So you want to know about where to find the music scene in Munich? You have come to the right place to find out more. From hidden cafes to the local down the road, you are sure to have a great time wandering through these streets. If you want to plan this wandering, check out our blog about the walking tour of Munich guide.
German rock used to known as Krautrock, so let’s have a deeper look. However, we won’t go to google, how about we talk to a local, authentic German. Meet Eric, a beer drinking, long haired rocker. We found him on a night out. He told us all about the history over a pint. Krautrock, he said, is an umbrella term for German Rock music which came from the youth after WW2. It was named during the late 60’s and early 70’s by an Englishman. Laughing, Eric told us that the Germans didn’t even know of this word till later on.
Youth never change, lets be real, today as well as back in the 70’s they wanted to be different and to find their own feet. This led to an American and British influenced genre far removed from the war. I mean, who wouldn’t want to do something different then? Eric paused to light his cigarette then continued; the music was unique and usually the musicians would play for hours and hours. Then it would just be edited down into something that we as listeners could easily listen to. Like Miles Davis in the US. Eric used the term “Dum dum chick” to help us understand the monotonic beat most commonly associated with Krautrock. This evolved into German Rock. Thanx for the History lesson Eric.
Where to find the music scene in Munich
Great, now we know the history, but where is the music scene in Munich. The big bands like Rammstein, Scorpions, and Kraftwerk are hard to come by, so what should you do?
Firstly: I would highly recommend you get yourself an “in münchen” magazine. These are readily available at any pub, tourist information center and even on a pile of readables in your hotel room. This magazine tells you day by day what is showing and where. It covers not only concerts, but also what is on the radio or where to party. Such a handy magazine.
What the magazine does not tell you, though, is where the best places to go are. Luckily you have this guide right here: Music scene in Munich.
Glockenbachwerkstatt, a big word to swallow, but an important one. It’s a great location for German Rock. To help you out, the locals call it the ‘Glocke’. This is definitely on top of the best places to visit. When you enter here there are many ways you can go. On the one side you have a performance room with a stage and space for 120 people to rock out. On the other side you have the bar and a mini stage where the sounds of Rock, Blues and Jazz, ease you into you first beer and help you finish your last. Sometimes there is an entrance fee to pay for the rock show, but mainly it is free and in summer they occupy the courtyard and fill it with live music. Here I must add, this location is super great for the underground Rock scene, as well as Stoner Rock for the die hard fans.
Be sure to have a look out for Ben Jones from the band “Braindead Wavelength” on your journey to Glockenbackwekstatt. He will happily tell you all about the music scene in Munich. His band performs regularly around town, and have a great following which they collected from their start in Youth Clubs for under 25s. Now having outgrown these places, Ben and his band regularly entertain the crowds.
I asked Mr. Jones who his top 3 band influencers were. He replied with “1. Metallica, 2. The Doors, and 3. Nirvana/ Alice in Chains because it is difficult to chose.” Ben is a go to person to talk to. He will tell you about other locations you can visit, like Backstage for example. Backstage has weekly shows from Thursdays to Sundays, each night with a different theme. Thursday would be the night for you, as it is all about Rock. You do not need to make a reservation, you can just pitch up and rock out. Raw Bar, for extreme metal fans, is another location advised by Ben.
Our conversation with Ben was concluded by a few name drops to check out when in Munich for true German Rock. “Frank Schepper, like Frank Zappa but with the German s-c-h” who really loves his Muesli! Pirates of Suburbia, Swan Valley High and PHI. All authentically Munich brewed, all emerging talents and all eager to Rock out and help you have one of the best nights possible. Talking about emerging talents, going to the Glocke would be your best bet to see such bands. It is also a great place for the music scene in Munich.
Irish in Germany
When in Munich you cannot miss the Irish pubs. Why would you go to Munich for an Irish pub? Well, because the vibe is amazing and really adds to the music scene in Munich.
There you can see Landy Landinger for example. A German artist with dreads on the back of his head as well as the front where his beard should be. He sings the best tunes that you can sing along to while enjoying more beer. The Germans seriously love their beer. Kilian’s is one of the two Irish Pubs central in Munich and have live music every night, dedicating the weekends to Rock and Roll. Actually, Kilians is an Irish/ Australian bar, but you can make up your own mind about that. They even have Karaoke on Sundays for when you want to get up on stage and do your thing. So when in doubt, you know where to go.
Now, if you want to enjoy the music scene in Munich you will also need a place to stay to rest up for the next day. There are so many Hotels to chose from. The Arthotel, about 5 mins away from the Main Train Station is great. It is newly renovated and each morning you can enjoy a complimentary breakfast. It’s about 15 mins walk to the middle of the old town with many restaurants, some of which also play live music, all along the way. Ben, our Rocker friend from earlier, suggested to stay in Euro Youth Hostel. It is a cheaper option to a Hotel and has bar attached where you will find live music getting played.
When you are looking for places to stay, there is an overabundance of locations, not just the ones I mentioned. You can cash out and stay in a 5 star hotel or save your pennies and stay in Youth Hostels. There is a place for everyone and all close to the music.
A little bit further out of town is the Olympia Park, easily accessible by public transport. In the summer months there is a sort of Party in the Park type of vibe, Rocksommer, that happens there. It is accompanied by a Funfair, great for instagram (have a look at our instagram Munich post here). If you love the famous German Christmas Markets then you will love this too. Live German folk music will ring in your ears as you eat you Pretzel and drink you German Beer while waiting for the night to take over, and the rock music to start in the Open Air Amphitheatre, Theatron, at 7pm. Every night two bands play, for free. Pretty epic! Great place for the music scene in Munich.
Talking about truly Bavarian things, The Hofbräuhaus is another place where you can enjoy a Pretzel, however this particular one is bigger than your head, so maybe sharing it is best. But what you won’t want to share is the locally brewed beer which comes in litre or half litre glasses from women and men dressed in traditional bavarian attire.
So imagine, this could be your day:
Firstly who doesn’t enjoy a good lay in? Take your time, rest up, because at night is when the music scene in Munich comes alive. Once you have rested up, you can go and enjoy Munich at your leisure. Nothing in the bars really happen until about 7pm. If you are super hungry for music you will always be satisfied when walking through the Old Town. From morning till night there are street performers, from solo guitar and vocalists to a full on 5 piece brass band. There is something for everyone.
As the main city of Bavaria, Munich is a huge tourist attraction and the inner city is filled with shops, attracting the most people. Maybe this attracts you too, so fill up your belly with delicious food, and your suitcase with gorgeous clothes. You know what, make some time for the Viktualienmarkt and enjoy great local meats and cheeses, and experience Munich life. When you are done strolling around and taking in the beautiful architecture and music you can make your way to your bar of choice.
There are mainstream options like the Hard Rock Cafe, or there are the more underground bars like Glock, where you will find your authentic German rock.
Once you have finished your night and perhaps even stayed out and watched your night turn into day again, you can head back home and enjoy your bed. The next day you wake up and repeat this authentic Munich adventure finding the music scene in Munich.