Every November, in a small Austrian kaff by the name of Wels, where the bees crawl out of the Sparkasse laden with honey and the shoemaker still measures each boot to fit, a man named Wolfgang coordinates what is possibly the best annual music festival in Europe. Decadent, simple, world class. After the performance, musicians dancing in the old slaughterhouse until sunrise. This year's lineup reflected the seasoned taste and talent of Amsterdam's The Ex, who invited all acoustic from all over.
Performances ranged from Etheopian Azmari to Steve Albini and Shellac to Ivo Bittova's viola to Roy Paci and Banda Ionica's Sicilian funeral marches to klezmer-punk with Klekta Red to the soul-stripping 4Walls to Rome's legendary Zu to Romanian folkmusicians Fanfare Savale to violin virtuoso Mary Oliver to percussionist Han Bennink to the three unknown Frenchmen, Happy Wizz, who played for the first time outside Bordeaux and were the undisputed favorites of the evening.