UH Fest 2023 is coming soon: here are the first announced acts

Following its two-decade long path of presenting free music and connecting local and international scenes, the 2023 edition of UH Fest is set to take place across five venues of Budapest between 2nd and 8th October. Festival passes are already available, for even a more affordable price until 31st August. More info here.

This year's UH Fest will have Pollution Opera, the new collaborational project of Nadah El Shazly and Elvin Brandhi investigating what a postmodern opera would sound like, they will be joined by the live visuals of Omar El Sadek; the duo of Carla Boregas and M.Takara, both crucial members of the Brazilian music scene, Boregas is mostly known as a founder member of Rakta, while Mauricio Takara as a unique percussionist of the São Paulo improvisational underground; NR/MA, the duo of Italian modular electronics artist Nicola Ratti and Japanese spoken word and abstract sound poetry artist MA.

The opening event will have the commissioned trio collaboration work of Ukrainian electronic musician Heinali, experimental music composer, video and performance artist Gida Labus, and light and visual artist Júlia Mohácsi; Funeral Folk, a collaboration between Swedish folk music violinist Sara Parkman and spectralist composer Maria W Horn, an exploration of rituals of grief and the musical phenomenology of death, they will be joined by Mats Erlandsson on stage; and Enrico Malatesta, Italian experimental percussionist, who will perform Eliane Radigue's Occam Ocean Occam XXVI.

UH Fest's collaboration and curational work with Shape Platform and the European Union started in 2015 and continues as part of the SHAPE+, also for the next two years, and with a focus on residencies which connect international and local artists. As part of this joint venture the festival will present the aforementioned Heinali / Labus / Mohácsi project on the opening day, as well as another commissioned work – on the sixth day – of Budapest based percussionist Áron Porteleki and electronic musician Márton Kristóf with Vienna-based Iranian electroacoustic composer Tahereh Nourani.

As part of the SHAPE+ programme* the festival will have Nze Nze which brings together the three heads behind Sacred Lodge and the duo UVB76, their music draws on industrial-dub-post-punk with possessed rhythms, guttural voice and a core with the stories of the Fang warriors of Central Africa; Alto Fuero, the French duo of Victoria Palacios and Loto Retina which agitates bodies and heads, and frantically bounce the echoes of flutes, songs and twisted basses; Krakow-based Martyna Basta, rising artist of the European new wave of young experimental music, with diaristic sound that shapes a delicate atmosphere that balances lush and haunting; and Triglav, the solo project of Budapest-based instrument builder and musician, explorer of the realm between organic and synthetic sounds Márton Bertók.

The festival brings أحمد [Ahmed], the quartet of Pat Thomas, Antonin Gerbal, Joel Grip and Seymour Wright with a music of heavy rhythm, repetition and syncopation set deep into an understanding of jazz and the obscure depths of its history, a synthetic vision to produce a new jazz imagination for the 21st century. Budapest-based free noise drums-guitar-modular trio Primteori will present a special performance Primteori #A++/¤ with two extra members from the infamous Kripta punk scene. London-based artist and composer Daniel Blumberg will present a live performance of his unflinchingly raw and personal new album GUT, which was recently released on Mute. 

UH Fest welcomes Slovenian noise artist Maja Osojnik and Slovakian-Hungarian minimal-conceptual folk artist András Cséfalvay, as well as Rump State, the new abstract guitar-electronics duo of Mark Morgan (Sightings) and Gaute Granli. French psychedelic-electronic rock trio Rien Virgule will bring their unique vision of experimental pop music, while Dreamgirls, the Irish industrial, femme, waste-removal service of artists Cliona Ní Laoi and Michelle Doyle will investigate consumption, harsh noise, and femininity through a live performance at UH Fest.

This is by now the fifty percent of the festival's line-up, the full programme will be announced during the first weeks of September. Festival passes are already available, until 31st August for even a more affordable price.


Photos: Maxime Francois (Pollution Opera), Terraforma (NR/MA), Gustav Broms (Funeral Folk), Filip Preis (Martyna Basta), Guy Bolongaro (Ahmed), Rump State (Rump State), Dreamgirls (Dreamgirls)

*Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.