The media spotlight may be focused on the Catholic World Youth Day in Cologne, but there is a host of other fantastic events going on all over Germany this week. DW-WORLD presents a small sampling:
Hopeless romantics will feel at home at the Potsdam Palace Night.
Forget your troubles when you head to Prussian King Frederick the Great's favorite palace Sanssouci for the seventh annual Potsdam Palace Night. This year's event, held on August 20th in the Sanssouci Park in Potsdam, just outside Berlin, includes festively illuminated palaces and gardens, an extravagant program of period theatre, music, literature, dance and performing arts on ten stages, and culinary delicacies to boot. On top of this, the multitude of palaces will remain open until midnight. The evening will conclude with a magnificent show of musical fireworks, sure to light up the sky for miles around. This event gives the notion of Enlightenment at Sanssouci a whole new meaning.
When the biggest Hamburg Brewery Astra throws a party, you want to be there. That special harbor-party feeling can best be had at the World Astra Day (Welt Astra Tag), held August 20th on the St. Pauli Landungsbrücke, the famous Hamburg jetty, where rowdy rock bands congregate to provide the perfect setting for munching on a classic fish sandwich with "red and white" (curry ketchup and mayonnaise) French fries. The Astra beer will flow freely and in sufficient quantity to quaff the thirst of the 100,000 fans expected to converge on the day long party. Besides the music, beer and food, "Astranapolis" will be the scene of the Formula Astra soapbox derby, a race for honor, prestige, and naturally, Astra beer. When this event comes to an end, you just may well be seeing stars.
African Roots in the Bavarian Alps.
Exchange your Lederhosen for Dreadlocks and mellow out to sweet Jamaican reggae music--in southern Bavaria--at the Chiemsee Reggae Summer festival from August 19th to the 21st. Committed Rastafarians and reggae fans of all stripes come together for three days of peace, love and music, a Bavarian Woodstock for reggae, the largest festival of its kind. Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff will play on Friday, surely one of the highlights of the festival, but so will the self-styled "Zigeuner-Polka-Reggae" band "Weisswurscht is", a Bavarian band mixing African drums, acoustic guitars, and bamboo saxophones, among other instruments, for an irresistible, unique, highly danceable sound. All of this on the shores of one of Germany's most beautiful lakes, one hour southeast of Munich, with the Bavarian Alps as a backdrop.
Fashion on Ku'damm breaks out of the stores!
Berlin , Berlin , the undisputed "Multikulti" capital of Germany, will play host to yet another international festival this coming weekend, August 19th to the 21st, the Global City Fest on the Kurfürstendamm. The Ku'damm, Berlin's own version of Fifth Avenue, will be transformed into a showcase for cultural events both high and low brow: of paramount importance is the cosmopolitan pizzazz. International designers from England, Portugal, Poland and the Czech Republic, as well as Germany, will bring their creations to life on a 50 meter long catwalk in Europe's greatest open air fashion event. Over 25 shows in the "fashion zone" promise to dazzle all who visit. When attendees are "fashioned out" the Holland Village, Country-Western Tent, Havana Club Bar, Ferris wheel and bungee jumping, among other activities, are sure to stave off the remotest vestiges of boredom.
Liebesträume--Dreams of Love--is the theme for the second annual Weimar Arts Festival, set to begin August 19th and last until September 11th. A wide-ranging program of performing arts events will explore the complex relationship between earthly and divine love in Germany's Classical capital city. While the festival's focus remains on music, theatre performances, film screenings, exhibits and lectures will serve to add depth to the intellectual odyssey that is the Weimar Arts Festival. Goethe would have loved this.