Festivals in Germany: The 15 Best German Music Festivals

There are so many festivals in Germany that it was even tough to list the top 20. Germany is known as a haven of music, with some of the most amazing clubs, music scenes, and dj’s in the world calling Germany home. This situation gives way to tons of German music festivals that are among the best in Europe and the best in the world.

While Germany cant definitely lean toward electronic music, there are festivals in Germany of every genre imaginable (is beer a genre?! Yep, Oktoberfest is listed of course!). No matter what kind of festival you’re looking for, this list of German music festivals should have you covered. Oh, and the rankings are from sales data shared with me by Festicket. This means that they really are ranked as the top 20 most popular festivals in Germany according to the people who buy tickets to them. So it’s not specifically my personal opinion, but it means that there will be a lot more variety in there as there are people who like all kinds of music.

1. Airbeat One Festival

Airbeat One is one of (if not the) most well-known festivals in Germany. Taking over a usually quiet little town of Neustadt-Glewe, Airbeat One comes alive each July with five different stages across every possible electronic genre. And these aren’t normal stages, either. Airbeat One festival is known for its extraordinary stage design, with fantasy-like stages and atmosphere paired with mind-blowing lighting and production to create a fully immersive environment for festival-goers. There are even carnival rides and tons of crazy activities to do as well.

It doesn’t stop there, either. Airbeat One matches its top-notch production with an equally impressive lineup. Already announced for next year are Armin Van Buuren, W&W, and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. These names join past greats such as Tiesto, Adam Beyer, Paul Kalkbrenner, Angerfist & Partyraiser, Nervo, Richie Hawtin, Hardwell, Steve Aoki, DJ Snake, Above & Beyond, Black Coffee, Headhunterz, and more. So yeah, a bit of everything.

Location

Flugplatz Neustadt-Glewe, Germany

Dates

10-14 July

Genre

Electronic – EDM, Hardstyle, House, Techno

2. Nature One Festival

Nature One perhaps has one of the most unique venues of the German music festivals, converting an old NATO missile base into a venue with four main large dance floors/stages and tons of smaller dance areas as well. All together the different areas total easily up to 20 different stages, with upcoming talent and something different going on at each. The interesting industrial background adds an even more unique element to this massive festival, which takes in more than 50,000 guests each year.

Past headliners have included Sven Vath, Nina Kraviz, Charlotte de Witte, Aly & Fila, Joseph Capriati, Sebastian Ingrosso, ATB, Fedde Le Grand, and Robin Schulz. The festival doies lean towards house + techno, but has artists of all different backgrounds there as well.

Location

Pydna, former NATO missile base in Kastelluan, Germany

Dates

2-4 August

Genre

Electronic – House, techno, EDM, trance

3. Time Warp DE Festival

Time Warp is possibly one of the world’s best known and longest-running techno festivals, bringing the world’s biggest names into a 19-hour warehouse rave each April. This year will be Time Warp’s 25th – yep, twenty-fifth – edition, and it shows no signs of slowing down its multi-story hangar party anytime soon.

It would be tough to even find one name on the Time Warp lineup that you didn’t know, with world-famous names taking over the decks for the full almost-day. In the past you could see Nina Kraviz, Magda, Solomun, Rodhad, Loco Dice, Seth Troxler, Ricardo Villalobos, Dixon, Tale of Us, Pan-Pot, and more, and you can guess the lineup will be similarly amazing this year too.

Location

Maimarkthalle Hangar, Mannheim

Dates

7 April

Genre

Techno, house, techno… and more techno

4. Sea You Festival 2019

Sea You is a super unique house + techno festival located on the banks of Tunisee Lake outside of Freiburg, Germany. Festival-goers can immerse themselves into water sports, floatie races, swimming, and lakeside barbecues between stints boogie-ing to some of the world’s best house and techno. The area, which is in the countryside near to the borders of France and Switzerland, had been dubbed the ‘Beach Republic” due to its serene nature.

It’s not all relaxing and floating, however. Alongside all the relaxing on the beach is a lineup to rival any house and techno festival. Next year the names Amelie Lens, Boris Brejcha, and Neelix have already been announced, while in the past there has been Solomun, Nina Kraviz, Len Faki, Paul Kalkbrenner, Maceo Plex, Vini Vici, Richie Hawtin, and more. The festival tickets are extremely cheap, too!

