The 2013 Hannover Maschseefest – As Experienced by an American Expat in Germany

hannover maschsee lion sculpture night

“Go home American. You are drunk.”

The Hannover Maschseefest is a big celebration occurring every year between July 31 and August 18. It is a massive gathering of beer gardens, food stands and concert stages around the man-made lake known as the Maschsee. The Wife and I visited the 2013 Maschseefest several times, and we learned there are exactly 3 things to do there: eat, drink and listen to music until you are bleeding from every orifice.

In the following video, you will see a young Hannover-based band called That’s Why playing an acoustic version of Johhny B. Goode. These guys are awesome; they’re talented, they have stage presence and enough energy between them to power a nuclear submarine. One guy even played a melodica. (What’s it really called? A pianica? Key-flute? Blow-organ? …because all these names sound incredibly porno…) Anyway, he stands up and plays this wacky thing on his buddy’s back (which also seemed rather porno), and that’s when I decided this band was goin’ places. In fact, I predict you’ll see these handsome bastards in an American music video with a hit single before the end of 2015. Just you wait.

In this video, you’ll also see members of the Hannover DLRG (German Life Saving Association, which teaches search and rescue stuff, swimming classes and First Aid, among other things) floating down the Maschsee, eating and drinking as if they aren’t wading ankle-deep in goose shit. The Maschsee is just filthy; you’d think a bunch of trained First Aid volunteers would promote their organization with a little more respect for fecal-borne pathogens. But seriously, God bless ‘em for all the lifesaving work they do.

Finally, you’ll see a band performing at the Löwenbastion called Die Rexis und das Polyester Orchester, and they are exactly what you would expect from a band named after stretchy grandma pants.

This next video was recorded a few weeks later, on the last day of the Maschseefest. In it, you will see the Blaue Jungs Bolzum Shantychor Fankurve, which is an exhausting way of saying the All-Male Hamburg Pirate Choir. (Just kidding. They’re not really pirates.) As these gentlemen sing ditties of sailing woe, everyone in the crowd starts swaying in what is known in Germany as ‘Schunkeln.’ (You can see similar behavior in our Hannover Oktoberfest videos.)

And finally, here are a few terrible photos with comments. Click one to start the gallery, and as always, we hope you can dig ‘em!

For more information on the annual Maschseefest, check out http://www.hannover.de/Maschseefest/

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25 responses to “The 2013 Hannover Maschseefest – As Experienced by an American Expat in Germany

  1. Now, that’s some of what I think when I think of Germany.

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  2. I love the shanty choirs, although I can only relate to the Dutch version of this particular culture. It’s fun, but more fun when you are drunk ;-)

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  3. sounds like fun and German sausages are the best

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  4. Do you guys ever venture down to Bavaria?

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  5. I thought the accordion was a dead instrument until I started working construction in Arizona. (The Hispanic masons love their radio). Whatever happened to the Polka? It migrated to Mexico!

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  6. I was delighted to hear the wife’s lovely voice. Hanging on to the hope that, one day, I will catch a glimpse of your face, too. Maybe like in some NCIS episode where they take the reflection in a random passers-by’s sunglasses and enhance it to get a passport-picture quality snapshot of the baddie.

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  7. I never made it to Hannover, and I wish I had. I did a study abroad in Luneburg, and they had a summer streetfest while I was there. Pretty much a long weekend of city-sponsored drunkenness. It was fun!

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  8. A choir that sings drunken pirate sea chanteys? I’m surprised Portlandia doesn’t have one…

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