The bands for 2019 are not fixed yet. Here you can see the musicians that played for us in 2018.


Knep is a duo based on scandinavian music and silly hairy stuff. It's a guitar, an irish flute, a fiddle and a nyckelharpa. It's a debate about octopi on stage. It's a solution for how to wear a hat. It's a revolutionary way of surviving in cold conditions.

Pascal was playing flute and guitar somewhere in Switzerland, Emelie arrived with her nyckelharpa and swedish tunes. Together, they have mixed scandinavian dances with continental balfolk pieces, tried crooked fiddle tunings, written tunes in some kitchens or on slopes of mountains, taken their instruments up to the feet of glaciers... And it all came to be a silly duo, who likes lots of languages, unexpected costumes on stage, carrots and many other stupid things. And if you want to know: Knep means "trick" in swedish.

Pascal Rüegger – guitar, irish flute
Emelie Waldken – nyckelharpa, fiddle
Gertrude – heartwarming support


Dancing, fun, music, pleasantness, dreaming, clouds, that's what Nubia stands for. Nubia plays music to dance on, or to listen to while drifting away on a day dream.

Kris van't Klooster – mandolin
Tim Hofmeester – guitar


Knupia is the story of two bands becoming a family. It is Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland united in a common balfolk and scandinavian repertoire. Knep and Nubia put all their musicians and dance teachers together on stage, for a visible tight-bond energy carrying the dancers' feet all night long.

Emelie Waldken – nyckelharpa, fiddle
Kris van't Klooster – mandolin, fiddle
Tim Hofmeester – guitar, bouzouki
Jolanda Snellenberg – clarinett, bass clarinett
Pascal Rüegger – percussion, guitar


Sometimes, you easily end up in a fiasco, whether in three-four times or other metres - but definitely in a classical trio of accordion, violin and guitar featuring a maximum repertoire of favourite Bal Folk tunes and insider tips as well as an ever-growing collection of own compositions. In 2016, in Leipzig, it was the first time all three encountered as the Dreiviertelfiasko and are since then, slowly but continuously and in spite of long distances to overcome, working their way up from session to stage. Who had expected this fiasco to turn out such gorgeously?

Jeli Zlotorzenski – accordion, xylophone
Philipp Nerke – fiddle, stomp box
Lukas Winter – guitar

& Steve

The duet Ludwig/Ellis plays exclusively their own compositions, inspired by traditional European dance music and influenced by classical music, jazz and bal musette. Their music offers a variety of sound matched to the characteristics of various dances reaching from calm and romantic to rhythmic and energetic. The duet’s melodies accompany the dancers into the world of feelings.

Marion Ludwig – accordion
Steve Ellis – clarinet, accordion, piano


If I was a smoker, Loubelya was a smooth Havana kissed by the mildness of the Cuban evening, facing pink flamingoes in the bronze of dusk... If I was a naturalist lying in wait, it was the vision of a lynx prowling, padding along an abandoned cotton field, growling in satisfaction over fluffy cotton wools garnished with tempting feathered prey... If I was an ant daydreaming on top of a flower bud, it was a sonata of butterflies, in absolute silence, moistened by zephyr and chuckling delicately...
Loubelya , Nobel prize for sensual music.

Marie Constant – accordion
Rolland Martinez – double bass, clarinet
Florent Lalet – saxophone

Energetic jigs, crazy waltzes, groovy schottisches and mad bourrées... Inspired by traditional European dancing rhythms this tight group of friends creates their own musical wonderland. They tease, chase and provoke each other into wild musical landscapes from which their music can only go one way: to the dancers and listeners. Té is a Netherlands-based "chamber-balfolk" quartet, featuring tunes composed and arranged by its members.

Niek van Uden – accordion
Conny Essbach – clarinet
Sander van der Schaaf – guitar, percussion
Emilyn Stam – 5 string fiddle

Stimmt So.

Once upon a time... four Seeräubärchen, which were lost in the most different corners of the graubunten Berlin and in the Spreesee saw each other at different wind strengths, at coordinates that want to remain encrypted. On a stormy, rainy day in November Anno 2012, the four finally met... and...

Explosion! Founded a Band.

