Every year, international orchestras, famous soloists, acclaimed ensembles and well in excess of 100,000 visitors flock to the capital of Saxony for the Dresden Music Festival. Music – mostly but not exclusively classical – then reigns supreme throughout Dresden, with performances in the finest city-centre venues, on the banks of the Elbe and in the surroundings.
On the last weekend in May each year, the Elbjazz Festival in Hamburg transforms the city's famous port into a showcase for jazz from all over the world. This festival has a very special cachet, with unusual venues and many acclaimed artists. Quirky spaces where jazz can now be heard include an old cargo ship, a theatre in the warehouse district and a shipyard. Boats shuttle spectators between the various venues – a unique way to see the sights of the port.
Every summer since 1992, historical Gendarmenmarkt square at the heart of Berlin has served as a spectacular backdrop for the Classics Open Air Festival. The five-day concert programme covers a wide range of genres – from operas, operettas and musicals to crossover productions featuring pop classics, soul, swing and jazz. The festival makes classical music accessible to all – and on one of the most beautiful squares in Europe.
'Push the boundaries and try something new' is the motto of the Grenzenlos Festival in Augsburg , Bavaria , which brings life to the industrial ensemble around the city's gas works every summer. Going beyond the boundaries of culture, religion and nationality, the organisers of the festival put the spotlight on fundamental issues facing the world – from climate change to globalisation. There is also a packed programme of entertainment on offer in five halls, combining live music, comedy, magic and acrobatics.
Every year on the second weekend in August, around 15,000 people flock to the pretty medieval town of Eschwege for the Open Flair Festival, which offers a mix of live music, variety, comedy and children's entertainment. In addition to the main festival grounds and castle gardens, the festival has also had a site on the shores of Werratalsee, Hessen's second-largest lake, since 2009.
The Open Source Festival (OSF) in Düsseldorf is all about diversity and experimentation. It gets under way in stylish surroundings at the racecourse in Grafenberg Forest with music from international stars of the current club and pop scene. At 10pm party-goers move on to the district of Lierenfeld where the dancing continues against the industrial backdrop of the steelworks. US band Beirut and Danish trio WhoMadeWho are among the acts to have performed at the festival.
During the Bach Festival, Leipzig presents the multifaceted works of the baroque composer and highlights his close ties to the city. For more than 20 years, Johann Sebastian Bach was the cantor of St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. Today's Bach Festival sees internationally acclaimed musicians such as Masaaki Suzuki, Marcus Creed and Ton Koopman, together with Leipzig's famous St. Thomas choir and Gewandhaus Orchestra, honour the great composer at locations where he lived or worked.