The preparations for the festival year are already in full swing. The city of Leipzig, Leipzig 2015 e.V., as well as companies, associations, clubs, organisations, institutions and private individuals, are all totally committed to the project. The programme is aimed at a wide audience of all ages, as well as the citizens of Leipzig and the city's numerous guests.
The programme will showcase the diversity of Leipzig from the past to the present day. The municipal history museum will be retracing the 1000-year history of the city with exciting archaelogical finds in an exhibition entitled "1015. The inception of Leipzig". A four-volume scientific history of the city due out in 2015 will also deal with the history of the city. The Leipzig Exhibition Centre will be celebrating 850 years of trade fairs in Leipzig. The GRASSI Museum of Musical Instruments will be dedicated to the making of musical instruments and early types of jukeboxes, a once-important industry, while the Museum of Printing Arts will look at the history of printing and publishing in Leipzig. The Church of St Nicholas will also be celebrating its 850th anniversary and the religious communities will be offering a joint programme for city guests. There will also be a festival and a congress recalling the founding of the German Women's Movement 150 years ago.
The sporting highlights of 2015 will include the Indoor Hockey World Cup, the European Canoe Slalom Championships and the Leipzig Marathon, which will be organised in conjunction with Leipzig's twin cities. Among the cultural events on offer, Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts will be hosting a Paul Klee retrospective entitled "In a class of his own - priceless". A congress organised by the Leipzig+Culture Initiative entitled "Culture | Taking. Stock" will explore the importance of a vibrant cultural landscape in the 21st century and present potential solutions in an eponymous festival. A project by the Leipzig Cotton Mill called "THE OFF" will also be turning the spotlight on non-institutionalised culture.
Highlights of the festival year
The region's Longest Civic Festival
In 2015 more events than ever before will be combined into a single city-wide event that will take place in and around Leipzig. Any festival, regardless of its size or theme, can become part of the Longest Civic Festival at no additional cost by taking over the "1000 years" baton. Intercultural festivals such as carnival fairs, children's festivals and sporting events are also invited to participate. The Longest Civic Festival which the region has ever witnessed will run from April through to autumn. The festival will commence with a civic ball in the New Town Hall on 30th April. Early highlights in May will be the Race Day at the Scheibenholz Racecourse, the Soapbox Derby and the Watersports Festival in Thekla. In June the BELANTIS theme park will be opening its gates for a children's day, the fire department will be celebrating its 150th anniversary, and classic and vintage car enthusiasts will want to make sure they mark the European Auto Classic Leipzig in their calendar. From then until the Leipzig Passage Festival and the Market Days in September, a variety of yard, street and folklore festivals - such as those at Dölitz Water Mill, Connewitz Cross and Liebertwolkwitz - will all combine to give the Longest Civic Festival a unique flair.
The "1000 years of Leipzig" festival week
The highlight in the anniversary year will be the festival week from 31st May to 7th June 2015, opening with a street theatre performance of "Lipsia's Lions". The following four days - Monday to Thursday - will be devoted to a variety of themes that will be brought to life on the Marktplatz. For example, International Children's Day on 1st June will be filled with activities for a younger audience. The festival week will conclude with the Leipzig Civic Festival from 5th to 7th June.
The "Lipsia's Lions" Street Theatre Festival
On 30st May the city of Leipzig will be transformed into an open-air stage showcasing the history and importance of the city from the past to the present day. The "Lipsia's Lions" Street Theatre Festival will begin with a civic brunch in five different districts of the city. Each of these venues will also be the starting points of a street theatre performance which will involve sending "Lipsia's Lions" through the streets of Leipzig - five moving sculptures symbolising key themes of the city: industry and trade, art and culture, books and media, sport and the environment, as well as science and education. These larger-than-life figures will gather up people as they slowly march towards the city centre in lines radiating out from the centre. Once there, they will meet up with a sixth figure, Lipsia, the goddess symbolising the citizens and values of Leipzig. This imaginative and spectacular production combining theatre, music, action and concept art into a unique overall choreography will be performed by Theater Titanick and FAIRNET.
The closing event
The "1000 years of Leipzig" festival year will conclude on 20th December 2015, the date marking the first documented mention of Leipzig. All citizens and guests of the city are cordially invited to come to the Augustusplatz, where the grand birthday cake with 1000 candles will be ceremonially cut.