Whether you're into classical music, electro-pop or rock, July in Germany has a packed schedule for music lovers. Meanwhile, Berlin rolls out its catwalks and Frankfurt focuses on photography.
Little Hollywood in Munich
From June 27 to July 5, the Filmfest München presents new cinematic treasures and a bunch of celebrities. "From the strangest US comedies to the most moving French romance films to sci-fi and psycho-thrillers, there's something for everyone - but nothing ordinary," said festival director Diana Iljine.
This year's festival will see the Germany premiere of Wim Wender's latest film, "The Salt of the Earth," the western "The Homesman," produced by and starring Tommy Lee Jones, and the dark sci-fi thriller "Under the Skin" featuring Scarlett Johansson as a man-killing alien.
Actor Udo Kier is set to receive the CineMerit Award for his life's work spanning Europe and Hollywood.
Summerjam in Cologne
For the past 29 years, Summerjam has been one of Europe's most important festivals for reggae, dub and world music. Some 30,000 music lovers are expected to come together this year from July 4-6 at the Fühlinger Lake near Cologne. Established German acts Seeed and Marteria headline the event, along with newcomer Milky Chance. Other major highlights include reggae star Jimmy Cliff, Jamaican Anthony B, French band Tryo and the Hamburg-based Nigerian singer Nneka.
The carnival-like atmosphere at Summerjam is legendary; in additional to two main stage, a huge bazaar draws visitors from all over Europe.
Berlin Fashion Week
Twice a year, fashionistas and designers gather in the German capital to set the trends for the following year. From July 8-13, styles for the summer of 2015 will storm the catwalks. Industry insiders, buyers and journalists can also visit various fairs featuring the latest in-wear. Particularly in Berlin, green fashion is becoming increasingly important.
Even though many of the shows and events are by invitation only, Fashion Week is not exclusively for the industry. Numerous events, exhibitions and parties take place on the sidelines, where fashionistas from around the world can strut their stuff and network.
Photography in Frankfurt
In a world where nearly everyone has a camera function on their cell phone, it's hard to imagine a time without photographs. The exhibition "LICHTBILDER: Photography at the Städel Museum from the Beginnings to 1960" in Frankfurt takes visitors back to the pre-photo era starting on July 9. It's been 175 years since photography was invented in Paris. The exhibition divides the history of the field into nine chapters spanning from the 1840s to 1960.
In addition to photographic pioneers like Nadar, Gustave Le Gray and Julia Margaret Cameron, works by prominent artists from the 20th century are also on show, like Man Ray (pictured). The Städel Museum in Frankfurt was the first in the world to exhibit photography as art.
Music among machines
The Melt! festival takes place for the 17th time from July 18-20 on the Ferropolis peninsula between Leipzig and Berlin. The festival, which combines pop, rock and electronic music, presents a convincing lineup this year. Bristol band Portishead are slated to perform their only show in Germany this year. US singer-songwriter William Fitzsimmons, British electronic musicien Actress, English indie rock band Bombay Bicycle Club, German electronic DJs Timo Maas, Monika Kruse and Boys Noize round off the program, along with Chet Faker, Four Tet, Future Island, Moderat, and Metronomy.
Ferropolis, the so-called city of iron, is an open-air museum containing old industrial equipment, including five huge mining excavators. The area was used for mining until it was flooded and later turned into an event location.
Tales and legends in Worms
For the 13th and last time, director Dieter Wedel will stage the Niebelung Festival in Worms from July 18 to August 3. Worms on the Rhine River was the setting for the Norse legend about a race of dwarves, in which the characters Kriemhild, Brünhild and Siegfried lived, loved and spun their intrigues. This year's production promises to be particularly critical.
In "Hebbel's Nibelung - Born This Way," Wedel illuminates the time after Siegfried's death when the fearless Burgundians battled with the Huns. Solidarity crystallizes as a key issue in the struggle and the original term "Nibelungentreue" - Nibelung's fidelity - was later used in Nazi propaganda.
"It's a huge risk, but the Nibelung Festival also has to take on this second part of the legend," said Wedel at the start of the rehearsals. The exhibition "Dinner for Dieter," in honor of the director and author will take place parallel to the festival in Worms's city museum.
A look across the border
The month of July has plenty in store both in Germany and beyond. The French city of Avignon will transform itself into an open-air theater from July 4-27. Umbria in Italy presents a jazz festival from July 11-20, while Latvia's capital of Riga gets musical at its World Choir Games from July 9-19. And the Salzburg Festival features opera, theater and classical concerts from July 18 through August 21 in Austria.