49° Grenzüberschreitungen Festival takes the idea of cultural border crossings seriously. Since its inception in 1981 the festivals curatorial concept centres around the idea of the contact zone as a space where ideas, images, theories and culture/s meet, connect and sometimes productively clash. Curated first by Ulli Beier, founder of Iwalewahaus in 1981, the former called „Crossing Borders“ festival and solo concerts took place at Iwalewahaus as well as at Markgrafliches Opernhaus Bayreuth and other locations. It was reinvented for years. Since 2013 the festival is again deep-seated at Iwalewahaus with updated concept as 49° Festival. The 49° Festival in 2013, called „MetalZone“, focused on Metalmusic and culture in Africa and Europe, was an indication of the gradually growing global Metalculture scene as well as the fact that this phenomenon of Metalculture getting focused by theorists, photographers and filmmakers all over the world. The following year festivaledition was focused on the connection between arts and music in Africa, Europe and beyond. The festival in 2014 questioned of what role music from different proveniences and times play in today’s music production, but also how important the visual dimension of music is in it’s representation. Club music meets classical music, traditional music emerges with modern visualization, high culture connected with sub culture. The interplay of music and arts both in Africa and Europe has been part of a vibrant scene that moves between bloc parties, club and galleries. The 49° Festival series, that is still connected to the slogan „crossing borders“ will be take place annually at the 49th degree of latitude, at Iwalewahaus Bayreuth, Germany, focussed on the diverse and versatile musicscenes in Africa, Europe and Diaspora.