This week offers the best of Germany's old and new traditions from Oktoberfest to Popkomm to the Ludwigsburg European Short Film Biennale -- and more.
Oktoberfest is on!
Grab your Lederhosen and head to Bavaria for Oktoberfest 2005. Whether you're a first-timer or a veteran beer guzzler at the legendary Oktoberfest, head to Munich for delectible German brew and an unsurpassably festive experience at the world's biggest fair. Once you arrive, you'll have to choose from among the 14 beer tents -- each with their own brews and festivities -- or you can head to the small and medium tents, especially if you can't find a seat. Highlights of the festival are the Costume and Riflemen’s Parade, the Oktoberfest Mass, a hand-held cannon salute and a first-time agricultural festival. The official tapping of the keg is at noon on Sept. 17, and the party continues until Oct. 3.
Germany's Knorkator will be at the PopKomm
Want to hear what's new in pop music? Check out the newest acts and innovations at the industry's biggest annual gig, Popkomm 2005 in Berlin from Sept. 14-16. Exhibitions and workshops will give an insider's view of the newest developments in the music and entertainment industries. Over 1,200 artists from 23 countries are set to perform for a total of more than 400 hours of live music. There'll be no time for siesta with flamenco, jazz and hip-hop bands from Spain, this year's partner country, including Ojos de Brujo, Barcelona's hottest mestizaje band.
You can get a virtual look at Friedrich Schiller's life and works in Mannheim
Celebrate a German classic. To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Friedrich Schiller's death (1759-1805), Mannheim's Reiss Engelhorn Museum hosts an exhibition on the dramatist's life and writings, starting on Sept. 17. You can brush up on your Sturrm und Drang and get a virtual glimpse of Schiller's historical setting. The area of Mannheim and Stuttgart provided the setting for one of Schiller's best-known works -- "The Robbers." His life and works, especially during his two years in Mannheim (1783-85), are documented in the exhibit, a recreation of Schiller's era and characters using multimedia scenes.
Need a short escape? Then the Ludwigsburg European Short Film Biennale just may be what you were looking for. The week-long festival, starting Sept. 12, features 74 films from 700 short documentaries and feature films, all made by European filmmakers under the age of 35. Films in the top prize category deal primarily with the conflict between the search for identity, social environment, changing personal circumstances and migration, and the desire for reconciliation and understanding. Outstanding Finnish films will be shown as well as several Finnish rock nights, featuring some of Finland's best-known bands. "Both Ends Burning" is the central theme for the exhibitions, lectures and workshops of the festival and the "Face to Face" program will feature shorts and documentary films on people’s personal circumstances in Islamic countries.
If the Autobahn is too slow for you, test your racing skills at the Red Bull Go-Cart Race in Stuttgart. This annual competition is a chance to show off your racing skills as well as take a shot at the 5,000 euro ($6,100) prize for best go-cart design. Competitors build their own outlandish go-carts and dress to match. Speed and skill come together as they try to out-maneuver each other at Stuttgart's Solitude Palace on Sept. 18. And even if you don't compete, you can still cheer on your favorite racer.