February 23, 2017


Incubate is heavily disappointed by the decision of the Municipality of Tilburg to not provide any more funding in 2017. This news comes after the Province of Noord-Brabant already cut funding for the coming four years. The organisation finds it financially irresponsible to continue and will therefore cease its activities.

"Incubate is proud to have been able to create a festival with exciting, creative, cutting-edge arts in the past 13 years, together with its 500+ volunteers and partners. We have thus inspired many other musicians, artists, organisers and other festivals, and we hope that they use some of that impact for their own future,” said Miriam van Ommeren and Arthur Janssen on behalf of Incubate.

13 years of Incubate
Over the past 13 years, Incubate has become one of the leading multidisciplinary festivals in Europe. It was and still is internationally acclaimed by press, artists and visitors. Incubate was the first Dutch festival to bring artists such as Psychic TV, Pauline Oliveros, Sun Ra Arkestra, Fields of the Nephilim, James Blake and Cabaret Voltaire to the Netherlands and to create a platform for themes such as piracy in the arts, public participation, and innovation. It was the first to invite speakers like Charles Leadbeater, Simon Reynolds and Andrew Keen and internationally renowned artists such as Hermann Nitsch, Santiago Sierra, Wendy White and Ryan Trecartin to Tilburg, connecting them with local emerging artists.

Social impact
The festival instigated both social and artistic debate. Throughout the years, it provided a space for thousands of artists and tens of thousands of visitors from more than 48 countries. Many of them visited Tilburg for the very first time, and kept coming back. The wider public has become acquainted with the festival through remarkable projects in public spaces, for instance the more than hundred pianos from British artist Luke Jerram, the thousands of portraits of mothers in the city in cooperation with French artist JR and the activities around Iconostase 180, a sculpture by renowned architect Yona Friedman, which took place last Summer. These projects brought the entire city into contact with avant-garde art and culture.

New model in 2016
In 2015, a financial deficit was supplemented by the Province of Noord-Brabant and the Municipality of Tilburg, on specific conditions to the organisation. All these conditions have been met in 2016: three successful editions of Incubate took place in this year, with good results on an artistic, organisational and financial level. Both audience and press were positive about the new direction: just this week, the festival was added to the list of 50 most important festivals of the Netherlands by 3voor12, a Dutch music platform.

The organisation deeply regrets that, through this decision, Tilburg will lose a unique festival of international standing. This will certainly have an adverse effect on the conditions and opportunities in Tilburg for young artists, emerging bands, recently graduated filmmakers and game developers and progressive, culture-loving citizens. The organisation entreats that the Municipality of Tilburg will use the now available funds as designated; to provide substantial and accessible art and culture in the city and the wider region. Although there will no longer be a festival held by the organisation, the foundation will continue to exist for now.

We thank all our artists, visitors, volunteers, supporters and partners for 13 incredible years. It has been a blast!

For more info, please contact Miriam van Ommeren at miriam[at]incubate[dot]org.