Frankfurt's 10 Unmissable Festivals and Events this August

Diana Condrea

Famous for its incredible skyline and cosmopolitan vibe, Frankfurt is one of Germany’s best cities to be in this August. The calendar is packed these final summer months with great cultural events, from re-enactments of centuries’ old traditions to contemporary art exhibitions and unmissable jazz recitals in the green and lush landscape of the Botanical Gardens. Here are ten unmissable events in Frankfurt am Main this August.

Skyline Frankfurt

Art and crafts | Mainfest

1 – 4 August

Originally a fisherman’s festival, Mainfest is one of the oldest festivals in Frankfurt, going back hundreds of years to the Middle Ages, when locals celebrated the river Main with roasted oxen on a spit, mystery plays, wine fountains and carriage parades. A perfect family event, the contemporary version of Mainfest opens the month of August with live music, fireworks, fairground rides and shooting ranges. Just like back in the day, the event takes place on the shore of the river Main, a tradition interrupted only by the Second World War.

1. Art | Blind Passenger - A Journey to a Land Unknown

Museum

Art | Blind Passenger – A Journey to a Land Unknown

5 August – 14 September

This atypical event, now in its 9th edition, is one of the unmissable complex sensory experiences offered by the Dialogue Museum, an unusual space where there is nothing to be seen, but everything to be discovered. Organized throughout the month of August, this unusual experiment guides visitors through an invisible country explored in absolute darkness by touch, smell and hearing. The experience lasts for one hour and a half and is possible only with previous registration so be sure to book in advance a seat in this original trip of senses.

A Journey to a Land Unknown, Dialog Museum, Hanauer Landstrasse 139-145, Frankfurt, Germany, +49 06990 43 21 44

Culture | The Bernemer Festival

8 – 13 August

This festival is one of Frankfurt’s landmark events, and has been celebrated for more than 400 years, since 1607. The event takes place each year in the second weekend of August and offers full days of live music and gastronomical delights from the city’s traditional cuisine. Faithful to its legacy, the festival re-enacts several colorful and popular traditions like Gickelschmiss, a blind-folded competition whose winner gets a live rooster, or Lisbethverbrennung, which marks the last night of celebration with the symbolic burning of doll Lisbeth, the patron of the festival.

Bernerner Festival, Holy Cross Church, Ketteler, Frankfurt, Germany

2. Food | Apple Wine Festival

Food | Apple Wine Festival

8 – 17 August

The most representative event for Frankfurt’s world-famous apple wine culture, this festival is a must for all those who enjoy a glass of this golden and delicious drink on a hot summer day. Apple wine is not only one of the city’s oldest symbols, but also ‘the locals’ beverage of choice, a sort of Hessian national beverage. During the three-day event, visitors have the chance to sample a variety of apple wine cocktails and even buy traditional glasses designed especially for this beverage, all while enjoying live music and dance spectacles.

Apple Wine Festival, Roßmarkt, Frankfurt, Germany, +49 (0) 69/21 23 89 90

3. Music: Jazz in Palmengarten

Botanical Garden

Music: Jazz in Palmengarten

14 August and 28 August

Frankfurt’s botanical garden hosts two jazz recitals in August that will enchant the connoisseurs of the genre. The Max.Bab Quartet is the first to take the stage in mid-August. One of the best German jazz bands of the young generation, this modern quartet is well-known for its amazing performances of difficult repertoires such as Cannonball Adderley. The Max.Bab recital is followed two weeks later by Axel Schlosser Quartet, with Julian Arguelles playing saxophone, Martin Sjöstedt on bass, drummer Jean Paul Höchstädter and of course Axel Schlosser, one of Germany’s most famous jazz trumpeters.

