The 20 Best Music Festivals in Germany
Germany has a wealth of vibrant and exciting music festivals, some of which are among the biggest in Europe. Attracting people from around the world, many of these festivals last for several days and allow attendees to party in some of the most scenic locations in the country.
While some festivals are age-restricted, others are open to the whole family, enabling people of all ages to have an unforgettable time. Here is our list of the best music festivals to go to in Germany.
- 1. Airbeat One Festival
- 2. Lollapalooza Berlin
- 3. Nature One Festival
- 4. Time Warp DE
- 5. Sea You Festival
- 6. MAYDAY Dortmund
- 7. Hurricane Festival
- 8. Southside Festival
- 9. Rock am Ring & Rock im Park
- 10. Wacken Open Air
- 11. Love Family Park Festival
- 12. World Club Dome
- 13. Melt Festival
- 14. Indian Spirit Fest
- 15. New Horizons Festival
- 16. MS Dockville Festival
- 17. Ruhr-in-Love
- 18. Heroes Festival
- 19. Parookaville Festival
- 20. Snowbeat Festival
1. Airbeat One Festival
When: July (5 days)
Airbeat One is a giant among German music festivals, as well as one of the biggest electronic music festivals in Europe. Since it was first held in 2002, this event has proven a hit among music enthusiasts in Europe and other parts of the world. Every summer, over 50,000 fans come each day to the airport at Neustadt-Glewe – located northwest of Berlin – to enjoy 5 days of music by the world’s best DJs.
The program focuses heavily on Techno, house, EDM, and hardstyle. Five stages are used to host the diverse, top-quality lineup. Besides the amazing music, festival-goers are treated to stunning special effects and lighting along with some spectacular set designs. A variety of camping grounds that include showers, toilets, and other amenities are also provided, ensuring that people don’t have to worry about finding an affordable place to stay.
2. Lollapalooza Berlin
When: September (2 days)
First held in the US in 1991, the Lollapalooza festival has proven to be a worldwide hit, with editions taking place in countries around the globe. Berlin was the first European city to host the music festival in 2015, and since then Lollapalooza Berlin has featured some top international performers such as Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, Kings of Leon, Kraftklub, Rita Ora, and Swedish House Mafia.
The music program covers a wide range of musical genres, and the festival is known for providing entertainment for the entire family. Besides the great performances, there are plenty of other attractions, including clothing flea markets, fashion shows, art exhibitions, and water ballet. A separate Kidzapalooza section is included, where those below the age of 14 can enjoy special performances and workshops, try urban gardening, crawl in the meadows, and engage in a toilet paper battle.
3. Nature One Festival
When: August (3 days)
One of the largest electronic music festivals in Europe, Nature One is also one of the oldest, having first been held in 1995. Since then, it has become a mainstay among German music festivals. Held on the first weekend of August, the main acts perform on Friday and Saturday, with smaller events taking place on Thursday and Saturday. The more than 53,000 people who throng to this festival can enjoy excellent, pulsating music, as well as a spectacular fireworks display.
Pydna, a decommissioned American missile base in Kastellaun that once housed nuclear weapons, is used as the venue for this festival. Four main ‘floors’ are used with the Open Air floor hosting mainly trance. The Century Circus showcases techno while House of House features house and minimal. There is also a Classic Terminal as well as several smaller areas for techno club crews. The surrounding countryside is used as camping grounds and also hosts an alternative, free music festival
4. Time Warp DE
April (1 day)
Time Warp is an electronic music festival held annually in Mannheim. Since this event first took place in 1994, its goal has been simple – to make people dance. Over the course of two decades, it has grown from a local event to an international franchise, with global editions being held in cities such as New York, Amsterdam, Milan, and Sau Paulo. The festival is noted for its stellar techno music program and uncompromised production values.
Each year, over 40 DJs and live acts, consisting of some of the biggest names in the industry along with talented up-and-comers, deliver 19 hours of the best electronic music. Spanning seven floors, the festival boasts innovative visual effects, lighting shows, and spectacular stage designs. High-end sound systems deliver thrilling sound, and the advanced audiovisual technology provides revelers with an exciting, immersive experience.
