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German Unity Day - Erfurt

Saxony was on display in Erfurt

What do alpine music, a wine queen, world-famous breakdancing, a compressed air orchestra, and bingo have in common? A lot! These highlights and other surprises awaited attendees on the Anger square in Erfurt for this year’s German Unity Day festivities. The Free State of Saxony’s glass pavilion presented two key elements that Saxony is especially proud of this year: Saxony as a traditional biking state – just look at Diamant – and Chemnitz, the European Capital of Culture for 2025.

The true-to-life East German garage was designed as a maker space, with presenters showing a range of crafts and technical solutions and inviting people to participate.

The Freiberg mining and metallurgy group on Krämerbrücke in Erfurt. Photo: Ernesto Uhlmann

Highlighting Saxony through and through

Historische Freiberger Berg- und Hüttenknappschaft e.V., Jugendblasorchester Bernsdorf e.V. and the “silver city” of Freiberg 

Saxony’s mining traditions live in person: Members of local historical mining and metallurgy group Historische Freiberger Berg- und Hüttenknappschaft brought history to life.

These days, the “Freiberger Berg- und Hüttenparade” is known far beyond the Ore Mountains, thanks most especially to the parades organized by the members, their lively participation in many traditional events in Germany and beyond, and the numerous exciting publications and printed materials surrounding these activities.

On October 1, the historical group was joined by youth orchestra Jugendblasorchester Bernsdorf e.V. in parading through Erfurt on four different routes, to an enthusiastic response. 

The Saxonz

The Saxonz are a group of Saxony’s top breakdancers. Originally from all over the state, they have won the German championships in the “Battle of the Year” three times. On the “Simply Saxony” stage on the plaza, the successful breakdancers really got the audience warmed up.

The Saxonz put their all into it onstage in front of the Anger 1 shopping mall. Photo: Ernesto Uhlmann
Peter Till and the Universal Druckluft Orchester. Photo: Ernesto Uhlmann

Program show: Chemnitz, European Capital of Culture for 2025

SUPER BINGO is a very popular game in Chemnitz. Seniors, students, intellectuals and construction workers all come together in a casual atmosphere for the event. Unlike the neon-lit bingo halls of Las Vegas and Tokyo, Saxony’s version is all about conviviality and interactivity. Unexpected but still fun: A round of bingo at the festival marking German Unity Day in Erfurt was very popular with visitors. 

Further exciting highlights of the German Unity Day program in Erfurt

Peter Till and the Universal Druckluft Orchester 

Rattling, whistling, and hissing noises like those of a steam engine rang out. “Music machinist” Peter Till is an inventor, builder, and musician, all rolled into one.

A unique ensemble of mechanical musical apparatus and the machinist behind them presented jaunty melodies and upbeat rhythms, all in a tasteful performance. A musical evergreen in Erfurt.

Jens Ausderwäsche

Art, but really art!

Jens Ausderwäsche delivers big questions and answers with composure: “When it’s over, it will go on,” says his new record, Mir (Me). It also asks, “When will you stay with yourself? When will I stay with myself?” Jens Ausderwäsche is always with himself, actually. He delivered witty texts, harmonious sounds, and a wealth of charm onstage for visitors to the festival.

Jürgen Karthe plays bandoneon

Jürgen Karthe is from Saxony, like the bandoneon. He was already an accordionist when he first heard the strains of the bandoneon, in 1994, and could not resist the urge to play for himself. A versatile performer, the German bandoneon player has built a career through traditional and unusual channels alike. The most noteworthy result is concerts throughout the international music world.  And Erfurt is no exception there, of course.

Wee Dance Company, from the Görlitz-Zittau Gerhart Hauptmann Theater

Dance that speaks for itself: contemporary and harmonious, original, meaningful, communicative, gripping.

Ever since its founding, in 1999, the award-winning wee dance company has been viewed as one of the most substantial and versatile ensembles in contemporary dance, with a wealth of international activity. The company thrilled audiences at the festival in Erfurt.