Music state NRW: Experience Rock and Pop

An introduction to the history of music in NRW

Autor: Katharina Hogrebe

The Sound of #urbanana
Over 150 locations in Cologne, Düsseldorf and the Ruhr region are waiting to be discovered in your own individual way with the new web app. Users can select from three modes: pre-set pop routes take you to selected spots, while the “impro” mode, which uses geo data, shows all spots in your current vicinity, while “pop documentaries” gives detailed essays about the pop history of Cologne, Düsseldorf and the Ruhr region.

In Cologne, for example, one focus, among many others, is on the band Can, regarded as being an icon of Kraut rock, or the Kompakt label, which is a booking agency and record store, as well as the birthplace of the electronic “Sound of Cologne”. Locations in Düsseldorf include the former studio used by Kraftwerk and the former Ratinger Hof, the birthplace of German punk and New Wave. In Hagen, in the Ruhr region, you can find out more about Nena and Extrabreit, while in Bochum, the guide spans music ranging from Herbert Grönemeyer to Frida Gold.

German Rock’n’Popmuseum, Gronau
The rock’n’popmuseum in Gronau re-opens with a new look. In October 2018, the museum is due to re-open after around 18 months of conversion work. One of the main changes is the redesign of the permanent exhibition. In future, visitors will be able to experience the importance of pop music for rebellion, clothing and dance. A club area for alternating exhibitions and live concerts is planned for the building basement.

Musikarchiv NRW, Cologne
Whether it’s pop, rock, light pop, jazz, classical, rap, hip-hop or electronic music, in the Musikarchiv NRW, the varied music scene in the state and its history are documented, stored and made available to anyone interested in taking a look. The stock includes a wide range of different types of recordings from the past 90 years, as well as films and videos, posters, stickers, flyers, contracts, backstage passes, autograph cards and entry tickets. The archive, which is based in Cologne, has no regular opening hours, but can be visited by appointment.


Insider tips, trends and the stars of tomorrow

A pilgrimage site for Tupac fans, Herford
Herford is a well-known destination for fans of the rapper Tupac Shakur. In front of the Marta Herford Museum, there is a huge sculpture of the gangster rapper, who became a martyr for his fans after his murder in 1996. Paolo Chiasera’s statue was created for the Marta opening exhibition, “(My private) Heroes”.

Balver Höhle concert venue
The Balver Höhle cave in Balve is the largest culture cave in Europe, and regularly offers concerts against a very special backdrop. This natural event space, which is up to eleven meters high, 18 meters wide and nearly 90 meters deep, has a particular acoustic, which was recorded for example on the unplugged album of the band “Die fantastischen Vier”. Music fans can experience the atmosphere live at rock, pop, classical, musical or Irish folk concerts.

New Techno Festival, Düsseldorf
On 13 October 2018, the “Awakenings and Time Warp present Connect” festival will present the international artist avantgarde of electronic music at the Düsseldorf trade fair centre. This joint project run by two established and well-known festivals for this music direction, Awakenings in Amsterdam and Time Warp in Mannheim, aims to present partygoers with the best sounds, lights and sound productions.

The best newcomers from NRW
Anyone wanting to get to know young and upcoming hopefuls in the music world before they become famous should think about attending the popNRW prize award ceremony.  The “Outstanding Artist” award, which is worth 10,000 euros, is presented every year to a particularly talented band from North Rhine-Westphalia. The newcomer from NRW with the greatest prospects for the future is awarded 2,500 euros. The winners of the 2014 awards included Cologne-based band AnnenMayKantereit, for example. This year, the new Essen band International Music won the popNRW “Best Newcomer” award, while the first prize for “Outstanding Artist” went to the Cologne artist Goldroger. The awards are always presented during the c/o pop festival in Cologne, which celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2018. The next edition of the festival, which focuses on well-known stars, but in particular also on new national and international acts, will be held from 1 to 5 May 2019.
www.nrw-kultur.de | https://popnrw.de | www.c-o-pop.de/festival

The latest hip-hop trends
TU Dortmund University aims to become the centre of European hip-hop research. In March 2018, the American Studies department at TU Dortmund University invited researchers, artists and activists to attend a founders’ meeting. The aim is to create a major international network of researchers who among other things will focus on hip-hop from a cultural studies perspective.