5. Sea You Festival
When: July (3 days)
Held on the shores of the beautiful Tunisee Lake in the city of Freiburg im Breisgau. Sea You has become one of Germany’s most popular techno music festivals. Each year, over 25,000 fans gather to party to great music by night while enjoying the scenic location, which is close to the Black Forest by day. The line-up includes some of the best DJs in Europe, providing avid festival-goers with their fills of techno and house music.
Three camping grounds are provided for people to stay over. During the day, visitors can indulge in water sports, sunbathe, or enjoy a barbecue. When the sun sets, they can party to the music of over 100 performers, playing on seven stages. First held in its current form in 2014, the festival’s great lineup and scenic location have made it an important summer fixture.
6. MAYDAY Dortmund
When: April (1 day)
One of the oldest and most iconic electronic music festivals in Germany, Mayday debuted in 1991 and has entertained over half a million hardcore fans over the last 30 years, The festival is regarded as one of the pioneers of techno music in Germany and plays an influential role in determining trends within the genre. A separate edition of the festival takes place in Poland.
Despite the name, the festival in Germany usually takes place in April. While being a titan among techno music festivals, Mayday has broadened its range of featured musical genres including, among others. trance, house, hardstyle and EDM. Ravers can enjoy the extravagant audiovisual productions and lose themselves in hedonistic dancing to music put out by some of the biggest names in the techno music industry.
7. Hurricane Festival
When: June (3 days)
Hurricane Festival is held every summer in Scheeßel at the Eichenring, a speedway racetrack. Apart from being one of the biggest festivals in Europe, with over 80,000 attendees, it is also one of the oldest. Although it has been held in its current form since 1997, the first show of its kind was held in 1973. David Bowie, Radiohead, Lou Reed, Beastie Boys, The Cure, Kings of Leon, and Bjork are some of the legendary artists that have performed at this event.
The festival has an eclectic program of music, featuring rock, pop, alternative, and electronic music. The lineup features some of the biggest stars in the music business, along with talented newcomers. Several stages are used and a family-friendly atmosphere allows everyone to participate in the fun. Numerous food stalls provide delicious fare and festival-goers can stay on the surrounding camping grounds.
8. Southside Festival
When: June (3 days)
Southside Festival is a counterpart of the Hurricane festival and is held on the same days in Tuttlingen. It takes its name from the fact that it is based in the south of Germany while the Hurricane festival takes place in the north. First held in 1999, it attracts over 60,000 visitors. The focus is on rock and alternative music, although dance music is featured as well.
As a sister festival, Southside often features the same artists that take part in the Hurricane festival. As a result, attendees can expect a performance by top international artists as well as lesser-known new talent. Previous headliners include Green Day, Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, and Foo Fighter. A former military airbase is used to erect the four stages that are used by the various acts.
9. Rock am Ring & Rock im Park
Nürburgring and Nuremberg
When: June (3 days)
Rock am Ring and Rock im Park are two rock music festivals that take place simultaneously and are regarded as one event. The lineups for these two festivals are almost identical, with acts that perform at one event usually playing at the other the next day. Rock am Ring is held at the Nürburgring race track while Rock am Ring takes place in Nuremberg at the Zeppelinfeld.
The combined attendance at these two events exceeds 150,000, making them the largest music festival in Germany.
Some of the most iconic names in music have performed at these festivals including U2, David Bowie, REO Speedwagon, UB40, Sting, Elton John, Def Leppard, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Bob Dylan, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns’N’Roses, Coldplay, and Limp Bizkit. Along with listening to such legendary performers, attendees are also treated to the best up-and-coming talent.
10. Wacken Open Air
When: August (4 days)
Wacken Open Air is one of the oldest rock music festivals in Germany, having been held annually in the village of Wacken since 1990. It is also one of the largest, attracting over 85,000 fans from over 80 countries. The program focuses on hard rock and heavy metal, as well as associated subgenres. While the festival initially featured German bands, the lineup today consists mostly of major international artists.
