Festival Maritim Bremen Vegesack
Having lived in the Bremen
area for nigh on 40 years, Festival Maritim
has been one of the highlights in my annual programmes since its inception in 1999. Now living in Newcastle upon Tyne
, I make my annual pilgrimage to my old hometown where I used to call myself an "englischer Vegebüüdler" to enjoy perhaps the largest folk festival of its type in Europe. Over the years I have performed both as an artist both in the festival itself and at various fringe events surrounding the Vegesack
's Maritime Mile. Each festival had its personal highlights and I have met many artists from different countries and made many, many friends. The final evening is most moving when all the artists gather on the stage to sing the final songs Leave her, Johnny
and The Leaving of Liverpool
. During the final song, the audience light-up sparklers and wave them towatrds the stage. If you have the great good luck, as I had, to stand on the stage and look out over the sparkler waving crown towards Lemwerder
, you are rewarded with a most amazing spectacle. The climax of the festival is a magnificent fireworks display whose brilliant and dazzling lights are reflected in the waters of the Weser
. Each festival has concluded with a this fireworks display both in bad weathers and good except for one year when the weather was too hot and Lemwerder suffered drought conditions causing a cancellation of this spectacle on safety grounds. I shall continue to attend the festival as long as I am able.
Geoff Grainger, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, August, 2013.