The World Music Contest (WMC) in Kerkrade will be postponed due to the corona crisis. The festival, that was to take place from 8 July – 1 August 2021, will be postponed to 7 – 31 July 2022. According to the organization, the impact of the crisis that has risen cannot yet be predicted. Earlier, WMC announced that it would delay the application for entering its competitions, but after an extensive survey in the wind music sector, the organization has decided to reschedule the festival. “There’s too much uncertainty at the moment for WMC and its participants to continue with the preparations for WMC 2021,” says WMC chairman of the board Max Kousen.


WMC has recently contacted a wide range of bands, partners, subsidizers, sponsors, governments and the WMC Advisory Council in order to make an inventory of the possible consequences of the current crisis. ‘’Many bands and ensembles are currently unable to make a decision about participating in WMC next year,” says Max Kousen.


With the deferment to 2022, the WMC organization wants to give participating bands and ensembles more time to prepare for the contest. Participation in WMC often requires a long period of preparation. The corona crisis will put a stop to these preparations for many participants. Many bands have also informed the artistic management of WMC that they are currently losing income from their performances and therefore will not have the funds to participate in 2021. “By postponing the festival, we are giving our participants more breathing space,” says WMC general secretary Ludo Diels.


The expected economic impact of this pandemic also played a role in the decision-making process. The organization expects sponsorship income to decline because many companies are expected to suffer the effects from the economic crisis. “Our sponsors play an important role in making WMC possible, but we don’t think it’s appropriate to approach companies for a substantial contribution at this time,” says the WMC chairman.


In 2021 WMC Kerkrade celebrates its 70th anniversary. The organization had planned to integrate these festivities in the program of WMC 2021. WMC now wants to celebrate this milestone during the yearly BLOW! by WMC festival in July 2021. Further details and exact dates will be announced later in consultation with the municipality of Kerkrade.

World Music Contest

The World Music Contest takes place every four years in Kerkrade (The Netherlands) and attracts about 20,000 musicians and 350,000 visitors. WMC has been regarded as one of the most important international competitions in the world of wind music. In 2019 the organization also introduced the successful annual music festival BLOW! by WMC.