ENTERTAINMENT AND NIGHTLIFE
MUSIC AND FESTIVALS
The Staatsoper, Grofie Theaterstr. 36, houses one of the best opera companies in Germany; the associated ballet company is the acknowledged dance powerhouse of the nation, (s’35 68 68. Ul to Stephanspl. Open M-Sa 10am-6:30pm.) Orchestras abound the Philharmonie, the Norddeutscher Rundfunk Symphony, and Hamburg Symphonia all perform at the Musikhalle on Johannes-Brahms-Pl. (U2 to Gansemarkt.) Live music prospers in Hamburg, satisfying all tastes. Superb traditional jazz swings at the Cotton Club. On Sunday mornings, good and bad alike play at the Fischmarkt. The West Port Jazz Festival, Germany’s largest, runs in mid-July; call the Koncertskasse ( 32 87 38 54) for info. The most anticipated festival is the G-Move (May 25, 2004), dubbed the “Love Parade of the North.” Check www.g-move.com for details.
The Sternschanze and St. Pauli areas play host to Hamburg’s unrepressed nightlife. The infamous Reeperbahn is the spinal cord of St. Pauli; it’s lined with sex shops, strip joints, peep shows, and the best bars and clubs in town. Though the Reeperbahn is reasonably safe for both men and women, it is not recommended for women to venture into the adjacent streets. Herbertstrafie, Hamburg’s “official” prostitution strip, runs parallel to the Reeperbahn, and is open only to men over 18. The prostitutes flaunting their flesh on Herbertstr. are licensed professionals required to undergo health inspections, while the streetwalkers elsewhere are venereal roulette wheels.
Students trying to avoid the hypersexed Reeperbahn head north to the trendy streets of the Schanzenviertel. Unlike St. Pauli, this area is more cafe than club and more leftist than lustful. Much of Hamburg’s gay scene is located in the classy St. Georg area of the city, near Berliner Tor and along Lange Reihe. In general, clubs open and close late, with some techno and trance clubs remaining open all night. Szene, available at newsstands (2.50), lists events and parties.
H Rote Flora, Schulterblatt 71. Held together both figuratively and literally by the spray paint and posters that cover all its vertical surfaces, this looming mansion of graffiti serves as the nucleus of the Sternschanze scene. Beer 1.50. Weekend cover from 3-5. Cafe open M-F 6-10pm. Music starts at around 10pm. Crowds come at midnight.
Si GroBe Freiheit 36Kaiserkeller, GroBe Freiheit 36 (31 77 780). Everyone from Ziggy Marley to Matchbox Twenty stomps about on the big stage and dance floor upstairs. Live music or DJs usually 10:30pm-5am. Cover 5-6, more for live music. Often entry until 11pm is free-get your hand stamped and return later.
Betty Ford Klinik, GroBe Freiheit 6. Rehab never hurt so good. Chat on the couches lit by black chandeliers, or head to the atomic den of the most creative DJs and dancers in town. Cover 5-8. Th students free. Open Th 9pm-5am, F-Sa llpm-6am.
Molotow, Spielbudenpl. 5. This basement lives at the fringes of Hamburg’s club scene. Grunge decor, 70’s music, great bands, and good dancers keep this small club rocking. Cover usually 3-4, live bands 5-10. Open Th-Sa lOpm-late.
Fabrik, Barnerstr. 36. From the Altona station make a right on Bahrenfeuerstr, and look for the crane. Venue for the likes of ACDC, Willy Brandt, and Gunter Grass. Music most days at 9pm. Tickets 10-20. Live DJ most Sa nights. Cover 6-7.
Bedford Cafe, on the corner of Schulterblatt and Suzannesstr. Easily the most crowded bar of the Schanzenviertel. Beer 2-3.40. Mixed drinks 5-6. Open daily lOam-late.
Logo, Grindelallee 5. Keeps the college crowd cultured with its eclectic lineup of folk, rock, and samba. Cover 5-15. Open daily from 8pm; music from 9pm.
Cotton Club, Alter Steinweg 10. U3 to Rod’ngsmartt. New Orleans, dixie, swing, and big band jazz in a warmly lit setting. Cover 5 for Hamburg bands, around 10 for guet bands. Shows start at 8:30pm. Open M-Th 8pm-midnight and F-Sa 8pm-lam.
Lehmitz. Reeperbahn 22. Friendly students and hardcore punks gather around the clock for 2 beers. Live, thrashing music W and weekends. Open 24hr.
G-Bar, Lange Reihe 81. Men in skin-tight shirts serve beer (2-3) and mixed drinks (7) with a smile in this comfortable, neon-lit gay bar. Open daily noon-2am.