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Germany’s turbulent history has redrawn the map of Europe several times but South Germany has remained largely unchanged. Once a hotspot for continental royalty, aristocracy & their hangers-on, there is still a great deal of striking natural beauty & countless historical remains in the form of delightful townscapes, pastel-hued townhouses & disused trade routes.
South Germany – Beyond Lederhosen, Oompah Bands & Beer.
In recent years, this historically conservative area has relaxed politically. Law enforcement units eased off on hunting down illegal raves & recreational consumers allowing event production & attendance to reach dizzying new heights.
In 1516, William IV of Bavaria decreed that only four ingredients could be used for brewing beer: water, malted barley, hops & yeast. It became law known as the „Pledge of Purity“.
Alice im Wummerland, based in Mannheim, is still the biggest, baddest indoor event in the region. Twice a year the event curates a selection of underground artists & gathers a massive crowd of up to 3,000 people for one epic night of UV spectacle & psychedelic sounds. They also create smaller events like the ‘Zurück in den Urwald’, designed to cater mostly to Forest.
Tobacco Sniffing (Bavarian Pastime). Reigning world champion (Bavarian) managed to insert 4.993 grams of tobacco up his nose without sneezing.
Psychedelic Happiness host parties every two months in Allach near Munich & run a 3-day-festival each year.
Whereas the North of Germany is still mostly known for the Hamburg Offbeat style, South Germany seem to vibrate to more psychedelic rhythms. Labels like BMSS, Sangoma, Alice D plus the coming resurrection of Spontaneous Aerobics feature mostly underground music which is a clear contrast to the more commercial sound of the North.
The southern community comprises of:
The best time to visit South Germany is definitely between spring and autumn, when the weather is sunny, the temperatures easily top 30° & every region holds parties every weekend. The German rail & bus network is fantastic, cheap & enables everyone to reach their party easily. Avoid driving by car as the police are aware of (most of) the events & will be doing their best to do their jobs. From Frankfurt airport, it is an hours train ride to Heidelberg, two hours to Stuttgart or in three hours to Munich.
Southern Germany is home to the following unusually named places. Titisee (lake in the Black Forest), Titting (village), Wank (mountain) & Bad Kissingen (village).
South Germany: Don’t miss
Walpurgisnacht (Witches night, 1st May) is celebrated yearly near Heidelberg. 20,000 people gather among the ruins of an amphitheatre to organic drums & illuminated by bonfires & fire artists.
Is this the way to the party? Ist das der Weg zur Party?
Text: Boom Shankar, BMSS Records