Leipzig Event Highlights 2024 - Get updated on what's happening in tourism!

Leipzig Event Highlights 2024
A recent survey by the European Commission ranked Leipzig as the fourth most liveable city in Europe in 2023, reinforcing its impact as an attractive destination.
Leipzig Event Highlights 2024

There will be plenty to do in Leipzig in 2024: traditional trade fairs, art festivals, sporting events and concerts with a wide range of music will encourage people to visit Leipzig. The following overview shows a selection of the most important tourist events in 2024. Starting this year, all permanent exhibitions in the city’s museums will be free of charge. So when coming to Leipzig for an inspiring event, guests should plan to stay longer to experience the diversity of the museums. Visitors can use the free app “Explore Leipzig” for individual digital city tours and purchase the Leipzig Card for special offers and unlimited travel on public transport. Please check the organiser’s website before travelling to find out the latest information of the relevant events.

Great Concerts of the Gewandhausorchester (all year round)

The Gewandhausorchester is the oldest civic symphony orchestra in the world. Founded in 1743 by a group of 16 musical philanthropists the ensemble took residence in its first concert hall in a textile merchant’s house – hence the name Gewandhausorchester. Today about 800 concerts of various kinds take place in the Gewandhaus Concert Hall every year. Highlights include the weekly Great Concerts (Grosse Konzerte) and the Shostakovich Festival in May 2025. Info: https://www.gewandhausorchester.de/en

Motets and Cantatas by the Thomanerchor (all year round)

Founded in 1212, the Thomanerchor is one of the four oldest boys’ choirs in Germany. Its most famous cantor was Johann Sebastian Bach, who was responsible for the church music of Leipzig and the St Thomas Boys’ Choir until his death in 1750. The choir performs regularly at St Thomas Church – Bach’s final resting place – on Fridays at 6pm and Saturdays at 3pm, except during holidays and concert tours. A special highlight will be the 300th anniversary of St John Passion in March 2024. Info: https://thomanerchor.de/

Events Marking the 300th Anniversary of Bach’s Arrival in Leipzig (until June 2024)

Leipzig is celebrating the 300th anniversary of Bach's appointment as Thomaskantor. A collaboration between the Thomanerchor, the Gewandhausorchester, St Thomas Church, St Nicholas Church and the Leipzig Bach Archive. Info: https://www.bach300.de/en/homepage/

Auerbachs Keller Triennium (all year round)

When Dr Heinrich Stromer von Auerbach first served wine to students in the cellar of his house in 1525, it marked the birth of one of Germany’s most traditional taverns. Auerbachs Keller is celebrating its founding with a three-year anniversary, with events taking place throughout the year. The culmination of the three-year celebration will be Easter 2025, the actual 500th anniversary of Auerbachs Keller. Info: https://www.auerbachs-keller-leipzig.de/

Magic Tropical Glow in Gondwanaland at Zoo Leipzig (until 11 February 2024)

Experience the magical glow and a unique atmosphere of the tropical adventure world of Gondwanaland. In the dark, glowing creatures enchant visitors, while rhythmic sounds and a colourful lighting create the impression of being in a tropical wonderland. Visitors to Zoo Leipzig can follow the trail of nature through six theme worlds with enclosures designed to resemble natural habitats: Gondwanaland, Founder’s Garden, Asia, Pongoland, Africa and South America. Info: https://www.zoo-leipzig.de/en/

BurgenLandKlänge Concerts in the Region (20 January to 9 November 2024)

Unique musical experiences in unusual places are guaranteed at events in the BurgenLandKlänge series. From jazz in a magnificent palace to blues in an impressive stately home and Hollywood tunes under the open sky - there is music in the air all year round. Well over 100 events are brought together under the BurgenLandKlänge label each year. They take place at some 15 historic venues, including the Kriebstein Lake Stage and the Rochlitz Hill. Other venues include the castles of Colditz and Trebsen. Info: https://www.leipzig.travel/en/discover/music-and-culture/music/burgenlandklaenge

Claude Monet – Immersive Light Show at Kunstkraftwerk (8 February 2024)

