Twice a year, Leopoldstrasse and Ludwigstrasse are transformed into a huge pedestrian zone. Where cars normally drive through the city, a vibrant festival mile attracts countless people to Schwabing and Maxvorstadt.
For more than 20 years, Leopoldstrasse and Ludwigstrasse have been transformed into an adventure mile on two weekends a year. It is said that the street festival, which takes place once in spring and once in fall, is one of the largest of its kind in Europe. Strictly speaking, however, these are two street festivals that originated independently of each other and originally focused not on partying at all, but rather on idealism.
The Zamanand Festival, which has been continued since last year by the former organizers of the Streetlife Festival, has an interesting genesis. Originally, the festival was launched as a "car free day" by the city of Munich itself and co-organized by the Department for Climate and Environmental Protection. After the festival was successfully continued for many years as Streetlife Festival under the sponsorship of the Munich environmental protection organization Green City in 2003, the event developed into a popular event in the Munich festival scene.
After the end of the pandemic and the end of the Streetlife Festival, some former organizers decided to save the festival under a new name. The Zamanand Festival is now officially the successor event of the Streetlife Festival and takes place again between Odeonsplatz and Siegestor.
Leopoldstrasse and Ludwigstrasse in Schwabing have been turned into a mile of excitement and adventure for two weekends a year since the year 2000. The street festival takes place once in spring and once again in autumn; it's said to be one of the biggest of its kind in Europe. Strictly speaking, these two street festivals actually emerged separately, and the original focus was not only on celebrating, but also on idealism.
The motto of the Zamanand Festival is "Sustainability, Diversity and Tolerance". The event is open to all interested parties free of charge and offers numerous information booths, workshops and hands-on activities by Munich associations and institutions. The festival places a special focus on environmental protection and social cohesion. Due to the car-free day, it offers a unique platform for the entire city society to create awareness for the challenges of our time.
Additionally, there are eight festival stages on the festival grounds with a wide range of musical focuses. There is something for every taste, from pop and rock to hip-hop and electro to traditional world music.
In the early years, the Corso Leopold association, newly founded in 2004, was part of the Streetlife Festival and established itself as an independent event in the following years.
The Corso Leopold stretches from the Siegestor to the Münchner Freiheit square and dates back to an idea from 1994 that was inspired by cheering football fans who had turned Leopoldstrasse into a party street. One year later, on 21 May 1995, thousands of people strolled down the middle of the road from the Münchner Freiheit square to Odeonsplatz. The motto of the self-proclaimed “Corsaren” was “Hit the road!”. The thought behind this was that the streets didn’t just belong to the cars! The people behind Corso Leopold wanted to make it possible to walk along Leopoldstrasse without cars for two days. But it’s not that easy to block a road in Germany.
So the fortunate circumstance arose that in the early 2000s the Streetlife Festival was moved to Ludwigstraße between Odeonsplatz and Siegestor. In front of Corona, the original pedestrian movement of the "Corsars" took place together with the adjacent Streetlife Festival.
The Corso Leopold focuses mainly on art and culture. Each festival has a central artistic theme developed by local artists. Stages are set up at large intersections, and visitors can enjoy music, theatre and readings at various stalls and tents. And there’s certainly no shortage of food stalls.
Together, the two festivals offer a colorful program over a total length of around 2.3 kilometers.