Explore your artistic side at Kaiserslautern's Long Night of Culture

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe
Kaiserslautern, the fifth biggest city of the Rhineland-Palatinate and home to the largest presence of American armed forces outside of the United States, is a city of many faces. On June 9, The Lange Nacht der Kultur, or Long Night of Culture, offers the chance to explore its creative and cultural sides.
 
What’s billed as one of the top events in the state’s cultural scene can boast of a program offering over 150 possible experiences at 30 locations scattered across the city center and further afield. Music, dance, visual arts, performances, photography and other forms of expression figure into the night’s agenda.
 
Each edition of this annual event is planned around a certain topic. In 2018, the idea of industrial culture provides the inspiration for many program points. Visitors can see what transpires between a pair of dancers from the Pfalz Theater and two robots developed by the Technical University, or listen to the Kaiserslautern Symphony Orchestra’s interpretation of the sound of a locomotive.
 
The program hints of many intriguing possibilities for a night of exploration and entertainment. Visitors can enjoy chanson and French musical comedy at the Kammgarn, performances by ballet schools and a choir in the Fruchthalle, dancing and illuminations in the Japanese Garden, live music at the Fotowerkstatt, an Irish folk band at the Stiftskirche, tango performances in Hotel Saks, or a jazz session in the Stadtsmuseum. The U.S. military is on board in the form of a performance by the U.S. Air Forces Europe Band at the Martinskirche.
 
Organizers note that some of the more popular venues can fill to capacity and thus need to restrict entry; should this happen, just move on to plan B or consider returning later in the evening.
 
The program starts at 5 p.m. and runs through midnight at most venues. (A “Kinderfest,” also included in the program, starts at 10 a.m. and offers games and entertainment for children in the pedestrian zone near Schillerplatz.) A late-night program takes place at the Fruchthalle until 3 a.m. the next day. A special shuttle connecting the outlying venues offers entertainment for the riders on board. 
 
A handful of places offer free entry, but to get the most out of the night, you’ll need a bracelet which serves as your entry ticket. This costs 14 euros for adults and is 10 euros for ages 3-18. Bracelets can be picked up in advance at the city’s tourist information office, the Pfalzgalerie Museum, the Pfalztheater, the Japanese Garden or a handful of other sites. A family ticket good for two adults and their own children or grandchildren goes for 30 euros; this can only be purchased on the night itself, as can regular tickets.
 
Lange Nacht der Kultur not only promises a much different kind of night out; you just may emerge with a newfound appreciation of the German city you nowadays call home.

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