The Kunstkraftwerk Leipzig brings colourful 360-degree projections to the walls of Leipzig's old heating plant. It will present the next immersive show in collaboration with "CLAUDE MONET: Master of Colours and Lights". It is a multi-sensory exhibition about one of the most well-known French painters and one of the leading figures of the Impressionist movement. Info: https://www.kunstkraftwerk-leipzig.com/de/

KLASSIK Underground meets Oper Leipzig at the Moritzbastei (21 February 2024)

Fusing tradition with modernity, the KLASSIK Underground concerts experiment with new forms of performance for 21st century audiences. In this special co-production between KLASSIK underground and Oper Leipzig, the concert brings together singing, literature, music and theatre. In the unique atmosphere of the Moritzbastei underground club, the life of Heinrich Heine comes to life. Info: https://www.klassikunderground.com/home

Tübke and Italy – Exhibition Museum of Fine Arts (6 March to 16 June 2024)

The exhibition of the Museum of Fine Arts (MdbK) honours the renowned painter Werner Tübke, that marks the 20th anniversary of his death in Leipzig in 2004. Tübke is one of the founders of the “New Leipzig School” and his intense involvement with Italy had a decisive turning point in his career and gave him his international breakthrough. The museum preserves almost the entire estate of the artist, and is committed to the scholarly study of Tübke’s oeuvre. Info: https://mdbk.de/en/exhibitions/tuebke-und-italien/

The Cathedral of Monet – Exhibition Panometer Leipzig (from 16 March 2024)

The Panometer Leipzig is a unique exhibition presenting Yadegar Asisi’s unique panoramic fusion of photography, art and computer on a giant 360° canvas. This year, for the first time, he presents a panoramic project that was painted entirely in oil on a 5.7 x 1.8 metre canvas, then digitised and enlarged. The artist focuses on the achievements of Impressionist painting as a starting point for the development of free art in the modern era. https://www.panometer.de/en/homepage

Leipzig Book Fair and Manga-Comic Convention (21 to 24 March 2024)

The Leipzig Book Fair and Europe’s largest reading festival "Leipzig is Reading" are the spring events for the book and media industry. During this time, the Leipzig Antiquarian Book Fair takes place and fans of comics, manga & co. can visit the Manga Comic Convention at the Leipziger Messe (Leipzig Fair). At the last event, more than 2,000 exhibitors from over 40 countries presented their spring novelties, attracting 274,000 visitors to the fairgrounds and the city. Italy will be the Guest of Honour in 2024. Info: https://www.leipziger-buchmesse.de/en/

St John Passion BWV 245 – Johann Sebastian Bach (28 and 29 March 2024)

To mark the 300th anniversary of the premiere, music lovers can enjoy a performance by the Thomanerchor, soloists and members of the Gewandhausorchester on 28 March 2024 in the St Thomas Church and on 29 March 2024 in the St Nicholas Church. As Thomaskantor, Johann Sebastian Bach was responsible for the church music in four Leipzig churches – most of the world premieres took place in these two original churches. Info: https://thomanerchor.de/

CAGGTUS Leipzig – Gaming Festival at Leipziger Messe (5 to 7 April 2024)

The Gaming Festival is all about gaming, gaming culture and the shared festival experience. People play with and against each other, party together and meet idols and like-minded people. Highlights include the entertainment area, a LAN party and a stream area with exciting formats. Info: https://www.caggtus.de/en/

European Days of Arts and Crafts 2024 (5 to 7 April 2024)

Visitors embark on a journey of discovery through the artisans' workshops and experience the unmistakable signature of the regional creative scene. From elegant evening gowns and delicate home accessories to intricately carved stone sculptures, the range is vast. The event is being held simultaneously in seven other European countries. Info: https://kunsthandwerkstage.de/

Off Europa – Festival for Contemporary Performing Arts (22 to 28 April 2024)

Under the motto "Off Europe: Beautiful New World", the festival will present contemporary theatre and dance, films, performances and installations at various venues in Leipzig, Dresden and Chemnitz that deal with utopias, environmental destruction and the future in the broadest sense. Info: https://offeuropa.de/

7 Lakes Hike in the Leipzig Region (3 to 5 May 2024)

There are around 70 walks on the programme - a diverse range of opportunities to discover Markkleeberg and the Leipzig New Lake Land on foot. With a focus on long distance walks, children and family walks, guided walks and active health walks, the programme offers a special walking experience. Info: https://www.7seen-wanderung.de/

a cappella – International Festival for Vocal Music Leipzig (3 to 11 May 2024)

