Archive for the ‘Music in Germany’ Category

Culture to the maxLNDM_logo_2014_rgb

Every once in a while an opportunity arises to do one’s favourite thing and do it all day long! Mine is the International Film Festival every year in Wellington, what’s yours? If you’re into all kinds of art and you happen to be in Berlin on Saturday 17. May this year, you should put this in your event calendar: The Long Night of Museums.

Art All Night Long

ComputerspielemuseumSince 1997 an increasing number (around 80 at the moment) of museums once a year open their doors at 6pm and stay open through to 2am! From historical displays through to ‘traditional’ art exhibits and performances to modern themed topics like the gaming culture you can experience the history and art of the world in general, and Germany in particular, all in one night.

FernsehturmThey’ve organized it that the ticket price includes a shuttle service which will take you to each and every participating museum. And this year, to participate in the International Museum Day on 18. Mai, the ticket price will also give you entry to all the museums on that Sunday!

While in Rome, do as the Romans…

…and while in Berlin with one of our tours, do as the Berliners do. Download the printable program, have a browse and get excited!

Author: Petra Alsbach-Stevens

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Cultural hot spot in Europe

Ever since Berlin rose to European metropolitan heights in the 18th and 19th century, it has been a centre for the arts. As the city and its creative inhabitants grew in numbers, it not only attracted traditional musicians, painters and architects, but also the anarchic alternative elements in politics and the arts. Very quickly they established a network of cafes, galleries and music clubs, discussing and formulating socio-economic criticism and alternative lifestyles. By now the city’s reputation of being a centre of sophisticated and refined arts has moved towards pushing the boundaries of the arts.

The Passenger

David-Bowie-e-Iggy-PopFor many visitors to Berlin, who are interested in the alternative styles of music of the 20th century, this is its signature song. Recorded by Iggy Pop, with background vocals by David Bowie and loosely based on a Jim Morrison poem it embodies to a lot of people the perception of social outcasts (Punks for example) and the desire to change modern life and its restrictive discriminating views.

As some Kiwis might remember, in 2009 Iggy Pop recorded it again together with kiwi musicians who had auditioned online. This was part of an advertising campaign for a broadband internet provider and everything, from the initial auditions to the final recording was done through the net.

Interesting how fringe art becomes main stream after a while!

It’s hip to be hop!

Nowadays Berlin is again known and loved for its cutting edge position in the music market. As a development from the Krautrock era, all variations of electronic music can be explored and audio- visual boundaries pushed. This article explains very eloquently why Berlin has never lost its allure to the musically minded and attracts a lot of kiwi musicians as well.


Got time? Plenty to do!

On any given day of the week, there are enough gallery openings, music shows and all sorts of live acts in small and larger venues on offer in Berlin to keep anyone busy for a month! If the guided tours through Berlin with the Cosmopolitan North tour have left you with energy to spare, ask your tour guide for help to browse through one of the local newspapers or entertainment magazines and advise what’s on offer on the day.


Author: Petra Alsbach-Stevens

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Dampfbierbrauerei Oberstdorf

Oberstdorf is not only home to a huge range of summer and winter outdoor activities, but also a restaurant called Dampfbierbrauerei. Literally translated it means steam beer brewery.

Traditional beers

The term ‘Dampfbier’ was used for beers brewed at higher ambient temperatures than normal, around 18° – 20°Celsius. Fermentation would be so violent and frequent, that the popped bubbles create a gaseous layer above the fermenting liquid. Hence the term ‘Dampf’, steam. As it was a so called poor people’s beer and used  by-products of the wheat beer process, it’s production had declined by the 20th century. But, in the general movement of reviving old traditions, some breweries have started making it again, but using high quality base products and achieving remarkable results.

As far as can be deduced from the restaurant’s web site, their beers are brewed at lower temperatures, around 8° Celsius. Therefore not strictly Dampfbier as such, but it might pay to ask them in person. But, as they note at the bottom, they are still brewing them according to the Bavarian Purity requirements from 1516.


Translation: The mayor herewith gives notice that beer shall be brewed on Tuesday, therefore it’s forbidden to shite in the river from Sunday on!

Experience the local traditions

The restaurant not only offers traditionally made beer, but regional specialities sourced as far as possible locally and has music entertainment on most evenings of the week. They seem to enjoy a reasonable popularity and request table reservations if interested in coming on a particular day. If you’d be interested to view the brewery and restaurant, get in contact with us and we will do our best to accommodate your interests.

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Hamburg Nights!

Storm_in_Hamburg_posterAs some may know, The Beatles had their big break in Hamburg in the early 60’s.  Despite their ominous beginnings (being told they were not the promoter’s favourite kind of music, breaking their contract by playing at other clubs, being deported for being under-age and setting fire to a condom thus being arrested for arson) they managed to play for an extended time in a range of clubs in Hamburg until they were finally ‘discovered’ by Brian Epstein in November 1961.  The rest is history!

You name it, they’re playing it!

The rich cultural heritage established in the 18th century continues to thrive in modern Hamburg. On any given day of the week you will find a huge selection of visual and audio extravaganzas to tickle your entertainment nerves. The schedule for September for example is filled with organ and violin concerts, international and national rock and pop gigs and a 360° lightshow dedicated to Queen! And that is just on the two nights our first Cosmopolitan North tour will be staying in Hamburg.

Keen? Contact us!

If you’d be interested to find out more about these activities and artists, contact us and we will do our best to help you. Please be aware as these are outside of the Sidetracks activities, payment for tickets would have to be arranged beforehand, unless you’re happy to try your luck on the day.

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