Incubate (festival)

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Genre Rock, Alternative rock, Indie rock, Dance, World music, Punk rock, Electronic music, Reggae, Folk music, Metal, Visual arts, Film.
Dates Medio September
Location(s) Tilburg, Netherlands
Years active

2005 - 2009 (as ZXZW)

2009 - present (as Incubate)

Incubate is an annual multidisciplinary arts festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. It takes place every September. Incubate began in 2005 as ZXZW, but changed its name in 2009 to "Incubate" after a request[1] from the Austin, US-based festival SXSW.

The festival exhibits a diverse view on indie culture as a whole, including music, contemporary dance, film and visual arts. It brings more than 200 cutting edge artists in an intimate context to an international audience. Performances as varied as black metal, free jazz, street art and academic dance all take place alongside one another.

Besides the yearly festival the organisation also hosts regular showcases of bands under the name Incubated.


In 2005 ZXZW started as a two-day underground punk, hardcore and electronic music festival with 47 artists. Within three years it developed into a festival which spreads over 8 days and welcomes over 200 artists. The festival not only broadened its program by adopting a wide range of musical styles (from jazz to free folk and dance), but also by programming film, lectures and visual arts. All this happens in small clubs, pubs and galleries around Tilburg. In 2008 the people of Tilburg voted for ZXZW as the best event in their town.[2]

Incubate has an independent culture blog,[3] a blog on non-Western dance music,[4] hosts several art-nights throughout the year and released the Social Festival Model, a platform where everybody can read and alter the business, marketing and policy plans.[5]

Editions and performances (selection)[edit]

Incubate has grown from a one-day music event with a pre-party in 2005 to, by 2009, a multidisciplinary art festival lasting more than a week.

ZXZW 2005[edit]

The first edition of the ZXZW festival, between September 24 and September 25, featured 48 acts on 7 locations.[6] It was started by Ries Doms, Vincent Koreman, Alex van Wijk and Frank Kimenai.

ZXZW 2006[edit]

The second festival was between September 23 and September 24 and featured 94 acts[7] on 11 locations.

ZXZW 2007[edit]

The third ZXZW festival took place on September 16 and September 23. The volume of the music program increased to 151 bands that played at the festival.[8] There were also other art forms displayed this time: Visual arts, Dance and cinema were added to the line-up. ZXZW 2007 took place at 27 locations, one of those was a squat where young musicians played compositions by young composers. This concept was called ‘Kraaklink’ and has been continued as series the next years.

ZXZW 2008[edit]

The fourth edition of ZXZW was hosted between September 14 and September 21, 2008. Most notable were the performances of the Sun Ra Arkestra. They performed six times in seven days at the festival, emphasizing different aspects of the musical legacy of Sun Ra every day.[9] New this year was the special program ‘Norwegian Invasion’ in which several Norwegian artists took a central place. Also there was a multidisciplinary program (‘Svart Kunststykke’) aimed at the black metal genre in both music (Watain, Glorior Belli) and the visual arts (Erik Smith, Peter Beste). The Shape of Breakcore 2 Cum was a program for electronic dance music and also the Eurovision Noise Contest was held.

Incubate 2009[edit]

The first edition of the festival with the new name Incubate[10] was from September 13 until September 20, 2009. The acts were confirmed daily on the Incubate website.[11]

Incubate 2010[edit]

The sixth edition of Incubate festival took place from September 12 until September 19, 2010. The theme for this edition was Piracy. Around this theme several events were held, such as The Kiosk of Piracy, Pirate Cinema and the Pirate Conference. More info about this and other info about the festival can be found on the website.[12]

Incubate 2011[edit]

The 2011 edition of Incubate festival took place from September 12 until September 18, 2011.

Incubate 2012[edit]

The eighth edition of Incubate took place from Monday, September 10 to Sunday September 16. The festival attracted more than 15,000 visitors from all over the world.

Incubate 2013[edit]

The ninth edition of Incubate took place from Sunday, September 15 to Sunday, September 22. The festival attracted more than 17,000 visitors from all over the world. More than 300 artists performed in or in the area around Tilburg.

Incubate 2014[edit]

The tenth edition of Incubate took place from Monday, September 15 to Sunday, September 21. 290 artists performed in Tilburg. The festival attracted more than 17,000 visitors from all over the world.

Incubate 2015[edit]

The eleventh edition of Incubate will take place from Monday, September 14 to Sunday, September 20 in Tilburg.


Incubate takes place all over the inner city of Tilburg in the following venues:

Bibliotheek Tilburg Centrum, BKKC, Boerderij 't Schop,[17] Café De Plaats, Cul de Sac, De Beukentuin, De NWE Vorst, Dolfijn Bowling, Duvelhok, Extase, Factorium, Filmfoyer, Galerie Kokon, Hall of Fame, Kafee 't Buitenbeentje, Koepelhal, Koningsplein, Kraakpand / Squat, Kunstpodium T,[18] Little Devil, Mayor's Room, Muzentuin, NS16, Open Air Stage, Paradox, Pauluskerk, Pieter Vreedeplein, Project Space Tilburg - Gust van Dijk,[19] 013, Sounds, Studio, Synagoge, Theaters Tilburg, V39, Virginarty, Weemoed, Willemsplein, Zaal 16.


  1. ^ "News | ZXZW Festival To Change Its Name". The Quietus. 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived July 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Incubate Blog". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  4. ^ "Generation Bass - Dance flavours from all over the globe". Generation Bass. 
  5. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  6. ^ "ZXZW at 013 (Tilburg) on 24 Sep 2005 –". 2013-11-26. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  7. ^ "ZXZW at 013 (Tilburg) on 23 Sep 2006 –". 2013-11-26. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  8. ^ "ZXZW at 013 (Tilburg) on 22 Sep 2007 –". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  9. ^ "ZXZW - Independent Culture at 013 (Tilburg) on 14 Sep 2008 –". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  10. ^ "Incubate Blog » Blog Archive » ZXZW changes name into Incubate". 2014-04-28. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  11. ^ "Acts". 2009-09-20. Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  12. ^ "Incubate - Independent Culture". 
  13. ^ "Acid Flashback: Before The Big Bang, an interview with A Guy Called Gerald hosted by The Wire - Line-up - Incubate 2013". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  14. ^ "Pascal Gielen: The Artist As Hybrid Monster - Line-up - Incubate 2013". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  15. ^ "Have Baby Boomers Stolen Music? (panel) - Line-up - Incubate 2013". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  16. ^ "Sebastiaan ter Burg: Earning Money By Giving Away - Line-up - Incubate 2013". Retrieved 2014-06-24. 
  17. ^ "Bioboerderij 't Schop". 
  18. ^
  19. ^ "STICHTING SEA - Programme". 

External links[edit]