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There's always something going on in Oberstdorf. The colourful lifestyles, quiet corners, village customs, traditional folk culture and atmosphere, cultural oases and record sporting performances leave long-lasting impressions on visitors. One particular treat for lovers of classical music is the Oberstdorf Summer Music Festival. And for a traditional festival following old customs there is the Viehscheid cattle drive when cattle are brought down from mountain pastures at the end of summer. For winter sports enthusiasts the opening event of the Four Hills Tournament creates a rather special competitive atmosphere.
Oberstdorf Summer Music Festival
Every July and August you can watch the international stars of the classical music scene perform at orchestral and brass band concerts, the finest chamber music events, or evenings of traditional lieder or crossover music. Nebelhorn mountain becomes the world's highest concert hall with a serenade at 2,000 metres. Atmospheric churches and chapels, and the impressive baroque concert halls in the Prince Bishop's Residenz Palace in Kempten are just some of the other venues in Oberstdorf and the surrounding area.
"Viehscheid" cattle drive
There is a long tradition of cattle farming in the Allgäu. The cooperatively managed alpine pastures are dotted with animals from different farmers. Dairy farmers keep their cows on the farm in the summer, where their milk can be processed into butter and cheese, whereas the cattle farmers put their young animals out to pasture. After around 100 days the cattle are brought down from the mountains in September. During the Viehscheid cattle drive it is the young cattle that return home, but on St. Matthew's day it is mainly the older cows that are welcomed back, adorned by their owners with colourful head dresses. It is always a reason for celebrating and is usually followed by a proper traditional festival.
International Four Hills Tournament
At the end of December the opening event for the Four Hills Tournament in Oberstdorf takes place in a festive, sporting atmosphere.
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