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The summer in Freiburg: Festival season

There are so many reasons for a summer in Freiburg, but here are ten to start with.

Wein und Bächle
Wein und Bächle  - © FWTM-Escher

#1 Guaranteed to cool off! Feet in the brook and wine in hand!

Something you can only get at the wine festivals and hocks in Freiburg

The Breisgau, Kaiserstuhl, and Markgräflerland regions have a special allure for wine fans. The wine festivals and hocks in the Freiburg summer offer the best opportunities to figure out the reason why. You can find the largest selection of wines and a varied range of culinary offerings at the Freiburg Wine Festival at the Münsterplatz (Cathedral plaza). Things are more intimate at the Freiburger Weinkost (Freiburg wine-tasting festival) in the Historisches Kaufhaus (Historical merchants’ hall). The Oberlindenhock between the Schwabentor (Swabian gate) and Herrenstrasse scores points with local cuisine and a spirited music program.

Abendstimmung Schlossbergfest
Abendstimmung Schlossbergfest - © Schlossbergfestival GmbH

#2 Dancing with a view – on the Schlossberg above the rooftops of the city

Celebrate Freiburg together at the Schlossberg fest and enjoy the view!

The Schlossberg has the nicest vantage point of the Münster (Cathedral) – the view to Vogesen and Kaiserstuhl is worth a detour in itself. At the end of July, a very special experience joins the view. Here, from Thursday to Monday, Freiburg celebrates a festival of music and dancing in six artfully illuminated spaces above the rooftops of the city. The stage program offers rock, pop, jazz, Latin, and electronic music. A wide range of various stands and food trucks is available for the culinary evening.

Beleuchtetes Zirkuszelt bei Nacht
Beleuchtetes Zirkuszelt bei Nacht  - © ZMF-Klaus Polkowski

#3 Camping in a different way – at the Tent Music Festival

You don’t sleep here, just dance… until late into the night!

Putting the Zelt-Musik-Festival (Tent Music Festival) into words is a bit like describing a rainbow…you just have to experience this summer feeling yourself to fully grasp it. The “ZMF” is one of the major events on the Freiburg festival calendar, attracting well over 100,000 visitors every year. There's hardly any musical genre not represented at the festival. Here, newcomers meet top national and international acts. During the two and a half weeks, the tent city has a lot to offer not only in terms of music, but also cuisine. On the festival grounds, a very special “picnic culture” has developed around the delicacies of the many food stands.

Farmer’s market on the cathedral square
Farmer’s market on the cathedral square - © FWTM-Raach

#4 Stroll like you're in Tuscany: with Mediterranean flair at the Cathedral market

…and enjoy organ music in the Freiburg Münster (Cathedral) while you're at it!

Maybe it’s the lavish selection of Mediterranean specialties, maybe it’s the relaxed chat with one of the market traders about the benefits of this or that ingredient, or maybe it’s the charmingly chaotic tangle of languages of the many international guests. What's certain is that many people find themselves transported to Tuscany at the Cathedral market. The concerts of “Orgelmusik zur Marktzeit” (Organ Music at Market Time) offer a counterpoint to the lively market events. Every Saturday at 11:30 a.m., the organs in the Cathedral sound and offer the opportunity for a very special spatial and sound experience.

Freiburg Stimmt ein
Freiburg Stimmt ein - © Nils Boeddingmeier

#5 Because all of Freiburg becomes an open-air stage in the summer!

The Freiburg Joins In, Jazz Festival, Circus Harlequin, and many other events are just right for everyone!

Freiburgers are definitely not couch potatoes. Whenever possible, they are drawn outside. There are many opportunities to enjoy cultural experiences in the summer. “Freiburg stimmt ein” (Freiburg Joins In), a festival for music, engagement, and culture, gathers 100 concert appearances in 17 spaces on one day, while 40 initiatives provide inspiration for a sustainable society. The Zirkus Harlekin (Circus Harlequin) regularly attracts more than 1,000 visitors to the Cathedral plaza with its charming program. The Jazz Festival, with its marching act in the city center and live jazz in the Stadtgarten (Municipal Park), offers musical pleasure outdoors. Summer is also the season for the big open-air concerts on the exhibition grounds – acts like Iron Maiden or Die Toten Hosen attract tens of thousands of fans to the northwest of Freiburg.

Sea You Festival
Sea You Festival  - © togis information design

#6 Dancing in the water – where Freiburg becomes a Beach Republic

…when lovers of electronic music celebrate on the Tunisee lake at the SEA YOU Festival!

The program: over 100 top electronic music acts, over two days, on seven floors. Many fans would come to the Sea You Festival just to celebrate, dance, and have fun outdoors together. Setting sail with up to six people on a giant flamingo, just “for no reason,” or gliding down the 13-meter-long water slide into the cooling water, going water skiing or wakeboarding, the Beach Republic offers a very special kind of wet and wild experience.

Freiburger StadtLesen
Freiburger StadtLesen - © Stadtbibliothek

#7 Relaxation instead of the hustle and bustle of the city – when Freiburg becomes a reading island!

Dive into and immerse yourself in inspiring worlds between two book covers at the StadtLesen in the old town!

A tower of books with over 3,000 titles and lots of cute beanbags turn the Kartoffelmarkt into an open-air reading oasis for four days in July. From 9 a.m. until sunset, everyone can dedicate themselves to the simple joy of reading here – free of charge and without registration. The supporting program includes author readings on Thursday and Saturday, as well as the Integration Reading Day on Friday. On Sunday ─ the Family Reading Day ─ there are more books for children and young people in the Book Tower.

Sommernachtskino - © Markus Herb

#8 Here you can admire more than just the starry sky at night!

Summer night cinema, town hall courtyard games, and a museum night make summer night dreams come true!

A reunion with the best films of the past twelve months, plus two classics from film history in a very special ambiance: the Summer Night Cinema in the inner courtyard of the Schwarzes Kloster (Black Monastery). Scene change – another courtyard, this time in the Rathaus (Town Hall). The Black Rider – the legendary Freischütz musical by Robert Wilson, Tom Waits, and William S. Burroughs, staged by the Wallgraben Theater in the mystical world of the Black Forest. The Town Hall Courtyard Games offer a musical bullseye of a special kind. Museum Night: The people of Freiburg celebrate until one o’clock in the morning with concerts, performances, and themed tours in the museums.

Freiburg unter Sternen
Freiburg unter Sternen - © Felix-Groteloh

#9 Because here you get the summer reading read to you

Entertaining, exciting, and cheerful at "Under the Stars" and “Grether Nach(t)ese.”

Let’s stick to inner courtyards and switch to literature. Every Friday and Saturday in August, the courtyard of the Spechtpassage becomes an author’s stage with the “under the stars” reading series. Text all on its own or paired with music, by one or more authors – always entertaining reading starting at 9:30 in the evening. A few blocks further down in the Grether inner courtyard – the setting of the Grether Nach(t)lese on three dates in July and August. Also home to some exquisite readings for mild summer nights.

Kunst in Freiburgs Oberer Altstadt
Kunst in Freiburgs Oberer Altstadt - © FWTM-Joos

#10 The streets of the old town become art spaces

Only with art in Freiburg’s Upper Old Town with 100 artists and artisans

It’s the direct contact between artists and art lovers that makes the open-air art event “Art in Freiburg's Upper Old Town” so special. The participants – professionals and hobby artists – may only present and sell their own works. Authentic contact with the public is established here, against the historical backdrop of the Old Town. The works on display at the street stands include fine art, photography, ceramics, and jewelery, and enjoy great popularity among local art lovers and even far beyond the city’s borders.