Festival European Weeks Passau

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The Festival European Weeks Passau , also known as European Weeks , is the largest cultural festival in the three-country region of Eastern Bavaria , Bohemia and Upper Austria and takes place every year in June and July. In 2017, the festival had 17,500 visitors and 15,200 tickets sold and took place from June 29 to August 6 with 45 events in 18 municipalities.


The festival was founded in 1952 by American culture officers; The head of the American consulate branch in Passau and director of the America House, Robert M. Allen, played a decisive role. Everyone chose Passau consciously: “Passau was selected for the project because of its significant geographical location on the Czechoslovakian border of the Russian Zone of Austria.” (Passau was chosen for the project because of its special geographical location on the Czechoslovakian border of the Russian zone from Austria.) The festival was the first festival in post-war Germany to focus on the European idea; so the motto in 1952 was: "We demand the United States of Europe". In addition to cultural goals, political goals were always pursued; During the division of Europe during the Cold War, it was possible time and again to offer artists from Central and Eastern Europe a platform and thus to make the Iron Curtain more permeable. The Festival European Weeks Passau eV has been sponsoring the festival since 1961.

After music and theater dominated the festival program for many years, primarily for entertainment, the 2019 game program is again focusing more on political program items.


In addition, the idea of ​​a festival region was first realized in post-war Germany. The festival does not take place at a single location, but an entire region is involved in the events. Today, the European Weeks extend over an area of ​​around 8,400 km² with around 20 event locations and take place in the districts of Passau , Freyung-Grafenau , Deggendorf , Straubing , Regen and Altötting , in the Upper Austrian districts of Schärding and Grieskirchen as well as in the Czech districts West - and South Bohemia . In addition to the Saar Music Festival , the European Weeks are the only festival in Europe that takes place in three European countries.


From 1995 to 2011 Pankraz Freiherr von Freyberg was the artistic director. At the end of the 59th Festival in 2011, Peter Baumgardt succeeded him as artistic director. He headed the anniversary festival for the first time in 2012 and was confirmed as director by the board of the sponsoring association until 2014. At the beginning of August 2016, Baumgardt's contract was not renewed and in mid-September Thomas E. Bauer was introduced as the new director. In April 2018 it was announced that the collaboration would end before the start of the 2018 season in June. For the years 2019 and 2020, no director was appointed, but Carsten Gerhard was engaged as artistic director.

Memberships and honors

The European Weeks have been a member of the Association Européenne des Festivals since 1999 , an association to which around 100 European cultural festivals belong. In 2007, the festival was awarded the title “Selected Location” as part of the event series 365 Places in the Land of Ideas and was described by the jury as “the most diverse cultural festival in Germany”.

Participating artists

Among many others, the following artists performed at the European Weeks:

Performed ensembles

The following is an excerpt from the (chamber) orchestras, quartets and theater groups already represented at the European Weeks:


  • Maximilian Lanzinner : Cultural Festival with a political claim. European Weeks Passau 1952–2002 . Passau 2002.
  • Inka Stampfl (Ed.): 50 Years of the Festival European Weeks Passau 1952–2002, documentation . Passau 2002.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. European weeks attract more visitors. musik-heute.de, accessed on May 1, 2018 .
  2. European Weeks Festival Passau June 29 - August 6, 2017. musik-pnp.de, accessed on May 1, 2018 .
  3. ^ Institutions. literaturportal-bayern.de, accessed on May 1, 2018 .
  4. a b Edith Rabenstein: Politically as not for a long time: That is the program of the European weeks. Passauer Neue Presse, March 22, 2019, accessed on March 24, 2019 .
  5. Teresa A. Winderl: Crossing borders since its creation. The Festival European Weeks Passau. In: TeresaOhneH's blog from June 24, 2011; continuing with a poster from the 1953 Festival and a photo by Robert M. Allens.
  6. ^ Martin Wagner: Pankraz Freiherr von Freyberg, Festival Director - June 19, 2011. Podcast. In: Diapod.de .
  7. Martina Kausch: "European Weeks" - new ideas and tried and tested. In: Die Welt from July 1, 2012.
  8. 60 years of the European Weeks in Passau. Intendant Peter Baumgardt in conversation. ( Memento from July 5, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Podcast. In: BR-Klassik from June 26, 2012.
  9. "The new director is introduced" ( Memento from September 19, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) BR, accessed on September 19, 2016
  10. ^ Raimund Meisenberger: Off for director Thomas Bauer at the European Weeks Passau. Passauer Neue Presse, April 24, 2018, accessed on April 25, 2018 .