The Essential Guide to Hamburg's Best Music Festivals in 2017

By Ilze Ieviņa for The Culture Trip on Mar 01, 2017

The German city of Hamburg boasts a vibrant music scene that comes alive in the summer when the outdoor concert and festival season begins. The festivals in and around Hamburgrange from jazz to heavy metal, from small alternative affairs to world class events. Here are six reasons to make Hamburg your musical festival destination in 2017.

Elbjazz Festival

Hamburg’s acclaimed jazz festival, Elbjazz is back in 2017 after taking a one year break. Over 50 concerts from all genres of jazz will be played in various locations around Hamburg harbour and HafenCity. This year, for the first time, concerts will be performed at the brand new Elbphilharmonie building. Some of the most unusual concert locations include the Blohm + Voss shipyard and the freight ship Cap San Diego.

Line up: Gregory Porter & Band, Jan Garbarek, Joshua Redman Trio, Snarky Puppy, Agnes Obel, and more.

Tickets: from 55 €

June 2-3, 2017

Concert at the Blohm + Voss shipyard | © Dario Dumancic / Elbjazz

Concert at the Blohm + Voss shipyard | © Dario Dumancic / Elbjazz

Hurricane Festival

The three-day long alternative Hurricane Festival takes place in Scheeßel, just outside of Hamburg. With around 70,000 visitors, it counts among Germany’s biggest and most beloved summer festivals. 2017 will be Hurricane’s 21st anniversary and there is plenty to look forward to, from world famous artists and DJs to popular German bands, and new artists.

Line up: Greenday, Linkin Park, Casper, Blink-182, Die Antwoord, Imagine Dragons, and more.

Tickets: from 199 €

June 23-25, 2017

Hurricane Festival 2016 | © Frank Embacher / Hurricane

Hurricane Festival 2016 | © Frank Embacher / Hurricane

Wacken Open Air

Known as W:O:A, this is one the biggest heavy metal festivals in the world. It takes place in the village of Wacken north from Hamburg and annually hosts over 80,000 visitors. Every year the lineup includes some of the biggest names in hard rock and metal, tickets often sell out before a single headliner is announced.

Line up: Alice Cooper, Apocalyptica, Clawfinger, Marilyn Manson, Megadeth, Paradise Lost, and more.

Tickets: from 221 €

August 3-5, 2017


This electronic and urban music festival calls itself a “one-day snapshot of the beat culture”. The focus of Spektrum is diversity, from electronic music to classical rap, from artists who clearly fit within a genre to those who boldly cross borders. This festival in Hamburg’s Wilhelmsburg district is a must for lovers of rap, hip-hop, and electronic music.

Line up: DJ Heroin, Haiyti aka Robbery, Karate Andi, UFO361, Novelist, and more.

Tickets: from 35 €

August 5, 2017

MS Dockville

For over a decade, the music and art festival MS Dockville transforms the Elbe floodplains in Hamburg’s Wilhelmsburg district into a unique event location. Alternative, electronic, and rock musicians perform against the scenic backdrop of old warehouses, cranes, and ship containers. A special part of the festival is the art camp, and the festival grounds double as a showcase for various art projects and installations.

Line up: Moderat, Oh Wonder, Labrassbanda, Mount Kimbie, Tale of US, Von wegen Lisbeth, and more.

Tickets: from 89 €

August 18-20, 2017

Crowd at the MS Dockville Festival | © daspunkt / Flickr

Crowd at the MS Dockville Festival | © daspunkt / Flickr

Reeperbahn Festival

The largest club festival in Germany, every year the Reeperbahn Festival delights over 30,000 visitors with hundreds of performances in over 70 event locations. For one weekend the clubs and bars of the Sankt Pauli district become a stage for new local and international talent. In turn, already well-established musicians play live on the large outdoor stage in the middle of Spielbudenplatz. The festival also offers a wide program of theatre, art, film, literature events, as well as exhibitions for the music industry.

Line up: to be announced

Tickets: from 75 €

September 20-23, 2017

Baloji performs at the Reeperbahn Festival 2016 | © Lena Meyer / Reeperbahn Festival

Baloji performs at the Reeperbahn Festival 2016 | © Lena Meyer / Reeperbahn Festival