Modern Music in Berlin

Big names or wannabees, you can catch them all in Berlin.

Berlin is major stopping off point on all the big tours and the major venues - outdoor amphitheatres like the Waldbühne and the Olympia Stadion, and indoor venues like the Deutschland Halle, the Arena, the Columbiahalle, the Tempodrom - regularly host world class acts like U2, Madonna, Neil Young, Nick Cave, Bob Dylan, the Buena Vista Social Club, Tina Turner, Sting, Smashing Pumpkins, The Rolling Stones and Y'ssou N'Dour.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg. You can find most kinds of music in Berlin if you know where to look.

Since the 20s the city has been infatuated with jazz, and many fine Jazz Clubs, like Abraxas or Quasimodo, offer thoughtful programme mixes, modern and traditional, local musicians and guests. The suburbs are full of tiny bars where you might stumble across anything ranging from Country and Western (learned from the US troops) to Schlagermusik, sometimes bouncy, sometimes maudlin, sentimental ballads.

A tradition of dance and electronic music going back to the early 80s has thrown up many allnighter clubs, like Pfefferberg or E-Werk, where the latest Techno is tried and tested on the thousands of young visitors who pour into Berlin every week. Their biggest event is of course the Love Parade, a procession of around a hundred trucks with speaker systems which move down the Straße 17 June every July attracting over a million dancers and ravers.

But perhaps dancing for you suggests greater elegance? No problem - Berlin has a huge expatriate Spanish and Latin American population and you can dance or listen to Samba or Bossa Nova in a dozen different venues.

Or African music. Or Turkish - the Turks represent the biggest minority in the city, are well-organised and have their own clubs and discos, particularly in Wedding and Neukölln. Or Japanese - keep your eye on the programme offered by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, a venue devoted to Far Eastern and Third World culture.

The summer months often feature local street festivals with live music, and there are several city-wide outdoor music festivals. Add that to a city famous for its buskers, and with an extraordinary array of small specialist record shops - and you're looking at a city with tempo and taste.

If you'd like us to reserve tickets for a particular event or show, or help you find what you're looking for, you only have to let us know. Choose the entertainment you are interested in the travel request form.

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