As an international festival, Le Guess Who? has always worked with a borderless and boundary-crossing ethos. Now, we further enhance this focus with the launch of COSMOS: a new, hybrid platform that connects the local, physical festival environment with exclusive content that is available for worldwide, online streaming, via cosmos.leguesswho.com.
COSMOS evolved from Le Guess Who?’s successful pilot LGW TV, which premiered in 2020 as a digital alternative to the physical festival and was viewed in 119 countries. COSMOS will take place multiple times per year, with the first edition coinciding with Le Guess Who?’s 2021 festival edition.
Beyond music, beyond film, beyond performance, and beyond borders, COSMOS will present exclusive Le Guess Who? documentaries, interviews, visual experiences and other innovative formats to allow the audience to experience Le Guess Who? beyond Utrecht. COSMOS will go live from 11-15 November, meaning festival visitors and audience will have the opportunity to watch all content for free until the Monday after the festival.
On COSMOS, Le Guess Who? is proud to premiere the film SPAZA — Road to Johannesburg: a LGW production that was made after the South African collective SPAZA (part of Johannesburg record label Mushroom Hour Half Hour) was unable to travel to Utrecht due to Covid restrictions. The film takes you on a journey through their creative process as they delve into their new recording project.
COSMOS also sees the return of Le Guess Who?’s acclaimed Reports from Other Continents series, a platform for people to tell their own story. Through this series, Le Guess Who? works with artists, musicians, and creatives across the globe to find stories from within their local communities that should be shared with the world. In 2021, LGW commissioned reports from Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan and Yemen.
Join author and music journalist Marcus J. Moore in The Listening Room for a live interview series in which some of the world’s most intriguing artists--including Arooj Aftab, Damon Locks, Pink Siifu and KeiyaA--discuss inspirations behind their work. The goal here is to discover more about the people behind the music, in an effort to open the door for richer conversation.
Furthermore, COSMOS will broadcast a.o. Promises: Through Congress, which explores visual artist Julie Mehretu’s painting Congress (2003) and the 2021 album ‘Promises’ by Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders, and the London Symphony Orchestra; Slow Down Time, a short documentary that highlights the lives of eight dancers in Los Angeles during the Covid pandemic; Pep Navigates, a short film accompanying the reissue of Valencian ambient composer Pep Llopis’ 1987 record; and Wajãpi, a 3-channel video that follows the saga of the Wajãpi indigenous tribe in the north of Brazil. Independent music platform Front will present sessions with upcoming Dutch artists Anna van Rij and Private Banking.
For an overview of the full COSMOS program can be found here.
SPAZA — Road to Johannesburg. Photography by Tseliso Monaheng
Together we are stronger than when we are alone. With this in mind, Le Guess Who? is setting up LGW Embassies around the globe to allow its international audience to gather and experience the festival beyond Utrecht. LGW Embassies are local experiences, powered and supported by COSMOS, in collaboration with local promoters. During the first edition of COSMOS, embassies will take place in Lisbon, Portugal; Dar-Es Salaam, Tanzania; Hudson, New York; Bangkok, Thailand; and Santiago, Chile--all presenting inside views into new geographies and cultures.
More info on how to join and host a LGW Embassy via cosmos.leguesswho.com.