Location

Tunisee, Freiburg, Germany

Dates

13-14 July

Genre

House + Techno

 

5. World Club Dome 2019

Perhaps one of the most unique and interesting concepts for festivals in Germany, World Club Dome transforms a sporting arena in Freankfurt each summer into what it dubs the ‘world’s biggest club.’ So what it goes for is making an ENTIRE covered sports arena into one massive single-stage club, with off-the-scale production and lighting that fills the entire thing. There are a few more open-air stages outside and around the stadium, and camping/food/activities in the fields surrounding it as well. But the main stage with the EDM headliners is of course within the stadium.

This festival mostly brings in EDM giants, such as Tiesto, Steve Aoki, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Nervo, deadmau5, Klangkarussell, W&W, Robin Schulz, and more, but at their ‘WCD Pool Sessions’ at a nearly outdoor pool you could find some equally great names within the house umbrella such as Solomun, Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Adriatique, ANNA, H.O.S.H. In recent years they have been bringing in some more stage areas such as Q Dance (hardstyle) and another stage with the likes of Jauz, Yellow Claw, EDX, and Malaa.

Location

Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt, Germany

Dates

7-9 June

Genre

Mostly EDM, some house + techno

6. Love Family Park Festival

Quite contrary to its name, Love Family Park festival isn’t a family festival…. it’s a techno one. One of many techno festivals in Germany, this one takes place in a park (one thing that’s true to its name!) in Russelsheim am Main. The one-day gig is a massive celebration of all things techno, during the daytime outdoors in the German summer.

Techno giants such as Carl Cox, Luciano, Andhim, Ricardo Villalobos,  and Sven Vath (who headlines every year!), have made appearances in the past, and you can also expect a similar vibe in the future.

Location

Russelsheim am Main, Germany

Dates

28th July

Genre

Techno, house

 

7. Indian Spirit Festival

Indian Spirit is one of the proper transformational festivals in Germany that focuses on psytrance and everything spiritual. Alongside the music you can expect to find vibrantly colored stages, tons of art and installations, crafts, markets, workshops, yoga, and more, all designed to elevate the spirit. The festival goes for 5 days, so there’s plenty of time to check out all that they have on offer.

In the past, headliners such as Neelix, Vini Vici, Astrix, Infected Mushroom, Liquid Soul, Ace Ventura, have made appearances, alongside dozens and dozens of up-and-coming or underground talent as well.

Location

Eldena

Dates

29 August – 3 September

Genre

Psytrance, electronic

8. New Horizons Festival 2019

New Horizons has quickly taken German music festivals by storm after its first year in 2017 – that’s right, this will just be its third edition! Dubbed ‘seven festivals in one’ due to all of the different music and things to do, New Horizons really reels attendees into another world. The stage production, atmosphere, and decorations are like something out of a fantasyland, and when you add in different performers and actors, art installations and fun areas, and different activities going on all over the place, you get a fully immersive experience.

If you even have time to see the headliners alongside everything else there is to do, you will not be disappointed. In the past, New Horizons has seen Steve Aoki, Tieso, Dimitri Vegas + Like Mike, Axwell V Ingrosso, Chris Liebing, Armin van Buuren, Dillon Francis, Marshmello, Angerfist, Claptone, Malaa, Ghastly, Charlotte de Witte, and Flosstradamus… creating what is surely one of the most diverse lineups of all the electronic festivals in Germany. They have different stages for each genre – trance, trap, urban, goa techno, house, EDM and more – making it easy to decide where you’d like to get lost.

Location

The Nürburgring, Nurburg, Germany

Dates

21-25 Auguse

Genre

Electronic- House, EDM, Techno

9. Ruhr-in-Love 2019

Going since 2003, Ruhr in Love is on of the favorite one-day electronic festivals in Germany. Happening from noon across a massive 40 – yes, FORTY – stages, I will absolutely guarentee to you that you’ll find at least something that you like, whether that be trance, techno, EDM, hardstyle, psytrance, house… you get the idea. You’ll witness loads of up-and-coming and local talent alongside some bigger headliners, but the focus here is on smaller-yet-still-amazing talent from the area. No matter what, you’ll surely have an adventure exploring around the many, many stages that there are.

