Viele Personen stehen als Gruppe im Bildvordergrund. Über ihnen sind einzelne Sonnensegel gespannt. Daran bewegen sich im Wind Flaggen vieler Nationen. Der Himmel ist vom Sonnenuntergang orange eingefärbt.
Eat Play Love: Geht die Sonne über dem Fühlinger See unter, herrscht pure Festivalstimmung. Foto: Eat Play Love

Five festivals in Cologne you might not have heard of

Summer, sun, festivals: five festivals in Cologne featuring music plus art and culture galore

Leave the sofa behind and head out to Cologne’s festivals. We’ll get the barbecue going, jump in the water and celebrate the sunny season with cool drinks, good friends and great music.

What if you could get all of that in one place and at the same time? Then it’d be a festival! Cologne has loads of off-the-beaten-track festivals for an unforgettable summer in the city. Be it on the banks of the Rhine, Fühlinger See lake or on a boat – these five festivals bring an explosion of musical genres to the pulsating city, a city that’s at its best in summer.

1. PollerWiesen festival in Kölner Jugendpark


Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

Cologne’s PollerWiesen open-air festival turns 30 on 24 June and there’ll be a summer rave in Kölner Jugendpark to mark the occasion. There aren’t many details about the line-up yet but, hey, every good birthday party needs a surprise, right? What we do know, though, is there’ll be plenty of electronic, techno and house music to savour. And if you’re still in the mood for dancing later on, you can party until the early hours at Bootshaus or Gewölbe. Separate tickets are available for the day and night events.

Still not had enough? Then it’s all aboard the PollerWiesen boat on 9 July, when Europe’s biggest event boat, MS RheinEnergie, becomes the place to party. Once everyone’s on, the beats will start pumping and the journey down the river can begin.

Event information: PollerWiesen-Festival in Kölner Jugendpark, 24 June 2023

2. Summer Pride Festival in Ehrenfeld


Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

The Summer Pride Festival is set to deliver a day full of music, entertainment, drinks and happy vibes – promoting the idea that music is diverse. It will premiere at Cologne’s Odonien on 1 July, bringing together live music, techno beats and a whole lot of art and culture. “From the queer community, for the queer community” and under the banner of acceptance and tolerance, the festival has been conceived as an open-minded music, art, dance and talk project that provides a platform for queer artists.

Kicking off at 1pm, Summer Pride will host live music, panel talks and performances on its main stage, with an indoor dance floor where guests can bop away to pop, house and electronic hits. Then there’s the legendary Odonien bus, which will be transformed into a techno dance floor for the event. Beyond the music, there’ll be a pop-up market with creative wares. If you’re feeling brave, this is the place to get a special, permanent souvenir from a local tattoo artist.

Event information: Queerfeld Festival at Odonien, 1 July 2023

3. Eat Play Love Festival in Fühlingen

Auf dem Festivalgelände haben sich viele Menschen versammelt. Viele von ihnen tanzen. Die Sonne geht gerade unter. Im Bildmittelpunkt stehen zwei junge Frauen vor einer großen Nachbildung eines Flamingos und lassen sich fotografieren.
Eat Play Love: the only festival to combine street food, sport and music. Photo: Eat Play Love

Eat Play Love turns the Fühlinger See lake into a veritable festival ground and its name really does say it all. This year, the event also includes the “EPL Cologne Wakeboard Masters”, where 20 professional wakeboarders will display their freestyle skills.

As well as the masterly airborne stunts, there’ll be a multitude of stalls selling street food from around the world from 20 to 23 July. Mexican, Indian, Brazilian – something for everyone. And the best thing is you won’t need to bother with calorie-counting because you can dance it all off to a variety of DJ sets.

Event information: Eat Play Love Festival at Fühlinger See, 20 to 23 July 2023.

4. Neue Wellen Festival in Ehrenfeld

Drei Personen, eine Frau und zwei Männer befestigen das Festival-Logo an einer Ziegelsteinwand. Das Logo ist gleichsam der Name des Festivals und besteht seinen einzelnen Buchstaben. Diese sind großgeschrieben und in Rot und Weiß. Zwei Personen stehen auf zwei Leitern und befestigen das Logo. Die dritte Person reicht der Frau gerade einen Hammer.
The Neue Wellen event series in Cologne is always on the lookout for exciting new acts in the German indie scene. Photo: Daniel Kallhoff

Odonien is again the place to be on 29 July. This unique location, an outdoor studio with workshops and a performance space, will host a major indie festival featuring German newcomers, as part of Cologne’s Neue Wellen event series.

So it’s “out with the old, in with (lots of) the new” with live performances by indie pop bands and plenty of DJ sets to electrify you with five-star synth music.

Event information: Neue Wellen Open Air at Odonien, 29 July 2023.

5th Originalklang-Festival FEL!X in Cologne city centre

Saal der Kölner Philharmonie mit Publikum.
Kölner Philharmonie concert hall

2022’s Originalklang-Festival FEL!X revolved around French classical dance music but this year it’s crossing the Channel to delight audiences (“felix” means “happy” in Latin) with English works composed between 1570 and 1930.

You can embark on your own search for happiness in Cologne from 15 to 20 August at the Philharmonie or, for the first time this year, at Cologne Cathedral. 2023’s theme of “Sagas, myths and legends” brings reinterpretations of motets, vocal ensembles, songs and dances from Shakespeare plays plus complete works such as Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold. Sometimes the musicians even use completely different instruments to the original, putting their own postmodern stamp on the music.

Event information: Originalklang-Festival FEL!X, Kölner Philharmonie and other venues in Cologne city centre, 15 to 20 August 2023.

0 comments on “Five festivals in Cologne you might not have heard of

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *