This festival is firmly established in my personal diary as something I will attend in any case, provided I am not travelling or ill or the weather is really, really awful.
It was held for the 9th time in Ludwigsburg on the last weekend in May, from Friday to Sunday.
What makes this festival so special?
For one thing, it is the setting: the beautiful park and gardens surrounding Ludwigsburg palace. You've seen pictures of it several times on my blog already; for instance here and here. The whole grounds are practically turned into one big party for three days, filled with cheerful people and music, music, music!
Then, you have about 40 groups and solo artists, almost all of them playing very different styles of music. One simply strolls through the park and stops at those stages where the music is according to one's taste and passes by those who are less so.
The mood is usually great, especially as it gets later and people have "warmed up", so to speak; not so much for the beer or sparkling wine etc. they can buy at various spots throughout the park, but simply because it takes a while for many people to come out of their usual reserved state and before they start clapping, singing along and dancing.
The festival's website is here; I'm afraid there is no English version of the site, but you can look at videos (and listen to the music, of course) of all the bands when you click here.
We were lucky with the weather this year, and even more lucky to find our favourite for 2012 very soon into the festival: The Dapper Dan Men.
I took some pictures while they were on stage:
Bluegrass is a style I much like, although I'm afraid I would not want to listen to a whole album at home or go to a venue where nothing but this kind of music is played all evening. But it was great there and then; the band were really good with their instruments and the singing, and we enjoyed ourselves very much.
The Dapper Dan Men were of course not the only band we were listening to, but I only took a few more pictures elsewhere; it was getting too dark then and besides I was trying to avoid anyone feeling "stalked" by me taking pictures (impossible to take any without people on them).
Years ago, I befriended some of the musicians; we are in touch by email throughout the year and I bought this painting from one of them in 2009 as a birthday present to myself.
Unfortunately, out of the 40 artists to perform during the 3 days of the festival, the festival committee never allow the same group or artist to play for more than two or three consecutive years, so as to give new groups a chance to enter the festival. This means that a lot of people, including myself, miss their favourites; after a gap of one or two years, they are usually allowed back and I am already looking forward to next year's festival, with hopefully my two favourite bands being back on stage there.
PS: I will post about our holiday in Italy soon; in the meantime, if you want to look at the pictures, my photobucket album is here.