Festivals in Germany: When will it be summer again?

In 2020 and 2021 most music festivals in Germany had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus. But many music fans hope that this will change soon. After all, what is a summer without festivals like Rock am Ring, Hurricane or Wacken? We explain the special attraction of rock festivals in Germany and showcase three interesting events.

What makes Germany’s rock festivals unforgettable

There is hardly a place in Germany that does not have its own music festival. These events have a long tradition. Some of the oldest festivals started in the 1920s. But even the newer events have become an integral part of the cultural life of a region.

  • Most festivals take place in the summer as open-air events. The months of June, July and August are the high season. When it comes to choosing the site, the organizers are often inventive. Top festivals take place on racing tracks, airfields, and in the fields of a farm.

  • Every festival in Germany has its own concept and character. So there are a wide variety of musical styles and cultural offerings. The music genres range from baroque, and classical, to jazz, folk and blues to pop, rock and electronic music.

  • In addition to concerts, many festivals also offer art and cultural programmes and a selection of interesting food. Theatrical performances, exhibitions, cinema, handicrafts, jewellery stands and food trucks are all regular parts of a festival in Germany.

  • You can spend the whole day outside at a German festival, listening to music and dancing. When it gets dark, the mood changes though. At many festivals you can see participants who have made their own creations with things like fairy lights and umbrellas. The amount of creativity seems limitless.

Visiting a festival is a great way to spend a summer semester break. The concerts are a welcome change from everyday student life. Some institutes of higher education also organize their own festivals as a way for you to get involved, meet people and take another great experience home with you.

Hopefully you will have noticed that each of these festivals is unique. They provide lasting, special memories. One day you could look back and think: I was there!

Taking off at the Fusion Festival

Leaving everyday life behind in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Fusion has taken place nearly continually once a year since 1997 at the former Russian military airport in Lärz, near Lake Müritz, around 100 kilometres from Berlin. A small world of its own has been created here, far away from the daily life of the city. Around 70,000 people come together for a weekend and transform the old airport into its very own cultural cosmos. Cultural Cosmos is also the name of the association that organizes the happening.

Fusion is a non-commercial festival. Major themes are a tolerant and diverse society, and a cleaner, healthier environment. That’s why only vegetarian and vegan food are offered, and no advertising is permitted on the festival site. Performers and participants come from all over the world.

  • A wide range of electronic music is played on around 24 stages and decks, as well as hip-hop, jazz, reggae, goa, ska, rock, punk, metal, dancehall and trance.

  • In addition to the live music, there is a diverse cultural programme with a cinema, readings and discussions, cabaret and radio plays, as well as theatre and performance art.

  • Since the fusion draws guests from all over the world, many events are held in English.

  • Fusion is an open-air festival, but there are also covered stages. The old hangars of the airport are used and circus tents are set up so that concerts can take place even if the weather does not cooperate.

In the tram at the SNNTG festival

A comfortable celebration in Sehnde

The SNNTG festival is held in a tram museum near Hanover. To get from one part of the site to the other, you ride in an historic tram. If you’re lucky, might even experience live music in the train.

In past festivals, bands also came from Poland, France and England. The music is varied. One stage is intended for hip-hop, funk and soul, another is for indie, rock and pop. And the third stage features electronic music.

The stages are all outside and sprawl across the museum grounds. You also find old trams and buses that are integrated as decorations and contribute to the unique atmosphere of the festival. There is a hall with exhibitions, installations and space to simply sit and relax. Activities are diverse. You can paint your own bag, play volleyball or enjoy a coffee in the tram café.

The festival planning places great emphasis on promoting culture and working with local partners, including local student unions or with initiatives such as Viva con Agua and Amnesty International.

Family atmosphere at Immergut

Music, talk and football in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

„Immergut“ means “always good”, but it sounds like you should experience it at least once in your life! This festival started in 2000 and has taken place mostly on the last weekend of May in Neustrelitz, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

In addition to three music stages, there is also a talk stage where various topics are discussed. Part of the festival is also the traditional Immergutzocken. This is a football tournament on the fields adjacent to the site. Guests compete against teams made up of the festival organizers, the press, and musicians.

A group of volunteers called Immergutrocken e. V. is behind the festival. It was founded by a group of friends from the area to promote the musical diversity in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The festival has a family atmosphere and is deliberately limited to a maximum of 5,000 participants.

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