By Anna Ridley
If you think of the music scene in Germany, Berlin is often the city that first comes to mind with its heavy techno and house scene and Echtzeitmusik (experimental music), but the city of Frankfurt has been popping up on the radar more recently with its underground venues and basement jazz cafes.
Located in South West Germany in the state of Hessen, Frankfurt is renowned for its trade fairs and its status as the financial and business capital of the country, but beneath the soaring glass skyscrapers, the city’s underground scene goes a little further than its excellent metro service.
One great thing about Germany’s laws, aside from having no driving speed limit, is the late opening hours for music venues. Venues with outdoor areas must close these areas by 10pm/11pm but there’s no restriction on indoor venues so the party can literally go on all night. Forget going out at 9pm, most of these places don’t start getting busy until midnight.
One of the best places to see live alternative music is Batschkapp in the Eschersheim district near the Maybachbrücke Bridge. Founded in 1974, this venue is a primarily a large hall that hosts concerts but there’s also a club called Elfer where DJs play. Over the decades, many famous bands and artists have graced the stage, from rock to folk, and its loyal audience members now come from all over.
Tanzhaus West is situated on the outskirts of the city and is a hub for the electronic music scene, from techno and house, to drum and bass. If you can remember the days when you used to drive out to an industrial estate and party in a warehouse, then Tanzhaus West will take you right back. Occupying an old factory building, just a few minutes from Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof station, the club is open on Friday and Saturday nights and features some of Berlin’s best underground DJs. Dress code is casual, entry is about €10, partygoers are grown-ups, not kids, and the party doesn’t get going until after midnight.
Jazzkeller is the most famous jazz bar in Frankfurt and renowned jazz musicians including Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Dizzy Gillespie have performed there since 1952. Open Wednesdays to Sundays, the basement jazz bar with its 250-year-old brick walls and arches, hosts live concerts, jam nights and intimate performances from veterans and rising stars, all year round.
Nacht der Clubs
Nacht der Clubs (Night of the clubs) is an event that will take place in the autumn in Frankfurt this year. Partygoers pay just €12 for one ticket that gives them access to as many as 20 clubs in the city. There’s a free bus shuttle that runs between the clubs so people can move on to the next venue throughout the night and there is a relaxed door policy on the usual dress code of the clubs.
For more mainstream concerts from world-class musicians and artists, Festhalle is the place to go. This year, stars such as Nicki Minaj, Lionel Richie, Queen and Adam Lambert, and Simply Red will take to the stage under the huge dome-roofed 106-year-old building in the business district of Frankfurt.
Frankfurt’s musical talent
Booka Shade, made up of Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeie, are hailed as the electronic music veterans of Frankfurt. Booka Shade have worked alongside Depeche Mode, Moby, Kings Of Leon, Tiga, and The Knife, and the duo’s live interactive performances across the world and release of five albums, have gained them huge respect in the music industry.
They recently released a remix of Gorgon City featuring Jennifer Hudson – ‘Go All Night’.
Music events in Frankfurt to look out for in 2015
April – Musik Messe
A four-day music event that focuses on making music, and features workshops, concerts, product demonstrations, and discussion events.
June – BigCityBeats World Club Dome
A three-day party with more than 150 DJs and 12 dance floors in Frankfurt
June/July – Opera Square Festival
A three-day music event on Opernplatz Frankfurt with a variety of pop, jazz, and opera music concerts.
July – Idsteing Jazz festival
A three-day jazz festival in Idsteing, a 30-minute drive from Frankfurt.
October (TBC) – Jazz Festival Frankfurt
Festival at Hessian Broadcasting Company´s music hall featuring legendary and up-and-coming jazz and blues musicians.
Where to stay: MARITIM Hotel Frankfurt
Located in the heart of the city, the MARITIM Hotel Frankfurt features 542 modern rooms, including 23 stylish suites, three restaurants, cafe and bar. The hotel also has an extensive spa area with swimming pool, sauna, steam room, and fitness studio.
The great thing about this hotel is its location right next door to Festhalle. Often, the crew members of the bands (and even the stars themselves) playing at Festhalle will stay in the hotel so you might get the chance to catch a glimpse of a famous face or two. The hotel bar has its very own entertainment with live music and an extensive range of delicious cocktails, and there’s a sushi restaurant on the ground floor.
Rooms start from €119 (Single) and €149 (Double) per night, excluding breakfast and city tax.
Guests can enjoy free WiFi during their stay and MARITIM’s lavish international buffet breakfast is an additional €24 per person.
MARITIM Hotels is Germany’s leading hotel chain, operating 36 hotels across the country in all major business cities and tourist destinations. MARITIM Hotels also operates 14 hotels worldwide, in locations such as Mauritius, Turkey, Malta, Egypt and China.
For further information or to book a room with MARITIM’s best rate guarantee, please visit www.maritim.com.
Bmi regional offers one way fares from Bristol to Frankfurt from £79 per person including taxes, 20kg of checked baggage and at-seat full bar and snack service. Book at www.bmiregional.com
For information about Frankfurt visit www.frankfurt-tourismus.de