Summer may be over, but the festival season is far from done. In September, October and November Cologne plays host to a bunch of events that will give you flashbacks to your summer festival shenanigans – minus the mud and dodgy portaloos.
From September 24-25 you can enjoy a varied line-up of international talents at the Kornern Festival in Ehrenfeld. It takes place in and around the Club Bahnhof with readings and exhibitions during the day, and live performances at night. There are all kinds of musical delights to enjoy, in particular Icelandic musician Júníus Meyvant who was named best newcomer at the 2015 Icelandic Music Awards. Color Decay, on his new album Floating Harmonies, is well worth a listen. You can also catch up-and-coming UK band ISLAND and American/Japanese DJ SHIGETO, as well as many other German home grown talents.
Ehrenfeld: the place to be in September
The Urban Africa Festival takes place from the 27-30th September, also in and around Club Bahnhof in Ehrenfeld, which will act as the hub for a number of cultural events. With musicians from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Germany, it’s a truly international festival celebrating the great music coming out of Africa at the moment. You can catch South African superstar Cassper Nyovest and rapper AWA from Zimbabwe, as well as German musicians and DJs like Megaloh and Symbiz. The festival is part of the Urban Culture Academy, which, under the motto #myFuture2020, supports the development of the music industry in Africa.
From the 30th of September to the 2nd of October you can enjoy the best and most innovative progressive and tech metal artists from around the world at the Euroblast Festival at the Essig Fabrik in Cologne. Often considered a launch pad for new bands, you’re likely to see some of the next big things of the future at this year’s event. Headliners include Animals as Leaders and Veil of Maya from the US, Dead Letter Circus from Australia, and Enslaved from Norway.
Pretend to be a Bavaraian at Oktoberfest in Cologne
You may not agree in principal with the Kölner Oktoberfest – it feels a bit too much like a carnival “do” and there’s not a “Maß” in sight – but this cheesy event does a roaring trade every year. And of course the Kölners use it as an excuse to blast out all their favourite Karnevalslieder (carnival songs). So if you can’t wait till 11.11 to sing “En unserem Veedel” or “Echte Fründe,” pull on your lederhosen, or squeeze into your dirndl, and join the faux Bavarians in the Südstadt until the 2nd of October and “Drink doch ene met.”
From October 19-22nd you can enjoy the Frühstyle Festival which showcases the most successful newcomers in Cologne at Zum Scheuen Reh on Hans-Böckler-Platz in Cologne. Whether it’s DJ’s or live acts, this event promises to give you a first listen to up-and-coming local talents.
Make it a “Weekend” to remember in November
The Weekend Festival takes place from the 25-27th November at the Kölnischen Kunstverein, Filmclub 813 and the Stadthalle Köln-Mülheim. The line-up includes dance-punk The Julie Ruin from New York, featuring former Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna; Avant-garde German pop band The Slapp Happy, performing their first concert in sixteen years; Babyfather – a collaboration between Dean Blunt, DJ Escrow, Gassman, Triumph ALLAH and Lady T – all from London; Die Zimmermänner, a Neuen Deutsche Welle band from the 80’s playing brand new material; Surface to Air Missive, a southern rock band from Tallahassee, Florida; Les Filles de Illighadad – Fatou Seidi Ghali and Alamnou Akrouni from Niger in Africa; and Baba Zula, an alternative band from Istanbul, Turkey who create a unique psychedelic sound combining traditional Turkish instruments, electronica, reggae and dub.