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.
Consequently underground cultures are thriving & Southern Germany is surfacing both as a hotspot for commercial Trance as well as a hideaway for the less mainstream Psytrance scene. Underground labels like Sangoma & BMSS Records run their operations from Southern Germany, alongside an expanding arena of psychedelic artists ranging from decoration crews to producers, djs & visual artists.
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.
Between Frankfurt in the North & Stuttgart in the South, the diversity of promoters & event producers has developed a more holistic scene.
Newcomer promoters making an impact are Welttraum (Mannheim), Dreamscape & Fun*Da*Mental (Frankfurt), Reunited Tribes (Freiburg), Unterholz (Wiesbaden) & Bohemica (Darmstadt). Promoters like Harlequins who have been in effect for over 20 years continue to shape the scene alongside established names such as Jesus Raves (both Heidelberg), Douala (Ravensburg) a club that hosts the monthly Tripping Out series has also been a long time supporter of the scene.
Featuring an eclectic open air atmosphere, a motley crew of awesome folks & a stunning location in the depths of Bavaria, Kannibalen Massaker Festival, is Southern Germany‘s main stop on the international festival circuit. The festival makes a comeback this summer after a yearlong hiatus & upholds the regions dedication to uniting the subgenres of Trance & giving them each enough room for self expression.
Psychedelic Happiness host parties every two months in Allach near Munich & run a 3-day-festival each year.
SchmoX Family, I.B.W. (Free & Easy Festivals), Freshbeatz, Weltenbummler, Ins Mittn or Klangregen are just a few of the promoters who have, for many years, ensured that Bavaria has far more to offer. The Plutonium Club, Club Go In (Obergünzburg) & the Villa Nachttanz (Heidelberg) have recently become Psytrance hotspots, enriching our scene with a calendar filled with parties.
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:
Producers: Datacult, Sequoya, Ioshua, Southwild, Cosmic Vibration, Amorphax, Zeamon, Sonic Tickle, Shroomix, Sator Arepo, Naked Tourist, GMO / Minoru, Ra Root, Aronnax
DJs: Daksinamurti, Boom Shankar, Alexsoph, Sg4ry, Takttrauma, Joshi, Stefan Ludley, Anam Fio, Kimmei, Frechenhäuser, Salex, Fohat, Mutterkorn, Mellow Monks, Flo Phono, Schwarzer Hase, Psypha, Cosmic Cowboy, El Fabio, Okin Shah, HotzenPlotz, Guwanej, Spiky, Ninjai
Deco & VJ Projects: Jamas, Noffi, Alice Lorcy, Brainwalker, Mind Travel Agency, Astrein, Vjane Juladi or Optikos & XeMos Chai Shop
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.
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?
Who is playing now? Wer legt gerade auf?
Where is the bathroom? Wo ist die Toilette?
Could you please play the Vini Vici track for me from my smartphone? Verpiss Dich! 🙂