The history of the Neustadt Folklore Festival

For already nearly 60 years the citizens of Neustadt have hosted the European Folklore Festival in the market place of Neustadt.


For the 27th time, Europeans from all over the continent will meet to experience some peaceful days together. The traditional costumes were the lowest common denominator which is the basis for this fantastic series of events. Nowadays this seems straightforward – it was not always like that. Huge diplomatic efforts, lots of energy and cultural empathy were necessary at the beginning, just after the Second World War, to launch this week of peaceful co-operation and togetherness. In the Spring of 1951 the then leader of the Neustadt school of adult education, Gerd Beier, developed the idea of hosting a folklore festival in Neustadt. Folk groups from Bavaria, Hessen, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Friesland and groups who nursed Silesian, Sudeten German, East Prussian and Pomeranian traditions were supposed to be invited. Groups that were able to picture the people and character of their homeland and landscape by using songs and words, music and dance. This meeting of the groups was not supposed to be a competition of artistically performances but for armatures or folk dancers who should speak in a real, simple and expressive way for their homeland and the people in their area respectively their country.