7 Event-Highlights in Dresden Elbland

Unmissable festivals and celebrations in 2023

Traditionelle Dixieland-Abschlussparade in Dresden
Traditionelle Dixieland-Abschlussparade in Dresden

Dixieland Festival, Film Nights, City Festival – as usual, there’s a lot going on in Dresden Elbland in 2023. Here are just a few of the events you definitely won’t want to miss.

International Dixieland Festival | 14 – 21 May 2023

Dixieland Parade at the International Dixieland Festival in Dresden.
Traditional closing parade of the International Dixieland Festival in Dresden. Photo: Sven Döring

Jazz aficionados consider Dresden to be the European ‘capital of Dixieland’, and anyone who has ever visited our baroque city during the International Dixieland Festival will acknowledge the validity of that claim. This year’s programme comprises 38 concerts and other events featuring 37 bands and soloists from no fewer than nine countries around the world.

Our recommendation: The traditional Dixieland parade at the end of the festival is not only a feast for the ears, but also for the eyes. Numerous colourful and imaginatively designed floats convey the musicians from the Terrassenufer on the Elbe to the historic city centre. Brühl’s Terrace and the rest of the route through the city streets is lined with thousands of spectators. An unforgettable experience!

Programme and tickets: Website of the International Dixieland Festival

Dresden Music Festival | 18 May to 18 June 2023

Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis will perform at the Dresden Music Festival. Photo: Joe Martinez
Jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis will perform at the Dresden Music Festival. Photo: Joe Martinez

Look forward to this year’s month-long Dresdner Musikfestspiele, one of the most ambitious and prestigious classical music festivals in Europe. The overarching theme for the 2023 Dresden Music Festival, SCHWARZWEISS (Black & White) symbolises the tensions between music and society, between war and peace, between pandemic and regained civic rights. Artistic director Jan Vogler and his team have put together a varied programme of 63 performances at 22 venues. Among the favourites making a welcome return will be celebrated soloists Anne-Sophie Mutter, Till Brönner and David Garrett. The Piano Festival also comes as part of the package.

Programme and tickets: Website of the Dresden Music Festival

And even after the Dresden Music Festival is over, the music plays on in the region with the Torgau Festival of Protestant Church Music (25th June 2nd July 2023) and the Moritzburg Festival (5th 20th August 2023).

Film Nights on the Elbe Embankment | 1 July to 3 September 2023

Fireworks behind the screen of the film nights on the banks of the Elbe.
Fireworks behind the screen of the Film Nights on the Elbe Embankment. Photo: Sebastian Weingart (DML-BY)

Germany’s biggest open-air cinema and concert festival will again take place this year against the customary backdrop of the world-famous Dresden skyline. Film Nights on the Elbe Embankment fills two months of the summer with evenings devoted to great movies, live performances of well-known film scores and concerts featuring artists such as Silbermond, Roland Kaiser and CRO.

Programme and tickets: Website of Film Nights on the Elbe Embankment

Palais Sommer | 10 July to 20 August 2023

Dresden’s Neumarkt and Frauenkirche constitute one of the three locations for Palais Sommer. Photo: newpic photography, Toni Kretschmer

Dresden’s Palais Sommer open-air festival (no admission charge) will again offer more than 200 events at three venues: Neumarkt, Alaunpark and Ostra-Dome. The organisers have put together a colourful programme of workshops, concerts, painting sessions, cinema and much more besides. And of course, there will be the perennially popular yoga classes in the mornings and evenings. There is no admission charge, but voluntary donations are welcome!

For further information: Website of Palais Sommer

CANALETTO – The Dresden City Festival | 18 20 August 2023

Fireworks at the city festival in Dresden
Spectacular fireworks at the Dresden City Festival. Photo: Sebastian Weingart (DML-BY)

Three days of partying between Theaterplatz, Kulturpalast and Goldener Reiter: The Dresdner Stadtfest can always be relied on to generate an exuberant atmosphere on both sides of the Elbe. One whole weekend in August is given over to great music, shows, culinary delights, family events, sports, jugglery and much more besides!

Programme and information: Website of Dresden City Festival

Major Sporting Events in Dresden

Start Oberelbe Marathon in Koenigstein
The route of the VVO Oberelbe Marathon runs from Königstein to Dresden’s Old Town. Photo: VVO Oberelbe Marathon

If you have already set yourself ambitious fitness goals for 2023, you should now make a note of these major sporting events in the Dresden Elbland region:

Wein- und Winzerfeste im Elbland | August/September  

Family in the vineyards of the Dresden Elbland
The ‘Wine and Vintner Festivals’ in Dresden Elbland are an enjoyable experience for the whole family. Photo: Tommy Halfter

Our beautiful Elbland is famed for its multiplicity of grape varieties that ripen under optimum wine-growing conditions. There are more than 67 grape varieties to discover, from Müller-Thurgau to Riesling, from Pinot Blanc to Traminer and Dornfelder.

Visitors can sample these excellent wines all year round, for example in the numerous winegrowers’ taverns or at seasonal roadside stalls (Straußen- and Besenwirtschaften). The big wine festivals in the region are timed to coincide with the grape harvest. Local estates open their doors to all who appreciate good wine, the art of the winegrower and the great outdoors, organising vineyard tours, village festivals and culinary journeys of discovery.

Make a note of these dates:

  • 26th/27th August: Tage des offenen Weingutes (Open Winery Days)
  • 1st ‑ 3rd September: Winzerstraße Festival in Weinböhla
  • 9th/10th September: Federweißermeile Diesbar-Seußlitz
  • 22nd ‑ 24th September: Autumn Wine Festival (incorporating international Itinerant Theatre Festival) in Radebeul
  • 22nd ‑ 24th September: Meissen Wine Festival

Never miss a key event again!

You can always find the right event for you in Dresden and the surrounding area in the Veranstaltungskalender der Landeshauptstadt Dresden (Event Calendar of the State Capital Dresden).