Upcoming Festivals in Dusseldorf

Düsseldorf has plenty of festivals to add some spice to the historic gem of a city…here are a few coming up!

A 22-year old festival returns to Düsseldorf with a new name: “düsseldorf festival!” (yes, spelled with lower-case letters and an exclamation point) is the new name for the former “Altstadtherbst – Old Town Autumn” event. The modern circus covers a full 22 fall days.

The new name is reportedly an attempt to broaden of the festival. Not only has the number of attendees been increasing steadily (25,000 are expected, 5,000 more than just a few years ago) but the international scope has also expanded. More than 600 artists from all over the world will appear in the various performance spaces all over town.

Highlights include: “Les 7 Doigts de la Main” and “Cirkus Cirkör” as well as “Zimmermann & de Perrot,” a dance, theater and acrobatics troupe. New ways to use instruments and voice are used by Baroque ensemble “I Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca” and “Hilliard Ensemble,” respectively. “Japanese Delight” uses hip-hop and the Taiwanese artists of the “U Theatre” combine traditional drumming with Tai Chi for something new entirely. “Söndörgö” and her effervescent Balkan sound fit in as much with the program as “Tony Allen’s Black Series feat. Amp Fiddler” and their afrobeat, funk, and soul, a style that has been described as “Nigeria meets Detroit.”

(Good to know: The city’s tourism office is offering hotel and city specials for düsseldorf festival! Packages can be booked right from the tourism office’s website at www.duesseldorf-tourismus.de/en/hotel-packages/hotelpaket-zum-duesseldorf-festival. All packages include breakfast, a Düsseldorf Welcome Card that offers free public transportation within city limits plus 30 free or reduced admissions to city attractions. Festival tickets are sold separately.)

For more information and ticket sales for düsseldorf festival!, visit www.duesseldorf-festival.de. Tickets are available for the entire festival and for individual performances.

Two music festivals are also coming up. The Approximation Festival 2012 will have a blend of classical and electronic music, and the New Fall Festival combines electronica with pop and song writing.

The “New Fall Festival,” October 3-7, is a showcase for a new generation of bands that share elements of pop and classical music. Performers appear on two of Germany’s most beautiful concert halls – the Robert Schumann Hall and the prestigious Tonhalle, a planetarium-turned concert venue, where headliners “Caligola” will perform. Other artists include US band “Why?,” British band “Tindersticks,” “Stabil Elite” from Düsseldorf, “The Notwist,” “Ewert and the Two Dragons,” “Get Well Soon,” “Dear Reader,” “Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto,” “Dillon” and “When Saints Go Machine.”

The Approximation Festival, September 18-23, in its eighth year, is now a staple in Düsseldorf’s cultural program, combining modern elements and electronica. In comparison to the New Fall Festival, it has a stronger focus on experimental music from all genres and a wide range of international artists with a strong individual avant-garde approach. It takes place at Düsseldorf’s main concert hall Tonhalle and in some of the city’s premier art spaces. This year’s Approximation Festival has highlights like the Kronos Quartet, Alexander Balanescu, Ben Frost and Zoe Keating, a “one-woman orchestra” who creates her unique musical style by altering the sounds of her cello electronically. The collaboration with city-based film institutions has started in 2011, and this year’s edition will be opened by the “Vampyr – The Dream of Allan Grey” to the live music of artists Hauschka and Stefan Schneiders.

For more information on the New Fall Festival 2012, visit www.new-fall-festival.de.

For more information on the Approximation Festival 2012, visit www.approximation-festival.de.

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