Event Highlights

The very special times of the year

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there is often no time to draw breath and enjoy, look around, become aware of and experience the extraordinary. That is why we look forward to the times in the year when we consciously do just that, when routine is briefly suspended. The really special times of the year. The event highlights of the town of Dessau-Rosslau.

Bauhaus Festival

The annual Bauhaus Festival of light and colour is one of the highlights in town’s programme of events. On the first weekend in September, the curtain goes up on installations, creative and artistic experiments and performances all over the town. Music, dance and gastronomy – a creative interplay between the and famous artists, the town and visitors. A unique atmosphere is generated here. Before the start of the festival, the Anhalt Theatre kicks off with a grand open-air preview of the coming season.

Kurt Weill Festival

This annual festival in honour of the composer Kurt Weill combines great art and great artists. This is one of the top events in the festival landscape of Saxony-Anhalt. Whether writing for the Threepenny Opera or major Broadway musicals, Kurt Weill was a master of many types of musical language. The Kurt Weill Festival shows how diverse was the work of the composer, who was born in Dessau in 1900 and fled Germany in 1933, and how it related to his time.
Every festival has a different theme and an artist-in-residence lends each one a unique artistic feel.

City summer

Off to the summer – ready, steady, go! runs the motto of the annual Stadtsommer cultural programme of in Dessau-Rosslau.

Marktplatz (“Market Square”) is the focal centre of events, Zerbster Strasse becomes a promenade and the town park a leisure-time oasis. But even outside the town centre, there is plenty to do in the summer, from theatre at Wasserburg castle in Rosslau to student life on the university campus right through to garden enchantment at the Georgium.

Since 2018, tourism marketing agency SMG Dessau-Rosslau has laid on the town’s summer cultural programme from May to September, providing a rundown of the outdoor events and responding to special circumstances with agility and its own summer event in the town centre – a programme enjoyed as much by visitors to town as much as by the residents themselves.


What started as a small festival in 1997 at the Roßlauer Wasserburg is now THE biggest German skafestival with international presence. On 3 days a year, more than 30 acts play on 2 stages and show what the ska scene has to offer.
The extensive supporting program makes the event almost like a fair and invites even guests foreign to music to stay.

Leopold Festival

Every year on the first weekend in July, Dessau town centre is the scene of the grand Leopold Festival, named after Leopold III: three days of military camps, military tattoos and a parade. The Leopold Association holds the festival, a mix of history and entertainment, around the time of Leopold’s birthday. Every year, military history groups pitch their tents in a large encampment along the historic town walls. The Baroque camp next door is somewhat more refined.
In the town are concerts, a historical market and a travelling funfair. The festival ends on the Sunday with a parade of all participants and visitors through Dessau town centre.

Local History and Boatmen’s Festival

One annual highlight in the festival diary of the 800-year-old town of Rosslau is the Local History and Boatmen’s Festival in August. Between the historic town centre, Wasserburg castle and the Elbe, history comes to life and the present is celebrated.
Along the Elbe lie 88 towns and cities, and from each comes a representative. On the Thursday before the festival proper, they hoist the 88 flags of their towns in Rosslau.
The Rosslau Local History and Boatmen’s Festival offers a varied programme of events, from a grand parade through the town, the election of the new SchiffernixeNixe being a water nymph or sprite – a medieval market, two fireworks displays, competitions on the Elbe to exhibitions by the Boatmen’s Association, a nightly boat pageant and several dance and music evenings.

Garden Kingdom Summer

Every year from May to September, the Garden Kingdom Summer festival offers a host of top musical and literary events in the idyllic parks and palaces of the UNESCO World Heritage Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz. Special highlights include the lakeside concerts of the Anhalt Philharmonic Orchestra in Wörlitz, when the audience can take an evening gondola ride while enjoying the music performed on the shore. The programme also includes a unique programme of concerts in the reception rooms of Wörlitz, Luisium, Oranienbaum and Mosigkau palaces. In between, readings and theatre performances await you in the historic amphitheatre on the island of Stein.

Garden Kingdom Day

Every year on the second Saturday in August, Garden Kingdom Day commemorates the birthday of Leopold III Friedrich Franz of Anhalt-Dessau. On that day, special events invite visitors to come along and discover the Garden Kingdom.
All day long, you can visit exhibitions, attend concerts and take guided tours in the Georgium, Oranienbaum, Wörlitz, Vockerode and Kakau.