The festival season has begun! In NRW, this means highlights for music fans, art and culture lovers and anyone who likes to laugh.
Rock, pop, reggae and electronic beats
Traumzeit Festival, Duisburg
Where steel was once smelted is now a location where bands work the crowds at the Traumzeit Festival. From 22 to 24 June 2018, in the Duisburg Nord landscape park, a former smelting works, the stage will host bands such as Mogwai, the Mighty Oaks or Faber. The programme includes sound, light and video projections.
The really special feature here is the event location. Here, music is played on an island, surrounded by an artificial lake. The reggae festival on the Fühlinger See lake brings a Caribbean feeling to Cologne from 6 to 8 July 2018. The stars include Gentleman, Ziggy Marley and Chronixx.
Ruhr Reggae Summer, Dortmund und Mülheim
Three days of love, peace and music – that’s the motto of the Ruhr Reggae Summer Festival in the Ruhr region. From 31 May to 2 June 2018, great names from reggae such as Patrice or Macka B will play in the Revierpark Wischlingen in Dortmund. From 10 to 12 August 2018, the party continues in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Here, the reggae festival is already legendary.
Vainstream Rockfest, Münster
On 20 June 2018, rock fans make the pilgrimage to Münster, in the Münsterland region, where they can party to artists such as Beatsteaks, Bullet for my Valentine and Casper, as well as other metal, punk and hardcore bands.
Open Source Festival, Düsseldorf
In the middle of the forest, at the Düsseldorf racecourse, you can hear beats and bass instead of hoofbeats on 14 July 2018. At the Open Source Festival, performers include Tocotronic, Cigarettes after Sex and Zugezogen Maskulin.
The electronic music festival with a difference. The site has a direct airport connection, since it is just a few hundred meters away from the take-off and landing runway at Düsseldorf-Weeze airport. Here, entry tickets are called “Visas”, and visitors become citizens of Parookaville, which has been brought to life once a year since it was premièred in 2015. This year, the festival, which will start top DJs such as Armin van Buuren, David Guetta and Robin Schulz, will be held from 20 to 22 July.
From 19 to 22 July 2018, Bochum city centre will again be turned into the ultimate festival site. For four days, a free open-air programme is offered, with more than 100 bands and artists – from regional newcomers to top acts.
A theatre in a medieval castle with old trees gives this festival its particular charm. From 20 to 28 July 2018, the festival will host artists from the field of cabaret, comedy, theatre, classical music, jazz, musicals and rock and pop, including Christine Westermann and Amy Macdonald.
Juicy Beats Festival, Dortmund
Well-known bands such as Kraftklub, Editors or Boys Noize will be among the headliners at the Dortmunder Westfalenpark on 27 and 28 July 2018. Festivalgoers who want to stay overnight on the former federal horticultural show site are offered a special service. On the campsite, tents are provided for up to four people which have already been put up and equipped.
Haldern Pop Festival
Since 1984, the ground in the Lower Rhine region has shaken to the sounds of the “Haldern Pop” festival in Rees-Haldern. The special feature at this festival is that here, musicians perform who are (still) unknown, who often later become major stars. Former newcomers have included Muse, Mumford & Sons and Kings Of Leon, who at that time were still only part of the afternoon programme. This year, too, the festival line-up will include mainly less well-known bands and singer-songwriters, from 9 to 11 August 2018.
c/o pop Festival, Köln
From 29 August to 2 September 2018, over 80 bands, artists and DJs will appear on 30 stages and in clubs in Cologne. Its tradition as a “discoverer festival” for upcoming new artists will be continued. On Super Saturday, young artists will perform all around the Belgian Quarter, with free entry shows on stages, in shops and in bars.
Zeltfestival Ruhr, Bochum
In the tent city on the Kemnader See lake, well-known musicians and word artists alternate on the programme from 17 August to 2 September 2018, including Freundeskreis and James Blunt. There are also theatre performances for children. In the outdoor venue of the white tent city, there is an international design and crafts market.
