Heading to Munich? Business Traveller takes a look at what’s on the calendar in 2017
Held at the Film Museum in the Munich City Museum, the exhibit looks at the work of German filmmaker Frederich Wilhelm Murnau. Famed for his silent movie Sunrise, Murnau was one of the most influential filmmakers of 1920s until his death in 1931. The exhibit explores the impact of Murnau’s work and life through a series of short films by contemporary film directors including Alexander Kluge, Ulrike Ottinger and Guy Maddin, At the Lenbachhaus museum next door, visitors can also view Murmau’s complete oeuvre.
February 1-April 3
One of the largest circuses in Europe, this show started in 1905 and is now in its 98th winter season. Hosted in a 3,000-seat venue of the same name, visitors are entertained by basketball and soccer acrobatics alongside performers bearing guns, knives and crossbows showing off their marksman skills. Originally started as an animal exhibition, performances are by trained circus animals dominate the programme.
International Craft Fair (IHM)
In March, the largest craft fair in the world will arrive in Munich. Over 1,000 exhibitors from more than 60 trades will showcase their products at the Messe München expo centre. The slogan for this year’s fair is “Made in Germany”, so expect plenty of locally-inspired artisanal products.
Ennio Morricone: 60 Years of Music Tour
The renowned Italian maestro has over 500 films and television soundtracks to his name. He scored the music for Hollywood blockbusters Kill Bill, Django Unchained, The Untouchables, and The Hateful Eight to name a few. Performing off the back of his latest Oscar win (for The Hateful Eight), Morricone will perform his best-known compositions and new work alongside a 200-piece orchestra and choir at the grand Olympia Hall.
St Patrick’s Day
From as early as midnight on March 12, revellers in traditional dress and costumes will parade the Ludwigstrasse and Leopoldstraße boulevards in Munich’s Maxvorstadt district. The 2km parade ends at the Odeonsplatz Square, where an after-parade party, featuring Irish music and dance acts, will keep partygoers entertained through the night. Munich celebrates St Patrick’s Day a week earlier than the traditional holiday which falls on March 17th.
April 21-7 May
Known as “Oktoberfest’s little sister”, Springfest is a folk festival featuring cultural performances, theme park attractions, beer halls, Bavarian cuisine and a giant flea market. The festival started in 1965 and some of the original vendors can be found touting their wares here today. Like Oktoberfest, Springfest is held at the Theresienwiese festival space.
The Long Night of Music
Concert halls, clubs, bars, churches and museums will host live concerts across the city on this night. The event has run every year since 2000 and features hundreds of artists across all genres. Event tickets cost €15, which is inclusive of public transport. The programme of artists and pre-sale tickets are available three weeks prior to the event. You can also buy tickets at any of the venues during the evening.
May 20-21 (and September 9-10)
The Street Life and Corso Leopold festivals
Every year, two of Munich’s central boulevards- the Ludwigstrasse and the Leopoldstraße- are closed to traffic for two days and taken over by the Street Life and Corso Leopold festival. Both boulevards are lined with art exhibitions and stages for theatre, cabaret, music and dance performances. In the past, the event has attracted a quarter of a million people, making it Munich’s biggest street festival.
Town Foundation Festival
Happy birthday Munich! Every year Munich celebrates the anniversary of its founding with a two-day festival in the city centre. Duke Henry the Lion, one of the most powerful men in Germany at the time, founded the city in 1158. The Duke knocked down a toll bridge over the Isar river near Föhring and built another in ‘Munichen’, where he built his own tolls. On June 14, Munich celebrates these events with music and dance performances and a craft market.
June 21-July 16
Tollwood Summer Festival
Held in Olympia Park, the festival hosts German and international stars in a variety of musical concerts. The 30,000 sqm area is transformed with stages for music performances, open-air theatre and dance shows. There are also local craft and food markets selling German cuisine and goods.
Classical at the Odeonsplatz
Over the weekend, the Odeonsplatz Square in central Munich turns into an open-air concert hall showcasing the best in classical music. Located opposite Munich Palace, the concert is one of the most high-profile classical open-air event in Germany and will feature performances from the likes of Chinese pianists Lang Lang and Yuja Wang, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic.
Translated into English as the ‘Servant’s ball’, the Kocherlball is the largest folk dance festival in Germany. In the 19th century servants in Munich took to dancing around the Chinese Tower at dawn on Sundays. In 1904 the government forbade the ritual, but it was reinstated in 1989. Today’s festival takes place in its original location – which is now inside the English Garden, and one of the world’s largest public urban parks – showcasing traditional Bavarian dance for visitors to watch and participate in.
Summers Night Dream Festival
Held in Olympia Park, Munich’s Summer Night Dream festival combines music and fireworks, with live performances spread across two stages and a fireworks display. Tickets for the event start at €15.
Impark Summer Festival
This festival features music, fairground rides, product and food stalls, restaurants, a beach bar and wakeboarding. Germany’s only wakeboarding competition is a highlight, where professionals show off their skills on the Olympic Lake in Olmypia Park. Visitors can take part in taster sessions on offer.
Oktoberfest events start in September and run through to October 3.
Grand entry of the Oktoberfest landlords and breweries
Oktoberfest’s opening parade starts at the intersection between Sonnenstrasse and Schwanthalerstrasse boulevards and ends at the Oktoberfest grounds at Theresienwiese. The route is just over a kilometre long, and sees more than a thousand people in traditional dress parading the streets on decorated floats, in horse drawn carriages and on foot.
Open-Air Oktoberfest Music
Held on the steps of Munich’s 19th century Bavaria Statue, this open-air concert features 400 musicians playing traditional German music. Local celebrities such as the Mayor and renowned Oktoberfest landlords are entrusted with the conductors’ baton. After the concert, thousands of balloons are released into the sky from the top of the famous statue.
The Long Night of Museums
Some 90 museums across Munich are open for free from 7pm to 2am.
November 15-December 3
The festival, which is now in its eighth year, sees more than 100 international and German authors taking part. Book readings, discussions, concerts and exhibitions are held daily basis in venues across the city. Activities and workshops are also available for children and young adults.
November 27-December 24
Held in Munich’s Marienplatz Square, Christkindlmark is the city’s largest Christmas market. It showcases artisanal products, festive food and drink plus Christmas-themed music performances.
Night at the Proms
Pop meets classical at this music event held at the Olympiahalle. Pop stars sing their greatest hits accompanied by a symphony orchestra.
Cirque du Soleil
The world-famous Cirque du Soleil performs its new show, Ovo, at the Olympic Hall. The audience is treated to an immersive performance based on the insect ecosystem, with live music, clown art and of course breath-taking acrobatics.
Megan Grace Hill