As almost fully grown birds we are still circling over the old party Queen Berlin. On our journey through your living rooms, barns, stages and taverns we bring with our music: pounding, laughter, romances and decent polkagebrüll! We, that’s a family of instruments so our ship: the double bass played by Niklas, a crazy violin and guitar played by Tara, a moving accordion and guitar played by Mara and an Irish bouzouki and a thrilling clarinet played by Till. We sing our songs with four voices in the languages we like right now. Most of our songs are self-composed and we just fell in love in the traditionals we play.

We think music has to be fun! That’s right. Come on and bring your crew, we might like it.

Mara – accordion, voice, good spirit
Till – irish bouzouki, voice, clarinet
Tara – fiddle, voice, guitar
Niklas – double bass, guitar, cinnamon rolls

& John

Emilyn Stam and John David Williams merge the melodic voices of violin and clarinet, creating a modern sound steeped in tradition. Their individual and collective interests in Klezmer, New Orleans Jazz, Old Time, Bluegrass, French and Scandinavian folk musics give insight to their playful and innovative duet compositions. Not limited to original music, their repertoire often has a strong connection to traditional dance, and explores a wide palette of sound through various combinations of violin, clarinet, accordion, harmonica and piano. They first started playing music together as members of the Lemon Bucket Orkestra. Currently John also leads the 6-piece old-time jazz band The Boxcar Boys and Emilyn tours with Italian diatonic accordion virtuoso Filippo Gambetta.

Emilyn Stam – accordion, violin
John David Williams – clarinet, harmonica

Two catch a raindrop

Come rain, come shine – come dance!
This is your New Year's Eve weather forecast: Rainshine mazurkas, sunbow bourrées and some whirlwaltzing. Accordeon throughout with a spell of oboes, drops of glockenspiel, vocal intervals, playful interaction and other storied surprises.

Niek van Uden-Luteijn – accordion
Annelies van Uden-Luteijn – clarinet

Les Yeux
de Lilas

Les Yeux de Lilas, a duet to discover soft-footedly like the silence in the middle of the night...
A repertoire of own compositions and classic tunes revisited to embark on an intimate yet musical journey. Accordion and accordina are the keys to a romantic voyage in music’s service – the guitar is playing a broken chord, some riff tenderly posed or melancholic and sweet ritornellos. Finally, the accordion twirls round and round over the dance floor...

Alain Hermanstadt – guitar, stomp box, voice
Philippe Gaillard – accordion, accordina, voice

Kaz Kan Zie

According to the old manuscripts, it was in the country of KAN, where they met. They danced all night through, from pearly dusk till pearly dawn, from breath to bellow, they embarked on a journey...
As they returned, they brought back enchanting music and tender sounds.

Aymerick Tron Alvarez – guitar
Jérémie Bonamant-Teboul – didgeridoo, percussion, accordion


DiaTon, the duet Gielen-Uhlmann, started such recently, it is even not yet possible to describe them. At last year’s New Year’s Eve both met in the castle’s corridors and enchanted all passers-by with their virtuoso play on the accordion. Simon and Johannes decided then to play through until the next festival and we decided to safe a spot for them on stage. It can be as simple as that. On one concert they will even be accompanied by Ulrich Stornowski and his collection of drums. We will not tell you, what to expect, but it will definitely be great.

Simon Gielen – accordion
Johannes Uhlmann – accordion
Ulrich Stornowski – davul, cajon, darabuka

Andreas Bothe

Andreas Bothe is Germany’s best-known accordion player in Bal Folk. Highly enthusiastic about his instrument, the music and the dancers he keeps on reinventing himself anew and does not stop at playing until the early morning hours in delight of his listeners. If this wasn’t enough, he will add African drums and Cuban Salsa rhythms to heat up the Colditz’ winter.

Andreas Bothe – accordion


Five days of music, from the beginning to the end, from the first up to the last floor – and you – right in the middle of it all or only for you. Music and ensemble workshops will be awaiting you. Rehearsal rooms will want to be filled and fulfilled with the sound of your ideas.

Alas, take your flutes, hurdy gurdies and accordions, violins, guitars and pianos, rattles, boxes and spoons! Take your feet, hands and voices and make music! For you, for us, for everyone; from breakfast ‘til session! :-)