Rudolstadt Festival is Germany’s foremost festival of roots, folk and world music. Held in the central region of Thuringia, it’s also one of the top world music festivals in Europe. It takes place annually from the first Thursday in July until the following Sunday and attracts up to 25,000 people daily.
From 5 to 8 July 2018, we will be celebrating the 28th edition. As usual, in addition to reflecting current international developments, the festival will also continue its own trendsetting role. Legendary names from the realms of folk and world music will be appearing alongside newcomers from all over the globe. The amazing variety of concerts including cross-genre performances hold out the promise of unexpected discoveries and account for the festival’s mesmerizing appeal. In 2018 the programme will spotlight ESTONIA.
Every year, over 20 stages and podiums at the festival host around 300 concerts as well as workshops and discussions. All in all, performances are given by more than 130 bands from over 30 countries. Many of the concerts are broadcast live or recorded for subsequent transmission by partners in the media, including several major German public radio stations and regional TV channel MDR. Since 2015, Franco-German TV network ARTE broadcasts several concerts via livestream on the internet. Moreover, the festival is covered by about 100 domestic and foreign print and online publications.
Every year, Rudolstadt Festival showcases the music of one particular country – and in 2018 it will be Estonia´s turn. Attention is always paid to inviting a range of artists who, despite hailing from the same country, represent different genres, ethnicities, traditions and future trends.
Another regular highlight is the presentation of the RUTH German World Music Awardsalong with concerts by the prize-winners. Other key elements of the festival include workshops devoted to each year’s selected dance style and the dozens of buskers transforming the historical town centre into a giant stage. The festival also features the instrument makers’ centre, global club culture in the saalgärten youth club, exhibitions and a two-day children’s festival.
Rudolstadt Festival dates back to 1955, when the 1st Festival of German Folkdance was orga- nized in Rudolstadt. It evolved into an East German celebration of folk dance with strong East European participation. Following German reunification, in 1991 the festival was relaunched with a completely new concept. Initially a forum for the traditional folk scene designed to bring Germans from east and west closer together, the event rapidly grew into a world music festival of international renown.