[Dixielandjazz] Dresden Dixieland Festival

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 15 20:14:19 PDT 2005

Thanks Kash for the comments on Dresden.

I guess, though, that Canal Street was there before East Germany merged with
West Germany. Back then, East Germany was a very poor country; surprising
that they would have a Dixieland Festival at all given their situation. Like
they were technically bankrupt by 1989. (remember that awful car they
produced then?)  Prior to 1990 you couldn't spend their money outside of
their country because it was virtually worthless. It was worse in 1955, the
first time I visited East Germany but then they were being propped up by the

I suspect that these days, now that Dresden is an integral part of a
reunified Germany things are quite different. The re-unification took place
in 1990 and the DM became the official currency. Now, I guess the Euro is
the official currency. Perhaps the intervening 15 years has made a
difference? No, not "perhaps", of course it has.

The relative ease of the absorption of a bankrupt East Germany by West
Germany surprised the economic pundits. A feat that precious few other
countries in the world could have accomplished so well.

This year, American travel agents are touting an upscale New Year's Eve
Holiday trip to Berlin and Dresden as THE trip to take. With a stay at a
posh "legendary" Dresden hotel. Very expensive.

Has anybody on the list been to Dresden's Dixieland Festival since 1995? Or
or 2000? Heck, if Kash and Canal Street got 10,000 people at their venue in
the old days, what is happening now? With relative freedom to travel there.
Seems to me that Natural Gas JB from California was there in the 90's as was
Boehm Ragtime. any input? BTW, 10,000 at one Dixieland Festival venue, for
one performance, especially behind the Iron Curtain in those days, boggles
our minds here in the USA.

Also, to those who opine about Dresden's attendance, it might be a good idea
to surf <Dresden Dixieland> on google. Or visit a European City Festival or
two, Jazz or otherwise. You might be astonished, as well as lose some of
that famed American insularity. Check out European jazz festivals, book
fairs, automotive shows, etc., before being so negative. Their attendance
will astound you as it did me, during my day gig years and heavy travel
there in the mid 90s. Those city festivals/fairs/shows/conventions, etc.,
are happenings that draw lots of people from all age groups and were quite a
bit larger than similar events here in the land of the big PX.

Like the Frankfurt Auto Show dwarfed its peer shows in the USA. It drew an
audience that equaled the combined attendance of the Detroit, NYC, LA and
Chicago auto shows. Attendees came from all over Europe.

So why shouldn't Dresden's Dixieland Festival draw as much as all the US
OKOM Festivals combined?


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