Word has got around that Bochum's 'Bermuda triangle' of bars and clubs is the party capital of the Ruhr at any time of year. But when the city at the heart of North Rhine-Westphalia plays host to Bochum Total, one of Europe's leading music festivals, the party atmosphere reaches fever pitch.
Bochum Total has taken place every summer since 1986, turning the city into one gigantic festival site. Around one million music fans come to this superlative open-air event to watch up to 60 pop and rock bands – from newcomers to big-name acts – perform on four days across three different stages, with a fourth devoted entirely to shows, comedy and readings. And all for free! The spectrum of music ranges from mainstream to experimental, covering every genre from grunge and metal to salsa, reggae and jazz. The inclusion of newcomers in the line-up is a deliberate move by the organisers, who have always had an eye for spotting talented acts that go on to headline the festival a few years later: Wir sind Helden, Silbermond, Seeed and many others played in front of their first big audiences here. The event kicks off at 5pm each day and after the last encore five hours later, the party really gets started. There is an extended programme of around 100 different events in the dozens of bars and clubs. With so much going on, it's easy for people to disappear off the radar for a while – but the good news is, they always turn up again!
2014-7-3 - 2014-7-6
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