The Hessentag has been held in a different town in Hessen every year since 1961 and has become the largest state fair in Germany. Pop concerts by international groups are now just as much part of the programme as the state exhibition in mobile exhibition halls. Every year, more than half a million people come from Hessen and further afield. In 2013 the Hessentag will travel to Kassel; in 2014 it will be in Bensheim.
Gastgeber des Hessentags 2014:
The Museumsuferfest, an international festival featuring spectacular food, music and theatre, takes place every August along both banks of the Main. The three-day festival sees museums open free of charge to thousands of visitors from around the world.
Die Weilburger Schlosskonzerte
The Weilburg Castle concerts are considered one of the high points of Hessen’s Kultursommer state-wide festival. The castle church with its outstanding acoustics, the Renaissance courtyard and the orangery host around 40 concerts during July and August. Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg is traditionally the patron of the concert series, being the great-grandson of the last count of Nassau, in whose castle the concerts take place.
Tel: 06471-944 218
Rheingau Music Festival
What began as a small series of classical concerts in 1988 has become an internationally recognised summer music event. The Rheingau Music Festival spans a period of nine weeks (June to September) and takes place in Germany’s most picturesque wine region. During this time over 100 concerts are performed at just under 40 locations across the Rheingau region.
Tel: 06723 -602170
Bad Hersfeld castle festival
Every summer, Bad Hersfeld hosts a spectacular open-air theatre. See performances of classical plays, operas and modern musicals against the dramatic backdrop of the thousand year-old abbey church ruin. The church was destroyed by the French in 1761, leaving only 103 metre-long walls and a delightful Romanesque archway, which provide a breathtaking backdrop and excellent acoustics.
Michelstadt Christmas market
Almost every town in Germany has its own Christmas market, but Michelstadt’s is one of the prettiest. Familiar smells, the cold air of the Odenwald and the taste of mulled wine make for a cosy atmosphere in this cobbled and timber-framed town. The Odenwald is home to many talented, local artists and craftsmen who come to the market to offer their wares.
Every year, Hessen plays host to a festival which underscores the state’s diversity. The cultural events put on across the regions of northern, central and southern Hessen range from jazz and pop concerts, to variety shows and theatre, to a special programme for children. The Kultursommer attracts international, national and regional artists. The €30 Kultursommer-Karte gives visitors a 50% discount on all ticket prices.
Tel: 0641- 303 29 99
There are dozens of lively wine festivals in the region as well as centuries-old folk festivals (today featuring merry-go-rounds and fireworks). To name just a few – the ‘Dippemess’ (twice a year, in April and September) and the ‘Mainfest’ (early August) in Frankfurt, spring and autumn fairs and the ‘Heinerfest’ (early July) in Darmstadt, ‘Johannisnacht’ (late June) in Mainz and the ‘Hochheimer Markt’ at Hochheim am Main (early November).