Since the Riverboat Jazz Festival started in 1966 with three small passenger boats sailing on a 2 hour sailing tour of Gudenåen, the festival has grown into an event of great volume in both quality and scope.

Since the end of the 1980s, where the festival got its international flair, it has become one of Northern Europe's biggest jazz festivals for classical jazz.

More than 70 orchestras / soloists perform for about 50,000 jazz fans over the 5 days the festival lasts. Riverboat Jazz Festivals musical profile is still the classic jazz, like New Orleans and Dixieland Jazz, swing and mainstream, but in recent years there has also been room for renewal with national and international younger jazz and young talents.

Three large tents each with space for 1000-1500 people, many eateries and bars in the city center, streets and back yard resounding with infectious jazz - and most of them are free!

This is made possible, due to the three main partners: Silkeborg Kommune, Tuborg Classic, Midtjyllands Avis and the Nordea Foundation, as well as a large number of companies and organizations that, through their sponsorship and partnership, help secure the festival's economy.

The rest of the economy is ensured by the public by supporting the bars in the tents and on the boats. The festival is run by a board, as well as by employees at the festival office that deals with planning, booking and a number of practical things that precedes a festival.

The festival office also organizes the work at the festival for the 350 volunteers, making the entire project possible The festival always takes place on the first weekend of the summer school summer holiday and is a musical gem in one of Denmark's most beautiful cities.