A site of over 240 hectares is used for Wacken Open Air, which takes place in the first week of August. Most of this is camping ground as the festival only sells four-day tickets and most attendees remain on site. Conveniences such as showers, toilets, supermarkets, and food stalls are provided. Eight stages, some of them twinned together, are used to host the various acts. Other attractions include a beer garden, movie theaters, and a medieval market.
11. Love Family Park Festival
When: July (1 day)
Love Family Park is a one-day electronic and techno music festival that attracts ravers from all over the continent. Held for over 24 years, it provides attendees with 12 hours of pulsating techno and house. The lineup is a mix of established names and hot new talent. Although the event has taken place for a number of years in Rüsselsheim am Main, a number of issues have forced organizers to cancel the 2022 edition and search for a new venue.
A family atmosphere is maintained at the event, which places an emphasis on tolerance, diversity, and sustainability. Three stages are used by the various acts. The park stage is used for techno while house is featured on the family stage. The love stage is the heart of the festival and showcases the headliners. The previous years have seen up to 17 acts taking part, providing visitors with an action-packed day that stretches into the night.
12. World Club Dome
When: June (3 days)
World Club Dome is billed as ‘the biggest club in the world’ – although, with a party area of 700,000 square meters, they do have the numbers to back up the claim. Held at the Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt since 2013, this massive event attracts over 180,000 attendees. Over 25 stages are used for the various acts. Techno, trance, hip-hop, rap, minimal, hardcore, future bass, and hardstyle are some of the musical genres that are heavily featured.
While the huge main stage is used for headlining performances for 50,000 people, other stages are somewhat smaller, with some having a small club format for a few hundred clubbers. Rosters of the world’s top DJs provide the beats to keep attendees grooving. Camping grounds are available for those who want to remain close to the action.
13. Melt Festival
When: June (4 days)
One of the biggest German electronic music festivals. Melt festival premiered in 1997. It is held at the Ferropolis open-air museum in Gräfenhainichen, a small town located between Leipzig and Berlin. The scenic location, an abandoned coal mine by a lake surrounded by forests, adds to the appeal of the festival that celebrates the diversity of culture and music over a period of four days.
The lineup is carefully selected, with more than 150 performers providing an eclectic mixture of electronic music to the 20,000 visitors that attend annually. Bicep, FKA Twigs, Southstar, Solomun, Fred Again, Stormzy, and Daphne are some of the artists who have performed at this event. Staying at the beautiful camping ground, which is fully equipped with all necessary amenities, allows festival-goers to chill by the lake before heading to the party.
14. Indian Spirit Fest
When: August (6 days)
The largest psytrance festival in Germany, Indian Spirit Fest is modeled after outdoor trance parties that take place in Goa, India. The event, which has been held for over 20 years, has grown in popularity and now attracts over 20,000 attendees who enjoy the psychedelic trance music put down by some of the world’s top psytrance performers. Spread over six days, the festival takes place in Eldena, in Northern Germany.
Four stages are used to host the various acts. While the focus is on the music, there are also plenty of other attractions to entertain and educate visitors, including fire shows, yoga classes, various classes, and a market mile containing clothing, jewelry, and food from around the world. Attendees can buy tickets to use the camping grounds and also rent tents and other essentials.
15. New Horizons Festival
When: August (3 days)
New Horizons is one of the biggest EDM and dance music festivals in Germany. Debuting in 2017, the festival succeeded in building up a great reputation among fans within a short space of time thanks to its exciting music, innovative stage design, and electric atmosphere. Billed as seven festivals in one, the event boasts seven unique stages and features 150 of the world’s top DJs. Artists that have played here include Marshmello, Armin Van Buuren, Hardwell, Major Lazer, Steve Aoki, and Don Diablo.
Every year, enthusiastic fans congregate at the Nurburgring to enjoy the finest electronic music covering diverse styles such as techno, hardstyle, house, EDM, and futuristic dance utopia. Apart from the great music, festival-goers can enjoy art installations, dance performances, and other surprises.
