If you are interested in art and festivals in Europe, you should consider visiting Germany. The country offers festivals that are famous worldwide, and I am not talking about the Oktoberfest in Munich. Here, I will list iconic art festivals in Germany, ranging from art fairs to music, and literature festivals. I am sure that there is the right festival for you too.
Documenta is the world’s most important expo of contemporary art, which is held in Kassel every five years. The next Documenta will take place in 2022. Ruangrupa, an artists’ collective from Jakarta, Indonesia, has been unanimously selected by an international selection committee to be the artistic director of Documenta 15.
In 1955, a Kassel painter and designer Arnold Bode organised a comprehensive exhibition of the 20th century European art at the Fridericianum. That place is where Documenta was born. Alongside the Venice Biennale, Documenta in Kassel is considered the most essential recurring exhibition of modern and contemporary art worldwide.
Bayreuth Wagner Festival
Admirers of opera and especially of Richard Wagner have certainly heard of the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth. Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig in 1813 and gained his first theatre experience in Magdeburg, Königsberg and Riga, where he was the first kapellmeister from 1837 to 1839.
The Richard Wagner Festival Theatre, also called the Bayreuth Festival Theatre, is a venue on the Green Hill in Bayreuth. It was built in 1872-75 by Otto Brückwald, who based the building on designs by Richard Wagner. The first performance of Parsifal took place in the Festspielhaus on 26 July 1882.
In 2021, the Austrian avant-gardist Hermann Nitsch presented a painting at the Bayreuth Festival. He wanted to bring all the colours of the rainbow onto the stage of the Festspielhaus during the performance. Inspired by the music of Richard Wagner, the Austrian painter, who especially likes working with blood, designed the performance of Die Walküre as an action painting.
International Literature Festival Berlin
The International Literature Festival Berlin (ilb) is one of the most important literary events worldwide. The broad thematic spectrum includes prose, poetry, non-fiction, graphic novels, along with children’s and youth literature. Here, literature fans also find interesting discussions with Nobel Prize winners in literature. The aim of the festival is to appeal to and to involve a broader audience. There always are well-known authors as well as young emerging authors, so the diversity of this festival is unique.
Rock Am Ring
Music fans will find a perfect mix of rock, punk, alternative, rap, and metal. The festival takes place in the Nürburgring, which gave the festival its name, which offers space for 90,000 visitors and is considered one of the most picturesque locations in Germany. The first festival took place in 1985, during which bands like U2, Joe Cocker, Rick Springfield, REO Speedwagon, Huey Lewis performed on stage. So, you see, there is always a good reason to visit Germany and its festivals.