Nr. 22: 5- 8 July 2012

For the second time, Germany's biggest world music festival was a four-day event on more than 20 stages in Heinepark, Altstadt and Heidecksburg. The People's Republic of China was 2012’s TFF Country in Focus. The number of participants stood on average at nearly 1,200 this year because, after all, we had some very large ensembles from China as guests.

In this context, there were in addition to concerts and performances some national heritage workshops and a one-day conference titled ‘Sketches of China’: Scientists and experts from China, the Netherlands, Taiwan, the US and Germany examined and shed light on various aspects of traditional music in the Middle Kingdom. The audience was very open and interested in the total of 9 acts from this still largely unknown country.

Enjoyed by many on the market square on Friday were China-Revue and the subsequent appearance of Gong Linna and her choir DaBaiSang together with the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt Thüringer Symphonic Orchestra in the courtyard of the Heidecksburg.

The limitation of season tickets in online sales was once again proven to be a suitable instrument to keep the total number of visitors to within a harmonious, atmospheric and conducive framework. Overall, 19,900 season tickets were sold, including the 8400 visitors per day. In 2012, TFF Rudolstadt enjoyed the interest of visitors from other countries including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Great Britain, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the Czech Republic.

The technical logistics of handling over 9,000 guests on camping and caravan sites as well as in the local community naturally demanded everything we had from our staff.

For the instrument project, Magic Concertina, there were 10 virtuosos from 6 countries and an exhibition of exquisite exhibits especially from the folk scenes of the British Isles. It was an extremely popular instrument in the limelight. Musician and arranger Wolfgang Meyering succeeded again to form from a ‘bunch’ of virtuoso individualists an international "Ensemble on time" within a week.

Horst Voit from Mehltheuer (Vogtland) was not only overwhelmed by the enthusiastic atmosphere, the nearly 80-year-old musician suffered a heart attack on Friday at the acclaimed performance of Concertina’s on the castle terrace. Fortunately, the doctors present in the audience responded immediately, the rescue measures were successful and after subsequent intensive care he was soon on the road to recovery.


The TFF dance of the year was under the heading ‘Street dance’. The audience from the stage shows and countless interactive dancers were oriented on traditional and modern forms - from English Morris dancing to hip hop. For two "factions" (Moulton Morris Men and TOS next move) we received euphoric expressions of gratitude from a grandiose TFF audience. The concert program provided a number of tempting offers especially for the younger festival-goers (including Shantel and Bucovina Club Orkestar, Kellerkommando, Moop Mama, Blitz The Ambassador, Systema Solar, Gentleman or Dota and the Stadtpiraten), but it also developed the theme of lively musical stories (with Bela Fleck and Oumou Sangare, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and the New York theater production Woody Sez). The Folk punks of Chumbawamba completely surprised us and confirmed agency reports that they were splitting, so on Sunday in the Park they gave their last concert in Germany.

Among the highlights of the 22nd TFF included, as expected, the concerts from the winner of the German World Music Award RUTH. The applause of the audience in the crowded courtyard of Heidecksburg Castle enjoyably was for The Strottern (German RUTH), the Al Andaluz Project (Global RUTH) and Hannes Wader (Honorary RUTH for lifetime achievement).

The joint exhibition of visual artists Gertrude Degenhardt and Juergen B. Wolff (respectively awarded the honorary RUTH for special expertise) was met with a huge resonance. Again the TFF belonged to the most acclaimed cultural events in central Germany. More than 320 journalists, cameramen and technicians were working during the 22nd TFF for 120 accredited media (including a 60-minute TV show on MDR-Zentralprogramm, a contribution for Chinese television through the European correspondent of Xinhua; broadcasting live broadcasts / concert recordings / Posts by MDR Figaro, Deutscher Welle, Deutschlandfunk, DeutschlandRadio Kultur, WDR 3, HR 2, Bayern Klassik; Other radio stations included were from the Czech Republic & Poland).