Wednesday, 13 June 2012

International Street Music Festival

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.


  1. Hello Meike:
    It is rather good, we feel, to have events in the diary that one waits all year for and, as soon as they are over, cannot wait for the next time.

    Your Street Music Festival sounds to have been great fun, helped, we are sure, by the lovely weather which you enjoyed.We can understand what you mean about missing your favourite performers but we think that it is such a good idea to give emerging new talent a chance.

    1. Hello Jane and Lance,
      that's true; it is also good for us as festival visitors to keep an open mind and not just focus on our well-known favourites.

  2. Ah, yes, the weather.... Here in England we had a few hours of sunshine, so I remembered what sun was like. But, a music festival is often cheerful despite the weather, although I agree it's nicer when the weather is nice.

    1. Had it been pouring down with rain, I wouldn't have gone; we've had some rain at the festival in previous years but not too bad, and the stages are all with a tent-like roof so that the musicians can play no matter what weather :-)

  3. Meike

    I wonder if the Dapper Dan men named their group after the hair cream men put on their hair in the twenties and thirties to keep it in place, bluegrass style! I love bluegrass too, do you have the soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou? Bet you would like it, the main character in the movie was a big Dapper Dan (hair gel) fan.

    1. Julie, they make reference to the hair cream on their own website:
      Scroll down to the last picture :-)
      I don't have the soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou? and must admit I have never seen the movie...

    2. I hadn't seen the movie until last year. It is based on Homer's Oddyssey and is brilliant!

    3. Must ask RJ whether he has the DVD - he has so many, and maybe we can watch it together some time.

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    1. Not sure whether to regard your comment as spam or not... I tend towards the former rather than the latter.

  5. Don't you just love those street festivals? Specially in a great weather. I'm glad that you had a wonderful time. Looks like there were Country musicians there as well

    1. There were musicians of many different styles, there was something for everyone!