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With a program ranging from large-scale sporting events to spectacular art exhibitions to folk fairs, 2016 promises to confirm Frankfurt’s reputation as a cultural metropolis. A look at the calendar the German city has prepared reveals a menu with plenty of diversified, high-quality events, small and large.
The main event in Frankfurt 2016 program is the hugely popular Museum Embankment Festival, one of Europe’s largest cultural celebrations. Traditionally held on the final August weekend (this year, August 26-28), the festival attracts audiences from far beyond the city limits, with up to two million visitors merrying along the banks of the majestic River Main each and every year. During the festival, museums remain open late into the night, while countless stands and stalls along the riverside sell handcraft, accessories and culinary delicacies from all across the globe. And if that’s not enough, there’s also a multifaceted stage programme providing live entertainment for the young and young at heart.
If that is the biggest event, the rest of the year is not far behind. With the opening scheduled February 26, the Schirn Kunsthalle will host an exhibition of works and masterpieces of Joan Miró. Known far and wide for his highly imaginative artistic creations, the Spanish artist during his lifetime (1893 – 1983) gained widespread fame as one of the most popular painters of the past century. Joan Miró was simultaneously one of the leading representatives of the surrealist movement, developing his own style of pictorial expression using lines, colours, characters and symbols.
The world-famous Städel Museum, meanwhile, will be taking a closer, deeper look at a fascinating chapter of Italian art history: Mannerism, a movement which developed in Florence. Entitled MANIERA (from which Manierismo, or Mannerism in English). The exhibition – on display from February 24 to June 5, will show visitors masterpieces from renowned artists such as Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, Rosso, Bronzino and Vasari. A first-timer of such authors all together, by the way.
In March, Frankfurt will offer visitors a chance for entirely different experience. Every two years, artists, architects and lighting designers come together at the Luminale, a lighting festival taking place parallel to the Light+Building fair. Their show – March 13-18 – bathes Frankfurt in colourful rays of light, creating a scene that is nothing short of spectacular.
Next, the Frankfurt Music Fair (April 7-10) will be presenting itself with a brand-new fair concept as well as an entirely new look and feel. During its four days, visitors of the fair will be able to dive even deeper into the world of music, with the show being subdivided into three thematic segments. Music fans will have the opportunity to test instruments, experience live events and meet famous individuals from the international music scene.
Music will also be the main theme at the BigCityBeats WORLD MUSIC DOME, a block-busting event of massive proportions which gathers more than 100 DJs from 30 nations at the Commerzbank Arena, May 27-29, to celebrate a unique open-air club music festival.
Those who prefer things a bit more folksy will sure have a chance to enjoy their time at the Wäldchestag, May 14 to May 17. This time-honoured folk festival annually attracts locals of all ages to Frankfurt’s city forest to celebrate their very own public holiday. The forest fair features countless beer gardens, state-of-the-art fairground rides and dozens of live performances.
The Opera Square Festival – June 22 – July 1 – is a true feast for the senses. Its program includes a broad culinary offer and colourful live music, everything from jazz to pop.
Fans of endurance sports are urged to mark July 3 in their calendar: that’s when top athletes from near and far will gather in Frankfurt for the IRONMAN European Championship: 3.8 kilometres of swimming, 180 kilometres of cycling and a full marathon – 42.6 kilometres – to finish things off.
Visitors with a taste for something different should make sure not to miss Frankfurt’s Apple Wine Festival, taking place in the ten days from August 12 to August 21. A tribute to the locals’ beverage of choice, the apple wine, served in its traditional form, as a trendy mixed drink or summer cocktail.
Late Summer wll present winegrowers from the renowned Rheingau region coming to the Freßgass’ – Frankfurt’s culinary mile –, three weeks between September 2-22 . More than 600 varieties of wine, from noble vintages to light and fruity summer wines.
The year traditionally ends with the Frankfurt Christmas Market, one of the oldest and largest in all of Germany, held one month between November 23 until December 22. This yuletide celebration annually transforms Frankfurt’s old town into a beautiful fairytale setting, attracting visitors with over 200 stalls and booths as well as numerous fringe programme events. Advent concerts are held regularly on the Römerberg stage, while brass bands playing on the balcony of St Nicolas Church spread Christmas cheer throughout the old town.