Category Archives: What’s On

House of Consumption Culture LOKAL

The LOKAL is a tiny, old, bilious green house hidden behind a small fence, bushes and trees and located between a tire dealer, church institutions and regular residential buildings. I had passed it several times without noticing it until I was invited to an exhibition at the LOKAL. It was so unoptrusive that I passed by the location twice until I noticed it and eventually entered the building. I didn’t know what I had expected but definitely not something like I got to see inside: a rustic-style charming little house with unplastered walls, a DIY bar, old retro-like furniture, a wintergarden (smoking area) crowded with people. I was fascinated by this place of which I had never known existed.

The LOKAL serves as a place for consumption and culture and is run by the LOKAL e.V. – a charity association. It is a network and platform for creative people in Hamburg, enhancing sustainability and regional commonness. Here, everyone can participate in all kinds of events, DIY workshops, readings and lectures about fashion, textile, design and handmaking. It is functioning as a central and affordable space for young artists and creatives in Altona and close to the lively Sternschanze neighbourhood. Every 4th Wednesday of a month, it is rent-free and if you have a good idea for an event, workshop or similar you can apply to use the space.

Regularly organized workshops in August are nude drawing (free entrance), the sewing club, the knitting club (free entrance), and an exhibition (free entrance as well) called „…von Fischköppen und Sackgesichtern… „ („about fish heads and bastard faces“, quite common German word for different kinds of people).

It’s definitely worth visiting the LOKAL – over and over – because it is always surprising, different and inspiring!

Low-Budget Festivals in Hamburg

Unique and temporary magic worlds inbetween informal networks

When you are in Hamburg, you definitely shouldn’t miss out on the one or other openair festivals – Jazz, Metal, electronic music, 70ies, rock, art and performances – all transforming (lost) spots in Hamburg’s urban environment. Here you can get a feeling of the music scene and how important such festivals are for Hamburg people who like to enjoy music in an artistic, unique, relaxed or crowded atmosphere.
Free/affordable, unique and colourful festivals are usually not promoted a lot (mainly due to financial reasons) but rather through local networks. I came up with a neat collection of interesting festival which are still coming up in 2014  (in chronological order):

 

Keine Knete – trotzdem Fete „no money – nonetheless party“
When: 25.07.2014 (Fri) – 27.07.2014 (Sun)
What: art, culture, music (HipHop, Punk, Rock, Techno, Dubstep, Drum’n’Bass, Jazz), workshops, festival for children, cinema, vegan food
Where: 21079 Hamburg
Comments: small size, noncommercial, outside

 

Hafengrün Festival „green harbour festival“
When: 01.08.2014 (Fri) – 03.08.2014 (Sun)
What: electronic music and free air culture. „Love, bass and sunshine“ at old harbour dockyard
Where: Altes Werftgelände, Neuhöfer Damm 98, 21107 Hamburg
Comments: 6-27 Euros

 

Spektrum
When: 02.08.2014
What: from HipHop, Dubstep to Drum’n’Bass
Where: MS Dockville Gelände, Alte Schleuse 23, Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg
Comments: cheap

 

Butterland Open Air
When: 03.08.2014
What: techno, electro, electro-swing, djs…
Where: MS Dockville Uferpark, Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg
Comments: cheap, cool location!

 

international summer festival
When: 06.08.2014 – 24.08.2014
What: art, performance, installations, theatre
Where: Kampnagel
Comments: costs depend on show, very interesting cultural venue

 

KNOTEN.13 „Festival for urban art“
When: 11.10.2014 – 13.10.2014
What: 40 urban art artists from all over Germany (“Zipper – Die Rakete”, Uli Pforr, Elmar Lause), music
Where: Kolbenhof, Friedensallee 128, 22763 Hamburg
Comments: 3-10 €, very charming venue, „we don’t want to show just art, we want to celebrate it!“

 

Kulturflut „culture flood“
When: 02.10.2014 – 04.10.2014
What: music (Folk Rock, Ska, Kammerpunk, Singer), local and international artists, readings, comedy, art exhibition, impro theatre, programme for children
Where: Gorch-Fock-Park, Finkenwerder-Hamburg
Comment: partly for free, first time ever!

 

Got money – more festivals
There are the ‘biggies’ with crowds of visitors, with a certain theme, and often expensive. Free exceptions are the Duckstein Festival (18.-27.07.14) and the legendary 70ies music parade Schlagermove in St. Pauli. Special but rather expensive are the metal festivals Wacken Open Air, Hamburg Metal Dayz and Elbriot FestivalDockvilleReeperbahn FestivalFilmfest Hamburg with national and international movies, Überjazz and Elbjazz.

 

Back again in 2015
Special, free but only again in 2015 are Hamburg’s Woodstock-like festival Wutzrock (since 1979), peaceful electronic dancing at Grünanlage, ska etc. at the Sommerfest Umsonstladen HeimfeldJazz Open at Planten un Blomen park, the cultural neighbourhood festival Altonale48 Stunden Wilhelmsburg, and the International Short Film Festival (2014 30th anniversary!).
In case, you plan to experience Hamburg in 2015, definitely check out one of these great events.

