That was the Open Source Festival

Congratulations Philipp Maiburg and the Open Source team!
The Open Source press conference was already a little event in itself. Between Borders played on the stands of the Galopprennbahn (the race course) and Peter Inhoven, butcher extraordinaire, offered the press gourmet sausages of unique combinations such as The Open Source Sausage with ginger, teriyaki, wasabi and chilli!

The Festival itself, last Saturday, was magic. The standard of the bands Philipp brought to the forest of Grafenberger Wald was phenomenal for such a small festival - eclectic, very entertaining and colourful, from the eighties sound of Architecture in Helsinki to the soulful grooves of Cody Chestnut to the huge Editors who headlined and finished off the Festival. Certainly there was something for everyone in every sense of the word and note!

Two happy ticket winners, 
Pedro and his cousin from Portugal, and Tim and I

The drizzle didn't put the crowd off; the atmosphere was warm, smiley and very enthusiastic. Our ticket winners from Taiwan, UK, the Netherlands and Portugal all had a great, great time and Tim and I gathered a great insight into the another aspect of the music world here in Düsseldorf that we can tell our visitors and journalists about on the "We Love Music" Tour.

"We Love Music"

We ended up at Zakk and Foyer after the Festival. Free buses shuttled the party crowd to various venues around town for more sounds into the very early hours. 
The Festival certainly has the potential to grow and grow and we enormously look forward to what's in store next year! 

MOVE. Art and Dance since the 1960s at K20

Last Friday, I got the enjoyable opportunity to visit MOVE, an interactive art exhibition where visitors can “discover art with their whole body”. The exhibition is being held at K20 GRABBEPLATZ (Kunstsammlung NRW) from 19 July to 25 September 2011. So many times, I’ve visited museums or exhibitions and come out wishing that the whole experience could be more hands-on. Scrutinising fine art is a worthy pastime, but – dare I say it? – it can get a little old after a while, even for hard-core art enthusiasts.  If you’re thirsting for something different, I urge you to visit the MOVE exhibition that focuses on the relationship between fine arts, dance, movement and choreography since the early 1960s.
Whilst the raison-d’être of conventional exhibitions is for the visitor to view the art, this exhibition turns the visitor into the art and dancers encourage the visitor’s choreographical participation in sculptures and installations. The aim is for visitors to become more self-aware and sharpen their perception of gravity and balance. Each exhibit will keep you on your toes: from exhibits such as William Forsythe’s “The Fact of Matter”, a “forest” of gymnastic rings that challenge the visitor to swing from one side to the other (and believe me, it’s a lot harder than it looks, which probably explains the liability disclaimer!) to Mike Kelley’s shocking but fascinating “Test Room Containing Multiple Stimuli Known to Elicit Curiosity And Manipulatory Responses”, starring a pissed off gorilla and some rather emotional individuals, to Robert Morris’ large wooden seesaw (or teeter-totter for you American readers) entitled “Bodyspacemotionthings”, or a pile of hula hoops with a cheerful background video reminiscent of childhood memories.

The exhibition also features a major work by famous action painter Jackson Pollock – Number 32, 1950. The painting’s production is documented by films shown in the exhibition’s interactive, digital archive, which is a compilation of more than 170 recordings demonstrating the history of art and dance. This is located in the Schmela Haus and can be visited without a ticket to the main exhibition. 

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen
Grabbeplatz 5
40213 Düsseldorf

Biggest Funfair on the Rhine

The Biggest Funfair on the Rhine is currently at home on the Oberkassel side of the Rhine.
It's truly massive - you can't miss it!
Opening Saturday July 15 and closing July 24.
The first Monday is Pink Monday, attracting some 50,000 gays and lesbians from all over the region.

The fair is steeped in tradition and history, now in it's 110th year. It is hosted by the marksmens' guild of St Sebastianus. 
Again I will be joining the Düsseldorf Marketing and Tourism team this year and will have a chance to take part in the traditional 'Entenschiessen'. I'm taking a group of tour operators from UK this year, it'll be intersting to see what they make of it all!
You cannot fail to notice the huge fairground which reaches the entire length of the Rhine bank from the Oberkasseler Bridge to the Rheinknee Bridge in Oberkassel.
This is a funfair of superlatives: biggest, most colourful, highest, fastest ...

