Perhaps the most remarkable venue at FU24BA7L is the grandstand of the old stadium in Cologne’s Weidenpesch district, which musician and conceptual artist Wolfgang Voigt magicked back to life in an audiovisual installation honouring its fascinating history. Photo: FU24BA7L

Grab some football culture: events in Cologne for Euro 2024

Fan zones, public screenings and inclusive football tournaments. As one of ten host cities, Cologne will soon be welcoming soccer fans from across Europe – in the city’s own special style.

Already home to a vibrant football scene, this summer the air in Cologne will be ablaze with love for the beautiful game. The city will be hosting a whole range of events as part of the Euro 2024 cultural programme, centring on values such as unity, solidarity, diversity and inclusion – values that define Cologne too.

1. The “Football Experience” festival – where fans can get in on the action

A football festival called “Football Experience” will run from 14 to 30 June in celebration of the Euros. Taking place on the grounds of the Tanzbrunnen venue in the Deutz district on the right bank of the Rhine, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to get involved in the Euro 2024 action. Visitors of all ages will be able to show off their skills on three pitches and there’ll be tournaments, taster sessions, workshops and loads more. Organised by the Mittelrhein football association, the festival is intended to put the spotlight on diversity. The message is that football welcomes everyone. Soccer fans from around the globe can come together here to chat, kick a few balls and demonstrate the connective power of sport.

2. Theatre Sports European Championships: the battle of the improv performers

Das Bild zeigt die Improvisationsgruppe der Theatersport-Europameisterschaft. Es sind 3 Männer und drei Frauen, die alle auffällig direkt in die Kamera schauen, einige gucken überrascht, andere lächeln. Vorne stehen die Gastgeber des Abends in Köln, Gilly Alfeo und Annika Bullmahn.
Gilly Alfeo (third from left) and Annika Bullmahn (third from right) will be hosting the Cologne event. Photo: Matthias Fluhrer

Instead of balls, teams at the Theatre Sports European Championships will be kicking improvisation ideas around. Teams of two improv performers, each from two different countries (eight in total), will battle it out against each other. Organised by the Die Gorillas improv theatre, these slightly different Euros are being held in nine cities. Live on stage, teams have to think up scenes, drawing inspiration from audience suggestions. Needless to say, the themes will be related to football and Europe. As the audience will decide who wins the semi-final in Cologne and go on to take part in the final in Berlin, the question is, “Which team will they enjoy most?”. The event in Cologne will be held at 7.30pm on 5 June at the Volksbühne am Rudolfplatz theatre.

3. Euro fan zone at Heumarkt: public screenings in an iconic Cologne setting

From 14 June to 14 July, Cologne’s Heumarkt market square will be transformed into a huge fan zone full of football, fun and food for Euro 2024. Measuring 3,700m², the square will welcome up to 7,500 visitors to enjoy the football action together in an iconic Cologne setting. Imposing, 12-metre-tall illuminated masts will stand at the corners of the fan zone – a nod to the stadium where the Cologne matches will be taking place. There’ll also be three screens for fans to follow the UEFA Euro 2024 games on. Other attractions will include “test your football skills” games, DJ sets, a varied programme of entertainment and a wide selection of food and drink. The fan mile will be open on all 31 days of the tournament. Admission is free.

4. FU24BA7L: football meets pop culture

Auf dem Bild wir eine Talkrunde in einer Halle gezeigt. Sieben Menschen sitzen in Sesseln und auf Sofas auf einem grünen Kunstrasenfußballfeld.  Eine Person filmt fie Runde, während eine andere den Ton macht.
The festival will include several discussion formats about equal rights and integration. Photo: 

The FU24BA7L festival of football culture is a fusion of football and pop culture. The name is a reference to the idea of “football 24/7” and the project is the brainchild of the c/o pop Festival team. The aim is to combine football with topics such as sustainability, integration, diversity and equal rights, lending visibility to people who work in these areas. Their multifacetedness is reflected in the programme, which will feature inclusive football tournaments, talks, panel debates, concerts, drag performances, exhibitions and DJ sets. There will be 24 events in total, taking place at seven special venues throughout Cologne. Running since 26 October 2023, the festival will end on 15 June 2024. The last day will focus on girls’ and women’s football as it seeks to raise awareness of equality, social sustainability and empowerment through football.

5. Sport & Olympia Museum: roof-top football

Das Bild zeigt das Sport & Olympia Museum in Köln von außen. Die Sonne scheint. Nebend dem Museum ist ein Stück vom Rhein zu sehen, im Hintergrund der Kölner Dom, weitere Gebäude und eine Brücke.
The Sport & Olympia Museum’s roof-top football pitch offers a view across the Rhine. Photo: DSOM/D.Jacobi

From the Antiquity to modern day, Cologne’s Sport & Olympia Museum takes visitors on a journey through the history of sport, with football featuring strongly as you’d expect. It’s an impressive illustration of the importance of sport in today’s society, including the most glorious victories and most painful defeats. There are also lots of opportunities to put one’s sporting prowess to the test, be it at the football table, practice goal or even in the boxing ring. And outside, up on the roof, is the highlight every soccer fan comes here for – what is presumably the city’s tallest football pitch with a view to admire as you play.

0 comments on “Grab some football culture: events in Cologne for Euro 2024

Leave a Reply

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