One of the really large events of the RUHR2010 is the !Sing – Day of Song. I’m too lazy to use my own words to explain what that is, so I quote from the event’s website
The DAY OF SONG will transform the whole Ruhr Metropolis with a festival of singing. More than 670 Choirs with more than 23.000 Singers invite the citizens of the region to join them in song. On the weekend of 4th and 5th June, the message of the DAY OF SONG will be heard everywhere: Everyone is a singer, everyone can join in. The sound of singing will spread to the most unexpected of places: with !SING CITY, for instance, a singing convoy of ships steams down the Rhein-Herne-Kanal, und with !SING TWINS guests from sister cities across Europe join German choirs in Welcome concerts.
Festivities come to a climax on the evening of June 5th 2010 with !SING EUROPE, an extraordinary concert in the VELTINS Football Stadium in Gelsenkirchen, featuring Bobby McFerrin, The Wise Guys and The Bochumer Symphoniker joining up to 65,000 singers in an ambitious program ranging from folk songs to the fourth movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
There are the few mentioned singers/groups on the stage (main stage + two satellites actually), but the main artists of this concert will 230 choirs with 7500 singers, who will be sitting on the field all around the center stage and who will be singing the kind of lead vocals. They’ll be singing polyphonically, which means they have been practicing these songs for the last few months or even longer. It’s a big concert after all. And it’s going to be televised even though it’s no live TV, but a recorded broadcast on Sunday evening.
I’d estimate that about half of the audience in the stands are choirs as well, who have performed in their hometown during the day or on the ships, and the sheet music will be handed out to everyone who wants to sing along. I’m not a singer except for rock concerts or hockey games where I can sing (or rather) shout with thousands and my off-key singing is drowned out by the rest. Or maybe I could sing if I’ve ever really learned how. I don’t know. I always feel like the timbre of my voice just doesn’t fit with the ones singing around me ;-) But I’m not there to sing anyway.