Every year since 1997, the a cappella festival has turned Leipzig into the sound centre of the vocal music scene. For more than a week, vocal groups from all corners of the a cappella world perform concerts at various venues in Leipzig. Info: https://www.a-cappella-festival.de/en/

200th Anniversary of the Premiere of Beethoven's 9th Symphony (7 to 8 May 2024)

7 May 2024 will mark the 200th anniversary of the premiere of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. The Gewandhausorchester will celebrate the occasion with two concerts conducted by Andris Nelsons. The world-famous text "Freude schöner Götterfunken", which Beethoven used for his 9th Symphony, was written by Friedrich Schiller in Leipzig in the summer of 1785. Info: https://www.gewandhausorchester.de/en/

A Chair and You – GRASSI Museum of Applied Arts (8 May to 6 October 2024)

The GRASSI Museum of Applied Arts presents an exceptional collection of chairs by Thierry Barbier-Mueller. In a production by the American artist Robert Wilson, visitors are plunged into immersive worlds in which the chairs become the protagonists of a theatrical performance. Info: https://www.grassimak.de/en/

Spring Tour – Spinnerei Galleries (May and September 2024)

The site of the former cotton mill is now home to 11 galleries and over 100 studios of painters, photographers, sculptors and conceptual artists. The best known is the painter Neo Rauch, who is one of the most important representatives of the New Leipzig School. During the Spinnerei Spring Tour, visitors have the opportunity to engage with contemporary art in the exhibition spaces and gain a new perspective on all the galleries, including the non-commercial art centre HALLE 14. Info: https://www.spinnerei.de/

Leipzig Wine Festival (15 to 26 May 2024)

This year's wine festival will once again invite visitors to taste and linger at the market. Wine growers from the various German wine regions as well as from Austria, Hungary and Italy will be offering their speciality wines. There will be a stage programme with music and entertainment as well as refreshments. Info: https://www.leipzig.de/weinfest

European Auto Classic Leipzig (9 to 11 May 2024)

The European meeting for vintage cars up to 1991 from all over the world stops in Leipzig and the surrounding area. The "Museum of Technology" presents culture, history and picturesque landscapes in small and narrow streets. The classic cars can also be seen on Leipzig's Augustusplatz. Info: https://www.leipzig-classic.eu/

31th WGT Festival – Wave Gothic Festival (17 to 20 May 2024)

Since 1992, the Wave-Gotik-Treffen (WGT) has attracted thousands of gothic fans from all over the world. Over the four days of the festival, visitors can enjoy concerts and a supporting programme of parties, performances, exhibitions and medieval markets. The festival takes place simultaneously at around 50 different venues across the city of Leipzig. A special highlight is the Victorian picnic in Clara Zetkin Park. Info: https://www.wave-gotik-treffen.de/english/

GRASSI Museum of Applied Arts 150th anniversary (24 to 26 May 2024)

Founded in 1873 as an arts and crafts museum, the GRASSI Museum of Applied Arts opened its doors to the public in 1874. One of Europe's leading museums of design and applied art, its permanent collections include ancient, historicist, Art Nouveau, contemporary and Asian art and are open to the public free of charge. A weekend of festivities will culminate in a series of events, new high-profile artworks and interventions in the permanent exhibition. Info: https://www.grassimak.de/en/

Premiere at Oper Leipzig: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk - Shostakovich (25 May 2024)

The opera celebrates its premiere this year and will be part of the Shostakovich Festival 2025, hosted by the Gewandhaus Concert Hall. Three orchestras will provide the musical foundation for the festival. The Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a newly founded Festival Orchestra. An absolute must for Shostakovich and classical music fans. Info: https://www.oper-leipzig.de/en/programm/lady-macbeth-von-mzensk/664

2024 Leipzig Bachfest "Bach - CHORal TOTAL" (7 to 16 June 2024)

The 2024 Leipzig Bachfest is one of the most important international music festivals. The 25th anniversary of the festival will take place in 2024 under the motto "BACH - CHORal TOTAL". Bach ensembles from all over the world will perform Bach's great cycle of choral cantatas in concerts at Bach's original venues. Info: https://www.bachfestleipzig.de/en/bachfest

UEFA EURO 2024 at Official Host City Leipzig (18, 21, 24 June and 2 July 2024)

Germany will host Euro 2024 and Leipzig is one of ten host cities. Portugal will play the Czech Republic on 18 June, the Netherlands and France will meet on 21 June, Croatia will play Italy on 24 June and the round of 16 match between the winners of Group D and the runners-up of Group F will take place at the Leipzig football stadium on 2 July 2024. Info: https://www.uefa.com/euro2024/hosts/leipzig/

Leipzig dances! International Ballet Festival at Oper Leipzig (21 to 29 June 2024)

Under the motto and title "Leipzig dances!", the Leipzig Ballet invites guests to experience the art form of ballet and dance in all its facets in the summer of 2024. Leipzig is a city of dance, with ballet origins dating back to the 17th century. Names such as Mary Wigman and Uwe Scholz have established the international reputation of the Leipzig Ballet, whose choreographies form the backbone of the festival programme. The renowned Gewandhausorchester will provide the unmistakable Leipzig sound for five of the 13 ballet performances at the opera house. With "Leipzig dances!" festival curator Rémy Fichet presents a selection of internationally successful guests, combined with an interactive supporting programme and discussion panels on the future of ballet. Info: https://www.oper-leipzig.de/en/leipzig-tanzt

Klassik airleben – Open-air Concerts at Rosental Park (22 and 23 June 2024)

The two open-air concerts are the summer highlight and finale of the Gewandhausorchester's season, attracting audiences with their unique flair to the large meadow in Leipzig's Rosental Park. Admission is free and guests are welcome to bring their own blankets, picnics and drinks. This year's focus is on film music. Info: https://www.gewandhausorchester.de/en/

Newcomer Show – International Variety Festival (27 to 30 June 2024)

The Krystallpalast Varieté selects the best young artists from graduates of renowned circus and artist schools and presents them in a show that combines artistry, comedy and new variety genres. None of the artists may have performed in a German variety theatre before. An expert jury decides on the awards, which are traditionally linked to engagements in the respective variety theatres. Infos: https://www.newcomershow.net/newcomershow and https://www.krystallpalast.de/en

International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition 2024 (16 to 27 July 2024)

The 14th International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition is one of the most prestigious music competitions in the world and is organised by the Bach Archive Leipzig and the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy University of Music and Theatre Leipzig. Info: https://www.bachwettbewerbleipzig.de/en/bach-wettbewerb

Highfield Festival at Lake Störmthal (16 to 18 August 2024)

The indie rock festival at Lake Störmthal is back for another year. Around 35,000 festival fans will be able to rock out to bands ranging from pop to punk, rock to rap. Bands and artists confirmed for the Highfield Festival 2024 include Cro, Macklemore, Marsimoto, Peter Fox, Provinz and Rise Against. Info: https://highfield.de/en/

Con Spirito – The Leipzig Chamber Music Festival (14 to 22 September 2024)

International stars of the chamber music scene create a week-long festival atmosphere in the music city of Leipzig! Visitors can listen to music in authentic venues and take a journey to the European Cultural Heritage sites, salons and places where Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Johann Sebastian Bach, Edvard Grieg, Richard Wagner and Clara and Robert Schumann worked. Info: https://www.conspiritoleipzig.de/en/

Bright Festival Connect (October 2024)

The 4th edition will feature day and night events that will engage the entire city. Inspired by the latest trends in digital innovation, the diverse programme includes workshops, immersive art exhibitions, virtual reality experiences and shows created by digital artists from around the world. Info: https://connect.brightfestival.com/

Festival of Lights – 35th Anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution (9 October 2024)

The decisive Monday demonstration, that took place in Leipzig on 9 October 1989, is regarded as the breakthrough for the Peaceful Revolution in East Germany. Every year on 9 October, Leipzig commemorates this “Miracle of Leipzig” with a prayer for peace, a speech on democracy, the Leipzig Festival of Lights and other events. For the 35th anniversary of the Peaceful Revolution in 2024, the Festival of Lights will feature around 15 outdoor art projects to be presented along Leipzig’s inner city ring road, which was the authentic demonstration route of 1989. Info: https://www.lichtfest.leipziger-freiheit.de/home.html and https://english.leipzig.de/services-and-administration/autumn-89

