This time we embark on a little festival preview journey from Germany to the North, East, West and South... it's only a small selection of the great European folk festivals. See you there!
Germany hosts this summer for the first time ever the World Exhibition, EXPO 2000, in Hanover. This mega event has the theme "Humankind - Nature - Technology", and wants to promote a sustainable development of our planet to save it for future generations. Nations from all over the world will showcase between 1st of June and 31rd of October 2000 their attempts and technologies to reach this aim. Why writing about this in this magazine? Well surprisingly enough, Expo has invited also quite a lot of traditional and folk bands. Some of the many dates to look out for: The 28th of June is the Irish National Day, with among others Dervish playing and the 25th July has a showcase of Galician Celtic Music with Milladoiro, Carlos Núņez and Luar na Lubre. You do not need to watch out for American Irish artists at the Expo though - the USA will not take part at the EXPO because the participation would be too expensive for one of the richest nations in the world... [Infos via expo2000.de; yet it is a long search to find the programme you are looking for...]
If you plan to go to the EXPO, early July would be good, because then you could combine your visit with Germany's best folk & world music and dance festival in Rudolstadt/Thuringia, from 7th to the 9th of July. Besides the terrific atmosphere in this old town with a castle, you can experience music from Waterson: Carthy, Sin É, Susane Seivane, Lecker Sachen and many many more. [TFF Rudolstadt; Stadt Rudolstadt, Dezernat Kultur, Markt 7, D-07407 Rudolstadt]
If September better suits you, go to Perleberg Festival, a new, but very good festival in Eastern Germany, in the little town of Perleberg. Last year's festival is said to have been a good success, so just go there at the second weekend of September to check out if the third version of the festival becomes even better. [Perleberg Festival; Tel.: 03876 781403; Fax: 03876 781302; Stadt-Perleberg@t-online.de]
Down South in Austria, you would have a good reason not to follow the recommandation of some European countries not to pass holidays in Austria because of the govermental participation of the rightist FPÖ party: From the 14th to the 16th of July, the 6th Folkfestival Gutenbrunn offers a high profile programme featuring Cian, Faolán, Nomos and Berrogüetto; and confirming that there are still enough internatianally minded people in Austria around. [Gutenbrunn Festival, Verein für Kulturaustausch, Pezzlgasse 60/13, 1170 WIEN, fax/tel +43 (1) 48 03 853, email@example.com]
If you like to go further east, move on to Zabkowice Slaskie in Poland, where just at the same weekend as Rudolstadt (7.-9.7.2000) the 11th version of the Folk Fiesta takes places, with a lot of Eastern European bands, but also for example Geraldine MacGowan. [Infos via http://fiesta.netgate.com.pl/]
Crossing from Poland the Baltic Sea and reaching Sweden, the following weekend (July 12th - 15th) Falun Folk Music Festival celebrates its 15th birthday, with about 100 concerts of folk, world and roots music from all continents. [Tel. +46-2383090, Fax +46-2363399, firstname.lastname@example.org] Having already twice the age of Falun, Skagen (Denmark's most Northern town) has invited for ist 30th birthday guests like English Oyster Band, French Soldat Lois, Mike Whellans, Judy Small and many more (often Scandinavian) bands. [Skagen Festival, Skagensbanens pakhus, Chr. D. X's vej 2, 9990 Skagen, Denmark DK, Phone: +45 98 44 40 94, Fax: +45 98 44 63 77].
On the Southern side of Denmark, Tønder Festival has from the 24th to the 27th of August 2000 once again the creme of Celtic music. Just a couple of names: The Dubliners (IRL), Soldat Louis (F), Tim O'Brien & The Crossing (USA), Sharon Shannon & The Woodchoppers (IRL), Sláinte Mhath (CAN), Tønder favourites Danú (IRL), Paddy Keenan & Tommy O'Sullivan (IRL) - Berrogüetto (E), Old Blind Dogs (SCO), The Bumblebees (IRL) and Danny Kyle Award winners 99 Malinky (SCO). [Tønder Festival, Vestergade 80 - DK-6270 Tønder, Tel.: +45 74 72 46 10 - Fax +45 74 72 01 23]
A travel to the best of Mid/Northern European festivals would not be complete without passing BeNeLux. Why not visiting Belgiums biggest Festival in Dranouter to see the likes of Leilia (Spain), Alan Stivell (Bretagne), Suzanne Seivan (Spain), Orion (Celtic). It is not necessary to arrive on Thursday for the opening concert though, as the festival has have invited the Kelly Family from America with their musically poor pop music sold as Irish Folk and their teddy bear throwing Teenie audiences. [Dranouter Festival; General information: tel. +32 (0)57 44 64 24].
We finish off our Northern European festival journey in the Netherlands, where there are two new major festivals. "Sterren in Drenthe" is a new European World Music festival, organised with support of the EU Leader project, a project dedicated to help the development of rural areas. It takes place between the 6th and 9th July 2000, offering 150 concerts in 20 locations of 5 villages (Diever, Dwingeloo, Lhee, Ruinen and Spierin) in the region of Southwest Drente. So you will not only discover music, but also an interesting region... There will be about 30 different artists of "authentic traditional music" from Scandinavia, Balkan, Russia, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands, with a special focus on France with several bands and French culinary specialities. With this festival, Drenthe hopes to promote itself as an attractive and cultural region. "Sterren in Drenthe" (meaning Stars in Drenthe) will become an annual event, always spreading its music over several villages. [More infos from email@example.com
Finally, there is a second great and very promising first edition of a new big festival in the Netherlands; FolkWorld is partner of this exciting new event. FolkWoods Festival in August (aug 11-13, 2000) in Eindhoven has an impressive line-up featuring Ambrozijn (Belgium), Dereelium (Irish Folk at its best from Germany), Andy Irvine (Ireland), Battlefield Band (Scotland), LAIS (Belgium) and more. Based in a park, the festival offers all the necessary facilities from camping to restaurants and childcare on the festival grounds. Another one to add to the calendar of the big Euro Festivals... [infos via http://www.folkwoods.com]
Photo Credit: All Photos by The Mollis
(1) Carlos Núñez - this year on the EXPO
(2) Lecker Sachen, nearly on all important festivals in Germany...
(3) Berrogüetto's Guadi visiting Mistelbach & Tønder
(4) Sharon Shannon at Tønder Festival
(5) Laïs - Folkwoods Tilburg
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