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Posted 23/01/15

32nd International Guggenmusik Festival.

guggen logo
Saturday, February 7, 2015 until Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, city of Schwäbisch Gmünd.

Schwäbisch Gmünd is once again playing International host to Guggenmusik.
maskOver 800 musicians will converge on Schwäbisch Gmünd, now the mecca of Guggenmusik, for a two day festival on February 7th and 8th with 21 Bands from Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Great Britain and Germany.

The interest in Guggen bands in Schwäbisch Gmünd is as strong as ever and celebrates this 32nd International Guggenmusik festival where five new bands will be seen and heard. Each band has about 50 musicians, year after year this spectacle usually attracts between 60,000 to 100,000 visitors from all over Germany and neighbouring countries to the historic town of Gmünd. 

The squares and streets and especially the town centre provides the backdrop for this event which is now an inseparable part of the diary of events in the city. 

rudoGuggenmusik has its origins in the custom of expelling the winter spirits with the blowing of cow's horns. First mentioned in 16th century AD, in the Carnival season the 'spirits of winter' were blown away with rattles, tin pails, drums, cow bells or whistles. Thus the music should be appropriately weird, loud and pitiful. Masks and costumes were used, towels and old rags and it took a lot of imagination to dress up and frighten away the spirits of winter. It is a musical style that is popular in the carnival of Switzerland and southwest Germany. Fun and noise count more than hitting the right notes and is ruled today by brass and drums played by people in strange masks and vestments.
list of bands
maypoleThe Festival of ‘oblique tones’ begins on Saturday with an already well established and cherished feature. 
11am starts the move with the "fools"tree (like a may-tree) at Rinderbachergasse gate tower. Children are welcomed and along with two guggen bands they guide the fools tree to the Marktplatz in front of the town hall, where it is then raised by the masked group "Rudo" with the active support of the Wetzgauer fire department. 

12:15 the official reception by the city of Schwäbisch Gmünd begins on the stage in the Marktplatz. Deputy Mayor Dr. Joachim Bläse is welcomed, together with the ‘foolish court’ and all the participating Guggen bands.

After the official reception by the mayor, the 20 participating bands play all afternoon on the stages in Marktplatz and Johannisplatz and also in the streets and pubs.
Simutaneously, Guggenmusik bands perform on stage on Johannisplatz and in the area of Remsgalerie in Ledergasse. Here families with young children have an all-day opportunity to experience the Guggen music and also musicians up close and see their colourful and imaginative costumes. 

sg bandThis year for the first time visitors are invited to vote and indicate their preference for the band with 1. the best sound, 2. the best costume and 3.the most entertaining performance, during Friday and Saturday's stage concerts. 

The event program itself allows for votes to be cast. Simply enter the designated number of the band which you like most in the appropriate box, add your address and deposit it into the boxes at the concert stages in the town centre.

All those who take part in the vote also participate in a raffle with a chance to win one of three limited edition Guggen pieces designed by the Gmünder ceramic artist Christine Petraschke. The awards ceremony to the Guggen bands and the raffle winners takes place during the Frühschoppen. 

Barnsley’s own Frumptarn Guggenband will once again represent Great Britain and also their twin town and we wish them well, have a great weekend and “Happy Drinking.” 

For those who enjoy a carnival of energetic, inspiring, loud, foot-stomping music, with colourful and imaginative costumes, this spectacle is not to be missed.

Make a date in your diary:  Must go - 7th and 8th February -  International Guggenmusik Festival in Schwäbisch Gmünd.


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