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Germany this summer: From rock to Bach

Conductor sets the pace for a thrilling concert in Leipzig. Photo courtesy of the GNTB.

Music is said to be “in the blood” of Germans – so it’s no wonder Germany has a full slate of music festivals planned for the summer. Here are some of the biggies:

Rock am Ring: Set for June 5-8 in Eifel, the country’s biggest rock festival is expected to draw some 150,000 rockers this year. An all-star lineup of 60 artists includes Iron Maiden, Kings of Leon, Linkin Park and Metallica.

Rock im Park: Another huge draw is also set for June 5-8, but in Nuremberg. Performers will alternate with appearances at Rock am Ring.

Bachfest: The country’s classical music spotlight will be on Leipzig June 13-22 when the city celebrates the 300th anniversary of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (son of Johann Sebastian Bach).

Fete de la Musique: Berlin will celebrate the official beginning of summer on June 21 with a broadside of performances on more than 80 open-air stages, a street festival and musical offerings ranging from reggae to jazz to hip hop.

In July and August, as a tribute to 19th century German composer Richard Wagner, the town of Bayreuth holds an annual festival -- sold out every year since 1876 -- playing his operas, including his last completed opera “Parsifal.”

Germany is also home to the world’s largest open-air heavy metal festival, slated every summer in the small town of Wacken. This year’s event is set for July 31 to Aug. 2 (it’s so popular there’s a waiting list and subsequent raffle for tickets).

More info: Visit the German National Tourist Board (GNTB). A full listing of events slated for this summer and beyond is shown on the GNTB calendar.

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