What a crowd there was on Schuhstrasse between Kohlmarkt and Karstadt! And all this on a Sunday – with the stores closed. The lure: music everywhere. Irish folk here, klezmer there, a brass band over here, a wind orchestra over there. The Buskers street music festival featured 40 groups and solo musicians in early August. More than 200 artists! From 12 noon into the evening, there was hustle and bustle at 15 venues. Full program.
One man's joy, another man's sorrow. While some people are enjoying the hustle and bustle in the city center, others are annoyed. "Many people come to the city are because of the events, but others want a quiet downtown," admits Gerold Leppa, head of city marketing.
A constant balancing act: the desire to revitalize the city center and increase its attractiveness, also for merchants, on the one hand; the longing for deceleration far away from the usual everyday noise on the other hand. At least on Sunday.
"When organizers use amplifiers on the Platz der Deutschen Einheit, we sometimes can't understand our own words in the cathedral," complains cathedral preacher Cornelia Gotz. She is not against a lively city center, she makes clear, and she also knows that young people in particular appreciate it when there is something going on in town. "But every now and then we also have to insist that the noise outside is not too disturbing."
At the Buskers Festival, for example, the arrangements were not ideal, and while a Bach cantata was to be performed with dignity in the cathedral, the brass band roared spiritedly outside the door. The priest rushed out into the street in a gown to point out to the musicians that the event was taking place inside. "After all, we can't put up noise barriers and we can't go anywhere else," says the cathedral preacher, shrugging her shoulders.
Whether it's a musical or opera on Burgplatz square, a wine market on Kohlmarkt square or a Reformation commemoration on Altstadtmarkt square, the seats in the city center are in high demand. Who wants to use them, needs the consent of the city council – and must also pay. 200 euros use compensation about per day per place. Who is non-profit on the road, gets it cheaper. "In the interest of urban society, we take a very differentiated view," Leppa explains. Everything is neatly regulated under the keyword: "Special uses of public areas within the Inner Okerumflut". To see among other things in the Internet on the homepage of the city.
The city marketing boss emphasizes that the administration is endeavoring to arrange the distribution of events across the city in a sensible manner. So that not only the Platz der Deutschen Einheit, the Kohlmarkt and the Schlossplatz are used, the city has opened up new locations: the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Platz, for example, and also the Herzogin-Anna-Amalia-Platz.
The same rules do not apply to every place. The use of Schlossplatz and Burgplatz is subject to special statutes. For example, the Schlossplatz is off-limits for pure sales events with a market-shouting character; events on the Burgplatz must do justice to the significance of the square in terms of the city's history and urban development. "Exceptions can only be permitted in particularly justified individual cases and if there is a special public interest in the use," says Leppa.
Is there an upper limit for events in the city center?? "No", explains Leppa. "The question of a maximum number always results from the interaction of a general reasonableness between residents in the immediate vicinity."Around 100 events a year are held in the city center. Sometimes a few more, sometimes a few less. "The numbers are largely consistent," emphasizes Leppa.
However, the city notes that more and more information booths and demonstrations are to be found in the City. The city center is increasingly being used to form political opinions. Leppa: "Although these are not events in the true sense of the word, under certain circumstances the impression is created that there is more and more hustle and bustle in the city center."
Leppa pointed out that there are also a number of places in the city center that cannot be used for events: Bankplatz and Ziegenmarkt, for example. Even in the Magniviertel, it's usually pretty quiet.
The city administration not only advises the organizers from the beginning, but also always sees itself as a mediator with the residents. "We go to great lengths to establish a consensus," explains Leppa. These efforts accounted for nearly 70 percent of the work in this area. "Otherwise, things wouldn't run as smoothly as they do now," he says with certainty.
The administration investigates every complaint, asks the organizer to explain himself and looks for a satisfactory solution for all. "We focus on understanding."The ie is more complex than some people might imagine, says Leppa. "Often, the evaluation of events is simply a matter of taste as well."
ProContra – Hustle and bustle in the city center
Pro: Editor Katja Dartsch – Celebrate festivals: The city center is there for everyone. Here you meet, here you go out, here you have fun. That's what makes life in the middle of a big city like Braunschweig so special: Here life pulsates, here it must tingle! Events in the city center are important for socializing in Braunschweig. In particular, events with a non-commercial character such as the Buskers Festival, the Citizens' Brunch or the Festival of Cultures. Of course: there is a tremendous roar when the drummers get going, when the amplifiers are turned up and belly dance music resounds across Kohlmarkt. Not everyone's cup of tea: too much hullabaloo. May be that it becomes sometimes too much for the residents. But if you move to the heart of the city, you have to expect a lot of activity – even on weekends. If you are looking for peace and quiet, you can go hiking in the Harz mountains, cycle through the Elm or have a picnic in the Burgerpark. There are many magical oases of peace in and around Braunschweig – but the pedestrian zone doesn't have to be one of them. Where else should people meet on their free weekends for social occasions, go out and celebrate, if not on the public squares in the middle of their city??Contra: Editor Ann Claire Richter – Coming to rest: Pulsating, modern life. Always something going on. Cheer, bustle, merriment. Around the clock. Sundays open for sales, cabaret festivals, wine festivals. Just don't settle down, just don't pause. These are the times today. Unfortunately. Let the city center at least the Sunday, in order to come times to the peace! Only one seventh of the week. You don't have to be a Christian or religious to appreciate this one day of absolute deceleration, this peace that can lie over the city. So gratifying. The attraction is change, not arbitrariness. Sometimes loud and turbulent, sometimes quiet and internal. The city center also deserves to stand on its own, that we may concentrate our senses on architectural beauty and special features. Sound everywhere. But noise makes people ill in the long run. But we allow it to get louder and louder everywhere. We take away our own ecological niches for recreation. Silence is a precious commodity these days. Let's not sacrifice it on the altar of round-the-clock pampering! I am already dreading the pre-Christmas season when the stores put "White Christmas" on endless loop. Pulsating life. All the time.
Read what visitors to the city center say in the survey.