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Premiere for the summer festival

Staff council invites all university employees to the Ganter Biergarten on 29.06.2017

Freiburg, Jun 22, 2017

Premiere for the summer festival

Photo: Sandra Meyndt

First ever summer festival held by the staff council for all employees of the University of Freiburg The chairman Helmut Waller spoke with Nicolas Scherger about the plan.

The staff council, here chairman Helmut Waller, aims to bring the University’s academics and administration together at the summer festival. Photo: Sandra Meyndt

Mr. Waller, how did you come up with the idea of holding this event?

Helmut Waller: At our retreat last year, we asked ourselves: What new thing could the staff council do? We collected ideas and evaluated them, and the summer festival got the most support. So that was that - we’d do it.

Who is invited?

All employees of the University of Freiburg - and because it’s a family festival, they can bring their partners and children. So far 400 people have said they will come, and if there are more it would be a great success.

What are the aims of the event?

We would like university employees to talk to one another in a different context, outside of the university. And it’s contact between members of different institutions which is important to us: Up to now, there’s been the excursion and the Christmas party for the Central Administration on the one hand, and faculty parties and many other de-central activities on the other. The summer festival provides an opportunity to bring together the academic and the administrative.

So it’s about team building?

We’re not actively trying to team-build, but we do think it’s hugely important for people to meet and talk about things other than work, at least to talk without time pressure, to get to know each other personally instead of just on the telephone. These are simple but important things. And joint events can help promote them. I remember well the celebration of the University’s 550th anniversary in 2007; the feeling it created in many parts of the the University that we were all pulling together - that provided impetus for the Excellence Initiative. We would be very happy if the summer festival helped with that feeling of togetherness.

What is on offer at the festival?

We have a lively program. The brass ensemble “Unibrass” has got together just for the summer festival; the “Contrappunto bestiale” choir from the Faculty of Biology will be singing; the “PausenExpress” fitness people will invite everyone to get moving, and the ultimate act is the rock band “die Schnittchen,” in which I play bass. On top of that, employees get coupons for food and drinks, which are paid for by donations from senior managers.

Is this to become a regular fixture?

If the summer festival goes well, we could certainly imagine holding it again. Whether it becomes a fixture or not, we’ll see. It would be great.


Summer festival
The summer festival is on Thursday, 29 June 2017, from 4pm to 10pm at the Ganter Biergarten and in the Wodanhalle, Leo-Wohleb-Straße 4, 79098 Freiburg. The beer garden and the hall are reserved exclusively for employees of the University of Freiburg. The staff council requests that you register your planned attendance by 28 June 2017 by email to or via the online form.


Foto: Kathrin39/Fotolia