No visit to the fair would be complete without sampling the traditional Alt beer from one of the many brewery tents dotted around the fair. 
Complete the fun with a trip across the Rhine on the special Kirmes Ferry which takes you back to the Altstadt way into the early hours of the morning.
If you don't like the crowds view the fair from the Rheinpromenade in the Altstadt on the other side of the river. At night it is an awesome sight.

The Rhine Funfair is on until Sunday July 24th.
On Friday 22nd at around 10.30pm there will be a huge fireworks display. Prize positions for gazing at the sparkly skies are from the Obekasselser Bridge and the Rhine Promanade in the Altstadt.

Thanks DMT - I've enjoyed working with you this past year. With Eurovision, new tours and thousands of journalists in town it's been quite a yea! I've greatly enjoyed raving to the foreign journalists about this wondeful city, met some incredible people and hope that our partnership continues in such a dynamic and enriching fashion!

Luis Regidor

Luis Regidor sings for Henry Storch and Tracy Bymoen on Ratinger Strasse

If people are fortunate enough to like their jobs, this is often because of one of two simple reasons, they tend to say: 
1. I travel a lot 
2. I meet great people
I'm happy to say I can/have ticked both boxes.
I've travelled extensively and am more than happy to stay put in Düsseldorf right now.
RhineBuzz gives me the great, really great privilege of meeting the most wonderful people. Today I am especially delighted at all that I have experienced with this incredible community of bright and fascinating characters from all over the globe.

This afternoon Düsseldorf plays a small part in the great Montreux Jazz Festivawhen Luis Regidor, student at the Robert Schumann Music School here in Düsseldorf, will be singing late this afternoon, in the finals of the Shure Voice Competition, judged by none other than Quincy Jones!
When I heard morning, that Luis had made it through the semi-finals last night and was singing again today I seriously considered leaping in the car and being there to support him. I have to work this afternoon though, I'll be showing Juha Veli Jokinen of the Finnish daily newspaper "Iltalethi"  around town with the "We Love Music" and "Art in Düsseldorf" tours and so really can't do this. Otherwise ...

In January I hosted a party asking the RhineBuzz community to come and sing for us all. The response was unreal. Amongst others Luis wrote to me, I saw his email at 4 in the morning and responded, " ... thanks for contacting me. This event is now full, but I'll be in touch again for the next one" I was about to send and finally go to bed when I thought, this young man has taken the trouble to write, just click on the myspace link ...
I was spellbound and stayed up until after 5 listening to the various genres Luis had online at the time, from versions of 'Cry Me a River' to heavy rock! This young musician just blew me away!! 
I called him the very next day and am very happy to say we've been friends ever since. 

I was overjoyed to hear he had been accepted for The Voice Competition at one of the world's greatest jazz festivals, Montreux. Luis sent me the links of what he had submitted. I knew he was on to a winner. We last met a few weeks a go when I set up an interview with Tracy Bymoen from Percy's World and CNN (who was in town for the Jazz Rally) and Luis. He was very excited at the prospect of singing for Quincy Jones, well who wouldn't be(!) and Tracy and Düsseldorf Unique Records owner Henry Storch were charmed by Luis, his humour and talent as he sang for us on Ratinger Strasse. This interview will now be shown as part of the piece on the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Luis, here in Düsseldorf we are all routing for you!!! No matter what the outcome is this afternoon you have achieved something wonderful and you give so very much joy with your music. There will be more a big welcoming party for you when you get back!

And, with Eurovision over and my batteries recharged after a much-needed holiday, a very special event is coming up for all you RhineBuzzers soon in 2012 - watch this space, but it doesn't take much to guess who will be playing for us!!! :)

Update: Luis won second place - congratulations Luis, fabulous!!!
You can see him here