The Tollwood takes place every six month, alternately on the Theresienwiese and in the Olympiapark. The first Tollwood was hosted in the Olympiapark in summer 1988. Originally it had been a stage for artists from the vicinity. Over the years, more and more international artists have come to perform for the audience. In general it is a festival with a creative market, certified organic catering, and an arts program made of drama, music and fine arts. Since the winter of 1991, there is a winter Tollwood to supplement the summer Tollwood.
Every summer, the festival attracts more than 850,000 visitors. The winter festival is not quite as highly frequented with approx. 600,000 visitors. The arts program is available in advance via Internet. Tickets for the different events (concerts, theatre) can also be booked via Internet. The entrance to the market of ideas and to the catering services however is free for all. The festival is not publicly subsidized, the tickets for the events and the rent from the stall operators are the sole source of financing.
Tollwood is a forum for ecology and environmental awareness. It wants to be a platform where social and ecological topics have preference. Tollwood regularly tries to give important impulses for ecological projects. One example is the organic certification of the catering services which has been introduced in winter 2003.