In the past years, the headliners included Klaudia Gawlas, Party Favor, Plastik Funk, Ostblockschlampen, Moonbootica, Tujamo, and Pappenheimer. See if you can catch them all while still checking out all of the stages – it’ll be an adventure! If you want to check out the Netherlands while you’re at it, you could spend a day in Nijmegen – it’s just an hour away from this part of Germany.

Location

OLGA Park, Oberhausen, Germany

Dates

6 July

Genre

All Electronic – literally ALL.

10. Echelon Open Air & Indoor Festival 2019

Echelon Open Air + Indoor Festival is yet another one-day techno banger, which as its name suggests takes place in both indoor tents and outdoor stages. It takes place on a Cold War satellite tracking station, and there are still massive tracking orbs present at the venue. It takes place across five stages that are supplemented by the interesting and historic venue.

This German music festival is knows for its techno, but also has some house, EDM, and other electronic. Past headliners have included Carl Cox, Deborah de Luca, Boris Brejcha, Don Diablo, Yellow Claw, Neelix, and Yen Faki. Oliver Heldens, and Sam Paganini.

Location

Ehemalige US Kaserne (Cold War NSA Satellite Tracking Station), Bad Aibling, Germany

Dates

17 August

Genre

House, techno, electronic

11. Ikarus Festival

Ikarus Festival takes place each summer quite literally in an airport – well, on the grounds of an international one. And yes, you can still fly into it via quite a few budget airlines like RyanAir and WizzAir! Along with six different stages, Ikarus comes with performances, a circus program, and more.

Past headloiners have been Richie Hawtin, Nina Kraviz, Solomun, Tale of Us, Pan-Pot, Oliver Koletzki, and Nina Kraviz, and you can bet that any house music-lover will be in heaven at Ikarus Festival in any year to come.

Location

Memmingen Airport, Memmingerburg, Germany

Dates

7-9 June

Genre

House, Techno, Electronic

12. MAYDAY Dortmund

MAYDAY is yet another of the many fantastic electronic music festivals in Germany. You can find whatever you are looking for at this festival as long as it’s within the electronic scope – techno, trance, house, hardstyle, EDM, and more. MAYDAY has been going for 25 years now and is well known for its immersive and incredible visuals, music, and production quality.

Past headliners have seen a range of artists from Ferry Corsten, Aly & Fila, Marcus Schulz, and Adam Beyer to Angerfist, Charlotte de Witte, and Chris Liebing. The festival takes place across tons of different rooms, and has grown lots since Sven Vath helped its inception in 1991.

Location

Westfalenhallen, Dortmund

Dates

30 April

Genre

All electronic

 

13. Habitat Festival

Habitat is yet another music festival in Germany that is much more than a music festival. This festival brings in all sorts of conscious festival-goers to experience art classes, installations, sustainability workshops, film, theater, performances, yoga, and more. This all occurs alongside a pretty massive lineup of all different genres within the electronic umbrella. Sounds like a pretty ideal festival to me!

If you can find time alongside watching theater, doing yoga, and learning all kinds of new things at the workshops, the lineups are always great. In the past they’ve included the likes of Charlotte de Witte, Rodhad, Reinier Zonneveld, Monkey Safari, Alex Niggemann, and other equally deep and amazing artists.

Location

Flugplatz Hungriger Wolf (an airfield), Hohenlockstedt, Germany

Dates

25-28 July

Genre

House + Techno

14. MS Dockville Festival

MS Dockville is a multi-genre festival that takes place each August around some industrial docklands along the Elbe River near Hamburg. Dockville prides itself in its creative expression, with loads of art, markets, and more to do alongside the lineup of alternative, rock, and electronic giants.

Caribou, Bonobo, Elderbrook, Flume, Moderat, Murea Masa, Foals, alt-J, Interpol, and more have headlined in the past, so you can expect similar types of live acts fused with electronic elements in the next editions of the festival as well.

Location

Wilhelmsburg Docks, Hamburg, Germany

Dates

16-18 August

Genre

Alternative, Rock, Electronic

15. Oldenbora Festival

Oldenbora is a one-day fest that takes place within and on the beaches surrounding a lakeside beach club called Nethen, which is near Rastede, Germany. They like to say that this festival brings the vibe of Ibiza to Germany for a day, in that there are huge beach parties with great dj’s playing to them. If you get tired of dancing (or need a quick break), the lake is a popular and scenic place for water sports as well.

