Germany’s President, Joachim Gauck, was the host for several thousand visitors who swarmed into Bellevue Palace for the Citizens Festival on a summer weekend. facts and fiction Berlin, as friends of the Republic, were behind the organisation of the festival programme – naturally, all above party political lines.
The festival was based around two main acts: in a ceremony on Friday evening, the Federal President honoured 4,000 guests who had made outstanding contributions to society, e.g. through voluntary work. After the official ceremony, the guests were able to dance through the night at the concert which concluded the evening’s celebration.
On Saturday, Bellevue Palace opened its doors to all interested members of the public. About 15,000 visitors took advantage of the invitation to stroll around Bellevue’s idyllic grounds and wander through the historic rooms of the spacious palace. And, in keeping with the previous day’s programme, the second day of the festival also ended with a concert.
“Picnic tables instead of noble furniture” seems to encapsulate the unofficial motto for the new down-to-earth philosophy in Bellevue Palace. The Citizens Festival has become a space for social interaction and exchange. As passionate communicators, we contribute to its success by offering visitors an entertaining of information, interaction, and top-quality stage acts. All artists involved in the festival perform for free.
Normally, it is down to us to describe our events ourselves, but in this case, we are delighted to be able to draw on the unbiased views of others, such as the Berliner Morgenpost, which reported: “The programme was particularly creative, it departed from the typical classic folk music focus which one would usually expect at the Citizens Festival. There were round-table discussions, musical entertainment from the band "Station 17", (…) and also Turkish pop, Jamaican reggae, and the dance theatre Thikwa”. In their write up of the event, the Berliner Zeitung described “sun, music on two stages, and smiling faces”. Other programme features including classical music, chansons, and an acrobatics show also deserve to be mentioned, as does the entertaining kids’ programme with theatre shows and a kids’ rock band. The programme was rounded off by various sports activities ranging from football to slalom skiing, curling, and archery.
On Sunday morning, Joachim Gauck greeted two former Presidents Richard von Weizsäcker and Roman Herzog for a discussion session on the topic "Our democracy from the Bonn to the Berlin Republic". Bridging the river Rhine to the Spree is a task which facts and fiction also have experience in.