About the festival
WMC Kerkrade 2022


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Music festival for the world

The World Music Contest (WMC) is above all a celebra­tion of music. The festival, which has been held every four years in Kerkrade since 1951, is a meeting place where musicians and visitors from different back­grounds can come into contact and where cultures unite in order to make music. WMC offers a platform for contests on a global level – but most of all, it looks to connect people. It establishes valuable crossovers in wind music and encourages unique musical experiments.

Cross section
In essence, WMC is a wind music festival based on con­tests for wind and fanfare bands, percussion ensembles, brass bands, marching and show bands, and conduc­tors. During the four­week festival, WMC’s program will also feature high ­quality orchestras and artists from the Netherlands and other countries at various locations in the city and region, showcasing a cross section of what wind music has to offer.

Leading Player
Over the past seventy years, WMC has developed into a leading player in the international music world: WMC confers status and prestige onto its participating musi­cians and orchestras. Winners at Kerkrade can officially call themselves a world champion in the four years until the next contest. WMC has for many years played an important role in the development of jury systems and competition formats. Influential and groundbreaking compositions will also premiere during the festival. Altogether, the organization plays a pivotal role in the world of wind music and is pre­eminently the most prestigious festival for wind and fanfare bands, percus­sion ensembles, brass bands, and marching and show bands.

During WMC 2022, the organization expects to welcome more than 20.000 musicians and 300.000 visitors to the city of Kerkrade. Curious about the WMC spirit? Watch the after movie of WMC 2017 here.

History of the WMC

Since 1951

Kerkrade, situated in the South of the Netherlands, is a city with a rich history that begins with the discovery of coal. The mines provided a lot of employment and thus an unprecedented economic growth ensued. This provided a rich source for the development of a lively music culture. Wind and fanfare bands were important components for cultural and social life in Kerkrade. Wind music is deeply embedded in the DNA of Kerkrade and its inhabitants. It is therefore no coincidence that in the years after the Second World War, the idea arose to organize a four-yearly wind music festival in Kerkrade. In 1951 the first edition of the World Music Competition (WMC) took place. In the decades that followed, WMC has become one of the most important wind music festivals in the world and the festival gained an essential development function in the sector. In 2022, during the 19th edition of the festival, WMC celebrates its 70th anniversary.

WMC Animation

The history of the WMC in 2 minutes



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