Re-enactment of the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 (18 to 20 October 2024)

Every year in October, military history societies from all over Europe gather in Leipzig and Markkleeberg to commemorate the Battle of the Nations near Leipzig together. Half a million soldiers from all over Europe fought for the political future of the continent and the decisive battles at Leipzig from 14 to 19 October 1813 sealed the end of the Napoleonic era in Europe. Around 2,000 participants in period uniforms are expected, who organise bivouacs, a battle re-enactment and civilian scenes. Info: http://www.leipzig1813.com/home

Leipzig Jazz Days (19 to 26 October 2024)

The festival is one of the oldest and most renowned jazz festivals in Germany. Each year, Jazzclub Leipzig presents well over 100 musicians - big names and jazz pioneers as well as innovative newcomers. Performances take place in venues such as the opera house, churches and numerous trendy clubs. Info: https://www.jazzclub-leipzig.de/en/leipziger-jazztage/

Lachmesse – European Humor and Satire Festival (20 to 27 October 2024)

The European Humour and Satire Festival is unique: international artists stretch every laugh muscle and provide the best entertainment with excellent humour and biting satire. The festival offers a mix of political satire, cabaret, music and sophisticated comedy. Info: https://www.lachmesse.de/

GRASSIMESSE – GRASSI Museum of Applied Arts (25 to 27 October 2024)

The GRASSIMESSE brings together contemporary artists, craftspeople, artisans and designers from all over Europe in the GRASSI museum district. It is an art exhibition and sales fair in one, and one of the most important international sales fairs for applied arts and product design. Exhibitors offer unique pieces, small series and exemplary industrial products in the fields of textiles, fashion, jewellery, ceramics, glass, furniture, metal, leather, paper and toys. Each year, a jury of experts selects the exhibitors according to high quality standards. Info: https://www.grassimesse.de/en/

DOK Leipzig – Two-division Film Festival (28 October to 3 November 2024)

Since 1955, DOK Leipzig has been one of the leading international festivals for artistic documentary and animated film. In view of its tradition as a "window to the world", it attracts thousands of visitors, filmmakers, producers, distributors and festival organisers to the Saxon metropolis every year. Info: https://www.dok-leipzig.de/en

Mendelssohn Festival (28 October to 4 November 2024)

Every year around the anniversary of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's death on 4 November, the Gewandhaus and the Mendelssohn House join forces to present an exquisite festival programme of symphony concerts, chamber music and discussions. Info: https://www.gewandhausorchester.de/en/ and https://www.mendelssohn-stiftung.de/en/

euro-scene – European Dance and Theatre Festival (5 to 10 November 2024)

The euro-scene Leipzig festival will present around 12 dance and theatre works from and about Europe and its global interdependence. The programme focuses on contemporary theatre and innovative dance, as well as the latest performative forms of presentation, which aim to challenge both in terms of content and form. The emphasis is on in-house and co-productions as well as German and world premieres. Info: https://euro-scene.de/en/

Leipzig Christmas Market (26 November to 23 December 2024)

The tradition dates back to 1458. The Leipzig Christmas Market is divided into five market areas with around 300 stalls. The range of arts and crafts and regional delicacies on offer is framed by brass band performances on the balcony of the Old Town Hall and a festive program of activities. Families with children will enjoy the arrival of Father Christmas at the beautiful Leipzig Main Station, numerous rides, a historic merry-go-round and the magical fairytale forest in front of the Oper Leipzig. Info: https://www.leipzig.de/weihnachtsmarkt

New Year's Eve in Leipzig (31 December 2024)

Traditional, cultural, merry or contemplative - the turn of the year in Leipzig remains unforgettable! Numerous stages and venues offer special programmes. An unmissable highlight is the grand New Year's Eve concert by the Gewandhaus Orchestra with a performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's "9th Symphony in D Minor op. 125" at the Gewandhaus. Info: https://www.gewandhausorchester.de/en/ and https://panorama-leipzig.de/en/

Image Credit: © Philipp Kirschner

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