Before the festival started, there were debates about the Palestinian group 47Soul. Critics have accused the band of making anti-Semitic statements about Israel.

Artists from around 40 countries will be on stage at the Rudolstadt Festival until the weekend. The festival is one of the largest of its kind for folk, roots and world music in Germany.

Around 18,500 season tickets were sold in advance. The anticipation of an old-style festival is clearly noticeable after a two-year pandemic break, said a spokeswoman.

This year’s festival, which focuses on the countries of Yugoslavia, is set to open with a joint performance by the Boban Marković Orkestar and the Marko Marković Brass Band. More than 300 events are planned from Thursday to Sunday (July 10).

There were debates in the run-up to a performance by the Palestinian group 47Soul – critics called for the concert to be canceled and accused the band of making anti-Semitic statements about Israel and the Middle East conflict. The festival management explained that the concert will take place, but that the festival will not offer a stage for anti-Semitism.