16. MS Dockville Festival
When: August (3 days)
Boasting a unique mix of music and art, the MS Dockville Festival takes place in Hamburg on Europe’s biggest river island. The special location – a scenic nature reserve by the bank of the river Elbe and behind the dikes that protect the industrial district of Wihelmsburg from floods – adds to the appeal of this festival. In order to protect the beautiful environment, camping is limited and motorized transport is not permitted, so attendees must use public transport or bicycle to the location.
A two-week-long art and cultural festival takes place at the same location, culminating in the three-day music festival. The program boasts a selection of the best pop, indie, and electronic music and features global trailblazers such as Billie Eilish, Jon Hopkins, Flume, Foals, and Bonobo. In addition, up-and-coming talent is also included in the lineup.
When: July (1 day)
With a staggering 40 stages and over 400 DJs playing, Ruhr-in-love is a techno and electronic music festival on a large scale. Over 50,000 people come to Olga Park in Obenhausen to enjoy this event which showcases all the subgenres in electronic music, including disco, house, electro, techno, and hardstyle. This one-day event is designed to provide entertainment for the whole family.
Each of the stages has been designed by some of the top radio stations, promoters, and record labels in Germany. Boasting vibrant, colorful designs, they showcase top international artists such as Chris Liebing, Adam Beyer, AKA AKA, and Robin Shulz. For those who have the energy, there is an official indoor afterparty where clubbers can dance until dawn.
18. Heroes Festival
Geiselwind, Freiburg, Allgau, and Hanover
When: June, August, September (2 days)
The Heroes festival focuses on rap and hip hop, and was first held at the Autohof Strohofer in Geiselwind in 2017, it is now held at four locations throughout the country, namely, Geiselwind, Freiburg, Allgau, and Hanover. The event in Geiselwind attracted over 30,000 attendees while 26,000 people visited the Freiburg location, where the festival had only recently begun to be held.
While the program keeps abreast of the latest trends in the rap world, care is taken to include both past hits as well as the hottest new songs. The lineup features legends of the genres as well as rising stars. A camping area, as well as food stands and bars, are provided, and all payments are made via a cashless wristband.
19. Parookaville Festival
When: July (3 days)
With an attendance of 225,000 people, the Parookaville Festival is considered the largest electronic music festival in Germany. Held at the Weeze Airport in the northwestern city of Weeze, close to the Dutch border, the festival has sold out since it was first held in 2015. Its lineup consists of some of the biggest names in dance music, such as Steve Aoki, Nervo, Tiesto, Olaf der Flipper, and Robin Schulz.
The festival is notable for its unique ‘city within a city’ design where attendees can get their passports stamped and receive tattoos at the city jail. The main stage has a truly spectacular design while numerous other stages are also used by the more than 300 acts that perform at this event. Specific areas are devoted to different musical genres such as techno, and bass hardstyle while EDM and house predominate on the main stage.
20. Snowbeat Festival
When: February (1 day)
Not all music festivals take place in the summer. Snowbeat festival is a winter electronic music festival that is held annually, in the Alpincenter in Wittenberg. This ski hall is transformed into a massive winter wonderland dedicated to a night of hedonistic partying. Four different stages are set up to showcase different genres of electronic music – EDM, house, hardstyle, and Goa – with some of the stages being devoted to a particular genre.
Some of the major artists taking part include Mok, Money G, DJ Falk, Kimie, Bamba, Thyron, House Kasper, Vize, and MC Villain. A shuffle bus service from the venue to the nearby train station is provided, making it easy for party-goers to travel to and from the event. They can also stay overnight at the Alpincenter as a few hotel rooms are available.
With a plethora of famous music festivals, Germany has plenty to offer to interest people who want to enjoy their favorite music while partying with like-minded enthusiasts. While many of the festivals concentrate predominantly on electronic music, there are also events that focus on other musical genres, ensuring that all tastes are catered for. For those looking to enjoy the music of some of the biggest international artists, Germany provides many festivals that should not be missed.