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Culture

Film, festival and concert highlights for 2017

The coming year will be packed with concerts, music tours, films and festivals, while cinema lovers can enjoy a host of box office blockbusters. Here’s a pick of 2017’s must-see films, festivals and concerts in Germany.

Rock am Ring on the last night (picture alliance/dpa/T. Frey)

Rock am Ring Music Festival, 2016

The best festivals 

June 2-6: Rock am Ring - Returning this year to the storied Nürburgring racetrack in the Eifel mountains of western Germany, the mega music festival features some of the biggest names in rock, pop and rap, including Rammstein, System of a Down, Die Toten Hosen, Beatsteaks, AnnenMayKantereit, rapper Marteria, Beginner and many more. These acts will play around the same time in the concurrent Rock im Park event at the Zeppelinfeld near Nuremberg in southern Germany.

June 2-6: Wave Gotik Treffen - In the largest festival of its kind, 20,000 visitors from around the world will gather in Leipzig to celebrate 'dark' culture and music. Here you can take in industrial, gothic, darkwave and experimental sounds amidst a backdrop of black costumes, baroque fashion, vampires and cyborgs.

Wave Gotik Treffen Leipzig (Imago/Seeliger)

Fancy dress at the 'Victorian breakfast' - a highlight at the Wave Gotik Treffen

June 23-25: Hurricane Festival - Taking place in Scheeßel, near Hamburg, the Hurricane Festival is a three-day music event featuring more than 100 bands, including punk and pop headliners such as Green Day - their first appearance at Hurricane - Blink 182 and Caspar, as well as Jennifer Rostock, Fritz Kalkbrenner, Maximo Park and Digitalism.

June 30-July 2: Summerjam Festival - The 31st edition of the largest festival of its kind in Europe attracts around 30,000 visitors to Cologne. An eclectic selection of reggae - including Jamaican legends Toots and the Maytals - dancehall, hip-hop and world music acts will entertain the masses around Lake Fühlingen for three long summer days. 

 MTV European Music Awards 2016 (picture-alliance/AP Photo/P. Dejong)

Green Day play the Hurricane Festival for the first time

July 6-9: Rudolstadt Festival - For the 27th time, the attractive city of Rudolstadt in the state of Thuringia will draw around 80,000 people to Germany's largest and most renowned festival for folk, roots and world music.

August 3-6: Wacken Open Air - The biggest metal festival in the world with 80,000 fans promises to be "louder than hell." And this time, should it rain, there's a new drainage system to fight the mud. Headliners for 2017 include Ugly Kid Joe, Apocalyptica, Dog Eat Dog, Hämatom, Marilyn Manson and Napalm Death.

August 25-26: New Horizons - This first-time festival for techno, electronic music, house and trance is Germany's answer to Tomorrowland, the massive Belgian EDM festival. With space for 80,000 attendees at the Nürburgring racetrack, a host of headlining DJs and live acts have already been announced, including Tiësto, Lost Frequencies, Laidback Luke, Afrojack, ATB, Paul Oakenfold and many more.

Tomorrowland electronic music festival, Belgium (picture-alliance/dpa)

Techno beats and lots of love feature at electronic music festivals

Bands on tour

Tokio Hotel: The popular German emo band is growing up and in March will tour their latest album, "Dream Machine." Tokio Hotel will perform seven concerts in Germany as part of the official Dream Machine World Tour, which kicks off on March 15 in Hamburg.

Bob Dylan arrives in April! The Nobel laureate for literature will perform in Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt.

Guns N' Roses will be back in Germany as part of their "Not in This Lifetime" tour, performing two outdoor events on June 13 in Munich and June 22 in Hanover.

May and June will be the last chance to see Aerosmith in Germany when Steven Tyler and the band finally say farewell to fans after 45 years during their Aero-Vederci Baby! tour. The rock 'n' roll legends perform three concerts in Munich, Berlin and Cologne. 

Swiss electro-pop pioneers Yello will visit Germany in November and December for five concerts. Together with a host of guest musicians, Yello will showcase four decades of music making, along with their 13th studio album, "Toy."

Dave Gahan, Depeche Mode at the Echo Awards, 2013 (picture-alliance/dpa)

Dave Gahan, lead singer of Depeche Mode, which tours Germany in 2017

Music lovers can also check out Depeche Mode, Robbie Williams, Bryan Adams, Billy Talent, Clueso, Udo Lindenberg and many more as they tour Germany in 2017.

Cinema highlights

In what promises to be the year of the blockbuster, the 2017 film calendar opens with the 67th Berlinale, which runs from February 9-19 in the German capital. The Berlin International Film Festival will again draw many celebrities to the city, ensuring that the red carpets - as well as the program - will be full. New talent will present their films alongside established Hollywood legends. Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, who caused a sensation with films such as "Basic Instinct," "Robocop" and "Total Recall," will be the Berlinale jury president this year. 

Prior to the Berlinale, the year's first blockbuster release, The Great Wall, comes to German cinemas on January 19. The largest joint Chinese-American production in film history has a budget of roughly $150 million (144 million euros). Directed by Zhang Yimou ("Raise the Red Lantern") and starring Matt Damon, this monumental cinematic experience features monsters, warriors and the salvation of mankind.

On February 16, Trainspotting 2 opens in cinemas across Germany. Exactly 20 years after the original, Mark, Spud, Sick Boy, Begbie and Tommy meet again. Are they still taking drugs? Will they finally climb the Scottish mountain? And will we again hear the unforgettable music of "Underworld?" Fans of the cult movie can look forward to answers.

Johnny Depp portrays Captain Jack Sparrow (Foto:Disney, Peter Mountain/AP/dapd).

Johnny Depp reprises his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the latest 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movie

Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Pirate Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) meets his arch enemy Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) in "Salazar's Revenge," part five of the long-running franchise. Having emerged from the depths of the Bermuda Triangle, Captain Salazar wants to destroy Sparrow and the other pirates, forcing Jack to seek out the all-powerful Trident of Poseidon. Release date is May 25.

The Star Wars saga continues! Following on from its predecessor, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," "Star Wars: Episode VIII" comes to cinemas in Germany on December 14. In this second installment in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, the young Rey seeks to continue his apprenticeship with Jedi and Luke Skywalker, but the villains are not far behind.

Also on the bill

In Hamburg on January 11-12, the Elbphilharmonie will finally open; construction began back in 2007. The spectacular new concert hall that directly overlooks the Elbe and the Hamburg harbor will celebrate its inauguration for two days. Following the opening, a three-week festival at the venue will feature illustrious classical music guests such as conductor Kent Nagano and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ricardo Muti. The legendary Berlin avant-garde rock band Einstürzende Neubauten (the name portentously translates to "Collapsing New Buildings") will also perform.

Elbphilharmonie (DW/Saskia Drechsel)

Elbphilharmonie: promises to not only look good but sound good

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