Jazz in Palmengarten, Palmengarten, Siesmayerstraße 63, Frankfurt, Germany

4. Theatre: Theatre Festival ‘Baroque am Main’

Theatre: Theatre Festival ‘Baroque am Main’

14 August – September 7

Now in its 9th edition, this festival brings to the public three weeks of theatre plays in the Hessian dialect, the result of a cultural initiative that goes back to the 70s. A top summer cultural event taking place in the city’s last Baroque garden, the festival gathered over 16,000 spectators in 2013 and its 2014 program appears to be at least as captivating as in the previous year. This edition brings to the stage Moliere’s masterpiece The Bourgeois Gentleman, in the Hessian version of Rainer Dachselt, with Michael Quast interpreting the title role.

Theatre Festival, Bolongarogarten, Bolongaro 109, Frankfurt, Germany

5. Art Exhibition: Museum Embankment Festival

Museum

Art Exhibition: Museum Embankment Festival

29 – 31 August

One of the largest and most interesting cultural events in Europe, Museum Embankment Festival expresses Frankfurt’s unique way of celebrating its great museums in a three-day vibrant combination of ‘art, culture, music and gastronomy from around the globe.’ The diverse and entertaining program of the festival attracts 2.5 million visitors every year who come to enjoy the varied art exhibitions and cultural performances. For each festival edition, the organizers pick a central theme that ‘runs like a “fils rouge” through the eight kilometers of the festival.’ Past years’ themes included Greece, Japan or South Africa.

Museum Embankment Festival, Schaumainkai, Frankfurt, Germany, +49 (0) 69 / 21 23 88 00

Michiko Nakatani ExhibitionZimmer, 2013-14, Gips, Polyurethan, Pigment, Eisen | Image Courtesy Gallery Rothamel

6. Art Exhibition: Ruestung Aus Der Vorstellung

Art Exhibition: Ruestung Aus Der Vorstellung

Until 31 August

August is the last month in which you can admire and explore the inspiring exhibition of Michiko Nakatan, one of the leading young artists in Japan artists and a winner of the VOCA Encouragement Prize of the Ueno Royal Museum from Japan. Organized at the Rothamel Gallery, this summer exhibition features several new creations of the Tokyo born artist, from installations, sculptures and design that ‘are just as subtle as strong.’ The artist participated in over 30 group exhibitions in the past decade and featured four solo presentations in Tokyo and Frankfurt.

Ruestung Aus Der Vorstellung, Gallery Rothamel Frankfurt, Fahrgasse 17, Frankfurt, Germany, +49 0177 599 8 445

7. Art Exhibition: Daniele Buetti - It's All in the Mind

Art Exhibition: Daniele Buetti – It’s All in the Mind

Until 31 August

It’s All in the Mind is one of the must-see exhibitions in Frankfurt this August. The sound installation created by Swiss artist Danielle Buetti is the main feature of this unusual exhibition that on the course of the 25 minute audio experience helps the visitor to ‘gain access to a spiritual dimension.’ The artist uses hypnosis techniques as the ‘color cleansing’, a color guide meditation that ‘will operate as a proxy or thing on which a person is capable of focusing without regard for semantic differences or cognitive misunderstandings.’

It’s All in the Mind, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Römerberg, Frankfurt, Germany, +49 6929 98 820

8. Photography: Paparazzi! Photographers, Stars and Artists

Store

Photography: Paparazzi! Photographers, Stars and Artists

August

A must for all photography enthusiasts, this exhibition brings to focus the omnipresent fascination created by the media around famous people. A collection of more than 500 photographs will shed a different light on the paparazzi phenomenon in an attempt to ‘investigate a modern myth, provide insights into the techniques and aesthetics of paparazzi photography.’ From classics of the genre featuring Jackie Kennedy to more contemporary divas like Paris Hilton, the exhibition has in store a great incursion into this flashy world featuring the works of Richard Avedon, Thomas Demand, Cindy Sherman, Gerhard Richter or Andy Warhol.

Paparazzi! Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Römerberg, Frankfurt, Germany, +49 6929 98 820

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