Curator Of Music / Programming

Girisha Fernando has worked as music programmer for various venues and currently works as curator of music for several festivals. Specialised in music programming within the genres of world music, spiritual music, jazz and contemporary pop; artistically ambitious yet always with an eye to an audience.

WATER & SOUND – Festival der Kulturen

(artistic director / curator since 2011) 

Conception, programming and artistic direction of the WATER & SOUND Festival, an annual global music festival situated in  Augsburg, Germany. Aimed at reaching out and challenging a diverse audience from all walks of society with unfamiliar music and sounds, the programming is focused on winning over the listener through sheer musical force. Artists to have performed include Fatoumata Diawara, Bombino, Seun Kuti & Egypt80, Taraf de Haidukks, Fanfare Ciocarlia, Konono No1, the Portico Quartet, Yasmine Hamdan, Tamikrest, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, Vieux Farka Toure, Dakhabrakha, Kocani Orkestar, Emel Mathlouthi, Mercedes Peon, Ibibio Sound Machine, Ebo Taylor and the Warsaw Village Band besides the participation of local musicians and associations.

Since 2019 Augsburg is an UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historic water management system – a City of Water. The theme of „water“ is incorporated into the programming by presenting various regions of water and music culture, along with their sociological and ecological context, adding stages along the historic waterways and devising a new urban ritual, the „Water Bird“. 

Next dates: 25th July – 4th August 2024


 (curator of music since 2010)

 Conception, organization and booking of popcultural formats and concerts of the Brechtfestival staged by the City of Augsburg. The Brechtfestival takes place annually in Augsburg, Bertolt Brecht’s place of birth, encompassing concerts, performances and shows by artists from literature, drama and music, while drawing an audience of 12 – 14 000. Music programming focuses on contemporary artists in the spirit of Brecht: the combination of music and politically or socially relevant lyrics, while taking music and art forms to new boundaries.

 Curated formats include: the „Brechtnacht“ with the participation of artists like Nina Hagen, Sophie Hunger, Ghostpoet, Bonaparte, Käptn Peng, Algiers, Antilopen Gang, Gustav, Dakh Daughters, PeterLicht, Mats Gustaffson, Ja, Panik; Spoken Word and Slam formats; and special concerts which have included shows by Patti Smith, the Tiger Lillies and Element of Crime.

 Next date: March 1st 2024


The Sounds Of God

(concept and programming since 2012)

The Sounds of God is a format whereby various artists from all over the world, whose music is deeply rooted in a spiritual or religious context, perform throughout the whole night. It was first staged in 2012 and featured performances by the turkish master of the ney, Kudsi Erguner, qawwali singer Asif Ali Khan from Pakistan, the Armenian voices, avantgarde jazz pianist Matthew Shipp and Gnaoua master musician Adelkebir Merchane. Since 2013 this magical night is staged in a smaller variation annually during the „Friedensfest“. A full length version took place in October 2017 featuring Faiz Ali Faiz, The Gurdjieff Ensemble, Wu Wei, Ulrich Moritz & Mariam Wallentin.

More Formats

include curation and conception of the Song Slam at the Weisses Lamm and Soho Stage (2008 – 2014), the Zugvogel Slam at the Kresslesmühle (from 2014), and „brechtbühne un / plugged“ at Staatstheater Augsburg (since 2019) where musicians of regional popculture collaborate with an ensemble of the Augsburg Philharmonics.

Schwarzes Schaf – Club

(Programming 2007 – 2011)

Music and nightclub centered around mainly DJ nights but also incorporating the occasional live concert. With styles ranging from various kinds of electronic music, techno, house, dubstep, reggae, dancehall and drum n bass. Essential for its success was the participation of local hosts, DJs and musicians, each specialists in their own right of their respective scenes and thereby the joint developement of subcultural programme formats. And there was also time for a great indie night every thursday.