 

Hints on facebook
Would you like one more hint? I check out current open airs, usually small, for free and noncommercial here. Festivals and open airs are definitely worth to check out in Hamburg! Be open for surprises and some magic 😉

Party of the Year – Hamburg’s Port Birthday

So guess what tomorrow is guys!? …It just so happens to be the greatest harbour festival IN THE WORLD, right here in Hamburg! Yes, that’s right, this weekend over a million visitors will flock to the harbour to celebrate 825th birthday of the Port. Personally, I can’t wait to see the birthday cake that fits 825 candles (*this may not be an actual event), but there are a TONNE of other exciting activities to keep you entertained this weekend as well!

It would take me about a month to list all the events for the festival, they are endless! But you can find the complete programme here.

As usual, I aim to write about the more eclectic, alternative and fun aspects of Hamburg that aren’t covered by the major tourism websites. Here are my top 4 events for the Harbour Festival:

1. HAFENROCK!

A mini music festival on the harbour, and it’s free!There are three stages to choose from, spanning genres from reggae, folk, punk, ska, rock, jazz and gypsy swing. Check out their website for full listings.

2. Rustic Fishermans Village @ StrandPauli

Fisherman’s cottages, delicious traditional food and live music will take over the ‘beachfront’ at StrandPauli Beach Bar from 10am til midnight, Friday – Sunday.

3. Harbour Fun

So, while this isn’t a single event, I suggest you spend some time admiring the incredbly beautiful and diverse ships and boats on the harbour for the festival.Vessels come from all around the wolrd to join in this celebration, so there is plenty to feast your eye upon! At 7pm on Friday there is also a water-skiing show on the harbour!

4. Buenos Aires Argentinian Festival at Kehrwiederspitze

Think Argentinian style BBQs, wine, music and dancing.

5. Fireworks!

Who doesn’t love fireworks. Silly colourful explosions in our sky… humans are so crazy. Enjoy the spectacle on Saturday night at 10.30pm.

 

Rainbow Fountains and Fields of Flowers

As if we didn’t have enough reasons to love Planten un Blomen already for its 47 hectares of sprawling gardens, lush grass, public sunbathing chairs and colourful array of blooming flowers, now the Summer Programme has begun too!

From public orchestra performances, guided walks, workshops, pop concerts and of course, the famous Wasserlichtspiele (water light show), you can find the entire programme here.

I went to see the water light show the other night, and I was extremely impressed. Take a little picnic dinner and some drinks, and set yourself up in front of the Great Lake at about 9.30pm. The show starts at 10pm every night, but it can get quite crowded!

The show is controlled by two artists, who sync the display to an amplified soundtrack. One controls the water jets while the other controls the extravagant lighting system. The theme of the music changes over the course of the summer as well.

It’s free, it’s romantic, it’s beautiful and awe-inspiring; a definite must see while in Hamburg.

 

Emergenza Rock Festival at KNUST!

Spanning 824 clubs in 34 different countries, showcasing over 30,000 bands, it’s no wonder that Emergenza Rock Festival is the world’s biggest festival for unsigned bands!

For the past 16 years, the Knust music club in St Pauli has set up stage for the Hamburg branch of the festival. Over the next week numerous unsigned bands will battle it out on stage to win the crowds vote in the hope of moving on to the regional finals.

Check out the program on the Knust website and head over to St Pauli to support our amazing local talent.

*Photo courtesy of Maria Mitrofanova, used under Creative Commons

 

Central Park Opens This Thursday!

Central Park, one of Hamburg’s most beloved beach bars tucked away in the Sternchanze district, opens it’s doors for the summer this Thursday! A must see while in Hamburg; whether it’s reclining on a hammock in the sunshine sipping on a delicious cocktail from the Von Eden Kochbar, or sharing a beer with friends around an open fire in the evening, we are sure you will find the beach of Central Park the perfect oasis to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

Central Park is a short walk from Sternchanze S-Bahn station and is open from 10am (when the sun is shining) until 11pm (12pm on Saturdays) from Thursday the 17th of April.

Central-Park-Abends-web_7944cd4d7a

Central Park, Max-Brauer-Allee 277

Hamburg’s Easter Bonfires

If you’ve been wandering around Hamburg lately you may have noticed the trees flourishing with new life. Wee baby leaves are sprouting from the tips of stark winter branches as various hues of green begin to soften the urban landscape of Hamburg. The days are getting longer, the parks are filling with people… Spring has arrived!

In the leafy residential area of St Pauli where I live, and all across the city, you will see gaily coloured eggshell ornaments tied to shrubs and bushes with ribbon reminding us that Easter is just around the corner!

If you find yourself in Hamburg this Easter weekend there are many events on to keep you occupied, most exciting of which is the traditional Osterfeuer (Easter Fire)! On Saturday the 19th of April, Hamburg will alight with celebratory bonfires. Originally a pagan tradition to celebrate the coming of spring and demise of winter, the Osterfeuer was later continued by Christians. Luckily for you, religious or not, this means massive Easter Saturday bonfires all across the city!

There are numerous Osterfeuer organised across Hamburg, you can find full listings of events over at Ganz-Hamburg. Many of the bonfires have live music, drinks and food vendors. My hot tip is to head to Blankenese for a beachfront bonfire… Ah spring time in Hamburg.

The Easter weekend also marks the end of the springtime DOM carnival. If you haven’t already got stuck into some fire roasted Bratwurst, sipped a cold beer while enjoying 360 degree views of the city in the SkyBar or tried your hand at shooting ducks in hope of winning an oversized plush elephant… Then get yourself down to DOM this weekend before it all wraps up. It will be closed for Good Friday, but otherwise open until Easter Monday.

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