Past headliners have included Moguai, Oliver Koletzki, Moonbootica, Will Sparks, Riva Starr, Tom & Jame, and more.

Location

Nethen Beachclub + Surrounding Beaches, Rastede, Germany

Dates

20 May

Genre

House, Techno, Trance, EDM

16. Psychedelic Circus Open Air Festival 2019

Psychedelic Circus is pretty much exactly what its name says it is. This festival is a fully immersive atmosphere where nothing makes sense and everything makes sense at the same time 😛 . It is a true fantasyland where you can be whoever you want to be, while you listen to trippy music, play fun games with fellow attendees, explore around the decked-out venue, and forget the real world.

It’s a vibrant festival in every sense, from the decorations to the lineup. This festival is not all about the performers like many are, but there are also usually quite a few names to get excited about. In the past it has seen Fabio & Moon, Berg, Neelix, Francis Inferno Orchestra, Phaxe, and Secret Portal.

Location

Near Gohlen, Germany

Dates

9-13 May

Genre

Trance, psytrance, house, acid house

17. Heroes Festival

Heroes Festival is somehow one of the only fairly large hip hop/rap festivals in Germany, taking place at a huge events center near Geiselwind (closest to Nuremberg). It has risen quickly in popularity since its recent inception in 2017 – perhaps because there was a bit of a void when it came to larger hip hop German music festivals. Heroes Festival is known for being an all-around amazing party for the rap and hip hop scene, with amazing sound and production, rap collectives, and MC’s from around Germany coming to strut their stuff.

Last year the headliners included SXTN, Nimo, Olexesh, Luciano, Sido, and MoTrip, and you can expect similar local DJ’s , MC’s and talent for this year as well.

Location

Eventzentrum, Geiselwind, Germany

Dates

15th June

Genre

Hip Hop, Rap

18. Snowbeat Festival

Snowbeat Festival is one of the few big winter music festivals in Germany, and surely one of the most unique. It’s an electronic music festival that takes place in an indoor ski slope complex, with multiple rooms full of amazing production, sound, and pyrotechnics. Oh, and you can of course hit the slopes as well!

Snowbeat bring in dj’s in many different genres, including EDM, hardstyle, and house. In the past it has seen names such as Salvatore Ganacci, Coone, Ostblockschlampen, Alan Walker and Headhunterz – lots of talentt from both Germany and international.

Location

Alpincenter Indoor Snowsports Complex, Wittenburg

Dates

2nd Feb

Genre

EDM, hardstyle, house

19. Wacken Winter Nights Festival

Wacken Winter Nights is an extremely immersive and unique rock and metal festival held in the small and charming village of Wacken. This festival even focuses on medieval and mystic rock/folk, with some attendees and performers even dressing the part. This immersive music works perfectly in a snowy small German Village, where you can almost go back in time through performance, food, and costume.

If you enjoy German rock and metal, you may recognize names who have headlined before. PEople such as Saltatio Mortis, Grave Digger, Korpiklaani, Moonsorrow, Schandmaul, and Orphaned Land have played on the past, all presenting their own unique take on both dark and passionate music.

Location

Wacken, Germany

Dates

22 – 24 February

Genre

Rock, Metal

Cultural Festivals in Germany: Oktoberfest of Course!

20. Oktoberfest

What is Oktoberfest?! Well, the biggest beer festival in the world, of course. This cultural festival could absolutely not be left out when making a list of the best festivals in Germany, because it very well may be more famous than all these German music festivals combined. And hey – it’s not completely devoid of music. To be honest, music is just as important to Oktoberfest as any of these festivals – in fact, there are bands playing live music pretty much all the time in all of the many massive beer halls that comprise the festival. It’s just that, in this situation, beer and delicious food take precedence.

Oktoberfest takes place in a massive lot in central Munich, which is bordered by 14 beer halls/tents with massive capacities. Beer is only available by the liter, and this is not beer for the weak, either! Pretzels, pork knuckles, bratwurst, and other German delicacies should keep you going through  crazy amounts of beer, and it would also be a good idea to take breaks and play carnival games or try the many amusement park rides outside.

Location

Munich, Germany

Dates

22 September – 6th October

Genre

Beer 😉 And live cover bands.

Author: Anna Johnson

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