#FridayFive – five alternative festivals

Smaller festivals often have a very different vibe to the big names. Eighty thousand revellers wading through the mud may appeal to some, but we prefer the more low-key affairs where you can relax and soak up the atmosphere, as well as actually getting close to the artists. Here are five alternative festivals in Germany you may not have heard of. Don’t forget to check out our festival tips and packing ideas too!

The “Seewärts Festival” (meaning “seawards”) on the banks of Lake Chiemsee has a loyal following of fans. A sandy beach and a long bar in a shady chill-out zone make it the ideal location for a mellow summer party. Small festivals near water are brilliant because you can simply jump in to cool off! And after listening to Jupiter Jones, Alex Mofa Gang, Roger Rekless, and Homeless Kings & Co. you may need to. Date: 29 July. Place: Chiemseering 1, Chieming, Germany.


There are loads of little festivals dedicated to techno and house music. But Leipzig’s “Th!ink? Festival” is one of the most amiable, as seasoned revellers such as Sven Väth know. Alongside Andhim, Cinthie and Super Flu he’s another act headlining at the festival’s 10th anniversary this year. And as the stage is on the banks of Lake Cospudener (known lovingly as “Cossi”) there’s sure to be a lot of splashing around! Date: 30 July. Place: Cospudener Lake’s north beach, Markkleeberg, Germany.

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A Summer's Tale
Gigs by bands like the Pixies, Franz Ferdinand or Johnossi, readings by Heinz Strunk and Rocko Schamoni, movies, performances, a poetry slam, mass karaoke, workshops, guided walks and activities for kids – this festival has it all. “A Summer’s Tale” is a more luxurious, family-friendly event and is being held in Lower Saxony, near Hamburg for the third time this year. Date: 2-5 August. Place: Eventpark Luhmühlen, Westergellersen, Germany.

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of Berlin’s “Bergfunk Festival”. Radio transmissions were broadcast from here as far back as 1920. Some of the buildings still remain and, together with the surrounding woods and forests, form a fantastic backdrop for this friendly little festival. Acts like Maxim, Turbostaat, Inge & Heinz and Neufundland are already confirmed. For the first time, the festival will be launched on Thursday evening with readings by Martin Gotti Gottschild and Sven van Thom. Date: 11-13 August. Place: Funkerberg in Königs Wusterhausen, Germany.

Feuertal Festival
Small medieval-themed festivals have a unique atmosphere that always pulls in a large crowd. The “Feuertal Festival” to the south of Germany’s Ruhr region is set amidst stunning scenery and is a perfect example. Think bands such as Schandmaul, Mila Mar, Fiddler’s Green, dArtagnan and Mono Inc., authentic period costumes and a medieval market. Festival goers can camp in the grounds of an open air swimming pool. Date: 25-26 August, Waldbühne Hardt, Wuppertal, Germany.

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