Rudolstadt Festival – Fact Sheet

Rudolstadt Festival is Germany’s foremost festival of roots, folk and world music. Held in the central region of Thuringia, it’s also one of the top world music festivals in Europe. It takes place annually from the first Thursday in July until the following Sunday and attracts up to 25,000 people daily.

Every year, almost 30 stages and podiums at the festival host around 300 concerts as well as workshops and discussions. All in all, performances are given by artists from about 40 countries. Many of the concerts are broadcast live or recorded for subsequent transmission by partners in the media, including several major German public radio stations and regional TV channel MDR. Moreover, the festival is covered by about 100 domestic and foreign print and online publications.

Every year, Rudolstadt Festival showcases the music of one particular country. Attention is always paid to inviting a range of artists who, despite hailing from the same country, represent different genres, ethnicities, traditions and future trends.

Another regular highlight is the presentation of the RUTH German World Music Awards along with concerts by the prize-winners. Other key elements of the festival include workshops devoted to each year’s selected dance style and the dozens of buskers transforming the historical town centre into a giant stage. The festival also features the instrument makers’ centre, global club culture in the saalgärten youth club, exhibitions and a two-day children’s festival.

Rudolstadt Festival dates back to 1955, when the 1st Festival of German Folkdance was orga- nized in Rudolstadt. It evolved into an East German celebration of folk dance with strong East European participation. Following German reunification, in 1991 the festival was relaunched with a completely new concept. Initially a forum for the traditional folk scene designed to bring Germans from east and west closer together, the event rapidly grew into a world music festival of international renown.