The shortest Walk of Fame in the world
A musical Walk of Fame is due to be created in front of the Metronom-Theater in Oberhausen. At the main entrance, however, it has only been possible to see the imprints of Udo Jürgens to date – making this the shortest Walk of Fame in the world.  The theatre shows successful musicals; in November 2018, for example, the musical “Bat Out of Hell”, with the global hits by Meatloaf, will celebrate its German première. The programme can be seen on the stage of the CentrO shopping centre until 31 May 2019.


Guided tours and musical city maps

Backstage in the Lanxess-Arena, Cologne
In Cologne, visitors can walk onto a stage that otherwise belongs to world-famous stars. During a guided tour of the Lanxess-Arena, you’ll be given insider information about all aspects of Germany’s largest, most modern multi-functional arena, take a look at the artists’ dressing rooms and enter the boxes that are otherwise occupied by VIPs.

Guided tour of the Tonhalle, Düsseldorf
“Von Sternen zu Stars”, “from dreams to stars”, is the motto of a guided tour through different areas of this concert hall offered by city guide and long-term employee of the Tonhalle. The programme includes stories about the building and its artworks and a look behind the scenes.

Folding record store map for Cologne
While it may have looked as though records would be replaced by CDs and MP3s, today, vinyl is enjoying a revival – and with it, specialist record stores.  In Cologne, record stores are so numerous and well-stocked that they also attract visitors from other countries. A newly-published Vinyl Map points the way to the large number of places where analogue recordings can be purchased. The city map can be ordered by phone from KölnTourismus at +49 (0)221/346430.
blog.koelntourismus.de | blog.koelntourismus.de

Guided tour of “The Sound of Düsseldorf”
The “Kling Kling. The Sound of Düsseldorf” follows in the traces of the people and places that dominated, and continue to dominate, the Düsseldorf music scene. The second edition, which will appear on 30 September 2018, includes places in the old city located at the centre of the musical city tour. We won’t tell you which ones. After the end of the tour, anyone with enough stamina is invited to visit the KIT Museum. From 29 September to 3 October, the “#Tonträger – Düsseldorfer Musiker erzählen ihre Geschichte” (“Records – Düsseldorf musicians tell their story”) exhibition will present the individuals and institutions that have dominated the sound of the city for the last 30 years, and which continue to do so today.


Special musical exhibitions

Neue Deutsche Welle, Hagen
Until 4 November 2018

When punk and New Wave took over from established rock music at the end of the 1970s, there were so many new creative impulses coming from Hagen that during the early 1980s, the city became known as the “German Liverpool”. Acts such as Nena, Extrabreit and the Humpe-Schwestern first enjoyed success there around 40 years ago. The exhibition “Komm nach Hagen, … mach dein Glück!” (“Come to Hagen, … make your luck!”) in the Osthaus Museum illuminates this music scene with more than 300 exhibits, including photos and film excerpts that have never before been released, as well as posters, records, fan items, musical equipment, concert and studio technology, stage outfits, original drawings and layouts for record covers.

Pink Floyd exhibition, Dortmund
15 September 2018 to 10 February 2019

Unreleased concert recordings, original instruments and a large number of personal mementoes belonging to band members are among the highlights of the first Pink Floyd exhibition worldwide in the Dortmunder U. The multimedia experience exhibition looks back over more than five decades of formative rock history. The highlights of the exhibition include unreleased concert recordings, original instruments, unknown pieces of writing and a large number of personal memorabilia belonging to the members of the British cult band.

Pop goes Art, Cologne
Until 24 March 2019

This exhibition in the Museum of Applied Arts in Cologne (MAKK) offers pop for the eyes. “Andy Warhol – Pop goes Art” shows record covers designed and produced by the artist, as well as numerous sketches and designs. The works originate from a private collection that has not been made available to the public until now. The interplay between art and music as media is documented through films, audio plays, photographs and other works by Warhol.

Michael Jackson Show, Bonn
22 March to 14 July 2019

How did contemporary artists see Michael Jackson? Next year, the very different answers to this question will be presented in the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn. The “Michael Jackson. On the Wall” show will present the King of Pop’s influence on some of the leading figures in contemporary art. It will contain works from over 40 artists from public and private collections from all over the world, including items created especially for the exhibition.


Silke Dames

Teamleiterin Channelmanagement und Contentredaktion | Pressesprecherin B2C
Völklinger Straße 4, 40219 Düsseldorf
Telefon: +49 (0) 211 91 320 -514
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