” during the festival days. The only happenings that could be called a festival arrangement would have to be the opening- and closing ceremonies, the only two events that were meant for all festival participants. This was of course a deliberate choice from the organizers.
While the organizers of the festival in year 2000, Norsk Kulturskoleråd, had chosen a to show the youth culture from all its angles to the inhabitants of one Norwegian city, the Swiss organizing committee had chosen to base the organization of the festival on a philosophy of decentralization. Based on the idea that music is an international language, music from all over Europe was brought to people in both cities, suburbs and rural areas of the rich and beautiful landscape in and around Bern. This made the Swiss European Youth Music Festival somehow different from the prior festivals. The festival organizers also hope that by accommodating the participants in private homes, this may have tied many new knots of friendship between the host families and the participants in the festival. Who knows – maybe some host families were invited to visit their guests in their home countries?
What we, the visitors to the festival in Switzerland will remember the most about this festival is a sun shining from a blue sky and a hospitality that really warmed. The youngest participants, who thought they understood German, may have had some language problems to begin with, but realized soon how far you can get by using some English combined with waving arms and facial expressions.
The concerts were held in different types of concert arenas, from Expo 2002, to churches and concert halls. The participants were very impressed by The Swiss Expo exhibition with its new and daring constructions and buildings. To perform at these concert arenas was especially popular among the young musicians taking part in the European Youth Music Festival.
Big concert arenas served its audience with music of best international quality and the level of activity for festival visitors and participants was very high.
Also worth mentioning are the trips we were taken on into the Swiss Alps. Most impressive was the trip to Jungfraujoch, situated more than 3500 meters above sea level. Here, the EMU-delegates got to experience the festival concert at the highest altitude with a string quartet from this years host country for the Eurovision song contest, Estonia.
The festival in 2004 will take place in Sweden and Denmark, with the bridge over Øresund as a natural link. The opening will take place in Tivoli in Copenhagen, Denmark, there will be camping in tents in Sweden and finally a closing ceremony by the Øresund Bridge. This, obviously also an EMU-arrangement in the spirit of friendship and music. We have already started looking forward to it!