Ruhr in Love, Oberhausen
The organisers of the Ruhr in Love festival promise a perfect day out in a green environment. The Oberhausen OlgaPark certainly is green, and when famous DJs and young upcoming stars play everything from shuffle to rave, jumpstyle, House, techno and hardtrance on 7 July 2018, the park shakes to the dancing crowd.
Classical music, art and theatre
Theaterfestival Impulse, Düsseldorf, Köln, Mülheim a.d. Ruhr
This festival offers outstanding German-language open-air theatre from 13 June to 24 June 2018 at the main Düsseldorf venue and in the partner cities of Cologne and Mülheim a.d. Ruhr. The works performed take a documentary, analytical, conceptually clear, poetical look at present-day events. The purpose of the festival is to offer aesthetic alternatives and using theatre as a medium to test, expand and question them.
Schlosskonzerte (Palace concerts), Brühl
One of the most unusual concert halls in Germany, the Grand Staircase in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Augustusburg palace in Brühl, is the venue for the Brühl palace concerts every summer. Until early September 2018, the programme includes numerous events, such as the Haydn Festival from 24 August to 2 September. The furious finale is a firework display synchronised with Joseph Haydn’s oratorio “The Seasons”.
Music, dance, theatre, performance and art in the former industrial halls of the Ruhr region form the programme of the Ruhrtriennale from 17 August to 30 September 2018. The venues are former power stations, coking plants, blowing engine rooms, machine buildings and coal mixing plants, as well as rubble heaps and wasteland on former mining and steelworks sites.
The classical music Beethovenfest festival in Bonn, directed by Nike Wagner, has “Fate” as its theme this year, from 31 August to 23 September 2018. For Beethoven, who was around 30 when he became deaf, the concept of fate was a central theme. Beethoven’s Fifth has become known as the “Fate Symphony”. His final piano sonatas and other works that express his “final thoughts” can be heard.
This is a night where industrial culture comes alive. On 30 June 2018, around 2,000 artists will use furnaces, gasometers and collieries at 46 venues in 21 towns and cities in the Ruhr region as stages for shows, performances, concerts and acts involving audience participation. The ExtraSchicht offers guided tours through the historical buildings, with several art exhibitions, as well as live music and a major laser show.
Altenberger Kultursommer, Odenthal
Architectural gems and the great Altenberger Dom cathedral, which looks out over the green landscape of the Bergisches Land region in Odenthal offer venues for the Altenberger Kultursommer. From 16 June to 22 September 2018, nine concerts and festivals will offer chamber music, jazz and church music. The opening and final concerts will be held in the Altenberger Dom cathedral. Other venues include a small Romanesque village church, a manor house courtyard and the small-scale Strauweiler palace.
Parklichter, Bad Oeynhausen
Lights out, spot on! From 3 to 5 August 2018, open-air concerts will be held with German newcomers, extravagant light shows and an impressive fireworks display in the spa park in Bad Oeynhausen. The well-known musical acts include SDP and Bausa, who will perform at a concert on Friday. On Saturday, other artists will perform at the Parklichter (or “park lights”) festival, while Sunday is family day, with jugglers, a range of different games and children’s make-up artists.
Parknächte Schloss Dyck
The Parknächte (“park nights”), formerly the „Illumina“, in Schloss Dyck palace in Jüchen, promise a dreamlike experience. From 7 to 16 September 2018, the water palace on the Lower Rhine invites visitors to enter its illuminated English landscape garden. A choreographed light display with speech and music is on offer, and from 8pm to 12 midnight, visitors can experience a composition of light, sounds and colours.
Comedy Arts Festival Moers
The Comedy Arts Festival is Germany’s oldest and internationally most highly-respected comedy arts festival. Like almost no other festival of its kind, it is a hit among the audience while also offering high artistic quality. From 13 to 16 September 2018, comedians, performance artists, musicians and cabaret artists aim to achieve one thing above all else: to make the audience laugh. In front of the hall, there is plenty going on along the “Boulevard of Attractions”.