Poetry in the University lecture hall

The first Bielefeld Lecture Hall Slam took place on 31 May 2011 to great public acclaim. The lecture hall slam has established itself as a regular cool and trendy event with a mixture of creative word acrobatics, every day philosophy and curious stories in and around the university. Slammers from all over Germany perform their work on these evenings and vie for the favour of the audience in the packed out Audimax.

Slam host Sven Stickling at the 9th Bielefeld Lecture Hall Slam on 30 November 2016.

Photo: Jochen Kopp
Source: Universität Bielefeld

The first ever spoken word event in the series had to be moved from lecture hall 12 to the larger lecture hall 1 due to overcrowding. After the stairs were fully occupied, the Campus TV team had to shut the doors and send some people away. The atmosphere among the 500 listeners sitting and standing in each and every corner of the hall grew more intense with each performance, on themes such as finding a flatshare and diet camps, coffee cravings and constructing an ark, or going to weddings and village life.

Report from CampusTV about the 10th Lecture Hall Slam and looking back at the slam event’s beginnings, 2017.

Source: Universität Bielefeld, Campus TV

The first ten events were hosted by Sven Stickling and Nico Bein, two renowned slam poets from OWL. Since the third event, the lecture hall slam has taken place in the Audimax, which seats about 1,000 people. Nevertheless, some people still have to be turned away when the auditorium reaches its full capacity. The line-up is always outstanding, so that over the years many German-speaking slam stars have been guests in Bielefeld. Among them were several winners of the German championships, inlcuding Jan Philipp Zymny, Patrick Salmen and Sebastian23.

Julia Engelmann at the 5th Bielefeld Lecture Hall Slam in 2013

Quelle: Universität Bielefeld, Campus TV

“One Day” is not a flash in the pan
The 5th lecture hall slam caused a sensation – but only in its aftermath. As always, the slam performances were filmed by Campus TV and uploaded to Youtube. The contribution by Julia Engelmann from Bremen with the title “One Day/Reckoning (One Day Baby We’ll be Old)” went viral and became the most clicked German-language Youtube video of the year. This was not the only performance, however, which put this Bielefeld-based competition for young slam poets firmly on the map.

Winner Friedrich Herrmann on stage at the 12th Bielefeld Lecture Hall Slam on 24 May 2018.

Photo: Jochen Kopp
Source: Universität Bielefeld