The Hessentag will soon be upon us

The rear of Oberursel's main stationThe Hessentag in Oberursel is exactly 3 weeks away, and after suffering roadworks in the town for the past couple of years we are now entering the final phrase.

Further roads are now being closed off to enable the stages for the concerts to be erected, and the area around the main station looks more like a building site than ever, despite the U-Bahn part re-opening at the beginning of the week.

The new underground passage is not finished and the station building is still surrounded by scaffolding, with access to the platforms via a back entrance.

The road that goes past the station – recently re-opened – is about to be closed again in one direction until 24th June (Nassauer Straße, between the Feldbergstraße and Berliner Straße).

The mood in Oberursel is mixed.   There are those who can’t get enough of the Hessentag fever.  They are looking forward to the concerts and one big party going on for 10 days.

An area fenced off for the HR3 stageOthers are more reserved, or just fed up with the constant building work and the not so pleasant idea of losing road access to their properties for the best part of two weeks.

Those living next door to the main arenas are fortunate if they like the style of music planned – others are definitely not.

And yet and criticism of the event falls – in my opinion – on deaf ears in the Rathaus.  Even last year we were being told “it’s been decided and there’s not point discussing it” if someone dared say something negative at one of the information meetings.

Awkward questions were met with answers like “you should close your business and join the party”, but rarely did I hear of a solution for anyone who was going to be inconvenienced by the whole thing.

I personally am not against the Hessentag being in Oberursel per se, it is often the lack of information that has been frustrating.  When you visit the Rathaus in person with a question at the Ticket- and Infocentre, only to be told that they do not have any information, you begin to wonder why they do not just call it the Ticket centre and be done with it.

Fertigstellung August 2010Other information is just plain inaccurate or out-of-date.  A sign at the corner of the Lahnstraße and Hohemarkstraße advises drivers that the roadworks (that are still there this week, in May 2011) will last until August 2010.

Unfortunately this trend appears to be continuing even so close to the event.  There has been an e-mail newsletter, that has basically just been advertising the concerts that you need to buy tickets for.  The official homepage is also mainly about those concerts, with a couple of pages for the residents about how to apply for a permit to get into the restricted areas.

But the more I start looking around the town, the more I discover that will be going on.  Many of the local clubs and societies are holding special events that are often free to participate in.  Also, I have read almost nothing about the so-called “Hessentagsstraße” which will weave its way through the town.

It is this sort of thing that I hope to write about.  I have applied to the Rathaus for accreditation as a blogger to smooth my way through any security or photo-taking issues, but have not received a response yet.

I have also started a list of these events in English for the many non-German speakers who may be planning to visit.  If anyone knows of an event that should be added, please let me know!

I believe the the Hessentag could be a big success, if the town stopped advertising just the big name celebrities that are coming, and started publicising other parts of the event on an equal basis.  And with more interaction with the residents (I mean real interaction, but just asking for volunteers) they could increase the acceptance in the town centre.

If anyone in the Rathaus is reading this and would like to discuss it further, here are my contact details


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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant and online community manager. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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